NFL preseason odds may be long and heavy on the prospects of the 2010 Oakland Raiders but there are also those who believe the Silver and Black may be a NFL gambling surprise.
Oakland has not enjoyed a winning season since their 2002 AFC title team that lost the Super Bowl to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Since that time the Raiders have been absolutely dreadful and one of the worst franchises in all of professional sports.
They have had a straight up record of 29-83 in that time span, far from the standards of the team motto, which reads “Commitment to Excellence.”
Beyond that they have carried very little appeal with gamblers and have offered next to no board value. That could be changing, however, for 2010.
Last year Oakland finished 5-11 straight up and 8-8 against the spread while finishing 3rd in the AFC West Division. Offense was the big problem for the Raiders as they finished 31st overall for total offense as well as scoring.
The Raiders have cut their losses with one of the biggest draft busts of all time, however, as quarterback JaMarcus Russell was released. Russell was the proverbial black cloud over the franchise that seemed to be getting worse with each game that he played.
Tom Cable returns for his third season at the helm. While he has not been a success by any football betting standards he has brought stability and the players have bought into his style and system. It has been a precarious climb for Cable, who was nearly fired after allegations surfaced about him abusing past women in his life.
Jason Campbell arrives from the Washington Redskins to take over as quarterback for the disgraced Russell, who faces legal and drug related problems. Campbell is a veteran that has brought a presence of leadership to the locker room.
“We can do some good things together,” said Campbell, who is relieved to be out of Washington. “They’re putting together a defense that has been outstanding. If we can help out offensively and turn some things around, anything is possible.”
Campbell has helped pull the team together as they will now go out on the town to socialize and bond.
The defense came on strong down the stretch last year and is led by all pro cornerback Nnamdi Asomugha. Oakland finished 7th in the NFL for pass defense and figures to get better for 2010.