Hard Knocks has announced the Oakland Raiders as this season’s HBO series participant. There’s a rule that no team that has reached the playoffs in either of the two preceding seasons is eligible to be on Hard Knocks, sometimes causing a rather uninteresting team to be the focal point. Fortunately, the Raiders should provide plenty of entertainment value.
On the DK Sportsbook, you can bet the over/under on each NFL team’s projected regular season win total. Let’s take a look at how the Hard Knocks featured teams have performed against their projections in the past.
Regular Season Records of Hard Knocks Teams
– 2018, Browns: Projected Wins = 5.5, Actual Record = 7-8-1
– 2017, Buccaneers: Projected Wins = 8.5, Actual Record = 5-11
– 2016, Rams: Projected Wins = 7, Actual Record = 4-12
– 2015, Texans: Projected Wins = 8.5, Actual Record = 9-7
– 2014, Falcons: Projected Wins = 8, Actual Record = 6-10
– 2013, Bengals: Projected Wins = 8.5, Actual Record = 11-5
– 2012, Dolphins: Projected Wins = 4.5, Actual Record = 7-9
– 2011, Jets: Projected Wins = 9.5, Actual Record = 11-5
– 2010, Bengals: Projected Wins = 5.5, Actual Record = 10-6
Note: All odds provided by DraftKings Sportsbook
Out of the past nine seasons, six teams have beaten their regular season win projections after being featured on Hard Knocks. The trend is in the Raiders’ favor there, as are the odds. Oakland is projected to win six games, and the majority of bettors believe it will surpass that number. On the DK Sportsbook, 82% of the total handle and 71% of the total bets are on the Raiders to get over six wins (-115.) That isn’t necessarily due to the Hard Knocks team reveal. This Raiders team actually could make some waves in the NFL.
Last season, the Raiders ended with a 4-12 record. Jon Gruden’s first season as Oakland’s head coach was filled with scrutiny, mainly over the decision to part ways with defensive powerhouse Khalil Mack. But this year is shaping up differently for the Raiders. Derek Carr will have Antonio Brown as his No. 1 target, and that alone is enough to raise some eyebrows. But with signings like linebacker Vontaze Burfict, wide receiver Tyrell Williams, safety Lamarcus Joyner and offensive lineman Trent Brown, the Raiders are well-equipped to turn their record around.
Still, Oakland finds itself in an increasingly competitive division. To make matters worse, the Raiders have the hardest strength of schedule by their opponents’ win percentage last season. All things considered, I still think there are at least seven winnable games on the docket: Broncos, Lions, Bengals, Jets, Titans, Jaguars and Broncos once more. Sprinkle in a couple of underdog victories, and the Raiders could find themselves well above six wins and (dare I say?) fighting for a playoff spot.
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