There won’t be too many soft touches for the Raiders this season.
After underachieving in 2022, Las Vegas faces the 10th toughest strength of schedule in the NFL for 2023—with their opponents previously combining for a record of 150-136-2.
Currently, BetMGM places the team’s over/under win total for the upcoming season at 7.5 wins, while seeing their chances at winning the AFC West division at a high +1200 odds.
Here’s a look a below at all 17 regular season games and some key matchups along the way.
WEEK 1: Raiders at Broncos.
The Raiders begin their season on the road and with a very winnable game at Empower Field at Mile High in Denver.
Russell Wilson is expecting a bounce-back season, following a 5-12 mark in his first campaign. New head coach Sean Payton is still going to be one of the best coaches in football if he’s still ‘Got it’ but even he may need some time to get things rolling.
The Raiders should jump on teams like the Broncos, knowing they must play elite teams like Kansas City twice later on.
WEEK 2: Raiders at Bills.
The level of difficulty ratchets up significantly against the Bills and quarterback extraordinaire, Josh Allen.
The Bills remain one of the top-3 teams according to BetMGM as a favorite to win the Super Bowl. At +900, only the Eagles and Chiefs hold better odds.
The Raiders find themselves as big underdogs here; Buffalo are heading into this season with a top-4 passing offense, against a secondary ranking in the bottom-4 for 2022.
WEEK 3: Steelers at Raiders.
Allegiant Stadium and Raider fans get their first home game of the season against the always-tough Pittsburgh Steelers.
Despite a rebuilding year, Mike Tomlin and his team are coming off a winning season and just missing the playoffs. The Steelers arguably got the steal of this year’s draft in Joey Porter Jr. for the first pick in round two.
Add in some expected development of 2nd-year QB Kenny Pickett and this isn’t a gimme on a Sunday Night.
WEEK 4: Raiders at Chargers.
The Raiders hit the road for the third time in four weeks (they play 5 of their first 8 games away from Allegiant Stadium) against their rivals from Los Angeles.
Joey Bosa often takes pleasure in tormenting the Raiders, securing nearly 10 sacks in his 10 games against them. It should be interesting to see if the quicker-release and playing style of Jimmy Garoppolo finds better success in thwarting Bosa and the Chargers’ efforts.
WEEK 5: Packers at Raiders.
This game, like the opener at Denver, is extremely winnable and important for the Raiders. They begin many of these games on the road, and against the NFL’s best in teams like the Chiefs and Bills.
The Packers finally hit the rebuild button after concluding the Aaron Rodgers era. There are many question marks after finishing 8-9 and missing the postseason. None are bigger than quarterback Jordan Love, who is undertaking an unenviable task; following up Brett Favre and Aaron Rodgers.
The Raiders must win games like these to balance out the inevitable losses against tougher teams on the schedule.
WEEK 6: Patriots at Raiders.
The Patriots, like the Packers, do not strike fear into their opponents as much as they have in years past.
Bill Belichick remains a great coach, but isn’t finding the same success without the great Tom Brady, missing the postseason for the second time in three years after missing it just once in the previous 19 seasons.
New England’s first-round pick, cornerback Christian Gonzalez, will surely play with a chip on his shoulder with the Raider’s opting to pass him up and pick Tyree Wilson. Many mock drafts saw Gonzalez heading to Las Vegas, instead he’ll face them and try to make the Raiders regret their decision.
WEEK 7: Raiders at Bears.
This game is potentially much more difficult than it seems on paper.
Chicago is fresh off a 3-14 record, but Justin Fields is absolutely terrifying with his legs. He also carries a new weapon onto the field in 26-year-old receiver D.J. Moore. The Bears previous team-leader, Cole Kmet, led the team in receiving last season, finishing with 544 receiving yards. In 3 of his 5 seasons, Moore has more than doubled that total.
Still, even on the road, the Raiders need to win games like these to give themselves a real chance at playing in the postseason.
WEEK 8: Raiders at Lions.
The Lions are an ascending force in the NFC—BetMGM actually has them as the 9th overall favorite to win the Super Bowl.
Detroit is fielding their best team since they last made the playoffs in 2014—with Calvin Johnson catching passes from Matthew Stafford. However, this is still a bottom-five defense heading into 2023, and the Raiders were a top-12 team offensively despite struggling last season.
They’ll head in as underdogs, but this is one of the could-go-either-way games on the schedule.
WEEK 9: Giants at Raiders.
If the Raiders were underachievers last season, many saw the Giants as overachievers in surprising most experts with a playoff berth in 2022. For Las Vegas, they’re hoping for a role-reversal in 2023.
Darren Waller returns to Allegiant Stadium a Giant, facing off against 2nd-round pick Michael Mayer, who replaces Waller for the Raiders at tight end.
WEEK 10: Jets at Raiders.
The Jets, after flirting with the idea of taking Derek Carr before settling on all-time great Aaron Rodgers, are going to be tough for the Raiders and everyone else in the NFL.
Returning the Defensive Rookie of the Year in Sauce Gardner, Offensive Rookie of the Year in Garrett Wilson and now Rodgers, the Jets are one of the hardest games on the schedule for Las Vegas.
Aaron Rodgers and Davante Adams reunite—with neither of them playing for the Packers.
WEEK 11: Raiders at Dolphins.
The Dolphins, like the Jets and Bears, are another improving team the Raiders must face in 2023.
After making the postseason in 2022, the Dolphins added star cornerback Jalen Ramsey to their secondary. Jimmy Garoppolo looks to get a measure of revenge here; as it was the Dolphins who ended his season in Week 13 after inuring his foot—marking Garoppolo’s final game as a 49er.
WEEK 12: Chiefs at Raiders.
Patrick Mahomes is coming off a MVP and Super Bowl MVP-winning season. He might actually be the greatest quarterback we’ve ever seen and he’s still getting better.
The Chiefs led the NFL in all passing categories last season, while the Raiders ranked in the bottom-five of most categories defending the pass. He’s also got a lifetime record of 9-1 against the Raiders.
So yeah, it’s ok to pencil the two games against Kansas City as probable losses.
WEEK 13: Bye Week
WEEK 14: Vikings at Raiders.
The Vikings head into 2023 as statistically the worst 13-4 (or 12-4, for that matter) team of all time, finishing 2022 with a negative point differential.
Whereas games such as the Bears are tougher than they seem on paper, Minnesota is not as formidable as their previous record suggests. It’s a winnable game for the Raiders—so long as they don’t allow Justin Jefferson to have a 200 yard monster game.
They may also be playing Minnesota at the right time—as the Vikings were fading a bit down the stretch of last season.
WEEK 15: Chargers at Raiders.
The Raiders are 3-1 in their previous 4 home games against the Chargers, beating them 2 years in a row at Allegiant Stadium.
Beating Denver and Los Angeles, particularly at home, carries extreme significance for the Raiders if they hold any hope of keeping up with the Chiefs.
They’ll need to make Justin Herbert play like he did in the 2nd-half of his playoff loss in Jacksonville, and not like the top-5 talent many believe he is.
WEEK 16: Raiders at Chiefs.
It’s Mahomes, it’s at home and it’s Christmas night.
No.15 will be wearing red and delivering presents, but not for the Raiders. Expect a long night here at Arrowhead.
WEEK 17: Raiders at Colts.
Exciting prospect Anthony Richardson suits up at quarterback for the Colts and that should be fun even for Raiders fan to witness.
What’s even more fun is that Richardson figures to be as raw as he is talented in his first season, allowing the Raiders to potentially feast on his growing pains.
This is a must-win game for their playoff lives.
WEEK 18: Broncos at Raiders.
After beginning in Denver, the Raiders finish the 2023 season full circle in taking on the Broncos again in Las Vegas.
This game and Indianapolis are both games the Raiders absolutely need to win. If they do get into the postsesason—which most experts believe they won’t—it will in all likelihood come down to these final two games.
BetMGM Odds MAKE SENSE:
Looking at their full schedule of games, BetMGM seems to be at a logical conclusion putting the Raiders at a projected 7-8 wins in 2023.
The Raiders need their offense, finishing just outside the top-10 in 2022, to climb into the top-10 so they may exceed expectations. The defense needs their incoming draft class to help lift them to respectability.
Both scenarios aren’t out of the question, but for now, the Raiders are underdogs heading into 2023.
There won’t be too many soft touches for the Raiders this season.