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2020 NFL odds: Raiders have worst chance to make playoffs in AFC West

2020 NFL odds: Raiders have worst chance to make playoffs in AFC West

The oddsmakers in the Raiders' new home aren't high on their chances to make the NFL playoffs.

Las Vegas-based Caesars Sportsbook listed the Silver and Black at +320 odds (bet $100 to win $320), making the Raiders the AFC West's longest shot to make the NFL playoffs in the 2020 season. The Raiders, conversely, are the biggest favorites in the division to miss the playoffs with -400 odds (bet $400 to win $100).

Caesars gave the Raiders and Denver Broncos joint-worst odds to win the AFC West (10-1), and Las Vegas also has the lowest OVER/UNDER in the division with seven wins. The Raiders, strangely, are tied for the AFC's sixth-best odds to make the Super Bowl (30-1).

Yes, you read that right. The Raiders have better odds to make the Super Bowl than three teams in their own division who have better odds to make the playoffs.

Standing in the Raiders' (and Broncos' and Los Angeles Chargers') way of making the playoffs are the Kansas City Chiefs, the reigning Super Bowl champions. But there are now three wild-card spots up for grabs as opposed to two, following the NFL playoffs' expansion last month.

Eight wins are what the Raiders need to hit their OVER, and it would've got them into the playoffs last season had the new format been in place then. So, do the Raiders have eight wins on their 2020 schedule?

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The Raiders went 4-4 in 2019 against five of their 2020 opponents (Chiefs, Broncos, Chargers, Indianapolis Colts and New York Jets). The Silver and Black's defense will be much-improved in 2020 following a flurry of free-agent activity, so the Raiders probably will beat the Jets (they're the Jets, after all) next season. The Colts are much better, too, so let's give the Raiders a 4-4 record against those same opponents next season.

What about the rest of their opponents? The New Orleans Saints still are Super Bowl contenders, while the Buffalo Bills have an opening in the AFC East after they acquired Stefon Diggs and Tom Brady left the New England Patriots. The Tampa Bay Buccaneers should be better after signing Brady, while the Cincinnati Bengals and Miami Dolphins won't be surefire wins once they each draft a top quarterback next week.

The Patriots also are on the Raiders' schedule, but I'll believe they've truly dropped off -- even after losing Brady -- when I see it (and I still might not believe it). The Raiders also will play the Atlanta Falcons, Carolina Panthers and Cleveland Browns next season, who went a combined 18-30 last season.

So can the Raiders find (at least) four wins among those remaining opponents? They're set to play the Falcons, Panthers and Browns on the road next season, but home dates with the Bucs, Bengals, Dolphins and Saints during their first season in Las Vegas could level the proverbial playing field.

[RELATED: Raiders' three-round mock picking from elite programs]

Two home wins against rookie QBs and two road victories over last season's NFC South cellar-dwellers and/or the Browns (they're the Browns, after all) would get the Raiders to eight, assuming they maintain a 4-4 record against their 2019 opponents. That seems doable given their offseason improvements, but it's no guarantee, considering the Raiders' expected win-loss record -- per Pro Football Reference -- in 2019 was about 5-11.

If you think the Raiders added (at least) three wins in value over 2019, you can get a nice return on betting the Silver and Black to make the playoffs whenever the next season is played.

NFL Draft 2020: 49ers aren't suitors for Falcons' desire to trade up

NFL Draft 2020: 49ers aren't suitors for Falcons' desire to trade up

The 49ers quickly went from NFC champions to being one of the most interesting teams in the 2020 NFL Draft. 

After falling to the Kansas City Chiefs in Super Bowl LIV, San Francisco was slated to be on the clock with the No. 31 pick in the draft. But by surprising many and trading DeForest Buckner to the Indianapolis Colts, the 49ers now also own the 13th pick. While their own plans might have shifted a bit with the trade, do the 49ers now also fit in the Atlanta Falcons' reported desires? 

NFL Media's Ian Rapoport reported Wednesday the Falcons are looking to move up from No. 16 in the draft. This also wouldn't be the first time general manager Thomas Dimitroff made a splash in the draft. Does the name Julio Jones ring a bell? 

The Falcons sent a huge package to the Cleveland Browns in 2011 to select the star receiver Julio Jones. Atlanta gave away Nos. 27, 59 and 124, plus 2012 first- and fourth-round picks to get the No. 6 pick from the Browns. That's a haul. 

It's clear the Falcons hope to improve upon a disappointing 7-9 season. They added running back Todd Gurley, tight end Hayden Hurst and defensive end Dante Fowler Jr. They want to win now, and went with a re-load instead of a rebuild. 

No matter how bad the Falcons want to win next season, however, the 49ers would not receive a Julio Jones type package just to move up three spots in the draft. Not even close. 

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The better move for the 49ers would be to take a top prospect at No. 13 and hope to move back from No. 31 to gain more picks like they did in our latest mock draft.

At No. 13, receivers like CeeDee Lamb, Jerry Jeudy or Henry Ruggs could be available. The 49ers also might have a chance to grab an offensive tackle like Andrew Thomas or Jedrick Wills. On defense, they can get a Buckner replacement in Javon Kinlaw or Derrick Brown. General manager John Lynch might even want to take cornerback CJ Henderson if he's there to pair with Richard Sherman. 

[RELATED: Check out 49ers' five biggest NFL draft busts in last 20 years]

The draft starts in just over one week, and the 49ers currently aren't on the clock after the first round until the fifth round. By trading back from No. 31, they can gain more draft capital and still address one of their remaining needs with a lower pick. The 49ers ideally would trade back into the second and/or third rounds.

San Francisco should just take the top prospect and move back from the end of the first round. This team was minutes away from winning a Super Bowl, and a star early in the draft can push the 49ers from contenders to champions.

NFL rumors: 49ers made run at pairing Austin Hooper with George Kittle

NFL rumors: 49ers made run at pairing Austin Hooper with George Kittle

George Kittle is the best tight end in the NFL. That's not opinion, it's fact

That might even be an understatement, too. Pro Football Focus graded the 49ers star as the best player in all of football last season. But sometimes all the time, the rich like to get even richer. That was the case when it came to the 49ers' free-agency hopes this offseason. 

NFL Media's Mike Silver reported the 49ers made a run at tight end Austin Hooper on Monday before the two-time Pro Bowler reportedly agreed to a mega-contract with the Cleveland Browns. 

Hooper, 25, is coming off the best season of his four-year career. He had 75 receptions for 787 receiving yards and six touchdowns with the Atlanta Falcons. All were career-highs. 

The Falcons selected Hooper in the third round of the 2016 NFL Draft. That same year was 49ers coach Kyle Shanahan's last season as Atlanta's offensive coordinator. Hooper caught three touchdowns as a rookie with Shanahan running the offense. 

Now, Hooper reportedly will sign the largest contract in NFL history for a tight end. Well, that is, until Kittle breaks that record

[RELATED: Kittle's agent 'very patient' in contract negotiations]

Kittle still has one more year left on his rookie contract. He becomes an unrestricted free agent after next season, but the 49ers hope to lock him up long term before that. 

The Hooper report shows Shanahan could be interested in implementing more two tight-end sets for quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo. Former undrafted free agent Ross Dwelley currently serves as Kittle's backup.