LAS VEGAS (KLAS) – The money has gone cold on the Raiders. After a 1-3 start, who is surprised?
Not Adam Pullen, the assistant director of trading at Caesars Sportsbook. “Obviously in the Super Bowl betting and futures market, people are cooling off,” Pullen said Friday of the declining interest in betting on the Las Vegas NFL team.
At the start of the season, bets were heavy on the Raiders, with optimism high after the team made the playoffs last season and then acquired wide receiver Davante Adams and rushing pass specialist Chandler Jones.
But the Raider doesn’t appear to be inspiring support entering Monday night’s nationally televised game (5:15 p.m., KLAS, Channel 8) against the AFC West Chiefs Kansas City Chiefs (3-1).
“In their defense, the Raiders could be 3-1,” Pullen said. “And if they beat the Chiefs, everyone will be back in their corner.”
The Raiders are 7-point underdogs against their division rival, and Pullen said about 80% of spread bets at Caesars are on the Chiefs to win.
Pullen said part of the reason is how the Chiefs handled the Raiders last year, winning both meetings and also winning eight of the last 10 encounters.
“It’s hard for people to get excited about the Raiders,” Pullen said of the oddsmakers. “And just because they’re the home team doesn’t mean you’re going to win the bet.
“The Raiders need to get him back.”
There is still time to turn around, he said. The Raiders had a tough schedule, remember.
Pullen said the Raiders’ biggest problem appears to be their defense, which ranks 22nd in total yards allowed (357 average). The offensive line, which has struggled in places, is coming off its best game, a home win against the Denver Broncos.
But the Broncos were among the most disappointing teams early on, so beat them? “Maybe it doesn’t mean much,” Pullen said.
If you’re still considering making a bet on the Raiders, even though they’re on the road, Pullen suggests waiting. “That 7-point gap might displace some,” he said.
Beating the Chiefs on Monday night would go a long way to raising the excitement level, he said.
As for sports betting, “we’ll be big Raiders fans on Monday night,” Pullen said.