LAS VEGAS (KLAS) – It’s not everyone. It just seems that way. Fans – especially those who wager on NFL games – are sky high on the Raiders.

Adam Pullen, assistant director of trading at Caesars Sportsbook, says a major reason for the betting buzz on the Raiders is the acquisition of standout wide receiver Davante Adams.

“Great offensive players change teams,” Pullen said Friday, less than 48 hours before the Raiders were to open their season on the road against the Los Angeles Chargers, an AFC West rival (1:25 p.m., KLAS). ”[Offensive players] get a lot of buzz. Having Adams, reunited with his college quarterback in Derek Carr, it could be a game-changer.

“It’s the addition to the offense that gets people excited about how good this team can be.”

So since March, when in a span of 24 hours the Raiders traded for Adams and signed free-agent pass-rusher Chandler Jones, money on the Raiders has been pouring into Caesars Sportsbook.

And while Pullen understands the reason for optimism – the Raiders are coming off a season in which they made the postseason – like most experts, he admits the team has holes. The offensive line, dreadful in 2021, didn’t show much improvement in a 4-0 exhibition season. The defense, while adding Jones to a line that includes another strong rusher in Maxx Crosby, still has question marks, especially in the secondary.

And what about the division, perhaps the strongest in the NFL? There’s the Kansas City Chiefs, with tons of offense and narrowly missing last season a third straight Super Bowl appearance. The Denver Broncos acquired quarterback Russell Wilson. And with an already rugged defense, wouldn’t the Broncos be more poised to take control of the division should the Chiefs falter? Or the Chargers, with gifted quarterback Justin Herbert? They’ve added ex-Raider Khalil Mack to a defensive line that includes lightning quick pass-rusher Joey Bosa.

Broadcaster Trey Wingo, who compiled a Raiders betting guide for Caesars Sportsbook, says the AFC West “is loaded. It’s an Avengers movie of superstars and heroes, just a murder’s row.” As for the Raiders, Wingo is quick to point out reservations with the O-line and the defense.

Again, so why are fans so gung-ho on the Raiders?

KLAS sports director Chris Maathuis says a new coaching staff, for one, suggests measured enthusiasm. And a group of receivers that Carr should have fun connecting with. Adding Adams to a unit that includes tight end Darren Waller and third-down specialist Hunter Renfrow means enhanced production.

“Even though the offensive line is somewhat in question, I believe coach Josh McDaniels will be able to  come up with schemes to protect Carr,” Maathuis says.

On defense, Maathuis believes cornerback Nate Hobbs is an emerging force, a player who can help stabilize what has been an erratic unit.

“Sportsbooks have the Raiders at 8½ wins,” he says. “I’m going with nine. Would that be good enough to get the Raiders into the postseason? Probably not, but that’s how good this AFC West is. A good team is going to miss the postseason.”

Ron Futrell, Maathuis’ KLAS sports colleague, thinks the Raiders have tremendous potential on offense. Like Maathuis, he likes the receivers and thinks that unit could create some magic with Carr. But count Futrell among the noncommittal when it comes to making the playoffs.

“They still need to prove they can get the job done on defense,” Futrell said.

He acknowledges the strength in the division and says Raiders fans should be prepared for a fun season. “Expect high-scoring games.”

KLAS sports reporter Logan Reever says the Raiders go as far as their lines take them. “The addition of Chandler Jones to complement Maxx Crosby wasn’t just to beef up the defensive line but also to hide any deficiencies when it comes to the secondary,” he says.

The bulk of the team’s payroll is in the offense, Reever points out. And that could mean exciting plays and high scores. But is it enough to reshuffle the AFC West? Reever thinks so. At least, when it comes to a playoff berth.

“If healthy, I believe they live up to it and fight for a division title. I see Vegas at 10-7 and making the postseason for the second straight year,” he says.

Fans seem to think along the same lines. Especially the wagering kind.

One ticket at Caesars is for $4,444 on the Raiders at 30-1 to win the Super Bowl. The potential win means cashing in for $133,320. Another ticket is out for $1,500 at +1,600 for the Raiders to win the conference. Potential payout is $24,000. There’s also a bet for $1,000 at +700 for the Raiders to win the division. Payout would be $6,000.

“The offense is solid,” Pullen says, “but that will only take you so far. They have to improve their defensive presence, and they have to be able to protect Carr.”