LAS VEGAS (KLAS) – Money has cooled on the Raiders. After a 1-3 start, who’s 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 sagging wagering interest on Las Vegas’ NFL team.
Entering the season, wagering was heavy on the Raiders, with optimism high after the team made the playoffs last season and then acquired wide receiver Davante Adams and pass-rushing specialist Chandler Jones.
But the Raider don’t seem to be inspiring support entering Monday night’s nationally televised game (5:15 p.m., KLAS, Channel 8) against the AFC West leading 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 percent of wagers on the spread at Caesars is on the Chiefs to win.
Pullen said part of the reason is the way the Chiefs handled the Raiders last year, winning both meetings and also winning eight of the past 10 matchups.
“It’s hard for people to be excited about the Raiders,” Pullen said of bettors. “And just because they’re the hometown team, it doesn’t mean you’re going to get the bet.
“The Raiders need to pick it up.”
There’s still time for a turnaround, he said. The Raiders have had a tough schedule, remember.
Pullen said the Raiders’ biggest issue appears to be their defense, which ranks 22nd overall in yards allowed (357 average). The offensive line, which has struggled in spots, is coming off its best game, a home victory over the Denver Broncos.
But the Broncos have been among the most disappointing teams early, so beating them? ”Maybe it doesn’t mean much,” Pullen said.
If you’re still thinking of making a bet on the Raiders, even though they’re on the road, Pullen suggests waiting. “That 7-point spread could move some,” he said.
Beating the Chiefs on Monday night would go a long way to revving the excitement level, he said.
As for the sportsbooks, “we’ll be big fans of the Raiders on Monday night,” Pullen said.