The Raiders kicked off their Las Vegas residency in style on “Monday Night Football,” upsetting the Saints in a 34-24 victory that also bailed out the valley’s sportsbooks from a big loss.
The books were on the hook for money-line parlays and teasers on New Orleans that carried over from Sunday, when NFL favorites won 13 of 14 games.
“We need the Raiders to win outright or we get smoked,” William Hill sportsbook director Nick Bogdanovich said before the first game at Allegiant Stadium.
Sharp money poured into Las Vegas books Monday morning on the Raiders +5½, causing the line to drop to 4.
BetMGM took an avalanche of late Saints money, including a $180,000 straight bet on New Orleans (-4) at the Bellagio that was placed as the teams were lining up for the opening kickoff.
The Mirage sportsbook director Jeff Stoneback said that wager helped turn a lose-lose situation on the game for BetMGM into a win-lose proposition on the Raiders.
“We actually can get a pretty nice win now if the Raiders win,” Stoneback said during the game. “Obviously, quite a loss now if they don’t. Lots of very late Saints money.”
Things didn’t look good for Las Vegas early, as it fell behind 17-7. But the Raiders scored the next 24 points and sealed the win on Daniel Carlson’s 54-yard field goal with 1:05 left.
“For the Raiders to come back like that was pretty impressive because, in my eyes, the Saints are one of the top four teams in the NFL,” Westgate sportsbook vice president Jay Kornegay said.
The Westgate also had a lot of parlay liability on the Saints and took several large wagers Monday on the Raiders, including a $50,000 straight bet at +4. But Kornegay said they did well on the in-progress and halftime wagering during the game, which was tied 17-17 at the half.
“We had a tremendous amount of Saints’ support at -3 at halftime, and in in-progress during the second half, we saw a lot of support for the Saints as well,” he said. “Overall, it ended up being a pretty decent night considering the home team won outright.”
The betting public won on the total, which sailed over 47½.
“Having the Raiders win outright was the best case,” Sunset Station sportsbook director Chuck Esposito said. “But it would’ve been better if the game stayed under. The guests always seem to bet over in these isolated, prime-time games.”
Las Vegas has won, covered and gone over the total while scoring 34 points in each of its first two games. Derek Carr completed 28 of 38 passes Monday for 282 yards and three touchdowns, Darren Waller had 12 catches for 103 yards and a score and Josh Jacobs rushed for 88 yards.
“I was impressed with their offense, the way Carr looked, Waller and Jacobs,” Esposito said. “They definitely have two young, talented guys at tight end and running back to build this team around. They were fun to watch.”
A BetMGM bettor also lost a $100,000 three-team multisport parlay on the Raiders (+4), Indians (-115) and Brewers (+110) that would have paid $649,000. Cleveland beat the White Sox 7-4, but the bettor lost the parlay during the first half of the football game when Milwaukee lost 6-3 to Cincinnati.
William Hill still ended up a loser on the night.
“But much better than the other way,” Bogdanovich said.