The Las Vegas raiders unveiled brand new Allegiant Stadium on Monday, and then put on quite a show on the football field. This is the first time in history that Las Vegas has had a National Football League team, and the city was excited for the season to start.
Las Vegas hasn’t had much to cheer about since March, and the city has lost out on some other big events during the COVID-19 pandemic. The NFL removed the 2020 NFL Draft opting for a virtual event instead, but the city was able to finally host a football game on Monday night.
The Raiders moved to Las Vegas from Oakland prior to the 2020 NFL season, and Allegiant Stadium was a project that cost nearly $2 billion to complete. The stadium did sit empty on Monday night, as fans are still not allowed to attend Raiders games.
On the field, Derek Carr led the Raiders to a 34-24 victory over the New Orleans Saints to move LV to 2-0. The victory on the field wasn’t the only win for Las Vegas, as sportsbooks were able to see plenty of action on the new hometown team.
NFL Now Supports Betting
The National Football League previously took a hard stance against sports betting and the city of Las Vegas in general. All of that changed in 2018 when the Supreme Court voted to lift a federal ban on sports betting.
As the sports betting industry has taken off in the United States, the NFL saw an opportunity to cash in on a new revenue source. Allowing a team in the league to play home games in Las Vegas would not have happened 20 years ago, but is now officially a reality.
The National Hockey League set things in motion for the NFL by awarding Las Vegas an expansion team. The Vegas Golden Knights have become extremely popular in the city, and the Raiders are nearly guaranteed to follow that same path.
The Raiders had to pay the NFL $378 million to move to Las Vegas, but the team should be able to make up that money in no time. Hosting games in a city geared towards sports betting will help create new fans and draw more people into the sport.
The NFL will also likely see much higher TV ratings as the league continues to align itself with the sports betting industry. The NFL is the most popular sport to bet on, and it is the most watched league in the US.
Big Win For Sportsbooks
New Orleans opened as 6.5-point favorites over the Raiders, but that number had dropped to just 4.5 by kickoff. The Saints to cover the spread was a popular public wager, and the win by the Raiders meant a big night for sportsbooks.
Heading into Monday night, some sportsbooks were reporting huge losses as the slate on Sunday was dominated by the betting favorites. Sportsbooks adjust lines to protect themselves from this sort of thing happening, but it was a rare Sunday with few upsets.
Nick Bogdanovich, the trading director at William Hill, noted that the large number of bets on Monday Night Football was likely due to the public’s success over the weekend. Bogdanovich announced that the total handle on New Orleans – Las Vegas was much larger than a normal Monday Night Football game. The Raiders debuting in Sin City also contributed to the higher MNF betting numbers.
Sportsbooks throughout the city were packed with fans of both the Raiders and Saints, and it’s expected to be another busy NFL betting season, especially when Jon Gruden and company play at home.