Raiders getting most bets to win Super Bowl this season

ByDavid Purdum ESPN logo
Thursday, August 17, 2017

The Oakland Raiders don't arrive for a couple of years, but they're already Las Vegas' team at the betting window.

This offseason, more bets have been placed on the Raiders to win the Super Bowl than on any other team at sportsbooks around town.

Oakland's Super Bowl odds, which opened as high as 20-1, have moved to as short as 6-1. Just four weeks before the regular season, only the New England Patriots, the consensus favorite, have better odds than the Raiders. The Patriots are listed at 3-1.

At William Hill's 108 Nevada sportsbooks, the Raiders have attracted nearly twice as many bets to win the Super Bowl as any other team. They're also No. 1 in Super Bowl bets at Caesars Palace, Station Casinos, South Point, Westgate Las Vegas and CG Technology sportsbooks.

It's not just stabs on Oakland to win the Super Bowl, either. At Station Casinos' sportsbooks, there are more bets on the Raiders to win the AFC West than there are on any other team in any other division, and Oakland also tops the bet count in the odds to win AFC.

"It's all Raiders," said Chuck Esposito, sportsbook director for Station.

Bettors also are backing the Raiders in their opener at Tennessee. Oakland is around a 1-point favorite over the Titans at most books.

"We have 43 bets on the Raiders and four on Tennessee," Westgate assistant manager Ed Salmons told ESPN on Tuesday.

The Raiders will be relocating from Oakland to Las Vegas as early as 2019. Billboards can be seen around town reminding fans of their imminent arrival. At McCarran International Airport, Raiders gear -- sweatshirts, T-shirts and hats -- are now found hanging on display in front of news and gift shops.

"Before you didn't see sports memorabilia in the news and gift stores typically, now you see Raiders items on display on the racks and right in front of the stores," Chris Jones, chief marketing officer for the Las Vegas airport, said this week.

Bookmakers aren't convinced the Raiders' move to Las Vegas is driving the current surge in betting interest, though.

"I don't think it has anything to do with the Las Vegas angle," Salmons said. "Last year, the Raiders played really high-scoring games, and they started covering spreads. That is just the dynamic of a public team."

Oakland went 10-6 against the spread last season, with games averaging 50.0 total points.

Salmons, a 30-year Las Vegas oddsmaker, isn't buying the hype on the Raiders and points to the action on Oakland's season-win total as evidence of a divide between the betting public and the more sophisticated bettors. The Raiders' win total is set at 9.5.

"We've got 82 bets on over and 33 on under," Salmons said. "Essentially, the public is on the over, and the wise guys are definitely on the under on the Raiders."

Here are the most bets to win the Super Bowl at the Westgate SuperBook:

1. Raiders

2. Packers

3. Cowboys

4. Giants

5. Steelers

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