Las Vegas bettors are backing the Raiders

The mecca of American sports betting is experiencing a dynamic that has played out in other locations, for decades. In Las Vegas, the locals are wagering with their hearts, not their minds.

Via Todd Dewey of the Las Vegas Review-Journal, the Raiders are “runaway leaders at sportsbooks in tickets and money wagered to win the Super Bowl.”

As the Raiders prepare to start their season with a rematch of their Week 18 epic against the Chargers, folks in Las Vegas are putting their money on the home team.

“We’ve already seen early action on the Raiders’ point spread and money line against the Chargers,” Red Rock Resort sportsbook director Chuck Esposito told Dewey. “There isn’t anything involving the Raiders that they’re not backing.”

It’s a common problem for those who set the odds and take the bets. I’ve told the story before; my dad was a bookie in Steelers Country. He hated the Steelers, because everyone always bet on them, especially in the ’70s. And the Steelers routinely covered the spread. Even as the lines moved and the value swung to the other team, people kept betting the Steelers. And they kept covering the spread.

Whatever happens with the Raiders in 2022, it’s safe to say a small portion of the Las Vegas population will be rooting against them, each and every week. That’s one of the basic realities of bringing a team to town. The bookies will end up hating them, eventually.