Las Vegas Raiders Underdogs Heading Into Monday Night Football

Written By Marc Meltzer on September 18, 2020 - Last Updated on September 22, 2020

The Las Vegas Raiders are 1-0 after defeating the Carolina Panthers 34-30 in the first game of the season last week. This Monday, the Raiders play their first home game in Sin City.

Heading into the weekend, the Raiders are 5.5-point underdogs at Circa Sports against the visiting New Orleans Saints.

While fans won’t be able to attend the game, this will be the first football game to take place at the $2 billion Allegiant Stadium.

Week 1: Las Vegas Raiders 34 – Carolina Panthers 30

The Raiders won their first game representing Las Vegas last Sunday. This was a back and forth game with eight lead changes between the two teams. Even though the Panthers scored 15 points in the fourth quarter, the Raiders held on to cover the 3-point spread.

Second-year running back Josh Jacobs led the team in rushing with 93 yards and three touchdowns. Quarterback Derek Carr complemented Jacobs by passing for 239 yards and a touchdown.

The Panthers had a chance to take the lead late in the game. They drove into Raiders territory with just over a minute remaining in the game. The Raiders stopped fullback Alex Armah on a fourth down to secure the game.

The news wasn’t entirely positive, even though the Raiders walked away from the game a winner. Rookie wide receiver Henry Ruggs III was injured during the second quarter of the game.

He returned to the game but was still injured and didn’t participate in the team’s practice on Thursday or Friday.

Las Vegas Raiders vs. Saints preview

Even though Saints superstar wide receiver Michael Thomas will miss the game, Las Vegas is a +5.5 underdog at Circa Sports. The total for the game is 49.5.

Thomas’s injury isn’t affecting the point spread for this game. The Saints opened as a 5-point favorite over the Raiders in May.

The Saints visit Las Vegas after easily defeating Tom Brady and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers at home, 34-23. A quick comparison of power rankings at The Lines shows the Saints as the third-ranked team, while the Raiders are a distant No. 22.

The Raiders will look to establish the running game with Josh Jacobs once again. In addition to 93 yards rushing against the Panthers, Jacobs had four catches and a total of just under 150 yards from the line of scrimmage.

On the defensive side of the ball, the Raiders will have to stop quarterback Drew Brees and running backs Alvin Kamara and ex-Raider Latavius Murray. The former Raiders running back actually had more carries than Kamara during the first game of the season.

Raiders futures moving

Raiders futures odds are moving after winning the first game. Super Bowl odds moved to 35-1 from 40-1 at Circa Sports.

Here are some other positive odds moves for the Raiders as they head into their second game of the season.

  • Raiders will not win the Super Bowl: –7200 to -6500
  • Raiders to win the AFC: 18.5-1 to 17-1
  • Raiders to win the AFC West: 12.5-1 to 10.5-1

Josh Jacobs (35-1) now has better odds to win the NFL MVP award than Derek Carr at 60-1. Odds are also changing for the NFL Coach of the Year award.

The odds on head coach Jon Gruden winning the award went from 30-1 to 20-1 this week.

The Raiders may not be taking the league by storm, but their odds have improved slightly after winning their first game. Expect another jump should they upset the Saints on Monday Night Football.

BetMGM becomes first official sports betting partner of Raiders

MGM Resorts operates the closest Las Vegas casinos to Allegiant Stadium where the Raiders will play home games. Mandalay Bay and Luxor are both within walking distance to the stadium.

The company just announced a deal that makes their sports betting app, BetMGM, the first official sports betting partner of the Las Vegas Raiders.

Raiders President Marc Badain said,

“We are pleased to add BetMGM to the MGM Resorts partnership portfolio. The addition of BetMGM will open new levels of engagement for Raiders fans and guests of Allegiant Stadium.”

Earlier this year, MGM Resorts became a founding partner for the stadium. The deal also made MGM Resorts an official gaming partner of the Raiders.

The two deals together bring the Raiders closer to MGM Resorts. While these are mostly deals for marketing, there will be a physical product some Raiders fans can enjoy.

When Allegiant Stadium opens to the public, the venue will feature a private MGM Club that will offer Raiders fans an ultra-exclusive game viewing experience with a full-service premium bar, luxury lounge and upgraded stadium seating.

Watching the Raiders on Monday Night Football

This will be the first football game to take place at Allegiant Stadium. The team is looking forward to finally playing a game in the “Death Star.” Say what you will about the nickname, but it’s better than the stadium being compared to a Roomba.

This game will be a special event on TV as well. As with all Monday Night Football games, this will air on ESPN Monday, Sept. 21 at 5:15 p.m. PT.

ABC will air a simulcast of the game. This is the first time ABC will air Monday Night Football since 2005.

ESPN2 will have an alternative feed of the game with hosts Rece Davis and Kirk Herbstreit. This won’t be a traditional football game broadcast.

Current and former Raiders players, famous Raiders fans, celebrities and musicians will make appearances throughout the night.

Even though fans won’t be in attendance, the game will feature a major halftime performance. Las Vegas’s own the Killers will perform a recorded segment from Caesars Palace during the celebration of Las Vegas. It’s probably not a coincidence that the Killers helped open T-Mobile Arena as well, Las Vegas’s most recent major entertainment venue.

Raiders fans can even order food from Allegiant Stadium to bring a little of the game day environment home.

Photo by AP Newsroom
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Marc Meltzer

Marc grew up on the mean streets of the South Bronx. He's the rare combination of Yankees and Jets fan which explains his often contrarian point of view. Marc is a freelance writer and social media consultant. Writing about steak, booze, gambling and Las Vegas is a tough job but somebody has to do it.

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