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Bettors load up on Raiders in opener, to win Super Bowl LV

Las Vegas sportsbooks would have lost an estimated $7 million had the Golden Knights won the Stanley Cup in their inaugural season.

The liability on the Raiders in their first season in Las Vegas pales in comparison simply because the expansion Knights were 500-1 long shots before the 2017-18 season. But the Silver and Black still represent one of the largest liabilities at the city’s books to win Super Bowl LV.

Boyd Gaming sportsbook vice president Bob Scucci said there’s been more money bet on the Raiders to win the Super Bowl than on any other team.

“It’s the Raiders, by far,” he said. “We have more than six figures in liability on them, and that will be similar to the liability we had on the Golden Knights in their first year.”

Las Vegas is 60-1 at Boyd to win the Super Bowl and 80-1 at MGM Resorts, which reported the Raiders as one of their largest liabilities.

The Raiders also are one of the largest liabilities at the South Point at almost six figures, according to sportsbook director Chris Andrews, and they’re the Super Bowl ticket leaders at Station Casinos.

“It’s a little bit different than the Knights because the Raiders were a very popular team, anyway,” Sunset Station sportsbook director Chuck Esposito said. “This just adds to their popularity being in Las Vegas. With the Knights, a lot of people bought tickets as souvenirs.”

The Westgate sportsbook sold 13 tickets on the Knights at 500-1.

“The thing about the Raiders is they’re not 500-1, first of all,” Westgate vice president Jay Kornegay said. “Second, a lot of people understand they’re kind of a middle-of-the-pack team with a lot of potential. But if they start putting a couple Ws together, things could snowball very quickly.”

Bettors are loading up on the Raiders over Carolina in Sunday’s season opener. There’s more tickets on Las Vegas at Station than on any other NFL team in Week 1, and Boyd Gaming reported more action on Raiders-Panthers than on any other game.

Las Vegas has climbed to a consensus 3-point favorite over Carolina after opening as a 1½-point underdog in May at William Hill.

“The Raiders are one of the teams getting both sharp and public action,” Scucci said. “The public has generally been enamored with the Raiders ever since they announced they were coming to Las Vegas. That hasn’t changed. Every year, we’ve gotten more and more action on the Raiders.”

Westgate vice president of risk Ed Salmons said multiple injuries on Carolina, which will be without starting guard Dennis Daley, contributed to the line move.

“People find out about injuries and keep pushing in on the Raiders,” he said. “And it’s a big game for the Raiders. I hate to say the first game of the year is a huge game, but for the Raiders, with their schedule coming up, it really is a big game.”

The Raiders aren’t projected to be favorites again until Nov. 15, when they’re 2-point home favorites over Denver.

Professional sports bettor Jeff Whitelaw wagered on the Raiders over the Panthers at pick’em.

“I can’t recommend them at -3, but I really like their team and I don’t like Carolina’s team,” he said. “I don’t want to play on teams that have a new quarterback. Carolina has a new quarterback (Teddy Bridgewater) who has to learn a new system, and these teams haven’t been able to practice a lot and play in the preseason. That’s going to be very difficult for them.”

Contact reporter Todd Dewey at tdewey@reviewjournal.com. Follow @tdewey33 on Twitter.

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