Bettors would be wise to play Raiders one game at a time

Memo to real-estate brokers in Southern Nevada: Derek Carr of the soon-to-be Las Vegas Raiders can afford a nice home.

The quarterback who has led the Raiders’ resurgence agreed Thursday to a five-year contract worth $125 million, including $70 million guaranteed. The $25 million annual salary is the richest in NFL history.

Perhaps more important, though, is that Carr probably won’t cash most of the contract until the final two years. By then, the Raiders will be based in Las Vegas. That would be the no-state-income-tax Nevada, an asset that should help the Raiders entice free agents. Just ask the Cowboys and Texans, and the Dolphins, Buccaneers and Jaguars, who also are in states without an income tax.

Of course, it takes more than financial incentive to lure players. It has become clear that owner Mark Davis has that in general manager Reggie McKenzie, who has built a team for a playoff run. If Carr had not broken his leg, it might have happened last season.

From a betting standpoint, a quarterback with a new contract can focus on getting wins. But bettors should beware of jumping on the “over” 9½ wins that the South Point has set as Oakland’s total, because there is a minefield on the schedule after the bye.

■ Nov. 19 — The Raiders play the Super Bowl champion Patriots in Mexico City.

■ Nov. 26 — Home vs. Broncos.

■ Dec. 3 — Home vs. Giants.

■ Dec. 10 — At Kansas City.

■ Dec. 17 — Home vs. Cowboys.

■ Dec. 25 — At Philadelphia.

Rather than betting on whether the Raiders survive that stretch, it might be wise to follow them closely and make weekly bets on them.

The Raiders opened at the South Point at 15-2 to win the AFC. They have been bet to 6-1, behind the Patriots (3-2), the Steelers (4-1) and alongside the Broncos (6-1).

Golden Knights get their man

Congratulations to Golden Knights owner Bill Foley, who now has a roster for his expansion franchise after Wednesday’s draft at a packed T-Mobile Arena.

It’s clear that former Penguins goalie Marc-Andre Fleury will be the face of the franchise. After rocking the house when his selection was announced Wednesday, he stayed in Las Vegas and helped at a youth hockey clinic Thursday.

Perhaps Fleury will follow in the footsteps of John Vanbiesbrouck, still the best expansion goalie in NHL history. He was chosen in 1993 by the Panthers to be their cornerstone, and within three years had led them to the Stanley Cup Final.

The Golden Knights are a 150-1 long shot to win the Stanley Cup, and South Point bookmakers predict a lot of early money bet on them.

Astros, Dodgers emerge as favorites

The Cubs were the preseason favorite to repeat as World Series champions. But they have fallen out of favor in Las Vegas much the same way Kyle Schwarber has with the Cubs. He was demoted to the minors Thursday with a .171 average.

The Houston Astros in the American League and Los Angeles Dodgers in the National League now are favored to reach the World Series.

Beware of inflated lines on the two, especially the Dodgers. Even the Astros will slip through as an unexpected underdog, just as they did Thursday against the Athletics. Oakland was bet to a minus-106 favorite, then lost to Houston 12-9.

Veteran sports broadcaster Brent Musburger writes a weekly column for his Vegas Stats and Information Network, which simulcasts his show Monday through Friday from 3 to 5 p.m. Follow @BrentMusburger on Twitter.

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