From Oakland to Los Angeles; then back to Oakland and now Las Vegas, the Raiders have moved around a bit in their 60-year history.
This franchise, now branded as the Las Vegas Raiders, finally moved into their new $1.9 billion stadium at the start of the 2020 – 2021 season. It’s hoped that this fresh start will be the foundation for future success as the team looks to win the Super Bowl Championship for the first time since 1983.
Let’s check out how well – or not – the Raiders are settling into the eye-catching Allegiant Stadium.
Game 1: New Orleans Saints 24 – 34 Las Vegas Raiders
Although the new stadium has a capacity of 65,000, the Raiders played their first-ever competitive game in the Allegiant Stadium surrounded by empty stands due to Covid-19 restrictions.
This probably seemed a blessing as they came off the field at the end of the first quarter trailing 10 – 0. However, Derek Carr came to life in the second quarter – throwing two touchdowns, and a Daniel Carlson field goal meant they went in a half time tied at 17. Carr hit his spots again in the third and another TD and FG in the fourth sealed an impressive 34 – 24 victory.
Despite not being allowed in the stadium, this first win gave new Raiders fans plenty to cheer about, and with the recent launch of the BetMGM sportsbook mobile app in Nevada, several bettors most likely scored some great payouts.
Game 2: Buffalo Bills 30 – 23 Las Vegas Raiders
The Bills arrived in Las Vegas with a perfect 4 and 0 record, and their confidence was on show in a game that they were never behind in. That said, the Raiders made a fist of it. They pegged the Bills back from 14 – 3 early in the second quarter to 17 – 16 at the end of the third. Unfortunately, two Buffalo touchdowns in the fourth saw them over the line with a 30 – 24 win.
Game 3: Tampa Bay Buccaneers 45 – 20 Las Vegas Raiders
Tom Brady brought his Tampa Bay Buccaneers to Las Vegas for this showdown in Paradise. Brady rolled back the years with a vintage performance, throwing 369 yards and 4 touchdowns. The Raiders kept pace in the first quarter with the scores tied at 7 at the horn. From there it went downhill as the Bucs turned on the style to cruise to a 25-point winning margin; producing a good payday for spread bettors.
At 1 – 2 in their new stadium, it hasn’t been the dream start many had hoped. Fortunately, the Raiders’ form on the road (4 – 1) is better, and this has kept them in the hunt in the AFC West if the Chiefs slip up.
It’s worth considering the impact of playing in a brand new stadium that is totally empty. The energy that 60,000+ fans would bring could be worth 7 to 10 points a game. So, let’s wait a while longer before we truly judge how well this team is settling in.