LAS VEGAS (WAFB) - The city synonymous with sports betting finally has its own NFL franchise and the New Orleans Saints, a team that has often been a nuisance for Las Vegas' oddsmakers over the years, are hoping to rain on the Raiders' nationally televised welcoming parade in Sin City.
The Saints (1-0) are five and a half point favorites over the Las Vegas Raiders (1-0), who are playing their first home game in Las Vegas since the NFL approved the move in March of 2017.
The Raiders franchise began in Oakland, Calif. in 1960, where the team played until 1981. Los Angeles would serve as the Raiders' home for the next 22 years until the team moved back to Oakland in 1995.
Construction on the Raiders' new $1.8 billion home, Allegiant Stadium, near the Las Vegas strip, was completed July 31, after beginning in November of 2017.
Quarterback David Carr led the Raiders to a 34-30 victory on the road over the Saints' NFC South division rival, the Carolina Panthers, in Week 1. Carr was 22-30 and threw for 239 yards and a touchdown. Raiders running back Josh Jacobs rushed for 93 yards and three touchdowns on 25 carries.
On the defensive side of the ball, the Raiders allowed 130 rushing yards on 30 attempts and 259 passing yards on 34 attempts. The Raiders' defense did not record any turnovers against the Panthers.
Drew Brees and the Saints are looking to continue their good fortune on national television this season in their Week 2 bout with the Raiders on Monday Night Football. The Saints' impressive 34-23 victory over the Tom Brady-led division rival, Tampa Bay Buccaneers, was the marquee game on FOX for Week 1 and had the biggest TV audience since Super Bowl LIV on Feb. 2.
Brees went 18-30, throwing for 160 yards and two touchdowns against the Buccaneers. The Saints' running backs were also productive, with Latavius Murray rushing for 48 yards on 15 carries and Alvin Kamara rushing for 16 yards and a touchdown on 12 carries.
The Saints' defense also came up big against the Buccaneers by intercepting Brady twice, once for a touchdown, and sacking him three times. However, the defense will need to play cleaner against the Raiders after being flagged four times for 101 yards in Week 1.
Michael Thomas, the Saints' star wide receiver, will not play against the Raiders and is expected to miss several more weeks due to an ankle sprain suffered in Week 1. Defensive end Marcus Davenport and linebacker Chase Hansen have also been ruled out for the Saints in Week 2. The Saints will likely utilize newly-acquired wide receiver Emmanuel Sanders, tight end Jared Cook, and Kamara in the passing game in Thomas’ absence.
Fans who have patiently waited for an NFL team in Las Vegas for decades will not be allowed inside the Raiders' new domed stadium for their home opener against the Saints. In fact, the team has decided all 65,000 seats of Allegiant Stadium, which Raiders owner, Mark Davis, has nicknamed “The Death Star,” will remain empty for the entire 2020 NFL season due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Kickoff between the Saints and Raiders is scheduled for 7:15 p.m. Monday, Sept. 21. The game will be televised on ESPN and will be available for streaming on the ESPN app.
If you miss the game or any Saints game this year, WAFB is making it easy for you to catch up on all the big plays. You can watch the full replay of each Saints game of the 2020 regular season Tuesday nights on WAFB’s sister station WBXH.
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