USA Today Sports

Chargers-Raiders time change could be boom for books

If you’re betting the San Diego-Oakland game this Sunday, you may want to put on a pot of coffee or two. Or maybe just take a personal day Monday.

Due to complications with the MLB playoff schedule, which has the Oakland A’s playing hosts at O.co Coliseum Saturday, the Bolts-Raiders Sunday matchup has been bumped from a 4:25 p.m. ET start to a late night 11:35 p.m. ET start – 8:35 p.m. PT. The process of switching O.co Coliseum from a baseball to a football venue takes roughly 24 hours.

The extra late game could mean big profits for sportsbooks. Having one more game on the board following a full day of NFL football and the Sunday Night Football contest could funnel all that action into the San Diego-Oakland handle.

This AFC West rivalry wasn’t the most tantalizing game on the Week 5 board and its original start time was up against the Denver-Dallas game as well as other late afternoon matchups. According to Peter Childs of Sportsbook.com, the shift to a standalone, nationally televised game (NFL Network) will draw in a much bigger betting audience.

“Anytime you get a standalone NFL game, volume increases dramatically,” Childs tells Covers. “Now that the game is being played late, with no competition for eyeballs and viewership, I believe our betting volume could potentially increase by 40 percent.”

In Las Vegas, sportsbooks are excited that there is one more game on the board following the Sunday nighter but don’t expect the same increase in handle as the online markets.

According to Jeff Sherman, assistant manager at the LVH Superbook in Las Vegas, the San Diego-Oakland game will detract some action from the Sunday nighter between Houston and San Francisco, and pretty much balance out what they would normally take for the late Sunday game.

“That late on a Sunday night we won’t have that many guests waiting around for the 5:30 p.m. game to end to play the 8:30 p.m. game,” says Sherman. “It will make the decision on the game larger for us considering all the day’s prior parlays will be left going to it, rather than having it mixed in as part of the afternoon.”

As for the odds for Sunday’s “midnight special”, Oakland opened as a 5-point home underdog but has since been moved to +4.5. The total is the biggest concern with oddsmakers due to the time change.

Childs says that since this game is now a single nationally televised contest, he’s added another half point to the total – 44 to 44.5 – to protect from the public trend of betting the Over in these night games. The book is also offering far more props and alternative wagers than it normally would if the game started at its original time.

“Instead of being available for just West Coast viewers or bettors with the NFL package, it’s going to see way more betting action,” he adds.

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