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Raiders-Chiefs finale draws sharp bets on side, total

The Chiefs must win Saturday to clinch the AFC’s No. 1 playoff seed against a Raiders squad that has been eliminated from the postseason.

But sharp bettors are backing the Silver and Black over Kansas City in the pivotal matchup at Allegiant Stadium.

The Chiefs were up to 10-point favorites early in the week before sharp money on the Raiders caused the line to drop to 7½.

The line then soared back to 9½ before it dipped to 9 at most sportsbooks Friday and to 8½ at Station Casinos.

“Sharp money was clearly on the Raiders +9½,” Red Rock Resort sportsbook director Chuck Esposito said. “The Raiders should definitely come into this game loose. A huge opportunity for (quarterback Jarrett) Stidham to prove himself again.”

Stidham threw for 365 yards and three touchdowns, with two interceptions, in Sunday’s 37-34 overtime home loss to the 49ers.

“The performance by Stidham last week certainly opened some eyes,” Westgate SuperBook vice president Jay Kornegay said. “I think that’s why we saw some early money on the Raiders.

“Stidham’s performance against one of the better defenses in the league, if not the best defense in the league, certainly rejuvenated that team.”

The Westgate also took sharp action on the Raiders +9½ and on the Chiefs -7½. The Raiders account for 83 percent of the tickets and 65 percent of the money at the SuperBook.

Circa also reported sharp action on both sides of the spread and total, with bets on the Raiders +10 and +8½, and on the Chiefs -7½.

A Caesars Sportsbook bettor in Nevada placed a $275,000 wager to win $250,000 on Kansas City -9. The Raiders account for 62.3 percent of the tickets at Caesars, but the Chiefs account for 64.9 percent of the money wagered.

The total is 52½ after Circa took sharp money on over 50½ and 51½ and under 53. The last five meetings have gone over.

“I think it’s going to be another high-scoring game like we saw last weekend,” Kornegay said. “The Raiders are going to open it up and they’re struggling on the defensive side, so I wouldn’t be surprised if (quarterback Patrick) Mahomes and Co. also have a good day.”

The Chiefs have won the last four meetings, but the Raiders have covered three of the last five, including their 30-29 loss Oct. 10 on “Monday Night Football” at Arrowhead Stadium.

Kansas City is on a 1-6 spread slide after failing to cover in last week’s 27-24 win over Denver. The Chiefs are 5-0 straight-up against the AFC West but 0-5 ATS.

The Raiders have won four of their last seven games while going 5-2 ATS. Their three losses in that span have been by a total of seven points, and professional sports bettor Jeff Whitelaw expects another close game in their season finale.

“I think the number’s too high,” he said. “Every game they play is tight. I’ve been saying this all season long. They play a lot of close games.

“Kansas City just played a dud against Denver. Typically, you don’t buck a trend. You just go with it. I don’t see why the Raiders would quit.”

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

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