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Raiders-Dolphins pits pro bettors against betting public

The Dolphins-Raiders game is shaping up as a showdown between professional sports bettors and the betting public.

South Point sportsbook director Chris Andrews said he took sharp money on Miami +4½ but that the public is on the Raiders, consensus 4-point favorites at Las Vegas sportsbooks after the number was as high as 5, for Sunday’s game at Allegiant Stadium.

The Westgate SuperBook also took sharp action on the Dolphins +4 in Las Vegas and at the SuperBook in New Jersey and Colorado.

“But we will need the Dolphins big on Sunday,” SuperBook director John Murray said. “The public cannot wait to bet on the Raiders this week. Books are going to need Miami huge.

“It’s an extremely lopsided ticket count. Miami might be our biggest need of the week in the NFL.”

The SuperBook was the only Las Vegas book to lower the line to 3½ on Friday afternoon.

“We think the line of 4 was super inflated,” SuperBook vice president of risk Ed Salmons said.

Circa sportsbook manager Chris Bennett agreed.

“When I saw that line go up on Sunday, that one jumped out to me more than any other. I just don’t see the Raiders as more than a field-goal favorite against the Dolphins,” he said. “Come on, the Raiders are now clearly better than the Dolphins? I’m not quite a believer that the Raiders are good, I guess. … I don’t think (coach Jon) Gruden’s that great.

“It’s still going to be a really tough division, and even if they win against the Dolphins, I’m not ready to say the Raiders are much better than I thought or the market thought.”

The Raiders are -200 on the money line and Miami +175.

The consensus total is down to 44 from 45½ earlier this week. The number has dropped to 43½ at the South Point, Caesars Sportsbook and Station Casinos.

“That’s a product of the Dolphins getting shut out (35-0 by Buffalo) last week,” Red Rock Resort sportsbook director Chuck Esposito said. “Their offense ranks dead last in points scored (8.5 per game) and (is 31st in) yards per game (237.5).”

The Raiders went under the total for only the fourth time in their last 18 games (13-4-1) in Sunday’s 26-17 win at Pittsburgh.

Of the NFL’s seven 2-0 teams, the Raiders are the only one to record an outright upset in each, knocking off the Ravens 33-27 at home in their season opener.

“You can make a case they are arguably the biggest surprise in the league, the fact that they won as underdogs in both games,” Esposito said. “The big thing I take away is their defense, which we were all worried about. It appears to be much improved.

“And offensively, they’re fun to watch. There’s no dink and dunk. It is all shots down the field.”

Bettors are all over the Raiders at Station, where 91 percent of the tickets are on the home team.

“It’s clearly one-sided action in favor of the Raiders,” Esposito said. “That looks like it’s going to be one of the bigger games of the weekend, by far.”

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

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