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Sharps take side in Raiders-Vikings game as star receiver returns

Updated December 8, 2023 - 3:42 pm

Justin Jefferson is back after missing seven games with a hamstring injury.

The return of Minnesota’s star wide receiver is one reason the Vikings are consensus 3-point favorites over the Raiders in Sunday’s game at Allegiant Stadium.

“They tacked on some to the Vikings because they are in the playoff race and getting Jefferson back,” Westgate SuperBook oddsmaker Ed Salmons said. “But I wouldn’t be in a hurry to lay 3 points with the Vikings on the road.”

Sharp bettors are backing the Raiders as 3-point home underdogs. The line has dropped from 3 to 2½ at Station Casinos sportsbooks.

“Which usually takes a lot to take us off the key number (of 3),” Red Rock Resort sportsbook director Chuck Esposito said. “Ticket counts are 2-1 in favor of the Raiders and sharp money has been on the Raiders as well.”

South Point has taken sharp action on both sides of the game.

“Lots of action,” South Point sportsbook director Chris Andrews said in a text message. “Wiseguys laying -2.5 on the Vikings and taking +3 on the Raiders.”

The total is 40½ and hasn’t moved. The Raiders are +135 on the money line.

Both teams have 9-3 under records and are coming off a bye that followed back-to-back losses.

Minnesota (6-6, 7-4-1 ATS, 3-9 over/under) lost 21-20 at Denver on Nov. 19 before losing 12-10 to the Bears at home Nov. 27 on “Monday Night Football.”

Vikings quarterback Joshua Dobbs threw four interceptions in the ugly loss to Chicago, which snapped Minnesota’s six-game cover streak.

“I think (the sharp money on the Raiders) is a product of how poorly Dobbs played last Monday night against the Bears,” Esposito said.

The Raiders (5-7, 6-6 ATS, 3-9 over/under) dropped a 20-13 decision to the Dolphins on Nov. 19 before falling 31-17 to the Chiefs on Nov. 26.

The loss to Kansas City snapped the Raiders’ three-game cover streak and four-game under run.

Both teams are mathematically alive in the playoff hunt despite the consecutive defeats.

A SuperBook bettor wagered $9,900 to win $9,000 on the Raiders +3 and a BetMGM bettor in Las Vegas placed a small five-figure wager on the Raiders +3.

“Not much so far,” MGM Resorts director of trading Lamarr Mitchell said Friday afternoon. “Money is pretty even on both sides.”

Esposito expects Station to need the Vikings.

“It looks like we will be Vikings fans,” he said. “Both straight bets and parlays favor the Raiders. The public is definitely backing them.”

Raiders running back Josh Jacobs is the 4-1 favorite at Station to score the first touchdown, and Jefferson is the 5-1 second choice. Wide receiver Davante Adams is the 7-1 third pick.

At Caesars, Dobbs’ total passing yards is 221½ (u-135) and Raiders quarterback Aidan O’Connell’s is 216½ (u-133).

Jefferson’s total receptions is 5½ (o-148) and his receiving yards is 69½ (o-148). Adams’ receptions is 5½ (o-148) and his receiving yards is 68½ (o-119).

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

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