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Don’t overlook underdog Raiders in rivalry game with Chiefs

KANSAS CITY — Raiders coach Jon Gruden told his team after Monday’s victory over Denver: “Fellas, we’ve got one game left. It’s against the team we hate the most — the Kansas City Chiefs. They hate us, too, so it should be a heckuva game.”

Vegas bookmakers think otherwise. They opened the Chiefs -13, and the line moved to -14 in some shops.

Gruden might be offering a better prediction than the bookies. His team hasn’t quit and it played better overall in December, winning two of four games outright as an underdog and covering a third, losing 40-33 as a 14-point dog to these same Chiefs.

The Raiders hung tough that day, scoring five times in six second-half possessions, and might have won the game outright except three different backs lost fumbles. This Kansas City team is flawed on defense and they’ve been burning cash with only one cover in the last 8 weeks.

My view of the Raiders as live dogs comes with two warnings:

1. The Raiders have not played well on the road, beating only woeful Arizona and covering a September game in Denver.

2. The Chiefs will not take their Week 17 game lightly. A win insures home field throughout the playoffs. Patrick Mahomes won’t be a no-show.

But 13 points in a rivalry game with a Raiders team that hasn’t quit is too tasty.

Just cover, baby!

Westgate Supercontest update: VSIN1 sits in 42nd place, tied with 13 other teams. Last week, I went 3-2, losing twice by the hook as both the Cowboys and Eagles failed to cover. With a trip to in KC this weekend, I’m keeping Proxy Matty on speed dial.

More betting: Follow at reviewjournal.com/betting and @RJ_Sports on Twitter.

Brent Musburger’s betting column appears Saturday in the Las Vegas Review-Journal. His show on the Vegas Stats & Information Network can be heard on SiriusXM 204 and livestreamed at reviewjournal.com/vegas-stats-information-network.

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