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Raiders rally past Jets, deal sportsbooks losing NFL Sunday

Fittingly, the bottom line for Las Vegas sportsbooks and bettors came down to the Raiders-Jets “Sunday Night Football” game at Allegiant Stadium.

If the Raiders won, the Westgate SuperBook and Station Casinos would be looking at a losing day, while Caesars Sportsbook would break even.

If New York won, Caesars would be a loser, while Stations and the SuperBook would be winners.

Score one for the bettors, as the Raiders rallied for a 16-12 victory.

The game closed at a consensus pick’em with the lowest total on the board at a consensus 35½.

“It’s fairly one-sided action on the Raiders,” Red Rock Resort sportsbook director Chuck Esposito said beforehand. “Right now, we are big-time Jets fans.”

South Point sportsbook director Chris Andrews said his book didn’t need either side, just under 35½.

The Raiders took a 16-9 lead, their first of the game, early in the fourth quarter when rookie quarterback Aidan O’Connell found rookie tight end Michael Mayer in the end zone for a 7-yard touchdown pass.

Robert Spillane intercepted a pass by Zach Wilson at the Raiders’ 15-yard line with 1:22 left, and they escaped when Wilson’s Hail Mary fell incomplete as time expired.

NFL prime-time unders improved to a 24-7 this season, including 14 of the last 15.

‘Niners are back’

Despite four outright upsets, including the Browns (+6) rallying past the Ravens and the Texans (+5½) beating the Bengals, it was a winning day for bettors overall.

“Today was one for the players,” Caesars assistant director of trading Adam Pullen said before the night game. “We’re not down a lot, but we’re down a little bit even with those two big upsets.”

Caesars took four wagers to win $200,000 each and lost them all: $240,000 on the Steelers -3 (beat Packers 23-19) and $220,000 each on the 49ers -3 (beat Jaguars 34-3), Browns +6½ (beat Ravens 33-31) and Buccaneers -1 (beat Titans 20-6).

“Our four biggest straight bets all went the players’ way,” Pullen said. “San Francisco, by far, was the worst game of the day for us. They’ve been struggling, but they certainly snapped out of it in a big way, thumping a really good Jacksonville team on the road.

“The Niners are back.”

How ‘bout them Cowboys

Bettors also cashed in on the Cowboys, who cruised to a cover as 17½-point favorites, the biggest on the board, in a 49-17 beatdown of the Giants.

“That was the most lopsided game of the day, as far as amount of tickets and money wagered,” Westgate SuperBook vice president Jay Kornegay said. “I think we sold two tickets on the Giants. I’m just kidding, but it felt like it. It’s always a challenge for us to balance those games out when a team becomes noncompetitive.”

Favorites went 6-5 against the spread, and overs went 8-4.

The Lions were another popular favorite that closed as 2-point favorites after the line sat at 3 most of the week. Detroit outlasted the Chargers in a 41-38 shootout when Riley Patterson kicked a 41-yard field goal as time expired.

Pittsburgh, which covered the spread by a point with the help of a blocked extra point in the first half, held on for the win and cover when Damontae Kazee intercepted a Jordan Love pass at Pittsburgh’ 2-yard line with no time remaining.

Seattle beat Washington 29-26 but didn’t cover as a 6-point favorite after the Commanders tied the game 26-all on Sam Howell’s 35-yard touchdown pass to Dyami Brown with 52 seconds left. The Seahawks won it on Jason Myers’ 43-yard field goal as time expired.

Upset specials

Cleveland trailed 31-17 in the fourth quarter before Deshaun Watson threw a 10-yard TD pass to Elijah Moore with 8:57 remaining. Less than a minute later, a Lamar Jackson pass caromed into the air and was intercepted by Greg Newsome II, who returned it 34 yards for a TD.

But Baltimore stayed ahead 31-30 because Browns kicker Dustin Hopkins missed the extra point. Cleveland got the ball back with 4:55 left and never gave it back. Hopkins redeemed himself with a game-winning 40-yard field goal as time expired.

Cincinnati trailed 27-17 in the fourth quarter before tying it 27-all with 1:33 left. But rookie quarterback C.J. Stroud marched the Texans 55 yards in six plays to set up Matt Ammendola’s 38-yard game-winning field goal as time expired in Houston’s 30-27 victory.

The Ravens and Bengals each had a four-game winning streak snapped as countless teasers and money-line parlays went up in smoke.

“A lot of the top contenders have run into some speed bumps of late, which certainly helps the sportsbooks when you have those types of results,” Kornegay said. “Right now, I don’t think anybody’s safe.”

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

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