The Raiders had arguably the most difficult home schedule in the NFL this season and are facing another tough test in the 2020 Allegiant Stadium final on Saturday.
Sharp weather and the betting crowd support the Dolphins, consensus 3-point favorites after the line opened at 2½ on most Las Vegas sportsbooks.
“Our lookahead number was Raiders -1½, but when we reopened the game we favored it on Dolphins and it was bet -3-120,” said John Murray, Westgate Sports Betting Director. “It’s not surprising to see the favorite flip with the quarterback change for the Raiders and the good win for Miami last weekend.
“The book is actually going to need the Raiders. Miami is a popular piece. “
Las Vegas suffered a 30:27 home defeat to the Chargers on December 17th when QB Derek Carr was replaced by Marcus Mariota after a groin injury.
The Raiders (7-7, 7-7 ATS) have lost four out of five games after a 6-3 start and are on a 0-4 spread slide after the start of the 7-3 ATS season.
Las Vegas is 2-5 at home (3-4 ATS), with wins and coverages from the Saints and Broncos. The Raiders covered a loss for the Chiefs but failed to cover losses for the Bills, Buccaneers, Colts and Chargers.
“We’ve needed the Raiders in every one of their home games this year, except for their game against Denver,” said Chuck Esposito, Sports Betting director for Sunset Station. “I guess we’ll need the Raiders back home. The number of tickets and the early action were clearly with the Dolphins. “
Bettors are all over Miami at BetMGM, where the Dolphins drew more tickets and cash than any other NFL team this week. There’s also plenty of action in Miami at William Hill, where 78 percent of the tickets and 86 percent of the money for the game are on the Dolphins.
Miami (9-5) defeated New England 22-12 on Sunday for their eighth win in 10 games. The Dolphins are on a 9-1 cover series and have the best spread record in the NFL at 11-3.
Professional sports bettor Jeff Whitelaw bet on Miami -2½.
“I don’t know if Carr is going to play or not. But the Raiders are decimated with injuries and the Dolphins are playing pretty well, ”he said. “I know (Trainer Jon) Gruden will have them ready, but mathematically, almost mathematically, they were eliminated from the playoffs even if they win. I just can’t see the motivation.
“If you look at the Raiders’ defensive injuries, they’ll have a tough time. So they couldn’t win against teams they should have beaten. Now they are playing against a team that is a little better. “
Something has to give on top of what a consensus 47½ is.
“We have seen sharp money under 48 and over 47,” said Chris Bennett, manager of Circa Sportsbook.
The Raiders are the NFL’s top-over team with a 10-3-1 over-under mark and are at home 5-1-1 over, where their games averaged 59.8 points.
Miami, on the other hand, is number 1 in the league with just 18.4 points per game and is one of the best teams in the NFL at 9-5.
The books expect them to need the sub. The total is 48 at the train station.
“The number of tickets is mostly in favor of the over, but the Miami Defense have given in the lowest score (257) of any team,” Esposito said. “It goes back to defending the Raiders. It doesn’t stop a lot of people, which means their offense must score a lot. “
The Raiders occupy 29th place in goal defense (30.1 ppga) and 11th place in offensive scoring (26.9 ppg). Miami ranks 16th (25.1 ppg).
Contact reporter Todd Dewey at [email protected] Follow @ tdewey33 on Twitter.