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Bettors load up on one side of Raiders-Titans game

The Raiders have lost and failed to cover their first two games, including blowing a 20-0 halftime lead in last week’s crushing overtime defeat to the Arizona Cardinals.

But they haven’t lost the support of their local backers, as bettors are all over the Raiders to win and cover as consensus 2-point road favorites over the Tennessee Titans on Sunday.

“It looks like we’ll clearly be Titans fans,” Red Rock Resort sportsbook director Chuck Esposito said. “It’s a much bigger game to the Raiders with the Broncos and Chiefs on deck. They need to win this game.”

Tennessee also has lost and failed to cover its first two games and is working on a short week after an embarrassing 41-7 blowout loss to the Buffalo Bills on “Monday Night Football.”

At Station Casinos, 70 percent of the tickets ATS are on the Raiders. At Caesars, 69.5 percent of the tickets and 69.7 percent of the money are on the Raiders. At BetMGM, the Raiders lead the ticket count by a 3-1 margin and lead the money count by an 8-1 margin.

“We’ll need the Titans,” MGM Resorts director of trading Lamarr Mitchell said. “A lot of fans are betting on their hometown team, the Raiders.”

The consensus total is 45½ after opening at 48. Books need the under, as 58 percent of the tickets at Station are on the over.

The lookahead line last week at the Westgate SuperBook opened at pick’em. But the Raiders were reposted as 1½-point favorites, and the line climbed as high as 2½ after the Titans lost a couple of key players to injuries in pass rusher Bud Dupree and left tackle Taylor Lewan.

Tennessee also has struggled to replace star wide receiver A.J. Brown, who was traded to Philadelphia in the offseason.

“It’s hard to look worse than Tennessee has looked the first two games,” SuperBook vice president of risk Ed Salmons said. “They’re losing guys they can ill afford to lose. They’re in big trouble. They’re stacking the box against (star running back) Derrick Henry.”

Since the NFL expanded the playoff field to 14 teams in 2020, none of the 18 teams that started 0-2 have made the postseason.

The Raiders, who lost their season opener 24-19 at the Los Angeles Chargers, are +280 at Caesars Sportsbook to make the playoffs and -340 to miss them. They’re 15-1 at the Westgate to win the AFC West.

“They didn’t play their best game against the Chargers, but they still had the ball in position to win the game,” Salmons said. “That’s usually the sign of a good team, if you can win a game when you don’t play your best, especially on the road against a real solid team.

“In the first half, it looked like Arizona had no interest in that game. Then, all of a sudden in the second half, the Raiders go into prevent offense. When you play not to score in this league, that’s usually not a good thing. No matter how big your lead is, it’s never enough.”

Professional sports bettor Jeff Whitelaw said there has been an overcorrection to the line and thinks the Titans should be favored by 2, not the other way around.

“I don’t really see why the Raiders are favored,” he said. “The Raiders on the road should be a small ’dog at Tennessee, though there’s not much difference between -2 and +2.

“Tennessee is typically a pretty good home team.”

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

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