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Sharps, public on opposite sides for Thursday NFL game

Updated October 8, 2020 - 2:54 pm

Sharp bettors are backing the Chicago Bears as home underdogs in Thursday’s NFL game, but the public is still rolling with Tom Brady and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

The Buccaneers are favorites of -3 (-120) or -3½ at Las Vegas sportsbooks after being as high as -6 earlier in the week. The total is 44½. Circa Sports and MGM Resorts are at 44.

“Sharp money on the Bears to get us down to 3,” Circa sportsbook manager Chris Bennett said via text message. “Some sharp money on Bucs -3. Public is on the Bucs. I’m sure everyone wants to know if Mike Evans will be playing.”

The receiver Evans (questionable) is among several key injuries for the Buccaneers. Receiver Chris Godwin is out, running back Leonard Fournette is doubtful, and receiver Scotty Miller is questionable.

Westgate sportsbook director John Murray attributed the line move chiefly to the injuries.

“Public is definitely on Tampa,” he said via text.

Sunset Station sportsbook director Chuck Esposito also saw the same sharp-public divide between the Bears and Buccaneers.

Westgate sportsbook vice president of risk Ed Salmons and professional bettor Jeff Whitelaw said they’re on the Bears, though at the higher numbers available earlier in the week.

Tampa Bay (3-1) has won three straight after a season-opening loss at New Orleans. On Sunday, the Buccaneers fell behind 24-7 against the Los Angeles Chargers before rallying for a 38-31 victory.

The Bears (3-1) lost their first game of the season Sunday, falling to Indianapolis 19-11. Quarterback Nick Foles struggled in his first start for Chicago after relieving Mitchell Trubisky and leading a comeback win the previous week against Atlanta.

Contact Jim Barnes at jbarnes@reviewjournal.com or 702-383-0277. Follow @JimBarnesLV on Twitter. Review-Journal reporter Todd Dewey contributed to this story.

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