In Big Play

So much for the wiseguys.

The sharps and those who knew something and those who thought they knew something about the Raiders-Jaguars total in the Hall of Fame Game last Thursday maybe weren’t so sharp.

The total opened at 33.5 but bettors pounded the under and drove it to 30.5 before kickoff in Canton, Ohio. Those gullible gamblers who loaded up on the under had to feel a little queasy when the Raiders opened up a 20-0 halftime lead. With the Silver and Black offense clicking behind backup quarterback Jarrett Stidham, betting apps posted a tempting total of 14 for the second half.

A touchdown from the Jaguars with 3:32 left in the fourth quarter finally put the under bettors out of their misery and also sent the second-half total over.

And all those bettors who played Raiders -2.5 for the game? They coasted to a relatively easy cover on a final score of 27-11.

Ain’t preseason NFL betting fun?

”It was a unique opportunity, very grateful that I had it,” Raiders coach McDaniels told reporters after the game. He grew up in the football town and played on the same field for Canton McKinley High School.

And now it’s back to Allegiant Stadium where the Raiders host the Minnesota Vikings on Sunday. The Raiders are -2.5 and the total is 34 for that Sunday matinee. Considering how efficient the Raiders looked and that this will be the Vikings’ first preseason game, that -2.5 may move before kickoff at 1:25 p.m.


— Now what? Just when you thought it was safe to bet on the Las Vegas Aces, the Mark Davis-owned WNBA team heads the other way.

The Aces had three straight wins and covers culminating with a 96-69 rout of the Indiana Fever on July 31. But after that, the Aces were upset by the Washington Mystics as 3.5-point road favorites, 83-73.

Two days later, they again lost on the road, this time as 8.5-point favorites, to the Dallas Wings, 82-80 when A’ja Wilson missed a last-second layup.

“It happens,” guard Chelsea Gray said. “People miss layups.”

So how would the Aces respond in their game on Sunday at the Seattle Storm? Oddsmakers made the Storm a 2.5-point home favorite and put the total at 166.5. Naturally, the Aces responded. They won every quarter, except for pushing the second period, en route to a 89-81 win.

The largest crowd in Storm history jammed into Climate Pledge Arena for the game to honor the Storm’s Sue Bird as the face of the franchise.

“I wasn’t trying to crash Sue’s party. She invited me,” quipped Aces’ Wilson, who scored 29 points in the win.

Trend-spotting: Prior to Sunday’s game, eight of the Aces’ last games had gone under the total, according to Sunday’s total went over by 3.5 points.

The Aces (23-10) next are home at Michelob Ultra Arena vs. the Atlanta Dream (14-19) on Tuesday.

Battle of the bantamweights: Marlon Vera (19-7-1) meets Dominick Cruz (24-3) in the featured bantamweight event at UFC Fight Night on Saturday.

Vera, considered a rising contender, is -188, and the former champion Cruz is +162 in the event at the Pechanga Arena in San Diego.

— Laugher of the week: The Philadelphia Phillies were a heavy -350 favorite on Sunday to beat the fading Washington Nationals. They did. The final score was Phillies 13, Nationals, 1.

If you played the Phillies on the money line, run line, alternate run line (-2.5), the Phillies team total over 5.5 or parlayed the Phillies with over 8.5 you had a successful day. If you bet the Nationals, you did not.

“It’s nothing against the teams we’ve had here in the past,” the Phillies’ Rhys Hoskins said, “but I think we have a better team.” The Nationals, dead last in the National League East and 9-42 in their division, probably wouldn’t dispute that.

“The last three games were just not fun,” Nationals manager Dave Martinez said. Anyone betting on the Nationals would certainly agree.

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