Houston Texans drawing lopsided betting interest in Las Vegas

Las Vegas bettors had shown more interest in some of Saturday's college basketball action than they had in the Oakland Raiders leading up to Saturday's wild-card kickoffs.

The Raiders were listed as 4-point underdogs against the Houston Texans on Saturday morning at MGM sportsbooks. Public and sophisticated bettors were siding with Houston. Hardly anyone was taking the Raiders.

MGM assistant manager Jeff Stoneback said there were not many more than 100 bets on the Raiders and that the book had taken 50 times as much money on the favored Texans.

"There is more money on some college basketball teams at this point than there is on the Raiders," Stoneback told ESPN on Saturday morning.

The Raiders will be starting third-string rookie quarterback Connor Cook against the Texans and their No. 1 overall defense. Cook will become the first quarterback in the Super Bowl era to make his first start in a postseason game, according to Elias Sports Bureau.

In the second of Saturday's wild-card games, the Seattle Seahawks are 8-point favorites over the visiting Detroit Lions. The action on the game was light and balanced, Stoneback said at the MGM.

Sunday's wild-card games were receiving more betting interest than either of Saturday's games, with the NFC battle between the New York Giants and Green Bay Packers at chilly Lambeau Field attracting the most bets and featuring the largest line movement.

The Packers opened as 4-point favorites at the MGM, but the line grew through the week and was at -6 as of Saturday morning. Stoneback said sophisticated players took Green Bay at the earlier numbers but added that there was sharp interest on the Giants at +6.

Temperatures are expected to be in the teens in Green Bay for kickoff.

In Sunday's AFC wild-card game, the Pittsburgh Steelers were growing favorites against the visiting Miami Dolphins. The Steelers could be found as much as 11-point favorites Saturday morning.

Stoneback said MGM took a bet on the Steelers -10 from a sophisticated player earlier in the week, which prompted him to move the line to -10.5. He's since seen more support on the Dolphins.

"Sharps have played Steelers -10 and Packers -4.5 so far with us," Westgate SuperBook assistant manager Jeff Sherman said Saturday morning.

"We've had a bunch of sharp money [on Miami] at 10.5," Stoneback said.
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