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49ers favored by Vegas books to win Super Bowl

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49ers favored by Vegas books to win Super Bowl

LAS VEGAS (AP) Sports books in Las Vegas made the San Francisco 49ers a favorite in the Super Bowl over the Baltimore Ravens on Sunday night based on the team's solid record and popularity with sports fans.

Oddsmakers gave the 49ers an early 4 1/2-point handicap and put the total score at 49 points for the Feb. 3 game in New Orleans. This means gamblers who bet on the Niners will collect only if they win by a margin of victory surpassing 4 1/2 points.

In addition to betting on the victor, fans can put money on whether the total points scored during the game will fall short of or exceed oddsmakers' predictions.

Jay Kornegay, race and sports book director at The LVH casino, said his book made the 49ers a 4 1/2-point favorite and quickly moved the line to 4 points as bettors gambled on the Ravens.

``The 49ers have been a sexy team all year,'' he said. ``The Ravens don't get a lot of respect from the public, but that bandwagon is getting a lot more supporters as we speak.''

The 49ers beat the Atlanta Falcons in the NFC title game Sunday afternoon, rallying in the second half after falling behind by 17 points. The Ravens defeated the New England Patriots for the AFC championship later that night, with Joe Flacco throwing three touchdown passes in just over 10 minutes.

Oddsmaker Benjamin Eckstein of America's Line said he made the 49ers a 4 1/2-point favorite to encourage action on both teams.

``San Francisco is what we call a very public team because they've been very good over the past couple years, and people just like to bet on them,'' said Eckstein, who provides betting lines to more than 100 newspapers in the U.S. and Canada. ``The 49ers have done very well against the spread this year, so they've made people a lot of money.''

The Super Bowl is the most popular betting event of the year in Las Vegas.

Last year, sports books made the New England Patriots three-point favorites to win the Super Bowl over the New York Giants, but the Giants won 21-17. Fans bet $93.9 million at Nevada casinos on the matchup- the most wagered in the past decade- and sports books made $5 million on the action, according to data from the Gaming Control Board.

Oddmakers say average fans bet far more money on the Super Bowl than professional bettors - making conventional wisdom all-important in setting betting lines.

``The Super Bowl is the one game all year where the public's money dominates the action,'' Kornegay said. ``That's why we have to gear this line toward the public perception.''

Johnny Avello, director of race and sports at Wynn Las Vegas, opened the 49ers as 5-point favorites. He said he expected heavy betting with a competitive underdog and a sibling rivalry narrative inspired by brothers John and Jim Harbaugh coaching the two teams.

``Baltimore's kind of dangerous. And you've got two brothers playing against each other. It makes for a good matchup,'' he said.

Avello said he planned to spend Monday watching footage from past games and devising what he said will likely exceed 200 proposition bets.

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Hannah Dreier can be reached athttp://twitter.com/hannahdreier .

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Prediction and preview for Raiders at Ravens

Prediction and preview for Raiders at Ravens

What: Raiders (2-1) vs. Ravens (3-0)

When: Sunday, 1 p.m.

Where: M & T Bank Stadium

Injuries:

Ravens – RB Kenneth Dixon (knee), CB Sheldon Price (thigh), and LT Ronnie Stanley (foot) are doubtful; WR Kamar Aiken (thigh), OLB Elvis Dumervil (foot), WR Devin Hester (thigh), LG Alex Lewis (concussion), DT Timmy Jernigan (knee), G John Urschel (shoulder) are questionable.

Raiders – S Nate Allen (quad), OT Austin Howard (ankle), OT Menelik Watson (calf) are out; C Rodney Hudson (knee), RB Taiwan Jones (knee), OT Matt McCants (knee) are questionable.

Five questions to ask:

1. How badly will Stanley’s injury hurt the Ravens’ offense?

The guess is that Stanley won’t play, and even if he does, he won’t be 100 percent. Raiders outside linebacker Khalil Mack is one of the NFL’s best pass rushers. If James Hurst starts at left tackle, the Ravens will have to give him help to deal with Mack.

2. Will Raiders LG Kelechi Osemele punish his former teammates?

Osemele is one of the league’s best and most physical linemen, and he talked about pancaking some of the Ravens this week. He also says the Ravens didn’t try hard to keep him during free agency, and Osemele has a long memory. There could be some thunderous collisions between Osemele and Ravens’ defenders. If Osemele loses his composure, it will hurt the Raiders, who lead the NFL in penalties.

3. Will Ravens’ corners Jimmy Smith and Shareece Wright give up the homerun ball to the Raiders?

Raiders quarterback Derek Carr loves to throw deep, and he torched the Ravens for 351 yards and three touchdowns in 2015. Raiders wide receiver Amari Cooper beat Smith during a 37-33 Raiders’ victory. Raiders wide receiver Michael Crabtree has superb hands, and both he and Cooper topped 100 yards against the Ravens last year. The Ravens’ secondary has improved, with Eric Weddle and Lardarius Webb taking over as the starting safeties. But the Raiders will try to isolate Smith and Wright, looking for a big play or two that could make the difference.

4. With OLB Elvis Dumervil returning to action, will the Ravens’ pass rush be dominant?

The Ravens have gotten good pressure on quarterbacks without Dumervil, led by Terrell Suggs and Timmy Jernigan with three sacks each. Now Dumervil is ready for his 2016 debut, after missing the first three games recovering from foot surgery. Carr could face a lot more pressure in the pocket than he did against the Ravens last year.

5. Can the Ravens finally have a breakout game offensively?

The Raiders rank dead last in the NFL on defense, yielding 436 yards per game. The Ravens only have four touchdowns all season. It’s time for quarterback Joe Flacco and the offense to put four quarters together.

Prediction:

Ravens 30, Raiders 20 – Being at home, and getting a consistent pass rush on Carr, should allow the Ravens to remain unbeaten.

RELATED: Stanley misses 3rd straight practice, question mark for Sunday

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Fantasy Football: Updated Week 4 rankings

Fantasy Football: Updated Week 4 rankings

Updated Week 4 fantasy football rankings following news on several key players, including Bills receiver Sammy Watkins placed on injured reserve. 

Quarterbacks

1.  Philip Rivers, SD -- The Saints defense has only allowed three touchdown passes, but they're not stopping anyone. Opponents are averagng over 300 passing yards per game. Look for Rivers top that at home in what projects as another shootout.
 
2.  Cam Newton, CAR
 
3.  Drew Brees, NO
 
4.  Andrew Luck, IND
 
5.  Matthew Stafford, DET
 
6.  Kirk Cousins, WAS
 
7.  Andy Dalton, CIN
 
8.  Carson Palmer, ARI
 
9.  Blake Bortles, JAC
 
10.  Ben Roethlisberger, PIT
 
11.  Derek Carr, OAK
 
12.  Joe Flacco, BAL
 
13.  Matt Ryan, ATL
 
14.  Russell Wilson, SEA - The Seahawks offensive line is a mess, the Jets defensive front rocks and Wilson isn't 100 percent. Don't be shy about sitting him for comparable option.
 
15.  Dak Prescott, DAL
 
16.  Trevor Siemian, DEN
 
17.  Eli Manning, NYG
 
18.  Jameis Winston, TB
 
19.  Alex Smith, KC
 
20.  Ryan Tannehill, MIA
 
21.  Jimmy Garoppolo, NE
 
22.  Sam Bradford, MIN
 
23.  Brian Hoyer, CHI -- For those in need, Hoyer faces a Lions defense that has allowed an NFL-high 10 touchdown passes.
 
24.  Brock Osweiler, HOU
 
25.  Tyrod Taylor, BUF
 
26.  Marcus Mariota, TEN
 
27.  Ryan Fitzpatrick, NYJ
 
28.  Blaine Gabbert, SF
 
29.  Jacoby Brissett, NEQ
 
30.  Cody Kessler, CLEQ

Running Backs

1. David Johnson, ARI
 
2.  Le'Veon Bell, PIT - He's baaaaaack. Adjust your lineups. Not the easiest of returning matchups, but Kansas City hasn't been exactly stout against the run so far.
 
3.  Ezekiel Elliott, DAL
 
4.  C.J. Anderson, DEN
 
5.  Melvin Gordon, SD
 
6.  Lamar Miller, HOU
 
7.  LeGarrette Blount, NE
 
8.  Mark Ingram, NO
 
9.  DeMarco Murray, TEN
 
10.  LeSean McCoy, BUF
 
11.  Todd Gurley, LA
 
12.  Carlos Hyde, SF
 
13.  Christine Michael, SEA
 
14.  Jeremy Hill, CIN
 
15.  Matt Forte, NYJ
 
16.  Frank Gore, IND
 
17.  Charles Sims, TB
 
18.  Devonta Freeman, ATL
 
19.  Matt Jones, WAS
 
20.  Isaiah Crowell, CLE -- The Redskins are not good stopping the run and the Browns will want to help rookie QB Cody Kesseler  by featuring Crowell and Duke Johnson.
 
21.  Jordan Howard, CHI
 
22.  Spencer Ware, KC
 
23.  Latavius Murray, OAK
 
24.  Theo Riddick, DET
 
25.  Jerick McKinnon, MIN
 
26.  Tevin Coleman, ATL
 
27.  Giovani Bernard, CIN
 
28.  Orleans Darkwa, NYG -- Tricky call here since Rashard Jennings looks like a game-time decision. If Jennings sits and with no Shane Vereen, Darkwa would receve 18+ touches.
 
29.  Dwayne Washington, DET
 
30.  Cameron Artis-Payne, CAR
 
31.  Chris Ivory, JACQ
 
32.  Terrance West, BAL
 
33.  T.J. Yeldon, JAC
 
34.  Duke Johnson, CLE
 
35.  Justin Forsett, BAL
 
36.  Matt Asiata, MIN
 
37.  Fozzy Whittaker, CAR
 
38.  DeAngelo Williams, PIT
 
39.  Derrick Henry, TEN
 
40.  Jamaal Charles, KC -- Good news! Charles (knee) will reportedly make his season debut. However, Spencer Ware likely remains heavily involved for now as Kansas City works its star back into action. Monitor news Sunday morning if you're considering using Charles as an RB2 or Flex.
 
41.  James White, NE
 
42.  Chris Thompson, WAS
 
43.  Damien Williams, MIA
 
44.  Kenyan Drake, MIA
 
45.  Jay Ajayi, MIA
 
46.  Alfred Morris, DAL
 
47.  Travaris Cadet, NO
 
48.  Robert Kelley, WAS
 
49.  Bilal Powell, NYJ
 
50.  DeAndre Washington, OAK
 
51.  Shaun Draughn, SF
 
52.  Dexter McCluster, SD
 
53.  Paul Perkins, NYG
 
54.  Chris Johnson, ARI
 
55.  Jalen Richard, OAK
 
56.  Devontae Booker, DEN
 
57.  Mike Gillislee, BUF
 
58.  Bobby Rainey, NYG
 
59.  Jacquizz Rodgers, TB
 
60.  Robert Turbin, IND

Wide Receivers

1.  Antonio Brown, PIT
 
2.  A.J. Green, CIN
 
3.  Allen Robinson, JAC
 
4.  Julio Jones, ATL
 
5.  Odell Beckham Jr., NYG
 
6.  DeAndre Hopkins, HOU
 
7.  Marvin Jones, DET
 
8.  Alshon Jeffery, CHI
 
9.  Larry Fitzgerald, ARI
 
10.  Travis Benjamin, SD -- The DFS stack of the week? Benjamin and Philip Rivers against the Saints' terrible secondary. Factor in the likelihood Antonio Gates sits and Benjamin could get 15+ targets.
 
11.  T.Y. Hilton, IND
 
12.  Brandin Cooks, NO
 
13.  Amari Cooper, OAK
 
14.  Kelvin Benjamin, CAR
 
15.  Mike Evans, TB
 
16.  Demaryius Thomas, DEN
 
17.  DeSean Jackson, WAS
 
18.  Jarvis Landry, MIAQ
 
19.  Doug Baldwin, SEA
 
20.  Julian Edelman, NE
 
21.  Stefon Diggs, MIN
 
22.  Emmanuel Sanders, DEN -- His 27 targets nearly doubles teammates Demaryius Thomas. Now faces a Bucs defense allowing the third most points to fantasy wide receivers.
 
23.  Jeremy Maclin, KC
 
24.  Michael Crabtree, OAK
 
25.  Terrelle Pryor, CLE
 
26.  Willie Snead, NO
 
27.  Tyrell Williams, SD
 
28.  Sterling Shepard, NYG
 
29.  Brandon Marshall, NYJ
 
30.  Steve Smith, BAL -- Prediction: Smith goes for 90+ yards and a touchdown. Jalen Ramsey angered him. Sorry, Oakland. This ranking could rise by Sunday.
 
31.  Will Fuller, HOU
 
32.  Allen Hurns, JAC
 
33.  Devante Parker, MIAQ
 
34.  Mike Wallace, BAL
 
35.  Michael Floyd, ARIQ
 
36.  Jamison Crowder, WAS
 
37.  Phillip Dorsett, INDQ
 
38.  Golden Tate, DET
 
39.  Tavon Austin, LAQ
 
40.  Tajae Sharpe, TENQ
 
41.  Quincy Enunwa, NYJ -- No Eric Decker means more work for the impressive Enunwa
 
42.  Tyler Lockett, SEAQ
 
43.  Cole Beasley, DAL
 
44.  Michael Thomas, NO
 
45.  Torrey Smith, SFQ
 
46.  Mohamed Sanu, ATLQ
 
47.  Terrance Williams, DAL
 
48.  Victor Cruz, NYG
 
49.  Pierre Garcon, WAS
 
50.  Dez Bryant, DALQ
 
51.  Kevin White, CHI
 
52.  Kenny Britt, LAQ
 
53.  Anquan Boldin, DET
 
54.  Chris Hogan, NE
 
55.  Marquise Goodwin, BUF
 
56.  Vincent Jackson, TB
 
57.  Robert Woods, BUF
 
58.  Dontrelle Inman, SD
 
59.  Markus Wheaton, PIT
 
60.  Kenny Stills, MIA

Tight Ends

1.  Greg Olsen, CAR
 
2.  Jordan Reed, WAS
 
3.  Rob Gronkowski, NE -- Patriots list Gronk as questionable. It would be understandable why owners would fret using him after last week's bait and switch. Just not sure how you can though assuming the Sunday morning news isn't scary.
 
4.  Travis Kelce, KC
 
5.  Eric Ebron, DET
 
6.  Dennis Pitta, BAL
 
7.  Kyle Rudolph, MIN
 
8.  Coby Fleener, NO
 
9.  Julius Thomas, JACQ
 
10.  Jason Witten, DAL
 
11.  Zach Miller, CHI
 
12.  Delanie Walker, TENQ
 
13.  Dwayne Allen, IND
 
14.  Jimmy Graham, SEAQ
 
15.  Gary Barnidge, CLE
 
16.  Jacob Tamme, ATL
 
17.  Hunter Henry, SD
 
18.  Martellus Bennett, NE
 
19.  Jack Doyle, IND
 
20.  Charles Clay, BUF
 
21.  Cameron Brate, TB
 
22.  Clive Walford, OAK
 
23.  Jesse James, PIT
 
24.  Larry Donnell, NYG
 
25.  Vance McDonald, SF

Defenses

1.  Arizona Cardinals
 
2.  Denver Broncos
 
3.  Seattle Seahawks
 
4.  Houston Texans
 
5.  New England Patriots
 
6.  Minnesota Vikings
 
7.  Carolina Panthers
 
8.  Cincinnati Bengals
 
9.  New York Jets
 
10.  Washington Redskins -- Home game against a rookie QB in his first road start screams streaming option
 
11.  Kansas City Chiefs
 
12.  Pittsburgh Steelers
 
13.  Baltimore Ravens
 
14.  Los Angeles Rams
 
15.  New York Giants
 
16.  Buffalo Bills
 
17.  Detroit Lions
 
18.  Miami Dolphins
 
19.  Indianapolis Colts
 
20.  Dallas Cowboys

Kickers

1.  Stephen Gostkowski, NE
 
2.  Adam Vinatieri, IND
 
3.  Chandler Catanzaro, ARI
 
4.  Justin Tucker, BAL
 
5.  Dan Bailey, DAL
 
6.  Steven Hauschka, SEA
 
7.  Graham Gano, CAR
 
8.  Josh Lambo, SD
 
9.  Brandon McManus, DEN
 
10.  Dustin Hopkins, WAS
 
11.  Blair Walsh, MIN
 
12.  Matt Prater, DET
 
13.  Cairo Santos, KC
 
14.  Will Lutz, NO
 
15.  Chris Boswell, PIT
 
16.  Josh Brown, NYG -- Minnesota has allowed the most field goal attempts (12) thru three weeks. 
 
17.  Matt Bryant, ATL
 
18.  Nick Novak, HOU
 
19.  Mike Nugent, CINQ
 
20.  Sebastian Janikowski, OAK