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NFL Betting Preview: Ravens, Browns Kick Off Real Referee Weekend

The NFL's first three weeks have been filled with referee errors that have had a big impact on gamblers of the sport. Las Vegas sports books have been dealing with unhappy customers that are losing bets because of incorrect calls.

That never was more evident than on Monday night when the Seattle Seahawks, a 3.5 point underdog, scored on the games final play, turning what would have been a 12-7 loss into a 14-12 win. The final play was filled with controversy, including the incorrect call that receiver Golden Tate had simultaneous possession of the football.

The result of that call was an estimated $150 million swing for sports books. NFL gamblers typically bet on the favorite, and according to several sports book executives, that was again the case on Monday night. One sports book in Vegas went as far as to offer refunds for gamblers who lost their bets on the incorrect call.

That mistake led negotiators back to the table, and those discussions ended in an agreement Wednesday night. The real referees will return to action starting tonight in Baltimore, and nobody is more excited than the gamblers.

"I lost $200 Monday because of the incompetence of the replacement refs," said Marc Brumler, standing outside of Wynn Resorts. "I should have known better before I placed the bet that sooner or later the refs would help decide an outcome. It's a lesson learned, but I'm just glad the regular referees are back."

The Ravens will host the Cleveland Browns tonight. Baltimore is a 12 point favorite, and the total for the game is 44. The Ravens came back from nine points down last week to beat their nemesis, New England. A win tonight would leave Baltimore as the only 3-1 team in the league heading into the weekend.

Other games of note this weekend include a divisional clash in Denver, where the Broncos are 6.5 point favorites over Oakland.

Seattle, the beneficiary of the call Monday night, will look to run their record to 3-1 when they travel to face St. Louis. The Seahawks are 2.5 point road favorites.

In Green Bay, the Packers will look to put Monday behind them when they host New Orleans. The Saints are a surprising 0-3, and are in danger of being knocked out of playoff contention in the first month of the season should they lose to the Packers. Green Bay is a nine point favorite at home.

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