The Pittsburgh Steelers (7-4-1) travel to California this weekend to battle the struggling Oakland Raiders (2-10). Kickoff is set for 4:25 PM EST on December 9th at Oakland Alameda Coliseum and the game will be broadcast on FOX.
Oddsmakers opened this game up with the Steelers listed as 13-point road favorites. That line has shifted substantially after early betting, as Pittsburgh is currently available at -11. The total for this matchup is 51.5 points. Click here for a full look at the Week 14 NFL odds and for more links to our individual game previews.
Raiders vs Steelers Vegas Odds & Game Preview
Pittsburgh dropped back to 7-4-1 overall last weekend after a disappointing 33-30 home loss to the Los Angeles Chargers on Sunday Night Football. The Steelers blew a 16-point lead at halftime at home for the first time in franchise history, giving up a monster performance to WR Keenan Allen in the second half. QB Ben Roethlisberger had an up and down game, passing for 281 yards and two touchdowns while also getting picked off once. RB James Conner also struggled at times, rushing for under 75 total yards but finding the end zone twice in a losing cause. WR Antonio Brown was electric, racking up 10 receptions for 154 yards and a touchdown. The offense certainly has a good matchup here in Week 14, as Oakland has been terrible defensively all season long. As a whole, Pittsburgh is currently scoring an average of 28.8 points per game (4th overall) on 413.8 total yards.
The Steelers have been average defensively through their first twelve games, allowing opponents to score 23.5 points per game (16th overall) on 328.9 yards of total offense. However, they have really done a great job against the run, limiting opponents to just 100.4 yards per game on the ground (8th overall).
Oakland has now lost seven out of their last eight games after a tough 40-33 home loss against Kansas City last weekend. The Raiders battled valiantly but couldn’t find a way to pull off the massive upset, scoring 17 points in the 4th quarter before ultimately falling by a single touchdown. QB Derek Carr played very well, throwing for 285 yards and three touchdowns. TE Jared Cook led the way in the receiving game, turning seven catches into 100 yards and a touchdown. RB Jalen Richard had a big game on the ground, rushing for 95 yards on just six carries – an average of 15.8 yards per touch. WR Jordy Nelson also had a big role offensively in Week 13, racking up a team-high ten receptions for 97 yards. Overall, Oakland is currently averaging 18.3 points per game (29th overall) on 346.9 total yards.
The Raiders have been dreadful on the other side of the ball so far this season, giving up an average of 30.6 points per game (31st overall) on 396.6 yards of total offense. They have really struggled against the run, surrendering a league-worst 153.3 yards per game on the ground.
Free NFL Betting Prediction: Pittsburgh -11
While Oakland deserves a ton of credit for a solid performance against a tough Chiefs team in Week 13, I’m pretty surprised that this spread has shrunk by two full points after early betting. I know that the Steelers didn’t look good against Los Angeles last weekend, as they should have won that game quite easily to strengthen their hold on first place in the AFC North. However, I still like Roethlisberger and Co. to bounce back nicely here in Week 14 against a bad Raiders team. While Carr did look quite good against a below average Kansas City defense his last time out, he will face a much tougher test on Sunday afternoon against a Pittsburgh secondary that is giving up only 228.5 passing yards per game (8th overall).
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Oakland is just 4-9-2 ATS over their last 15 games against opponents with a winning record. They are also only 4-17 ATS in their last 21 games in Week 14. The Steelers are a solid 6-1 ATS in their last seven games following a straight up loss. They are also 3-1-1 ATS over their last five road games and 5-2-1 ATS in their last eight games overall.
I am pretty confident that Pittsburgh should be able to cover this spread fairly comfortably on Sunday afternoon, even without RB James Conner. Jaylen Samuels had a solid outing in Week 13 and has shown a lot of explosiveness catching passes out of the backfield in limited action so far this season. I think the Steelers win this one by at least two touchdowns, so I’m more than comfortable laying 11 points and taking a stab with the road favorite – give me Pittsburgh.