The Pittsburgh Steelers meet a historic rival – and 2000s nemesis — in their home opener Sunday. And the Steelers bets are flying.
The Las Vegas Raiders visit Heinz Field at 1 p.m. The guys in silver and black have won five of the last seven matchups with the Steelers, including the most recent in 2018 that helped dash the Steelers’ playoff hopes.
Both the Steelers and Raiders are coming off opening-week upset victories. The Steelers overcame a 10-0 halftime deficit to beat the Buffalo Bills 23-16 as 6.5-point underdogs. The Raiders downed the visiting Baltimore Ravens 33-27 in overtime on Monday night as three-point underdogs.
So, let’s preview the Steelers-Raiders game, still fascinating even without Al Davis and Chuck Noll, with odds, picks, and a prediction.
Las Vegas Raiders vs. Pittsburgh Steelers lines for at DraftKings Sportsbook:
Spread: Las Vegas Raiders +6.5 (-110), Pittsburgh Steelers -6.5 (-110)
Moneyline: Raiders +225, Steelers -280
Over/Under: 47 (O -110), U (-110)
Raiders – Steelers Betting Preview
David Carr piled up 435 passing yards on the Ravens in Week 1 as he completed 34 of 56 attempts with two touchdowns and one interception.
Carr and wide receiver Zay Jones connected on the game-winning 31-yard touchdown pass with 3:38 remaining in OT. However, Carr’s favorite target was star tight end, Darren Waller.
Waller had 19 passes thrown his way and caught 10 for 105 yards and one score. The Steelers will clearly be cognizant of him.
The Steelers’ rebuilt offensive line did a decent job of protecting Ben Roethlisberger as he was sacked twice in 34 dropbacks. He completed just 18 of 32 passes for 188 yards and one TD with no INTs, though.
The Raiders showed an improved pass rush under first-year defensive coordinator Gus Bradley. Look for them to try to put a lot of pressure on the 39-year-old Roethlisberger, especially with end Maxx Cosby, who had two sacks and five quarterback hits on opening week.
The Raiders – Steelers Bets We Love
Las Vegas Raiders +6.5 (-110 – Draft Kings)
Here’s the funny thing about this rivalry – the last five times the Raiders beat the Steelers, they wound up with a losing record last season.
The Raiders went 4-12, 7-9, and 8-8 in the first three seasons of Jon Gruden’s second sting as coach. Las Vegas appears poised to take another step forward this season.
The Steelers defense did a good job of slowing Bills quarterback Josh Allen and wide receiver Stefon Diggs last week. Carr, Waller, and the rest of the Raiders will provide another challenge this week.
Najee Harris over 73.5 Rushing Yards (-110 – MGM Grand)
Steelers first-round draft Najee Harris had a pedestrian NFL debut last Sunday with 45 yards rushing on 16 carries and one reception for four yards. However, the Alabama product also played all 58 offensive snaps, a strong indication he is entrenched as the Steelers’ No. 1 running back.
Look for Harris to break out against a porous Raiders run defense. The Ravens ran for 189 yards despite missing their top three running backs.
Steelers Betting Prediction
The Raiders have lost their last six road games following an appearance on Monday Night Football. The Steelers will extend that skid to seven, but it won’t be easy.
Steelers 24, Raiders 20