The Steelers just dropped a close game to the Los Angeles Chargers, making it two losses in a row. Now with the playoff off race tightening, every game counts. The Steelers get the Raiders and have been listed as 10 point favorites but can be found as high as 11 at some sportsbooks. Follow this link to learn more about how to bet on sports.
2-10. That’s a tough number to swallow for Raiders fans who had high expectations with the return of Jon Gruden. Sure, everyone was aware that there would be some baby steps involved. But just two wins? The way the Raiders handled Martavis Bryant, Khalil Mack, and countless other factors this season highlight what a blazing dumpster fire the organization is right now.
The Oakland Raiders are 29th in the league in total offense and 31st in total defense. Their biggest problem is the fact that they rank dead-last in stopping the run. At no. 14 in stopping the pass, the Silver and Black are not too shabby but they have allowed 153.25 rushing yards per game on the season and an even worse 168.67 rushing yards per game while at home.
It’s lucky for the Raiders that the Steelers rank 29th in offensive rushing yards right now. So do they have a chance at a stalemate on the line of scrimmage? Not likely. The Steelers are No. 2 passing yards and they will pick apart Oakland’s middling secondary and force the linebackers and nickles to help out more against the pass. Then they will push the ball upfield on the ground as well. Even though the Steelers only average 93 rushing yards per game and the fact that James Conner is out, we should see them break the 100-yard mark in Oakland this weekend.
This is where it gets tricky. Sure, the Steelers are going to win this game, but by 11 points? It is going to be in their heads that they are playing the worst team in the NFL with a meeting against their conference archnemesis, the New England Patriots just around the corner. They very well could overlook the Raiders. And to be honest, it’s an easy thing to do at the moment.
But the Raiders have covered the spread in two out of their last three games. And have upped the ante offensively, putting up a tad over 24 points per game over the last three as well. The Raiders are in a great position to cover the point spread at home. The question becomes: will Jon Gruden just take a dive with only four games left in order to secure that No. 1 draft pick?
This game could turn into a shootout with Ju-Ju and Antonio Brown getting a lot of looks. The absence of James Conner will force the Steelers to pass the ball even more than usual and test the Raider downfield. This lack of offensive balance could give the Raiders a shot to stay within kicking distance. Martavis Bryant is out so that is a concern. But the Silver and Black still have Jordy Nelson and they just added CJ Anderson to their running back corps.
Look for the Steelers to look ahead and take the Raiders +11.
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