NFL Betting Preview Week Eight: Pittsburgh Steelers at Oakland Raiders

Pittsburgh Steelers at Oakland Raiders Coliseum – Oakland, California

Sunday, October 27, 2013, 4:05 pm Eastern, TV: CBS, NFL Sunday Ticket
Opening Line: Pittsburgh -3
Current Line: Pittsburgh -1 (-125)
Opening Total: 40 1/2
Current Total: 40 
Opening Money Line: Steelers -130 / Raiders +110
Current Money Line: Steelers -135 / Raiders +115 

The Steelers are a slight road favorite at the Raiders in a battle of 2-4 teams.
The Steelers are a slight road favorite at the Raiders in a battle of 2-4 teams.

Both the Pittsburgh Steelers and Oakland Raiders are 2-4 this season and desperate for a win as they meet Sunday in Oakland. Both teams are in last place in their divisions, the Steelers in the AFC North and the Raiders in the AFC West. Since 2001, the Steelers and Raiders have played 7 times with Oakland holding a 4-3 advantage in those games. The raiders won last season in Oakland 34-31.

Pittsburgh is coached by Mike Tomlin. After an 0-4 start, the Steelers have won 2 straight games at the New York Jets 19-6 and last week at home against division rival the Baltimore Ravens 19-16. Piuttsburgh has home losses to the Tennessee Titans 16-9 and Chicago Bears 40-23, along with road losses at the Cincinnati Bengals 20-10 and the Minnesota Vikings 34-27 in London. The Steelers are 2-4 ATS and the total is also 2-4 this season. Pittsburgh was a 2.5 point favorite at home against Baltimore and the total was 41.

The Steelers took a 10-6 lead at halftime over the Ravens last week. The Steelers expanded the lead to 13-6 in the third quarter. The teams traded field goals in the fourth to make it 16-9. Baltimore tied it up with 1:58 left. However, Pittsburgh drove down the field and Shaun Suisham made his fourth field of the game from 42 yards as time expired to give the Steelers the win. Pittsburgh had 286 total yards including 141 rushing yards. Baltimore had 287 total yards including 202 passing yards. The Ravens had 9 penalties for 67 yards and the Steelers had 7 penalties for 50 yards.  Pittsburgh had the only turnover of the game on a fumble.

Pittsburgh is being outscored 22-18 this season. The Steelers are #14 in points allowed and #28 in scoring. Pittsburgh averages 329.8 yards per game including 255.5 passing and 74.3 rushing yards per game. The Steelers are #27 in the league in rushing. On defense, Pittsburgh is allowing 306.8 yards per game including 197.5 passing and 109.3 rushing yards. The Steelers are #6 in total defense and #4 against the pass. Pittsburgh is -10 in turnovers this season. The Steelers are 32/81 on third and fourth down conversions and opponents are 35/87. Pittsburgh has forced 8 sacks and allowed 22 this season. The Steelers average 47 penalty yards per game and opponents average 64. Pittsburgh averages 30:21 in time of possession. Pittsburgh has allowed 2 defensive touchdowns this season.

Steelers’ quarterback Ben Roethlisberger has completed 66.5% of his passes for 1,655 yards with 7 touchdowns and 5 interceptions, along with 9 carries for 49 yards. He has been sacked 21 times this season. Running back Le’Veon Bell has 51 carries for 184 yards and 2 touchdowns along with 8 catches for 55 yards. Felix Jones has 29 carries for 108 yards and 5 catches for 35 yards. Jonathan Dwyer has 19 catches for 62 yards, plus a catch for 9 yards. Receiver Antonio Brown has 47 catches for 548 yards and 2 touchdowns. Emmanuel Sanders has 24 catches for 308 yards and a touchdown. Jerricho Cotchery has 19 catches for 289 yards and 2 touchdowns. He is probable with an abdominal injury. Tight end Heath Miller has 17 catches, 206 yards and a touchdown. Nineteen Steelers are listed on the injury report including 7 defensive players and 5 offensive linemen.

Oakland is coached by Dennis Allen. The Raiders have home wins over the Jacksonville Jaguars 19-9 and against the San Diego Chargers 27-17. Oakland has road losses the the Indianapolis Colts 21-17, the Denver Broncos 37-21 and two weeks ago at the Kansas City Chiefs 24-7 along with a home loss to the Washington Redskins 24-14. Oakland had their bye last week. The Raiders are 3-2-1 ATS this season and the total is 1-5. Oakland was a 7.5 point underdog at Kansas City and the total was 41.

The Raiders took a 7-0 lead midway through the second quarter against the undefeated Chiefs, but Oakland would not score again for the rest of the game. Kansas City scored the last 24 points of the game. Oakland had 274 total yards including 121 rushing yards. Kansas City had 216 total yards including 111 rushing yards. The Raiders had  11 penalties for 68 yards. Oakland had 3 turnovers including a pick six in the fourth quarter, while KC had one.

Oakland is being outscored 22-18 this season. Oakland is #13 in points allowed and #29 in scoring.  The Raiders are averaging 320.8 total yards on offense including 191.7 passing and 129.2 rushing yards. The Raiders last in passing and #9 in rushing in the league. On defense, the Raiders are allowing 340 yards per game including 241 passing and 99 rushing yards. Oakland is even in turnovers. The Raiders are 32/88 on third and fourth down conversions, and opponents are 32/81. Oakland has forced 16 sacks and allowed 27. The Raiders have one special teams touchdown along with a defensive touchdown and has allowed 2 defensive touchdowns. Oakland is averaging 30:46 time of possession. The Raiders average 56 penalty yards per game and opponents are averaging 33.

Quarterback Terrelle Pryor has completed 64.5% of his passes for 1,061 yards, with 5 touchdowns and 5 interceptions, along with 44 carries and 285 yards. He has been sacked 20 times this season. Pryor missed the game against the Redskins a few weeks ago with a concussion but played the last two games. Back-up quarterback Matt Flynn was released and signed with the Buffalo Bills. If something happens to Pryor, rookie Matthew McGloin from Penn State is the new back-up.

Running back Darren McFadden has 69 carries, 267 yards and 2 touchdowns, along with 10 catches for 77 yards. He has even thrown a touchdown pass. Rashad Jennings has 34 carries for 132 yards, along with 12 catches for 97 yards.  Fullback Marcel Reece has 9 carries for 47 yards and a touchdown along with 10 catches for 86 yards and a touchdown.

Receiver Denarius Moore has 25 catches 399 yards and 4 touchdowns. Rod Streater has 19 catches, 274 yards and a touchdown. Mychal Rivera has 12 catches, 138 yards and a touchdown. Five offensive linemen are listed on the injury report along with three defensive players.

Pittsburgh is 4-0 ATS in October, 3-7 overall, 7-18-1 against teams with losing home records, 4-11 after a cover and in road games, 3-9-1 after a straight up win, 5-15-1 on grass, 2-7 after passing for less than 150 yards, and 1-5 against teams with losing records.

Oakland is 4-0 ATS after failing to cover, 6-1 in week 8, 5-1 after a straight up loss, and after scoring less than 15 points, 5-1-1 against AFC teams, 4-1 after allowing less than 150 passing yards, 3-1-1 after allowing less than 250 total yards, 5-2-1 after a straight up loss of 14 points or more, 9-4 in October, 21-44-1 against teams with losing records, 2-8 against teams with losing road records, and 1-9 after a bye week. The Raiders have covered 4 of the last 5 against the Steelers, and Oakland was an underdog in each of those contests.

Both of these teams struggle on offense, and have decent defenses. I don’t see a lot of points being scored in this game. I think Pittsburgh wins a close low scoring game something like 13-10.

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