Check out our Best NFL Plays in this week’s Fab-Five:
Pittsburgh Steelers at Oakland Raiders
NFL: Sunday, December 9, 2018, Oakland Coliseum, Oakland, California, 4:25 PM ET
The Pittsburgh Steelers were in an excellent form of six consecutive wins but they suffered a couple of narrow defeats in the last two weeks and dropped to the 7-4-1 record but they are still at the top of the AFC North with an edge over the Baltimore Ravens. On the other hand, the Oakland Raiders made their peace with the losing season as they are currently at the bottom of the AFC with a miserable 2-10 record, which is the worst record in the entire NFL alongside San Francisco 49ers.
The Steelers dropped a home win over the Chargers
Pittsburgh was desperate to bounce back from a poor offensive display at Denver when they suffered a 24-17 loss and they had a solid 23-7 halftime lead over the Los Angeles Chargers at home but Philip Rivers and the Chargers managed to come from behind and record a 33-30 victory thanks to Mike Badgley’s 29-yard field goal in the final second of the tilt. The Steelers’ running game struggled once again as they collected just 65 yards on the ground but the passing was better as they recorded 281 yards with a couple of touchdowns. Pittsburgh has the 29th rushing offense in the NFL that averages 93.1 yards per contest and they will have a good opportunity to reach the 100-yard mark against one of the weakest rushing defense in the league that is allowing 153.3 yards per game. The Steelers are way better when it comes to the passing as they are the 2nd team in the league with 32.7 yards per game and the visitors should easily have 250+ yards here and even 300+ in case the running game isn’t working.
— Pittsburgh Steelers (@steelers) December 6, 2018
Ben Roethlisberger is completing 66.0 percent of his passes for 3945 yards with 26 touchdowns and 13 interceptions for the Steelers. Roethlisberger had a fine display in a 33-30 loss to the Chargers as he threw for 281 yards with a pair of touchdowns and an interception and Big Ben has a favorable matchup against one of the worst defenses in the NFL and he will likely surpass the 250-yard mark and might record more than 300 passing yards here.
The Raiders lost the divisional game to the Chiefs
Oakland managed to snap the five-game losing streak with a tight victory over the Arizona Cardinals but lost the following two games to the Baltimore Ravens and Kansas City Chiefs. The Raiders trailed 19-7 at halftime and that poor first half display ultimately cost them a win here as they improved in the second 30 minutes but still fell short, 40-33. Oakland’s offense produced one of the best displays of the season as they combined passing and running very well, totaling 442 yards and they even had three more first downs than the Chiefs (28-25). The Raiders impressed on the ground with 171 yards, which is way more than their season average of 105.3 per contest but they will not have an easy job against the 8th best rushing defense in the league that allows 100.4 yards per game. Pittsburgh is allowing 228.5 yards to the opposing receivers and Oakland should get a chance to record 200+ yards through the air.
— Oakland Raiders (@Raiders) December 5, 2018
Derek Carr is completing 69.2 percent of his passes for 3112 yards with 16 touchdowns and seven interceptions for the Raiders. Carr probably had the best display of the season in a loss to the Chiefs as he posted 285 yards with three touchdowns, connecting with eight different receivers and he will have another opportunity to shine against Pittsburgh who is desperate to win here.
- 1-4 ATS in their last five vs. AFC rivals
- 4-17 ATS in their last 21 games in Week 14
- 1-6-2 ATS in their last nine games after allowing more than 150 yards rushing in their previous game
- 0-5 ATS in their last five games after scoring more than 30 points in their previous game
- 4-0 ATS in their last four games after allowing less than 90 yards rushing in their previous game
- 6-1 ATS in their last seven games following a straight up loss
- 5-2-1 ATS in their last eight games overall
The Bottom Line What to bet on this game.
Full-Game Side Bet
Oakland won three out of the previous five H2H encounters but Pittsburgh won the latest clash that was played in November 2015, 38-35. Even though the Steelers are 1-6 ATS in their last seven meetings and the underdog is 6-1 ATS in their previous seven duels, the visitors must win this game as their divisional rival Baltimore is facing a tough task against Kansas City and in case the Ravens lose, the Steelers will be in an excellent situation to clinch the AFC North with a win in this one. The 4th best offense in the NFL that is averaging 28.8 points per contest is facing Oakland’s poor defense that is allowing 30.6 points per game and I would be surprised if the Steelers fail to score 30+ points here, so I am backing them to cover the -10 spread.
Prediction: Pittsburgh Steelers (-115)
Full-Game Total Pick
The total is set at 51.5 and considering Pittsburgh’s defense of late and Oakland’s second-worst defense in the league, I am expecting a shootout in this one. Pittsburgh should score around 30 points without a problem as the Raiders have difficulties to defense against any opponent and will find it extremely hard to do so against Roethlisberger, James Conner, and Antonio Brown, so I am going with over. Over is 5-0 in Steelers last five games following an ATS loss; over is 6-0 in Steelers previous six games in Week 14, while over is 5-2 in Raiders last seven vs. AFC opponents.
Prediction: Over 51.5 (-110)
Full-Game Prop Bet
Oakland conceded more than 30 points in four of their previous six games and even though Pittsburgh didn’t score more than 30 on the road this season, this is a perfect opportunity for them to do so against one of the weakest defenses in the NFL. The Raiders are allowing around 30 points per game and I am backing the Steelers to score at least 31 here.
Prediction: Team Points: Pittsburgh Steelers Over 30.5 (-138)
Half-Time Side Pick
The Raiders trailed at halftime in four out of their last five home games, while the Steelers were down after the opening 30 minutes in just one of their six road games thus far. The spread is set at -7 and I am backing Pittsburgh to create at least a touchdown lead in the first half and in case they are up by seven points, you will get your stake back.
Prediction: Pittsburgh Steelers -7 (-105)
Half-Time Total Bet
Half of Oakland’s home games this season produced more than 25 points at halftime and although none of the Steelers’ previous three road games produced 26+ points at halftime, we have to take into consideration that Pittsburgh faced Baltimore, Jacksonville, and Denver, all excellent defenses. This one is going to be entirely different game and I expect to see a bunch of scores in the opening 30 minutes.
Prediction: Over 25.5 (-120)
Half-Time Prop Prediction
Denver and Jacksonville managed to keep the Steelers off the scoreboard in the first quarter in their last two away games but Oakland’s defense is simply not good enough to prevent Big Ben, Conner, and Brown from scoring at least one touchdown in the opening 15 minutes.
Prediction: 1st Quarter Team Points: Pittsburgh Steelers Over 6.5 (-188)