Las Vegas Raiders vs Pittsburgh Steelers Preview (12/24/22): Betting Odds, Prediction, Depth Chart

In my 27 years in this beautiful world, I don’t know if I can say I have ever seen an ending quite like what we saw in the Raiders and Patriots game. If you are a football fanatic like me, then you have watched that play no less than 100 times. Alas, a win is a win and that is all that matters. With Kenny Pickett potentially returning back into action, can the Raiders pull off another miracle?

Las Vegas Raiders vs Pittsburgh Steelers Betting Odds

Oddsmakers initially had this as a near pick’em, opening the Raiders at +1. Bettors were quick to side with the Steelers amidst the return of Kenny Pickett, taking Pittsburgh up to as high as -3 in some shops. While the offense has been lackluster, Pickett brings a more dynamic presence in the backfield that may be too much for the Raiders defense to contain. Especially if their offensive line can give him any sort of protection against Maxx Crosby.

As for the total, points are expected to be scored at a premium as oddsmakers opened the total at 40. Bettors are in agreement, taking the total down to as low as 38.5 as of writing. This comes as a bit of a surprise as the Raiders have enough offensive firepower to score on the Steelers defense, while fielding a weak defense themselves. Although it is worth noting that weather may play a factor in this one as it will be frigidly cold.

Las Vegas Raiders vs Pittsburgh Steelers Prediction

The Pick: Steelers -2.5

While it is implied that there will be limited scoring opportunities per the numbers, I will take the Steelers at -3 or better as they have the better long term success percentage throughout this game. With points potentially being scarce, the Steelers offense is better poised to take advantage of them as they go against a very weak defense.

The Raiders defense have been one of the worst units in football, ranking near dead last in Def Overall DVOA. They lack any sort of second level coverage with a dead last Def Pass DVOA ranking, strictly relying on their ability to get to the quarterback with Maxx Crosby to generate any sort of defensive production. 

The Steelers also see a boost in offensive production, getting the return of Kenny Pickett under center. While there is not too much of a drop off between him and Mitch Trubisky, Pickett brings a dynamic dual threat ability that will keep the Raiders defense on their heels. He still has a way to go, but the Steelers do possess weapons on the outside that have seen some success as of late. Look for George Pickens to have a big game burning the Raiders down the sideline.

To potentially ease Pickett back into the game, head coach Mike Tomlin may go conservative early on and let Najee Harris try and find success on the ground. This will be one of the metrics to watch as both the Steelers and Raiders Rush DVOA’s rank nearly the same. Harris started out slow, but he has slowly rounded back into form by being a more north and south type of runner.

Betting Trends

  • Steelers are 4-0 ATS against teams with a losing record
  • Raiders are 3-14 ATS in their last 17 games on the road against a team with a losing record

Key Injuries

Las Vegas Raiders Injuries: N/A

Pittsburgh Steelers Injuries: Diontae Johnson (Q), Terrell Edmunds (Q), Derek Watt (Q)

Key Matchups

Can Pittsburgh’s defense limit the Raiders offense?

Pittsburgh defense vs Raiders weapons

Pittsburgh’s offense will need as many chances as they can get and that comes down to their defense getting the Raiders off the field early and often. To do that, TJ Watt and company will need to generate pressure to the backfield to limit the downfield opportunities for Davante Adams.

They will also need to limit Josh Jacobs ability to get to the second level as he has burst onto the scene as one of the best running backs in the league. Pittsburgh ranks slightly above average in Def Rush DVOA, showing they have the ability to contain Jacobs.

Verdict

Take Pittsburgh at -3 or better in what will be an ugly slugfest in brutally bad conditions.

Las Vegas Raiders Depth Chart

QB: Derek Carr
RB1: Josh Jacobs
RB2: Brandon Bolden
LWR: Davante Adams
RWR: Mack Hollins
SWR: Hunter Renfrow
TE1: Darren Waller

Pittsburgh Steelers Depth Chart

QB: Kenny Pickett
RB1: Najee Harris
RB2: Jaylen Warren
LWR: Diontae Johnson
RWR: George Pickens
SWR: Steven Sims
TE1: Pat Freiermuth

Kody is a sports betting writer here at Lineups. He specializes in college sports as well as the NFL and NBA. He won’t quit believing in the Lions Super Bowl chances even when they are eliminated.

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