Pittsburgh Steelers at Oakland Raiders Total Line Pick
Opening Line: Steelers -2
Pittsburgh won their second-straight game last Sunday, a last-second 19-16 win over Baltimore. Oakland is coming off of their bye week.
The Steelers have won their past two games but scored only one TD in both of them. They are averaging only 18 points per game while the Raiders are allowing 22 points per game. RB LeíVeon Bell got going last week as Pittsburgh finally generated a running game. They are still banged up on the O-line and look for Oaklandís front seven to focus on stopping Bell. They are allowing only 3.7 ypc after years of being gashed on the ground. Vastly improved LB play is a key to their ability to handle opponentís ground games. QB Ben Roethlisberger has a mediocre 7-5 TD-INT ratio and is having trouble connecting with receivers not named WR Antonio Brown (47-548-2). Pass protection remains an issue as the Steelers have given up 22 sacks in only six games. They have also lost seven fumbles. Their 31st ranking in red zone efficiency isnít helping either.
The Raiders want to run the ball effectively and hope to have RB Darren McFadden (check status) back this week. RBs McFadden and Rashad Jennings both have a 3.8 ypc average but Oaklandís 4.7 ypc team average is buoyed by QB Terrelle Pryorís team-leading 289 yards and 6.7 ypc average. The Steelers have been their usual stingy selves in run defense (3.7 ypc) but have to worry about containing Pryor on passing downs. Whereas Pryor has been effective on scrambles, heís still developing as a passer. Despite his elusiveness, he was sacked 10 times in the 24-7 loss to Kansas City two weeks ago. The Raiders have given up 28 sacks as their O-line woes continue in pass protection. Pittsburgh ranks No.1 in pass defense (like they did in 2012) and should be able to contain the Raiders non-descript group of wideouts. On the down side, the Steelers have forced a measly two TOs on the year.
This is a game that features two struggling offenses. Both teams want to run the ball but have had issues with their O-lines. Neither offense has a dynamic passing game either. We foresee a lot of FGs in this game and feel comfortable taking the under in this one.
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