Steelers vs. Raiders Odds, Predictions, Week 2 NFL Betting Preview: How To Bet This Spread
Joe Sargent/Getty Images. Pictured: Pittsburgh Steelers outside linebacker T.J. Watt.
|Steelers Odds||-6 (-110)|
|Raiders Odds||+6 (-110)|
|Time||1 p.m. ET|
The Las Vegas Raiders earned a hard-fought 33-27 overtime win on Monday Night Football against the Baltimore Ravens.
Their reward? An early 1 p.m. ET matchup on the East Coast against another difficult AFC North opponent in the Pittsburgh Steelers.
Will the Raiders shock the NFL and start the season 2-0 against two contenders in the AFC, or will the Steelers continue to build off their big road win at Buffalo and stay undefeated through two weeks of the 2021 season?
Las Vegas Raiders
The Raiders’ win over the Ravens is best characterized as “resilient.”
For most of the game, Las Vegas’ only reliable offensive weapon was Darren Waller. The Pro Bowler led all NFL tight ends in targets (19), receptions (10) and receiving yards (105) last week, finishing as No. 4 at the position in fantasy.
Quarterback Derek Carr struggled to get the Raiders receivers involved in the offense until late in the fourth quarter. Bryan Edwards had one of the most bizarre stat lines of Week 1.
Bryan Edwards first 59:23? 0 catches
Bryan Edwards last 3:31? 4 catches, 81 yards, TD-kinda
— Mike Randle (@RandleRant) September 14, 2021
Teammates Hunter Renfow (six receptions for 70 receiving yards), Zay Jones (two catches for 46 yards and a touchdown) and Henry Ruggs III (two receptions for 46 receiving yards) were all part of a dramatic rally in the fourth quarter and overtime that saw the Raiders post 23 total points.
Carr finished with a 60.7% completion percentage and leads the league in passing yards entering Week 2.
The Ravens, as expected, limited the Las Vegas rushing attack, holding all Raiders running backs to just 45 yards on 16 carries.
Leading rusher Josh Jacobs did manage to find the end zone twice, but he has been ruled out against Pittsburgh because of toe and ankle injuries. Look for Kenyan Drake and veteran Peyton Barber to serve as the main rushing options on Sunday.
Las Vegas struggled to find efficiency on the ground throughout last season, finishing 24th in Rush DVOA, according to FootballOutsiders.
The Raiders will need to attack the Pittsburgh defense through the air, utilizing their running backs as legitimate receiving threats. Drake and fullback Alec Ingold were very effective against Baltimore, catching all nine of their targets for 81 receiving yards.
If the Raiders are going to keep this game close, they will need to find consistent production in the passing game from Carr and their receivers. That is a daunting task given the Steelers’ Week 1 performance at Buffalo. All the Bills receivers, including Stefon Diggs, failed to record more than 70 receiving yards.
Las Vegas will also need a repeat performance from Waller, which is unlikely. Pittsburgh allowed the second-fewest fantasy points to opposing tight ends last season, only slightly more than league-best San Francisco.
The Raiders defense was bailed out by two untimely Lamar Jackson fumbles, as it allowed Baltimore to rush for 189 yards on 5.6 yards per carry. Without those turnovers, Las Vegas likely loses at home.
The Steelers had one of the most impressive wins of Week 1, a 23-16 result at Buffalo. Head coach Mike Tomlin made fantastic halftime adjustments, after the Steelers managed only three first downs and 53 total yards in the entire first half.
Quarterback Ben Roethlisberger leaned on his explosive trio of wideouts for 133 of his 188 passing yards. Diontae Johnson led Pittsburgh in targets (10) and receptions (five), and he had this beautiful touchdown catch to give the Steelers a lead they did not surrender.
— NFL (@NFL) September 12, 2021
Running back Najee Harris struggled against the Buffalo defense with just 45 rushing yards on 16 carries. His versatile skill set should be on display against a Las Vegas defense that ranked 28th in Rush DVOA last season. The Raiders also allowed the fourth-most fantasy points to opposing running backs in 2020, including 88 receptions.
Harris will transition from one of the most difficult matchups he’ll face all season in Week 1 to one of the most favorable.
The Raiders recorded three sacks against Baltimore, but they’re still a team that struggles to find a consistent pass rush. Las Vegas ranked 30th last year with just 1.3 sacks per game and will likely struggle in a packed Heinz Field filled with fans for the first time since 2019.
On the Steelers defense, linebacker T.J. Watt just signed a four-year, $112 million extension, and he has 34 sacks in 32 games in his career at Heinz Field. Watt tallied 2.0 sacks and one tackle for loss in the Steelers’ win over the Bills.
The Raiders are traveling to the East Coast on a short week to take on the Steelers in a second consecutive physical game. Pittsburgh’s defense tallied three sacks, eight quarterback hits, a fumble recovery and blocked punt touchdown at Buffalo, a much better team than Las Vegas.
The Raiders will be without Jacobs and are coming off a season during which they allowed 29 points per game on the road.
The Raiders were lucky to get their home win against Baltimore and don’t have the roster talent to keep this game close on a short week.
Under Jon Gruden, Las Vegas has earned some surprising road victories, including at Kansas City last season, but those kinds of performances usually aren’t against teams with physical defenses.
I’m backing the Steelers to win this game by at least a touchdown over a Las Vegas team that is off an emotional Monday Night Football win and without its top running back. I’d play this to -7.
Pick: Steelers -6 (-110) at BetMGM