Pittsburgh Steelers vs. Oakland Raiders Odds, Analysis, NFL Betting Pick

OddsShark.com@@OddsSharkFeatured ColumnistDecember 6, 2018

PITTSBURGH, PA - DECEMBER 02: Antonio Brown #84 of the Pittsburgh Steelers reacts after a 46 yard reception in the first quarter during the game against the Los Angeles Chargers at Heinz Field on December 2, 2018 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Justin K. Aller/Getty Images)
Justin K. Aller/Getty Images

The Pittsburgh Steelers travel well, going 4-1-1 straight up and 3-2-1 against the spread on the road this season. The Oakland Raiders, meanwhile, are gracious hosts, going 1-5 SU and 2-4 ATS at home this campaign. Can the Steelers cover double digits when they visit the Raiders on Sunday afternoon?

   

NFL point spread: The Steelers opened as 13-point favorites; the total was 49.5 early in the week, according to sportsbooks monitored by OddsShark. (Line updates and matchup report)

NFL betting pick, via OddsShark computer: 31.4-15.2 Steelers (NFL picks on every game)

Check out the OddsShark podcast on iTunes or Spotify or at OddsShark.libsyn.com for more odds information, betting picks and a breakdown of this week’s top sports betting news.

    

Why the Steelers can cover the spread

Not long ago Pittsburgh won six games in a row, but it now seeks to stop a two-game losing skid, after falling at home to the Chargers last week 33-30. The Steelers scored touchdowns on their first two possessions of the game and led 23-7 at the half. But they blew that lead in the second half and eventually lost on a Los Angeles field goal at the buzzer.

Pittsburgh, among the favorites on the Super Bowl 53 odds, might have fared better but fell victim to a missed referee call that cost it one Chargers touchdown and gave up another score on a 73-yard punt return.

Before last week the Steelers had out-gained their previous seven opponents and out-rushed five of them. They also went 5-1-1 ATS over that span. At 7-4-1 overall Pittsburgh leads Baltimore by a half-game for both the lead in the AFC North and the No. 4 spot in the AFC playoff standings.

    

Why the Raiders can cover the spread

Oakland is actually coming off a decent performance, albeit in a 40-33 loss to AFC West-leading Kansas City. The Raiders fell down to the Chiefs 13-0 early and trailed 33-16 through three quarters, pulled to within 33-30 with six minutes left but could get no closer.

However, that late rally garnered Oakland a back-door cover as a 14-point dog. On the afternoon, the Raiders racked up 442 yards of total offense, including 171 on the ground. But they lost the turnover battle 3-1, resulting in a minus-16 point differential.

Two weeks ago, Oakland only trailed the Ravens by a field goal into the fourth quarter before fading into a 34-17 defeat. And just before that, the Raiders beat Arizona 23-21. So perhaps Oakland is making some progress late in this first season under the new coaching regime.

     

Smart betting pick

The Steelers will probably be without running back James Conner, but they have other ways of putting points on the board and should survive. And despite last week's second-half performance, Pittsburgh owns the better defense. Smart money here gives the points with the Steelers.

     

NFL betting trends

The total has gone under in five of the Steelers' last seven games on the road vs the Raiders.

The Raiders are 2-6 ATS in their last eight games.

The Steelers are 7-1-1 SU in their last nine games after a loss.

    

All NFL odds and betting trends according to Bleacher Report's official odds partner, OddsShark. Check out OddsShark on Twitter and Instagram or head to YouTube for more betting picks and analysis on this week's top games. You can also download the free odds tracker app.

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