This article is part of our NFL Picks series.
Pittsburgh Steelers @ Las Vegas Raiders Betting Odds, Picks, and Predictions for Week 3
Mike Tomlin and the Pittsburgh Steelers will be featured on prime time for the second consecutive week, this time traveling to face the Las Vegas Raiders.
Both squads enter this classic AFC rivalry sitting at 1-1 on the season. The Steelers completed a fourth-quarter comeback last Monday evening to hold off their division rivals, the Cleveland Browns. Meanwhile, Jimmy Garoppolo and the Raiders suffered a brutal defeat at the hands of the Buffalo Bills on Sunday afternoon.
These two hard-to-read squads are now set to meet this Sunday evening at Allegiant Stadium. Without further ado, let's take a look at the betting odds, picks and predictions for Steelers vs. Raiders.
Pittsburgh Steelers @ Las Vegas Raiders Betting Odds for Week 3
*Best lines at time of writing listed
- Moneyline: Steelers +125 (Caesars Sportsbook)/ Raiders -142 (DraftKings Sportsbook)
- Point spread: Steelers +2.5 (Caesars Sportsbook)/ Raiders -2.5 (DraftKings Sportsbook)
- Totals: Over 43 points (DraftKings Sportsbook)/ Under 43 points (Caesars Sportsbook)
The spread has moved significantly in favor of Las Vegas over the last week. Opening at Raiders +1 last Wednesday, it's clear the public is favoring the home side slightly more than their AFC North counterpart.
These two squads battled it out in Week 16 of last season, with Pittsburgh just defeating a then- Derek Carr-led Raiders squad, 13-10. While both sides have plenty of new faces, it's fair to say the two are still fairly competitive in terms of personnel.
Pittsburgh Steelers at Las Vegas Raiders Betting Picks This Week
After just two weeks of play, it is already clear that both squads have some glaring issues. For starters, both Kenny Pickett and Garoppolo rank in the bottom half of the league in passing yards this season, and each has also thrown three interceptions in just two games.
There's no denying that offense has come at a premium for both teams this season. If not for two defensive touchdowns by Pittsburgh last week, the offense's 12-point output would have led to an 0-2 start to the season. The two teams rank 30th and 31st in yards per game this season, meaning this Sunday night matchup is almost guaranteed to showcase some sluggish offense.
One ray of hope for Josh McDaniels' offense will be the return of wideout Jakobi Meyers. Meyers was forced to miss the Week 2 loss to the Bills after suffering a concussion in Week 1 during a two-touchdown performance. If Garoppolo and Meyers are able to rekindle the connection we saw from the pair two weeks ago, the Raiders could exploit a Steelers defense that has allowed a big receiving performance in each of its first two games.
For Tomlin and the Steelers, the more catches for George Pickens, the better. The budding star accounted for the only Pittsburgh touchdown last weekend after taking a short pass 71 yards in the second quarter. It will also be interesting to see if the Steelers can get a good game out of Najee Harris, who has been quiet to start the season. Las Vegas allowed 183 yards on the ground during last week's defeat.
With both offenses essentially canceling each other out, the Steelers' defense seems to be the X-factor in this matchup. Tied for the second-most sacks through two games, the Pittsburgh pass rush is relentless and seems very likely to cause issues for a struggling Raiders offensive line. Garoppolo has been mistake-prone early in his Raiders tenure, and the Steelers have proven adept at capitalizing on turnovers.
Steelers @ Raiders Best Bet: Steelers +2.5 (+100 on Caesars Sportsbook)
Pittsburgh Steelers @ Las Vegas Raiders Opponent Prediction
Steelers 23, Raiders 19
This game should be fairly low-scoring throughout with plenty of three-and-outs and messy possessions. Both squads have proven they are prone to allowing big plays, and we could see some long touchdowns from both sides. Each team has several playmakers on the offensive end, but a lack of offensive cohesion will keep the score low and have this game come down to the wire.
Ultimately, I believe Pittsburgh's defense will once again be the catalyst in a victory for the squad.