Week 1 of the 2021 NFL season has come and gone.
Now we’re onto Week 2, which means it’s time to start placing some more bets.
One Week 2 contest to consider wagering on is between the Las Vegas Raiders and Pittsburgh Steelers at Heinz Field in Pittsburgh, PA. Both teams are coming off big wins in Week 1, but what should we expect out of both ball clubs in Week 2?
Let’s dive right into the data and analysis for this matchup in the NFL pick of the day series.
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Las Vegas Raiders vs. Pittsburgh Steelers Prediction
The Steelers picked up a huge win on the road in Week 1 against the Buffalo Bills. It wasn’t pretty, but Pittsburgh’s defense stepped up and shut down Josh Allen. Allen completed just 30-of-51 pass attempts for 270 yards and one touchdown. They put a ton of pressure on the Bills, recording two sacks and forcing four fumbles.
The Pittsburgh offense, however, looked stagnant. Ben Roethlisberger couldn’t stretch the field, and Najee Harris couldn’t get much going on the ground. Harris averaged just 2.8 yards per rush on 16 carries. Nevertheless, the defense got the job done and the Steelers came out victorious despite their woes on offense. If you’re looking for trends, Pittsburgh was 5-0 the game after a road win in 2020.
On the other side of the field, the Raiders will be traveling across the country to Heinz Field on a short week after a big home win against the Baltimore Ravens on Monday night. Their play left a lot to be desired, but they got just enough pressure on Lamar Jackson to make him uncomfortable and force two costly fumbles.
On the offensive side of the ball, Derek Carr did just enough to overcome some of his inaccuracies. He sealed the deal with a touchdown pass to Zay Jones late in overtime that resulted in a 33-27 win over the Ravens.
Last season, in a similar situation, the Raiders had a big home win on a Monday Night Football in Week 2 against the New Orleans Saints. The following week, they traveled across the country to New England and got blown out by the Patriots 36-20 on short rest. Since 2019, the Raiders have not been able to follow up a home win with one on the road the following week, going 0-3 in such circumstances.
The Steelers were 7-1 at home last season and the Raiders are in a perfect letdown spot. I’ll take the Steelers in this one.
Prediction: Pittsburgh Steelers 31, Las Vegas Raiders 20
Las Vegas Raiders vs. Pittsburgh Steelers Best Bets
Best Bet: Over 47 Total Points (-110) at BetMGM
Last season, the Steelers averaged nearly 29 points per game in their eight home contests and limited opposing offenses to just 18.6 points per game on their way to a 7-1 record at Heinz Field. However, the Raiders were a surprisingly strong road team in 2020, averaging over 25 points per game and amassing a 6-2 record on their travels. While could likely be a hard-fought game, I fully expect the Steelers to come out hot at home and take advantage of a tired Raiders squad traveling across the country on a short week.
Look for the Steelers to take the early lead and force the Raiders into playing catch-up throughout the game, leading to lots of passing and scoring opportunities. For that reason, I’m taking the over in this matchup.
Best Bet: Steelers -5.5 (-110) at BetMGM
This bet takes into account two different factors, both of which go against the Raiders. First, the Steelers are obviously really good on their home turf, as I alluded to earlier with their home record of 7-1 a season ago. Second, the Raiders must travel to the East Coast on a short week after earning an emotional overtime victory on Monday night. The last three times the Raiders went on the road coming off a win at home, they lost by an average margin of nearly 22 points.
Look for the Steelers to dominate this game, with little to no resistance from the Raiders defense. I’ve got the Steelers winning by at least a touchdown in this one.
The line may change throughout the week, however, so be sure to keep an eye on our NFL gameday odds.
Raiders vs. Steelers Same Game Parlay Picks
Same Game Parlay Odds: +240
- Points Total Over 47.5 (+100) at BetMGM
- Steelers -5.5 (-110) at BetMGM
If the Steelers come out hot, the Raiders are going to have to try to keep up. After a game in which they only scored 23 points in Week 1, look for Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin to adjust ahead of Week 2 in an attempt to jumpstart the offense, especially on the ground after the Raiders surrendered 189 rushing yards on 5.6 yards per carry to the Ravens.
Given the offensive firepower in this game, I like the Over 47.5 total points paired with Steelers -5.5. Good luck and happy betting!
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