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NFL Handicappers Preview: Pittsburgh Steelers (1-1) at Oakland Raiders (0-2) 9/23 4:25 EST.
by Roveri Sports
The best sports handicappers look into today’s NFL match up between the Steelers and the Raiders, in Oakland. The Steelers bounced back after a rough week one start versus Manning and the Broncos, with a 27-10 week 2 victory over the New York Jets.
The Raiders are a team headed in a different direction, if any direction at all, in fact, they are seemingly lost at the moment. After a week one demolition by the Chargers (a game in which the Raiders were favored at home), and then an even larger beating handed out by the Miami Dolphins during week two (the Raiders were also favored in this game), it seems that maybe these aren’t the Raiders who are ready to turn the page.
Keep in mind, they still have Carson Palmer at the helm, who didn’t exactly have a terrible week 1 performance, throwing for 297 yards on 32 of 46, and even throwing for 1 TD. Darren McFadden only rushed for 32 yards on 15 attempts during week one.
During week 2 Palmer completed only 50% of his passes (24 of 48), and while he threw for 373 yards, which included a touchdown, he also threw an interception. Week two was more of the same for McFadden, actually, worse, rushing for only 22 yards on 11 attempts. The Raiders will need to find a way to get the ground game started early (or just started) against the Steelers. Otherwise, this one could get away from them early.
The Steelers will be missing veteran safety and secondary presence Troy Polamalu, for the second consecutive week with a calf issue. The Steelers defense has yet to see James Harrison in the lineup, as he recovers from an arthroscopic knee surgery.
On the offensive side of the ball, Roethlisberger has looked solid, throwing for 819 yards in the first two weeks completing 67% of his passes. Throwing for 4 TD’s and 1 INT, Roethlisberger has earned a rating of 98.8, which is surprisingly the lowest of all three active Steelers QB’s.
Head to head trends suggest that during the last 7 meetings, the underdog has covered the spread 5 times.