The Pittsburgh Steelers will be looking to shake their recent funk when they host the Oakland Raiders at 1:00PM ET on Sunday in Week 13.
The Cowboys crushed the Raiders 24-7 in Week 12. Oakland failed to cover as a 13.5-point underdog, while the combined score went under the posted total of 40 points. Quarterback Bruce Gradkowski threw for 200 yards and a 4-yard touchdown pass to rookie Darrius Heyward-Bey.
The Steelers lost to the Ravens 20-17 as a 7.5-point underdog in Week 12, while the combined score went over the posted total of 35.5 points. Backup signal caller Dennis Dixon threw for 145 yards with a touchdown pass and touchdown run, but his interception in overtime set Baltimore up for the game-winning field goal. Rashard Mendenhall rushed for 95 yards on 24 carries in the loss.
Oddsmakers from online sports book Sportsbook.com have made the Steelers 15-point favorites over the Raiders in Week 13. The over/under total for this game has been set at 37 points.
There’s some concern that Ben Roethlisberger will miss his second straight game due to a head injury, but signs look good that he’ll be on the field for Pittsburgh. Considering the odds are so high for this game, it appears that Big Ben will play.
Our free pick prediction for this game is the Steelers –15. Pittsburgh is 7-3 against the spread in its last 10 games at home and it needs a big win after losing three in a row.
We think they will get that big win by crashing a hapless Oakland team at home. The Steelers have the fair superior talent and Gradowski is going to have a tough time scoring on Pittsburgh’s defense.
We also like the over in this game, as it has hit in six of Pittsburgh’s last nine games. Even if the Raiders struggle to score points, the Steelers won’t and they should almost cover the total by themselves.
Our NFL Week 13 Free Pick for this matchup is: PITTSBURGH STEELERS -15 and OVER 37.
339 Oakland Raiders +15 Over 37
340 Pittsburgh Steelers –15 Under 37
Oakland is 3-6 ATS in its last 9 games
Oakland is 1-4 SU in its last 5 games
Pittsburgh is 5-2 SU in its last 7 games when playing Oakland
The total has gone UNDER in 6 of Pittsburgh's last 9 games when playing Oakland
[WR] 11/29/2009 - Nick Miller "?" Sunday vs. Pittsburgh ( Shin )
[LB] 11/22/2009 - Ricky Brown IR ( Ankle )
[DE] 11/30/2009 - Greg Ellis "?" Sunday vs. Pittsburgh ( Knee )
[WR] 11/29/2009 - Javon Walker "?" Sunday vs. Pittsburgh ( Hamstring )
[RT] 11/29/2009 - Cornell Green injured last game, "?" Sunday vs. Pittsburgh ( Undisclosed )
[LB] 11/26/2009 - Jon Alston IR ( Concussion )
[FB] 09/29/2009 - Frank Summers IR ( Back )
[DE] 10/18/2009 - Aaron Smith IR ( Shoulder )
[S] 11/22/2009 - Troy Polamalu expected to miss 3-4 weeks ( Knee )
[OG] 11/29/2009 - Chris Kemoeatu "?" Sunday vs. Oakland ( Knee )
[QB] 11/23/2009 - Charlie Batch expected to miss at least 6 weeks ( Wrist )
[QB] 12/01/2009 - Ben Roethlisberger is upgraded to probable Sunday vs. Oakland ( Head )
Posted: 12/6/09 7:05AM ET