The Pittsburgh Steelers and Las Vegas Raiders are slated to face off in Week 16 of the 2022 regular season, and there are a lot of narratives between these two teams. For the Raiders, they too are 6-8 heading into this game and are trying to keep their playoff hopes alive for at least another week.
As for the Steelers, they try to honor the memory of the late Franco Harris not just with the anniversary of the Immaculate Reception, but also the retirement of his No. 32 jersey. There is a lot of uncertainty surrounding the team, and there remain huge question marks with the team as they continue towards the end of the regular season.
For those who follow the current betting lines, the Steelers opened as 3-point home favorites, according to DraftKings Sportsbook.
(Odds/lines subject to change. T&Cs apply. See draftkings.com/sportsbook for details.)
At this point, it is time to check in and see who the pundits, who call themselves experts, like in this showdown in Pittsburgh this Saturday.
As you can imagine, this game in a pure toss up between two 6-8 teams. Every possible outlet, from ESPN, SB Nation, Yahoo! Sports, FOX Sports and CBS Sports alike are split on who they like on Christmas Eve.
Those are sites where people just check a box on a website and move on with their lives. However, there are some who spend more time pouring over these picks, and provide some analysis than just a winner and loser.
For those type of experts, one which is talked about a lot is Pete Prisco of CBS Sports. Prisco predicts a rare win over the Raiders for the Steelers win in Week 16.
This is another game featuring two teams that have small playoff hopes. The Raiders are coming off an amazing victory over the Patriots, while the Steelers handled the Panthers on the road. Kenny Pickett should be back for the Steelers here, which matters. Pittsburgh’s defense will get the best of Derek Carr. Steelers take it.
Pick: Steelers 24, Raiders 16
Like Prisco, Vinnie Iyer of the Sporting News also goes in-depth on every one of his picks heading into Week 16 Saturday. Iyer sees a Steelers win on Christmas Eve.
The Raiders are facing a tougher Steelers’ defense with T.J. Watt back and plenty of help up front and in the back end. They are playing hard trying to salvage another winning season Mike Tomlin. The Raiders go up and down and are hard to predict, but they are less reliable on the road and the Steelers should grind this out late with Najee Harris outrushing fellow former Alabama back Josh Jacobs.
Pick: Steelers win 24-20 and cover the spread
At the Pro Football Network, they too pick games both straight up and against the spread, and the majority of their experts like the Raiders to win their fifth straight against the Steelers on Saturday night.
Mike Tomlin is somehow both widely respected and still underrated. You can count on one hand the number of coaches who consistently maximize the talent of their roster, and Tomlin is near, if not at the top of that list.
The Steelers (6-8) won’t make the playoffs this year, but the fact that they’re still mathematically alive entering Week 16 despite ranking 27th in point differential and 28th in both yards per play and net points per drive is astounding.
But let’s be clear: They’re a very limited roster and shouldn’t be getting points against a better Las Vegas Raiders team.
Las Vegas has won four out of five games and could have a real shot at getting into the dance by winning out.
Josh Jacobs might find the sledding tough against the NFL’s No. 6 run defense by average, but the matchup is far more favorable for Derek Carr and Davante Adams. Only four teams allow more yards per pass (7.2) than Pittsburgh.
Adam Beasley: Raiders 20, Steelers 19
Dalton Miller: Steelers 24, Raiders 22
Dallas Robinson: Raiders 23, Steelers 21
As for NFL.com and Gregg Rosenthal, he also likes the Steelers at home in Week 16 honoring the late Franco Harris and the Immaculate Reception.
The Steelers are running the ball well and stopping the run. They are shortening games and mostly limiting mistakes. That’s a great recipe against the Josh Jacobs-led Raiders. Kenny Pickett returns to the lineup in place of Mitch Trubisky, which raises the Steelers’ floor, but lowers their ceiling. (Trubisky played very well in last week’s win over the Panthers.) On the 50th anniversary of “The Immaculate Reception” in the week we lost the great Franco Harris, how could this be anything be a wild, close Steelers win?
Pick: Steelers 24, Raiders 20
These are just a few sites who make weekly NFL picks. When you think about all those sites not listed above, this is when we turn to our friends at NFL Pick Watch, a site dedicated to tracking NFL expert picks by the week. They take all expert picks and put them into an easy-to-read graph for fans to enjoy. When it comes to the Steelers vs. Raiders game, 53% of NFL experts like the Steelers straight up, but only 49% of the experts like the Steelers to hold serve and cover the 3-point spread on Saturday.
What do you think about the upcoming game? Will the experts have it right? Or are they way off? Let us know your thoughts in the comment section below, and be sure to stay tuned to BTSC for the latest news and notes surrounding the black and gold as they prepare for the Raiders in Week 16.