The Pittsburgh Steelers are favored to win their Week 9 game against the Oakland Raiders at Heinz Field Sunday. Most books have the spread as the Steelers giving 4.5 or 5.0 points, but a lot of trust is being put into a team coming off back-to-back losses and stumbling their way to 4-4 in the first half of the season.
However, even at 4-4, the Steelers offense is brimming with talent, and the same holds true without All Pro running back Le'Veon Bell in the lineup for the rest of the 2015 season. With Ben Roethlisberger, Heath Miller, DeAngelo Williams, Martavis Bryant and Antonio Brown, they possess an offense which should be able to score on any defense which steps on the field. However, this hasn't always been the case for Pittsburgh in 2015.
The Steelers' defense lacks the big name players it once had, but the team is getting the job done when it comes to keeping teams off the scoreboard. The Steelers have played the Top 3 scoring teams in the NFL so far this season (New England Patriots, Cincinnati Bengals and Arizona Cardinals) and have held each team to their lowest point totals of the season. Say what you want, but Keith Butler's group is getting the job done.
The Raiders pose a unique challenge in this matchup. With young players at every turn, this group of young marauders seems unphased by what opponents possess. Derek Carr and Amari Cooper combined with Khalil Mack and Charles Woodson have this Raiders team believing they can contend, and they are getting the job done.
In a race for the AFC Playoffs, the Steelers are a game behind the Raiders and the New York Jets when it comes to the final spots in the playoff picture. The Steelers can help their case tremendously with a victory over the Raiders at Heinz Field, which would be only their 2nd win in the AFC this season.
This game could be a close one, but before I give my prediction we here at BTSC want to know what you think of the game. Give us your prediction for the game in the tool below. Simply enter your final score, and the tool will tabulate and calculate not only BTSC's predictions, but compare them with Silver and Black Pride (SB Nation's Raiders site). Time to show which fan base is more knowledgeable.
As for me, the Steelers have to be fuming over their Week 8 loss to the Cincinnati Bengals. They haven't defended their home turf that well this year, but their next two games are at home before heading into their bye week. The team will need to put their best foot forward, and they know it. Expect the Steelers to play inspired football and come out with a victory.
Jeff Hartman's (BTSC Editor) Prediction: