NFL Picks: Side With Steelers -4 to Stop Raiders' Momentum

Jason Lake

Wednesday, November 4, 2015 12:59 AM GMT

The Oakland Raiders may have improved this year, but most of the sharps are putting Ben Roethlisberger and the Pittsburgh Steelers in their Week 9 NFL picks.

Jason's 2015 record as of Nov. 3: 26-21-2 ATS; 0-1 ML (-1.00 units); 18-27 Total

Have you bought into the Oakland Raiders (4-3 SU and ATS) yet? Here at the home office, we've poked some fun at the Raiders and their dysfunctional front office over the years – basically ever since Super Bowl XXXVII. But this is a kinder, gentler home office now, and the Raiders were eventually going to get this ship turned around. They couldn't have whiffed on all of those high draft picks in the long run.

Not everyone is buying low on the Raiders. Our consensus figures show a 50/50 split for Sunday's matchup (1:00 p.m. ET, CBS) with the Pittsburgh Steelers, who are laying 4.5 points at home on the Week 9 NFL odds board. But according to our advanced reports at press time, two-thirds of the action is landing on Pittsburgh's side, including three $1000+ bets to zero for Oakland. Big money is sharp money.

 

Run-DST
One of the problems for Oakland in this contest: geography. They're in the old “West Coast teams playing at 1:00 p.m. ET” situation, although the Raiders didn't let that stop them from beating the Cleveland Browns (–3.5 at home) 27-20 in Week 3. Yeah, but that was the Browns, and that was back in September. Everyone's a lot more tired now, and the recent switch back to Standard Time will compound the effects of the change in time zone. Stupid Daylight Saving Time.

Otherwise, there's not much to dislike about this Raiders team going into Week 9. They're at least average in just about all aspects of the game, a big improvement over the past decade or so. QB Derek Carr had arguably his best game as a pro last week against the New York Jets (–3 away), throwing for four touchdowns and zero picks in a 34-20 victory. Sure, the Jets were without QB Ryan Fitzpatrick (thumb) for most of the game, but Carr was en fuego against one of the very best defenses in the NFL.

 

No Fumar
The Steelers (4-4 SU, 5-2-1 ATS) haven't had quite the same success on defense this year – at least against the pass, where they ranked No. 22 at Football Outsiders going into Week 8. But all the talk in Pittsburgh is about the offense. Ben Roethlisberger returned to duty last week and had trouble shaking off the rust in a 16-10 loss to the Cincinnati Bengals (PK away). Big Ben should fare better this week, but RB Le'Veon Bell is out for the season after tearing up his right knee.

Steelers fans don't seem too worried. RB DeAngelo Williams played the first two games while Bell was suspended for violating the NFL's anti-kush policy; the former Carolina Panthers star racked up 127 yards on 21 carries in the season-opener against the New England Patriots. Can Williams do it again this Sunday, on what should be a mostly sunny (if somewhat chilly) day at Heinz Field? The sharps think so. Oakland looks like a viable NFL pick to us, but we hate to fade the wiseguys, so make it a very small bet on the Bumblebees.

NFL Picks: Take the Steelers –4 at SportsInteraction

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