A battle of first place teams in NFL betting online takes place on Sunday as the Pittsburgh Steelers host the Oakland Raiders.
That’s right; the Raiders are a first place team in the AFC West at 5-4. They are still not given a lot of respect in NFL betting though as the Steelers are more than a touchdown favorite at Sbgglobal.
Pittsburgh -8.5, total 41
The Steelers are laying more than a touchdown to the Raiders but that number sure is not based on recent play. The Steelers did not look good last week as they were blown out at home by the Patriots while the Raiders won two weeks ago against Kansas City. The Raiders had their bye last week and slipped into first place in the division when the Chiefs lost at Denver.
Recent Series History
The Steelers have won six of the last ten against the Raiders but they are just 5-5 against the NFL betting point spread. The teams played last season in Pittsburgh and it was a shocker as the Raiders won 27-24 as 14.5 point underdogs. The Raiders have actually won the last two games in this series as they also won at home in 2006 by a score of 20-13. The Steelers beat the Raiders in Pittsburgh back in 2004 by a score of 24-21 but they didn’t cover the spread. In fact, the Steelers have not covered at home against the Raiders since 2000.
Huge Game for Pittsburgh
This is simply a must-win game for the Steelers. Yes, they are 6-3 but the team does not want what happened last season to happen again this year. The Steelers started last season at 6-2 and collapsed down the stretch. If the Steelers are really Super Bowl contenders then they have to win this game against the Raiders and win it convincingly.
First Place Raiders
The Raiders are in first place this late in the season for the first time since 2002. The Raiders have been doing just enough to squeak out some wins in NFL betting online action. Yes, they look better than a year ago but how confident can you be in an Oakland team that has Jason Campbell at quarterback. They would be far better with Bruce Gradkowski but because they are on a little winning streak the team is sticking with Campbell. It is a mistake and will cost them soon.