Raiders vs Steelers Preview & Free Pick [December 23rd 2022]

Las Vegas (6-8) at Pittsburgh (6-8)
When: Saturday, December 24th 2022
Where: Acrisure Stadium,
Pittsburgh, PA
Time: 8:15 ET | TV: NBC
Opening Odds: Pittsburgh -1.5/40

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The NFL scheduled the Christmas Eve game to mark the anniversary of the Immaculate Reception. 50 years ago, Pittsburgh Steeler great Franco Harris, scored a remarkable 60-yard touchdown with five seconds remaining to give the Steelers a 13-7 playoff victory against the Oakland Raiders on Dec. 23, 1972. These two franchises are hanging to their playoff lives in their Week 16 matchup on Saturday night. The scheduled festivities to honor Harris and the team took a sad turn earlier this week. Harris passed away the other day unexpectedly but the team is still going on with retiring his jersey. The Steelers had invited members of their 1972 team, including Joe Greene, to attend their planned weekend celebrations. Greene and former defensive lineman Ernie Stautner are the only other Steelers to have their jerseys retired.

As for the game, both teams sit at 6-8 and are longshots to make the postseason. They are two games out of the final spot with three games remaining. The Raiders have won four of their last five games and still have a chance to finish above .500 after a brutal start to the season. Las Vegas is coming off a remarkable 30-24 at home over the New England Patriots. On the last play of the game with the score tied, New England decided to start pitching the ball backwards, but defensive end Chandler Jones scooped up the second of two laterals and returned it 48 yards for a touchdown and the victory.

Pittsburgh’s defense has guided them to wins in three of the last four games. The unit has allowed 17 points or less in four straight games including a 24-16 victory at the Carolina Panthers last weekend. The Steelers come into this contest as 2-point favorites with a total of 38. The Raiders rolled to a 26-17 victory at Pittsburgh in Week 2 of last season, and have won six of the last eight in the series. The Under has cashed in three of their past four, with the Steelers scoring 21 or fewer points on three occasions.


The Raiders were gifted a win last weekend and have been involved in close games all season. Their last three losses have come as a result of late fourth-quarter drives, and their past seven overall contests ended by an average margin of just 5.4 points. Quarterback Derek Carr threw for 231 yards and three touchdowns last week and has thrown a TD 14 times over his past seven games. However, he has completed just 53.4 percent of pass attempts over the past three weeks. The defense has allowed 24.1 points per game this season but just 20.3 points in the last three contests. The Raiders welcomed back a pair of important pass catchers from injured reserve last week in Hunter Renfrow and Darren Waller. Defensive tackle Andrew Billings (fibula) was limited in practice this week after missing the last three weeks.

The Steelers defense came up big last week, limiting the Panthers to field goals in each of three long second-half drives. Pittsburgh has now limited opponents to just 16.3 points per game during their current 3-1 run. The offense continues to struggle recently, averaging 20.3 points over their past four games. They have also scored more than 20 points just one time at home this season. Mitch Trubisky led the offense last weekend in place of Kenny Pickett, who was sidelined by a concussion in Week 14. Pickett will be back under center Saturday night. Trubisky passed for 179 yards last week and didn’t turn the ball over. Running back Najee Harris and receiver Diontae Johnson have missed time at practice this week due to injury, leaving their status for Saturday uncertain. Wideout George Pickens (illness) was added to the injury report Thursday.

Both teams are on a bit of a roll right now, but I trust Pittsburgh more. The Steelers’ defense has been outstanding and will cause of sorts of problems for Carr. Pickett should be able to navigate through the Raiders’ 25th-ranked defense.

Week 16 NFL Staff Selections

Pick: Steelers -2