Steelers vs Raiders NFL Preview & Free Pick [9/24/2023]

Pittsburgh (1-1) at Las Vegas (1-1)
When: Sunday, September 24th, 2023
Where: Allegiant Stadium,
Las Vegas, NV

Time: 8:20 ET | TV: NBC
Opening Odds: Pickem/44

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The Pittsburgh Steelers will play their second consecutive prime time game when they visit the Las Vegas Raiders on Sunday night. Pittsburgh rebounded from a Week 1 loss at home to San Francisco to beat the Cleveland Browns 26-22 on Monday night as 2.5-point underdogs. They have scored just 19 offensive points and have punted 13 times. Defensive touchdowns by Alex Highsmith and T.J. Watt helped the Steelers get past Cleveland.

The Raiders are also having a hard time scoring, but managed to win one of those games. They began the season with a 17-16 win at Denver before getting blown-out 38-10 at the Buffalo Bills last Sunday afternoon. Despite that loss and a rash of injuries, the Raiders have climbed to 2.5-point home favorites with a total of 43.

This will be the third straight year these teams have met with each splitting the first two. The Steelers edged Las Vegas in an ugly 13-10 prime time game last Christmas Eve, while the Raiders earned a 26-17 road win during the 2021 season. The UNDER has cashed in each of their past three matchups and the home team has won eight of the last 10 matchups straight-up.

Highsmith’s 30-yard pick-six opened the scoring in last Monday’s game with the Browns. After letting the lead slip away twice, Watt’s 16-yard fumble return for a touchdown in the fourth quarter sealed the win. Kenny Pickett threw an interception and is having a rough time moving the football. He did connect on a 71-yard scoring pass to George Pickens midway through the second quarter, but failed to lead the Steelers inside the Browns 30-yard line the rest of the way.

The Steelers backfield has yet to score while recording just 96 total rushing yards. Pittsburgh had six players who didn’t participate in Wednesday’s practice due to injury. Among those were defensive tackle Larry Ogunjobi (foot), linebacker Markus Golden (knee), safety Damontae Kazee (calf), tight end Darnell Washington (knee) and receiver Gunner Olszewski (concussion).

Pittsburgh Steelers Injury Report [Week 3]

Markus GoldenLBProb Sun - Knee - 9/22/23
Damontae KazeeSProb Sun - Calf - 9/21/23
Larry OgunjobiDTProb Sun - Foot - 9/22/23
Darnell WashingtonTEProb Sun - Knee - 9/22/23
Minkah FitzpatrickSProb Sun - Chest - 9/22/23
Gunner OlszewskiWROut Sun - Head - 9/22/23
Anthony McFarland Jr.RBOut indefinitely - Knee - 9/18/23
Diontae JohnsonWRMid Oct - Hamstring - 9/18/23
Cameron HeywardDTMid Nov - Groin - 9/14/23
Cory TriceDBI-R - Leg - 8/2/23
Renell WrenDTI-R - Achilles - 8/19/23

Jimmy Garoppolo led the Raiders on a 75-yard scoring drive to start last Sunday’s game in Buffalo, but struggled the rest of the way. The Raiders turned over the ball on two of their three possessions after the half, and recorded just 240 total yards for the game. The Raiders are tied for last in points per game (13.5) and star running back Josh Jacobs is coming off a career-worst minus-2 rushing game (on nine attempts). Jacobs, who led the league with 1,653 yards last season, has just 46 yards on 28 carries in two games.

Star receiver Davante Adams sustained a concussion against Buffalo but was a full practice participant Wednesday. Fellow wideout Jakobi Meyers is still dealing with a concussion and is questionable for Sunday night. Defensive end Tyree Wilson and safety Chris Smith II both missed practice with illnesses. Safety Marcus Epps (quad) was limited, as were cornerback Jakorian Bennett (hamstring), linebacker Divine Deablo (rib) and defensive tackle Bilal Nichols (hamstring, hand).

Las Vegas Raiders Injury Report [Week 3]

Christopher SmithSProb Sun - Illness - 9/22/23
Jakorian BennettCBProb Sun - Hamstring - 9/22/23
Divine DeabloLBProb Sun - Ribs - 9/22/23
Marcus EppsSProb Sun - Quadricep - 9/22/23
Davante AdamsWRProb Sun - Concussion - 9/20/23
Jakobi MeyersWRProb Sun - Concussion - 9/22/23
Tyree WilsonDEQues Sun - Illness - 9/21/23
Bilal NicholsDTQues Sun - Hamstring - 9/21/23
Chandler JonesDEOut indefinitely - Personal - 9/20/23
Brandon FacysonCBOut indefinitely - Shin - 9/8/23
Dalton WagnerOTI-R - Undisclosed - 8/29/23
Brittain BrownRBI-R - Undisclosed - 8/27/23
Adam ButlerDTI-R - Arm - 8/23/23
Austin WalterRBI-R - Undisclosed - 8/3/23

Both teams look horrible on offense through two weeks and this will probably be a low-scoring affair. Pittsburgh’s defense is easily better and scored twice on Monday night. The Steelers play well under the lights and should eek out an ugly win here.

Week 3 Staff Selections

Pick: Steelers +2.5