Two of the more unexpected Week 1 winners square off in the Steel City. Pittsburgh are favourites to progress to 2-0 here, after upsetting a fancied Bills side, but the Raiders knocked off the Ravens in an OT thriller on MNF and will have no fear of Baltimore’s division mates.
Pittsburgh utilised the perfect game plan to stop the supposed Super Bowl-bound Bills in Week 1. They were able to affect Josh Allen with pressure from T.J.Watt and Cam Heyward whilst dropping seven guys into coverage and disguising their zones. Add this to a Special Teams unit that was able to make a big, game-changing play and an offense that protected and moved the ball, and you have a game plan that will give the very best teams a hard time. It’ll be interesting to see if the Steelers open up the offense a little bit as their up against a secondary unit that has struggled in recent years.
What a game we had on MNF! The Raiders and Ravens went at it hammer and tong in a game that had every twist and turn imaginable. The Raiders ultimately walked away with the dub in front of a packed house at Allegiant Stadium. Hunter Renfrow, the former Clemson Tiger Slot WR, was fantastic as he abused the Ravens underneath, so much so that John Harbaugh felt the need to drop his premier outside Cornerback Marlon Humphrey into the middle to cover him. The Steelers don’t have any corners close to the ability of Humphrey so it wouldn’t be a surprise to see Renfrow have another productive outing from the Slot, and that was close to being the main emphasise behind my best bet, but the news of Josh Jacobs being unavailable for this game has given us an opening elsewhere. Kenyan Drake was a surprise off-season acquisition by the Raiders but that decision could prove to be a genius one if Drake can fill the void left by the injured Jacobs. In Week 1 Kenyan Drake played 48% of the team’s offensive snaps, catching 5 passes during those snaps. With Jacobs injured you’d expect Drake’s snap percentage to increase sizeably, yet his U/O receptions number is 2.5. So he’s going to be on the field more, but see the Football less? Doesn’t make sense to me.
Spread: Steelers -6.5
Total Match Points line: U/O 46.0
Game Prediction: Pittsburgh Steelers 27-20 Raiders
Best Bet: Kenyan Drake over 2.5 receptions @ 8/11 with SkyBet. [0.5]