Happy holidays, folks! The Las Vegas Raiders cap off the Christmas Eve NFL action in Pittsburgh against the Steelers. Last week was a little rough, but our smartest bet paid off. This weekend, let’s hope Santa brings us a few more betting wins. Here are this week’s picks. All lines come via Draft Kings as of Friday afternoon.
Smartest Bet: Raiders Moneyline (+110)
There are a couple factors in this game that you would typically think would be working against the Raiders. First, the Steelers are getting their starting quarterback, Kenny Pickett, back from injury this week. Second, Pittsburgh is going to be a frozen tundra that evening. Interestingly enough, both situations might benefit the Raiders. Given what we saw from Mitchell Trubisky last week, Pickett might be a downgrade for the Steelers. Also, the weather means that we might see a run-heavy matchup. That bodes well for the Raiders, who have the league’s leading rusher in Josh Jacobs.
While the Steelers do have a better defense, the weather and poor quarterback play from Pickett should level the playing field. The team that wins this game is going to be the one that runs the ball well and whose quarterback protects the football. I like Derek Carr and Josh Jacobs in that situation. Also, I love the +110 odds.
Safest Bet: Josh Jacobs to Score a Touchdown (-120)
Yes, this selection fell short last week. That was a bit fluky. This week, the conditions are perfect for Jacobs to get into the end zone. There is no way that he gets skunked two weeks in a row. The Raiders might not score a lot of touchdowns in this game, but they should get at least two. It’s more than likely that at least one will have involved pounding the ball across the goal line with Jacobs. At -120, the odds aren’t horrible either.
Best Risky Bet: Raiders Defense/Special Teams to Score a Touchdown (+750)
This is a lot less silly than it sounds. The Raiders defense, for all its faults, has already scored three touchdowns this season. This week, they take on a mistake-prone rookie quarterback in some nasty weather. It is the perfect recipe for a bad ball that gets taken the other way. At +750, it is way too good an opportunity to pass up.
*Top Photo: Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images