This coming Sunday, the Jacksonville Jaguars will be facing off the Pittsburgh Steelers at home on the Heinz Field at 1:05 PM EST. The lines opened with a 7 point spread for the Steelers to cover and a posted total of 41 points. Since then, the spread has climbed by half a point while the posted total has remained the same. The betting is close but it’s showing a slight favor to the Steelers to cover that spread with 51-49 split.
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The Jaguars are 1-5 ATS in their last 6 playoff road games, 11-5 in their last 16 games vs. AFC, and 6-2 in their last 8 games following an ATS loss. Their O/U trends are 1-8 in their last 9 games vs. AFC, 3-1-1 in their last 5 playoff road games, and 3-0-1 in their last 4 Divisional Playoffs games. They also stand 4-1 ATS in their last 5 meetings in Pittsburgh against the Steelers.
The Steelers are 4-0-1 ATS in their last 5 Divisional Playoffs games, 1-4 in their last 5 games vs. AFC, and 0-4 in their last 4 home games. Their O/U trends are 12-3-1 in their last 16 playoff home games, 5-1 in their last 6 games on the grass, and 5-2 in their last 7 games overall.
Jacksonville defeated Buffalo 10-3 last week in the AFC Wildcard to secure their AFC Divisional spot. Blake Bortles completed 12 of 23 throws for 87 yards and a touchdown and also led the ground with 10 carries for 88 yards while Dede Westbrook led the receivers with 5 catches for 48 yards. Pittsburgh secured a 1st round bye and had last week to rest but the week before that, they had won against the Cleveland Browns 28-24 with Landry Jones completed 23 of 27 passes for 239 yards, a score, and a pick. Stevan Ridley led the rushing with 17 carries for 80 yards and a score and JuJu Smith-Schuster was the star receiver with 9 catches for 143 yards and a score.
Our Free NFL Prediction: The Jaguars played a very physical game yesterday, especially on the defence, to secure their win. At some points, it got ugly with a huge tackle that left QB Tyrod Taylor flat on his back before leaving the game and not returning but this is what the team has been known for; a very strong and physical defence. As for Pittsburgh, they won their game against the Browns two weeks prior but it was truthfully in a somewhat worrying way. Sure, the team was filled with many secondary players at the time so that the starters could rest longer, but allowing 24 points to the winless Browns suggests they need some work on their defence. The big question of this game however will be how Ben Roethlisberger, Le’Veon Bell, and JuJu Smith-Schuster deal with this Jacksonville defence. I’m not too worried about Bortles and the Jaguars offense as it was never how they won their games, and with WRs Marqise Lee, Jaydon Mickens, and RB T.J. Yeldon all being doubtful for this game, their offence will be even more questionable. I say the safer bet however, would be to take Jacksonville as they did beat the Steelers before in the regular season.