Jaguars vs. Steelers Total Pick
Will Sunday’s NFL Divisional Round playoff matchup between the Jacksonville Jaguars and Pittsburgh Steelers turn into a defensive struggle at 1:05 p.m. ET?
Matchup: Jaguars (11-6) at Steelers (13-3)
TV: CBS, 1:05 p.m. ET
Line: Steelers -7
ODDS: According to oddsmakers from online sports book Bovada.lv, the over/under for Sunday’s game sits at 41 points after also opening at 41. As for the point spread, the Steelers opened as 7-point home favorites, the line went up to 7.5, but is now back down to 7.
PUBLIC BETTING: As of this writing, the Steelers are receiving 61% of the betting tickets for this game while 57% of the money is also on Pittsburgh. As for the total, the under is receiving 53% of the betting tickets but 59% of the money is on the over.
INJURY REPORT: Marqise Lee (ankle) is probable for the Jaguars but both Blair Brown (ankle) and T.J. Yeldon (illness) are questionable. Telvin Smith (ankle) and Paul Posluszny (abdomen) did not practice on Wednesday and if either can’t play, the Jaguars would be shorthanded at linebacker for Sunday’s game.
On the other side, Antonio Brown (calf) is a go for the Steelers. Defensive end Stephon Tuitt (elbow) and cornerback Artie Burns (knee) are also probable. Ryan Shazier, of course, will not play and is out for the year after suffering a horrific back/spine injury a month ago in a win over the Bengals.
OUR PREDICTION: Blake Bortles turned himself into a runner last week to help the Jaguars beat the Bills in the Wild Card round but his accuracy as a passer was abysmal. The other problem for Jacksonville’s offense is that running back Leonard Fournette has seemingly hit the rookie wall. He seemingly had little juice in his legs last week as Buffalo’s leaky run defense shut him down. Granted, Fournette did have a big game against the Steelers during the regular season but 90 of his 181 yards came on one run late in the fourth quarter as the Jaguars were attempting to run out the clock. Otherwise, Pittsburgh held him to 3.3 yards per carry.
Meanwhile, the Steelers will have the “Killer B’s” together but they have a tall task against Jacksonville’s historically good defense. Ben Roethlisberger was intercepted five times in that loss to Jacksonville earlier this season and if the Steelers were smart they’d attack the only weakness the Jags’ defense has: Their run defense. Le’Veon Bell should be the focal point of the Steelers’ offensive game plan, which means a running clock and a victory for under bettors.
The under is 8-1 in the Jaguars’ last nine conference games and 21-10 in the Steelers’ last 31 AFC matchups.
NFL DIVISIONAL ROUND OVER/UNDER PREDICTION: JAGUARS/STEELERS UNDER 41