Pro Football Betting Preview – Jacksonville Jaguars at Pittsburgh Steelers
The Jacksonville Jaguars are turning out to be a real Jekyll and Hyde operation, as they have won very impressively in two of their four games and lost in rather ignominious fashion in the other two. So will they have an “up” week when they face off against the Pittsburgh Steelers? It takes place at 1 PM ET at Heinz Field in Pittsburgh, and CBS televises the game on a regional basis, with BetAnySports customers having the opportunity to place their wagers in real time with the help of Live Betting Ultra.
The Jaguars’ offense has to get something productive out of Leonard Fournette, the rookie running back out of LSU who does not necessarily have the most stellar numbers thus far, but is going to get at least 20 carries in this one. He averages 3.5 yards a pop, and the Steelers’ defensive line would appear to be somewhat inviting, as they have allowed 4.6 yards per carry. But remember that this is a team with a pretty good linebacking corps, and they have stopped opposing passing attacks pretty cold, holding them to just 4.4 yards per attempt. That is translated into less than 33% allowed on third down.
Ben Roethlisberger is 62% accurate, which is not the best he’s ever done, but it looks like some of his receivers are coming back into form. One of them is Martavis Bryant, who sat through a suspension all of last season, but has come back with 18.3 yards on average over his 10 receptions. And Le’Veon Bell got a lot of action last week against Baltimore, caring the ball 35 times.
In the pro football betting odds posted on this game by the folks at BetAnySports, Pittsburgh is the favorite on their home field:
Pittsburgh Steelers -7 (-120)
Jacksonville Jaguars +7 (+100)
Over 43.5 points -110
Under 43.5 points -110
Statistically speaking, the Jaguars have the best passing defense in the league, giving up only 147 yards per game. They have a great cornerback combo and they have developed a very good pass rush, registering 18 sacks already. In Jacksonville’s two victories, they have been more than dominant, beating the Houston Texans 29-7 and the Baltimore Ravens 44-7. But they have lost by three touchdowns for the Tennessee Titans and last week they were beaten by a field goal by the New York Jets. The Jets ran over them as well, with 256 yards on the ground. That’s a big concern here, especially as Bell is picking up some steam.
Remember that Pittsburgh has allowed only 154 passing yards per contest, and they have 15 sacks of their own. So maybe it comes down to what Blake Bortles can do. He has shown some signs of maturity, but is still operating at a very low accuracy percentage (54.5%). But you have to like the job his offensive line has done in protecting him, as he is taken only three sacks. Potentially, this would give him some time to get the ball downfield, and even without Allen Robinson, they have people like Marquise Lee and Alan Hurns who can help them move the chains.
But make no mistake about it – the most feared offensive weapon on the field is Antonio Brown, who’s got 30 receptions already and 388 yards. A big question might be whether one of the Jacksonville corners (Jalen Ramsey or AJ Bouye) can help minimize his affect on this game. We think that’s altogether possible, maybe not to bring the Jaguars a victory, but to help them keep this competitive, so we’re taking the points.
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