The Jacksonville Jaguars (5-2) visit the Pittsburgh Steelers (4-2) on Sunday in an AFC matchup. The Jaguars have won and covered the point spread in four straight games. The Steelers have won their last two straight-ups and against the NFL betting lines. Jacksonville has had a few extra days to get ready for the game, having played in last week’s ‘Thursday Night’ game. The Jaguars vs Steelers odds see Jacksonville favored by 2.5 points (-120) on the road and the total on the game is 42 points.
Day/Time: Location: Acrisure Stadium, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
Streaming: ESPN+ / Live Sports Stream
Line: Jacksonville -2.5 (-120)
Jags Overcome Slow Start
After Jacksonville began the season 1-2, people began to wonder if the Jaguars’ trip to the playoffs last season was an anomaly. But four straight wins and covers have taken care of a lot of that. The Jags are 1.5 games in front of the pack in the AFC South but have some tough games remaining on the schedule. The NFL updates have quarterback Trevor Lawrence listed as questionable for this game. He was limited in practice on Thursday. But you have to imagine he’ll be playing. The Jaguars need him.
Jacksonville is averaging 24.7 points per game against NFL teams allowing 20.3. The running game has been fair, while the passing game is a little better than average. Lawrence didn’t take the next step many thought he would after last season. He’s not turning the ball over, which certainly helps the Jacksonville cause. The Jaguars are +6 in turnovers this season.
On defense, Jacksonville has been good, with its best work coming while defending the run. The Jaguars are allowing just 80.6 yards per game and 3.6 yards per carry. Jacksonville’s opponents average just 111.9 yards and 3.9 yards per carry, so the Jags are good, just not quite as good as they look at a quick glance.
The Jaguars have allowed some yards through the air, giving up 273.9 yards, although teams throw 41.6 times against the Jags.
Even though the Jaguars are out in front of their division standings, Jacksonville needs a strong finish to ensure a better spot in the NFL playoff bracket. The Jaguars don’t want to face Kansas City in the first round once again this year.
Steelers Right in Mix For AFC North
The division title is up for grabs in the AFC North and the Steelers are in the hunt. Pittsburgh is tied with Cleveland for second place in the division, a half-game behind Baltimore. The Steelers are putting up a lot of points. But Pittsburgh’s defense has come up big when needed several times during the year.
Pittsburgh is averaging 17.2 points against teams allowing 18.4 points, so the Steelers are a shade below average. Pittsburgh doesn’t run the ball well, gaining just 81.3 yards per game. But the Steelers don’t really pass all that well, either. Pittsburgh is averaging 192.2 yards per game against teams allowing 198.4 yards per contest.
The Steelers allow 21.2 points to teams averaging 22.7 points. Pittsburgh has had poor defensive efforts in both losses, losing 30-7 to the 49ers to open the season and 30-6 to Houston. Pittsburgh has allowed 16.8 points per game in its four victories. The Steelers allow quite a few yards, but thanks to also being +6 in turnovers, Pittsburgh keeps the points down.
What to Expect
The Jaguars run the ball quite a bit and they could have some success against the Steelers. Pittsburgh is allowing 4.7 yards per rush, so Jacksonville should try them early. The Steelers are a little above average defending the pass, but the Jags will also give Lawrence the opportunity to make some plays. But if he’s not quite 100%, Jacksonville could run a little more than normal.
The Steelers are unlikely to try and run much against Jacksonville. Pittsburgh isn’t a good running team to begin and the Jaguars can stop the run. The Jaguars have allowed some yards through the air and that might be Pittsburgh’s best chance to gain yardage.
Who to Bet On?
The Jaguars vs Steelers odds of Jacksonville -2.5 will likely attract some teaser wagers on Pittsburgh. Those taking the Steelers in a teaser can move the line past the two key numbers in the NFL, 3 and 7. The number could be a shade high, but it’s in the ballpark.
The Jaguars vs Steelers odds on the total are a bit different. The number is a bit on the high side given the scoring tendencies of these two teams. With the Jaguars favored, that sets up a trend that is having another solid season. Games with away favorites are now 15-27-1 in totals this season and the under looks worth a shot in this spot.