Jaguars at Steelers Odds, Picks, Live Score - 2018 NFL Playoffs
Jaguars vs Steelers AFC Divisional Playoffs
Making a fourth straight playoff appearance, Pittsburgh (10-3) is looking to earn a berth in the AFC Championship game for the second straight year. We have a feeling the Patriots will be waiting for what will be a ripper of a rematch. Perennial contenders, the Steelers are back in the postseason for the twelfth time over 17 seasons since 2001. The Jaguars (10-6) won the AFC South Division and then smothered Buffalo 10-3 during their franchise seventh trip to the exciting NFL playoff party.
Weather Alert: Frigid conditions, 18°F / -8°C with a sun/cloud mix, will affect this contest.
Proud of their NFL best six Super Bowl Sunday victories, Pittsburgh can't help but hear the Patriots prowling behind them as New England has five NFL Championships. The Steelers started their NFL 2017 campaign slowly as they opened with a 3-2 record that included a 30-9 thrashing at home in Week 5 by the Jaguars. Rebounding nicely, Ben Roethlisberger led Pittsburgh to a 10-1 record down the stretch with the lone loss being an epic slugfest at home vs New England (27-24) in Week 15.
As discussed in our SB LII futures feature - we expected Jacksonville to be a force this season and they did not disappoint. Jacksonville started slow as well, going 3-3 out of the gate, and then went on 7-1 run prior to closing with a pair of losses. That said, wins over the Steelers plus Baltimore, Los Angeles and Seattle, were the only signature wins the Jags posted. Jacksonville was locked into the #3 seed, after a 45-7 Week 15 win over hobbled Houston, so their late swoon can be forgiven.
Please Note: Our game lines were current when we published our predictions at 12:25 PM ET on January 11, 2018. For the most up to date prices, please check out our widget above. LIVE 24/7 it delivers the sharpest odds from the best online bookmakers in the sports betting business.
FINAL SCORE: Jacksonville Jaguars 45-42 Betting Results: Jaguars ATS & S/U & OVER
Moneyline: Steelers -330 ML @ Bet635
After stumbling to a 22-74 record over the previous six seasons, including a 3-13 mark last year, Jacksonville received a lot of respect from the bookmakers. It took a little while, the Cats were dogs during four of their first five games, but the Jaguars had a run of ten games as favorites. The light became real bright during their Week 5 win in the Steel City as Jacksonville intercepted five Big Ben passes - returning two of them for touchdowns. The Jags were +333 ML pups in that contest.
Seemingly always on the favorite side of the ledger, Pittsburgh was chalk during 14 of their 16 games this year. The Steelers were rare pups during their Week 6 trip to Kansas City, when the Chiefs were 5-0, and Week 15 at home vs New England. The road win at Arrowhead Stadium was turning point as it ignited a run of eight straight money line wins. The Patriots snuffed out the roll prior to cupcake wins versus Houston and Cleveland. Pittsburgh was 6-2 SU at home this year.
Point Spread: Jaguars +7.5 (-114) ATS @ SIA
Lines on the Jacksonville games ranged from -1 chalk at home vs the LA Chargers (WK 6) to -10.5 favorites versus Houston at EverBank Stadium in Week 15. An ATS line of -6 or less was tagged to twelve of the Cats 16 contests. Jacksonville were favorites on the road five times but they went 2-3 SU and ATS. In three matches as visiting pups - the Jags won and covered in Houston (+6 WK1) and Pittsburgh (-7.5 WK5) but lost in Memphis as -2.5 dogs in a meaningless Week 17 match.
Clearly not 100% on his game, veteran QB Ben Roethlisberger struggled during the Steelers first five contests. It showed at the betting windows as Pittsburgh was 2-3 against the spread heading into Week 6. One of the wins was at home versus Minnesota in Week 2, during a rough first start by QB Case Keenum, and one of the losses was at home during the clawing by the Cats. Pittsburgh was a bleak 3-5 against the number at home and they lost two of those matchups outright.
Bankers Note: Invested in Pittsburgh as AFC Champions? This can act as a modest hedge bet.
Totals: UNDER 42 (-132) O/U @ Bodog
Second to Minnesota, the Jaguars DEF allowed 4,578 yards and 16.8 PPG this season. Showing flashes of brilliance QB Blake Bortles and rookie RB Leonard Fournette powered the Jags to a NFL fifth best 26.1 PPG on offense. That combination led to Jacksonville game totals averaging 39.7 PPG and the Jags split the Over/Under at 8-8 this season. Road games vs the Jets (WK 4) Cardinals (WK 12) and San Francisco (WK 16) went OVER while five games as visitors stayed UNDER the price.
With the likes of RB Le'Veon Bell, WR Antonio Brown, plus rising star WR JuJu Smith-Schuster, and a sometimes-suspect defense, Pittsburgh matches had an average 43.9 game total. That computes to 703 points and their games ended up with 714 being the combined final count. The bookmakers are good eh? Pittsburgh's first two home games came in UNDER but five of the next six went OVER the number. The New England battle was the exception as it ended just 1.5 points under the line.
Steelers vs Jaguars Predictions - Closing Info
Priced against the spread, as it was for their matchup on October 18, 2017, many linemakers have posted Pittsburgh as -7 favorites in this contest. The money lines have not moved much either as Jacksonville comes in between +265 at Bet365 and +270 at SportsInteraction while the Steelers are priced from -330 at Bet365 to -350 at Betway SU. The game total has stayed steady at 41 points. Those number are fairly consistent across the board at CSB top rated online sportsbooks. Bettors looking for a bonus half point can get the Jags at +7.5 though with added -114 juice at SIA.
Looking at past history can offer a glimpse into the future but we caution reading to much into the result of the first meeting. Including that contest, Roethlisberger was in a five-game funk tossing six TD and seven INT while averaging just 6.6 yards per completed pass. Over the next ten contests Big Ben, who sat out in Week 17, had a 22:7 TD to INT ratio and his passes gained 8.4 YPC. Also, the Cats shredded the Steelers with two pick-sixes plus a 90-yard TD gallop by Fournette during the first meeting. We don't see any of those three scenarios playing out in this crucial playoff showdown.
Bottom Line: Pittsburgh is missing All-Pro LB Ryan Shazier, who is thankfully making progress in his recovery, and sixth leading tackler DB Artie Burns. WR Antonio Brown, ten catches (157 YDS) in Week 5, has not played since Week 15 but he will start here. Back the playoff savvy Steelers SU, the Jags ATS and UNDER in this AFC Divisional playoff fight. Shoot us your picks, on our Facebook and Twitter pages, and then bet them at these top ranked online football betting sportsbooks.
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