Jacksonville Jaguars (2-2 SU, 2-2 ATS) vs. Pittsburgh Steelers (3-1 SU, 2-2 ATS)
NFL Week 5
Date/Time: Sunday, October, 2017 at 1PM EST
Where: Heinz Field, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
by Scott, Expert Football Handicapper, Predictem.com
Point Spread: JAC +8/PIT -8
Over/Under Total: 43.5
The Jacksonville Jaguars visit the Pittsburgh Steelers on Sunday in AFC action from Heinz Field. The Steelers are 3-1, coming off a 26-9 road win over the Ravens. They are still looking to kick the aerial game into high-gear, but they had a positive development with LeVeon Bell finally registering a big game on Sunday. Jacksonville was a letdown in week four, with a 23-20 OT loss at the Jets on Sunday. Theyve been all over the place so far this season and look for a more-stable effort on the road this week.
Jacksonville has been a very interesting team. They smoked the Texans in week one and mashed Baltimore in London, 44-7. But in the middle of that are a 21-point loss to Tennessee and then the loss to the Jets last week. They opened the season with a road win, before returning home. But then they had to go to London, following that with a loss in East Rutherford to the Jets that went to overtime no less. Now they have to follow that with yet another road test here in Pittsburgh. After this, they get 3 of their next four games at home, but this could be a time to catch a weary Jacksonville bunch, as theyve played at home just once and were already in week five.
Jaguars quarterback Blake Bortles has been decent. His completion rate is never that impressive, but having a run-game gives the whole offense a nice boost. Rookie Leonard Fournette has four touchdowns and has been useful in the run and as a short-pass option. Chris Ivory gives them a nice 1-2 punch. But injuries continue to loom over this group. They already lost number-one receiver Allen Robinson to a season-ending injury. Fournette is questionable with an ankle, while receiver Marqise Lee is also questionable with rib issues.
The Jacksonville defense has been a bit erratic, but mostly serviceable. They are loaded with talent and able to register a lot of big plays. Gaining more consistency would be the desired goal for this talented group. Against the Jets, they at least tightened up late and allowed the Jags to get it to OT. The defense was a big part of the equation, with LB Myles Jack returning a fumble 81 yards for a TD. And in overtime, they were just handful of seconds from getting a tie, with the Jets tacking on a FG with just a few ticks left. But lets take this defense for what it isa young group that might make mistakes from time to time, but also a playmaking unit on the rise.
The Steelers are still waiting to kick it into high-gear. But theyre still winning, even with an aerial attack that never seems able to extract the full potential out of the equation. After losing to the Bears on the road and then rebounding with a road win over Baltimore, the Steelers are back at home and could see things fall into place offensively a little better. As of right now, they are the leagues 21st-ranked offense in terms of total yards and 18th in scoring. While its still early, weve seen this chasm the last few seasons where potential is reluctant to transform into actual production.
Pittsburghs offense still shouldnt be neglected. Ben Roethlisberger has been pretty good and this side of the ball got a good development last week with LeVeon bell rushing for a fat 144 yards and 42 more through the air. But we all saw the sideline explosion of Antonio Brown, which serves to underline the state of the Steelers aerial game. Now, Martavis Bryant is a little banged-up and the once-fearsome Steelers air-attack seems a bit subdued.
If looking for a reason for the Steelers being 3-1 with the offense having not really turned over yet, look no further than the defense. They enter week five second in total yards and points allowed at 14.8 a game. Getting Joe Haden looks to have worked out in the secondary and with Artie Burns, Sean Davis (questionable), Mike Mitchell, JJ Wilcox, and others, they are holding opposing quarterbacks to 154 yards per game. TJ Watt and Ryan Shazier (questionable) are forming a fearsome tandem in the middle. Theyve been a little dicey against the run so far this season, but all in all, the growth on this side of the ball has given the Steelers new life.
The Steelers return home this week and this could be the week where we see the offense put some things together. After an overtime road loss and with only one home game, the Jaguars could be feeling a bit road-weary, especially late. I see the Jags having some success on defense, with some big plays that could put a different light on this game. I also see the Pittsburgh defense thriving at home against a banged-up Jaguars offense. At the end, I see the Steelers covering the spread.
Scott’s Pick to Cover the Point Spread: Im betting on the Pittsburgh Steelers minus 8 points. Bet this game and all of your wagers at a sportsbook that lets you bet at discounted odds (-105 instead of -110), thatoffers live in game betting and that has the biggest variety of wagers (including high school football betting). Oh, and they offer FAST no hassle payouts as well! —> 5Dimes!