Pittsburgh Steelers vs. Jacksonville Jaguars Pick
Pittsburgh Steelers (9-0 SU, 7-2 ATS) vs. Jacksonville Jaguars (1-8 SU, 4-5 ATS)
Week 11 NFL
Date/Time: Sunday, November 22, 2020 at 1PM EST
Where: TIAA Bank Stadium, Jacksonville, Florida
Point Spread: PIT -10/JAC +10 (Intertops - One of two oldest and most trusted sportsbooks on the web! Offering a “Deposit $25, get $50 FREE” Must use bonus code: ROOKIE200)
Over/Under Total: 47.5
The Pittsburgh Steelers come to Florida for a week 11 AFC matchup with the Jacksonville Jaguars on Sunday. These teams are on opposite ends of the spectrum, as the Steelers have won nine in a row and the Jags have lost eight in a row. The Jags had what has become a typical Sunday, falling 24-20 to the Packers at Lambeau. It has been all bad news for the Jaguars following a season-opening win over the Colts. They now have the apparent misfortune of hosting the Steelers, who kept it rolling with a 36-10 win over Cincinnati on Sunday to move to 9-0. Can the Jags make this respectable, or will the Steelers continue winning and covering spreads?
Jacksonville: As Bad as it Looks?
In a bottom-line business, one can’t really candy-coat eight straight losses. They have excuses, whether it be injuries or the other common go-to reasons why a team is stuck in reverse. But 1-8 is terrible even for a team where there was very little hope in the preseason. And while there are good players on both sides of the ball, it just doesn’t add up to much. There is no area where they really thrive. In fact, there isn’t an area where they even qualify as mediocre.
But still, they’re a vaguely-respectable 4-5 against the spread. Last week’s narrow loss where a good home Green Bay team had to dig for the narrow win with the Jags starting Jake Luton at quarterback, attests to a certain scrappiness they have. There are some blossoming youngsters on defense, and while that side of the ball has been picked relatively clean the last few years, they retain a fragment of their playmaking ability. The offense features a pretty decent receiving crew of DJ Chark, Keelan Cole, and rookie Laviska Shenault (questionable). Along with a reliable and versatile back in James Robinson, they’re not always the lost cause that their record would indicate.
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Letup for the Steelers?
Coming off a divisional game, with a margin for error, and the Ravens looming in the game after this, could the Steelers be less than prime to cover the big number here as road favorites? Obviously, one can’t really call out the Steelers for not bringing it every week, but we’ve already seen one-score games against Denver, Houston, and Dallas this season. We saw them labor with a bad Eagles team. So it’s easy to see why one could make a case for taking the points on the home dog. Still, betting against the Steelers this season has seldom paid off. Waiting for a letdown could lead to a lot of torn-up tickets. Not all of their opponents this season has commanded ultimate respect, and they’ve gotten it done every time.
Betting along those lines is also highly-dicey, considering how consistent the Steelers have been, along with how down in the dumps the Jaguars are. After all, if the Steelers came into town and roughed the Jags up, it wouldn’t be any kind of surprise. It’s just worth noting that in the four games the Jags have played against teams that look like they might go to the playoffs, they beat the Colts, lost by three to the Titans, lost badly to Miami, and lost by 4 to the Packers.
Why This Could Get Ugly
Ben Roethlisberger was big on Sunday with 333 yards and 4 TDs. On the surface, it seems like opposing defenses can compete. They have James Conner, who is pretty good, and receivers like JuJu Smith-Schuster, Chase Claypool, Diontae Johnson, James Washington, and TE Eric Ebron. It’s not the scariest cast, as recent Steelers teams have flaunted more firepower than this team. But it’s really their depth that is their strength. Instead of a star or two who gets the lion’s share of the production, different players step up on different days with this offense. On Sunday, most everyone stepped up, hence the lopsided beating to the Bengals.
This is not a defense you want to face with a rookie QB in Jake Luton or one who might be tentative coming back from a hurt thumb in Gardner Minshew. The Steelers allow an average of 19 points per game. They’re rigid against the run with that robust front-seven. They bring the heat in the form of a pass-rush, force a lot of turnovers, and Jacksonville rookie back James Robinson might be in for a long day. A Jacksonville offense that doesn’t always get a lot of out a talented aerial corps might also have a rough day against a playmaking and stout Pittsburgh pass-defense.
In other words, a lot of the Jaguars’ hopes in this game are tied up in things other than what they do well. They’re at home. The Steelers are 9-0 with margin for error with a big lead in their division. And then further down the list of reasons is the possibility that the Jacksonville aerial-attack somehow takes hold, they get some big plays from the defense, and receive enough good breaks to see things go their way. It’s possible, but it’s not the most-positive winning case.
Lay the Number on the Home Favorite
Without poo-pooing the angle that the Jags can hang around and be scrappy against a Steelers team that has bigger fish to fry ahead of them, I see the margin being larger taking the other perspective. While the Steelers have a clunker in them that we could see soon, I’m not sure this is the opponent to bring that about this week. I see a fairly-routine win for the Steelers, where they establish enough separation at the end to get out of town with the win and cover on Sunday.
Loot’s Prediction to Cover the Point Spread: I’m betting on the Pittsburgh Steelers minus 10 points. Are you still laying -110 odds? Why haven’t you switched over to -105 yet? You’re WASTING money! Money that you work hard for! Start saving big bucks today by making the switch to BetAnySports! You’ll be so glad you did!