Jaguars vs. Steelers Point Spread: NFL Divisional Playoffs Odds, Prediction

Payton Matthews | Updated Jan 09, 2018

steelers v jags

Just about everyone expects the Pittsburgh Steelers and New England Patriots to meet in the AFC Championship Game for the second year in a row. The Jacksonville Jaguars, however, already routed the Steelers in Pittsburgh once this season as the two teams meet Sunday in the Divisional Round of the playoffs.

AT
January 14, 2018, 1:05 PM ET
Heinz Field
Pittsburgh
13-3
Pointspread +7 -110
Moneyline +270
Over / Under o +40.5

41%

Betting Action

59%

Pointspread -7 -110
Moneyline -340
Over / Under u +40.5

41%

Betting Action

59%

The last time Jacksonville reached the playoffs following the 2007 season, it won at Pittsburgh to earn a trip to New England. That’s what will be awaiting the winner here unless Tennessee pulls off one of the biggest upsets on postseason history on Saturday night at the Patriots.

NFL Point Spread and Betting Analysis

Early betting action on this game shows the Jaguars taking a slight lean – that likely would be different if that spread was sitting at 6.5 instead of 7.5. Jacksonville was at least a touchdown underdog just once this regular season: Week 5 in Pittsburgh. The Jags cruised that day 30-9 thanks to five interceptions of Ben Roethlisberger. Two of those were returned by touchdowns in the third quarter by Telvin Smith and Barry Church to turn a 9-7 Steelers lead into a 20-9 Jaguars advantage. Rookie Leonard Fournette rushed for 181 yards and two scores, including a 90-yarder to complete the scoring. Blake Bortles threw for only 95 yards but wasn’t asked to do much.

Jacksonville had lost its previous 11 games as at least a 7-point road underdog. The Steelers were at least -7 in seven games this year and won the other six (3-3 ATS). Pittsburgh has been a home favourite of at least 7 points seven times in the playoffs since 1996 and won six of those but covered only two.

To win the AFC, the Steelers are +200 and Jaguars +800. For Super Bowl LII, Pittsburgh is +500 and Jacksonville +1600.

Jacksonville Jaguars

The Jaguars (11-6 SU, 9-8 ATS) were 8-point favorites last Sunday vs. Buffalo but failed to cover in a 10-3 victory, one of the ugliest playoff games you will ever see unless you prefer terrible quarterback play. The 13 combined points were the fewest in a postseason game since the Steelers beat the Patriots 7-6 in the Divisional Round following the 1997 season. Bortles, whose next loss could be his final game in a Jacksonville uniform, rushed for a career-high 88 yards – good thing, too, since he passed for just 87. He became the first quarterback to win a playoff game with fewer than 100 passing yards on at least 20 attempts since the Titans’ 1999 AFC Wild Card Game vs. Buffalo. The Jaguars had just 230 total yards. Fournette ran 21 times for 57 yards. The Steelers are going to stack the box and dare Bortles to beat them through the air, guaranteed.

Pittsburgh Steelers

Interesting note here: Since Roethlisberger’s 2004 rookie season, the Steelers (13-3 SU, 7-9 ATS) have a losing home record, including playoffs, against just two teams: New England (2-5), which makes sense, and Jacksonville (1-4), which definitely doesn’t. The Pittsburgh players are nice and rested because not only was the team on the bye last week but most starters sat out the meaningless Week 17 finale vs. Cleveland. It appears that Antonio Brown, the NFL’s leading receiver, will play. He left the crushing Week 15 home loss to New England early with a partially torn calf muscle and sat the next two games but has returned to practice. Brown had 10 catches for 157 yards in the first meeting with Jacksonville, which has the NFL’s top-rated passing defence. The weather looks potentially sloppy Sunday in Pittsburgh so that should keep the scoring down.

Jaguars vs. Steelers Prediction

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