The Pittsburgh Steelers (6-2-1) travel to Florida this weekend to face the Jacksonville Jaguars (3-6) in a re-match of their thrilling 2017-18 AFC Divisional Playoff game. Kickoff is set for 1:00 PM EST on November 18th at TIAA Bank Field and the game will be broadcast on CBS.
Oddsmakers opened this game up with the Steelers listed as 5-point road favorites. That line has moved by a full point after early betting, as Pittsburgh is currently available at -6. The total for this matchup is 47.5 points. Click here for a full look at the Week 11 NFL odds and for more links to our individual game previews.
Jaguars vs Steelers Vegas Odds & Game Preview
Pittsburgh improved to 6-2-1 on the season overall last week after crushing Carolina 52-21 on Thursday Night Football. It was a dominant performance at home by the Steelers, who haven’t appeared to been slowed down at all on offense due to the absence of RB LeVeon Bell. Bell is now ineligible to play for Pittsburgh for the remainder of the season after failing to report on Tuesday. RB James Conner has been fantastic on the ground, rushing for 771 yards and ten touchdowns in just nine games. He also has almost 1,200 total yards from scrimmage, so it appears as though all the pre-season question marks surrounding the backfield have finally been put to rest. It certainly has helped that QB Ben Roethlisberger has looked great this year as well, throwing for 2,888 yards and 21 touchdowns. Roethlisberger has now thrown at least two touchdown passes in fourteen out of his last eighteen games. Overall, the offense is currently averaging 31.0 points per game (4th overall) on 419.9 total yards.
Things have been a little bit above average on the other side of the ball, as the Steelers are currently giving up an average of 23.2 points per game (13th overall). They have done a really solid job against the run, allowing just 90.8 yards per game on the ground (4th overall).
Jacksonville lost their fifth consecutive game last weekend, falling 29-26 on the road against Indianapolis. The Jaguars appeared to be on their way from erasing a 16-point deficit against the colts before Rashad Greene fumbled on the Indy 24-yard line with under two minutes left in the fourth quarter. QB Blake Bortles has not looked good this season, passing for just 2,341 yards and 12 touchdowns in nine games. He has also already thrown eight interceptions, which has to be a huge concern for the coaching staff. Jacksonville did get a bit of good news in Week 10 after RB Leonard Fournette was able suit up after missing several games due to an injury. Fournette looked pretty good against the Colts, rushing for 109 total yards and a touchdown. As a whole, the offense is currently averaging just 17.8 points per game (29th overall) on 359.4 total yards.
The Jaguars certainly haven’t looked as good defensively as they did last season, allowing opponents to score an average of 22.1 points per game (10th overall). While they have been above average against the pass, they have been giving up 118.6 yards per game on the ground (19th overall).
Free NFL Betting Prediction: Pittsburgh -6
I might be falling in to a bit of a trap or letting recency bias skew my thinking, but I think the Steelers are an absolute steal in this particular spot. Pittsburgh has really turned a corner after a slow start, and should have no problem moving the ball on the ground in this matchup. The lingering distraction of LeVeon Bell is finally a thing of the past, as the reigning AFC North champions can finally just focus on football. Conner could easily have a sneaky good game against Jacksonville in this matchup, as the Jaguars let aging Lamar Miller rush for 100+ yards several weeks ago. They also have really struggled on offense as of late, scoring more than 20 points just once in their last four games.
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The Steelers are a very solid 4-0 ATS in their last four games following a win. They are also 4-1 ATS over their last five road games and 5-0 ATS in their last five games overall. Jacksonville is a terrible 1-3-1 ATS over their last five meetings with AFC opponents. They are also just 0-4-1 ATS in their last five games overall.
Another thing to consider in this particular matchup is the fact that Pittsburgh is on the road this weekend. That is noteworthy because the road team is an exceptionally strong 5-0 ATS over the last five meetings between these two teams. The Steelers also have a bit of extra motivation this week, as Roethlisberger and Co. will want to avenge a disappointing playoff loss last season. Jacksonville won’t be able to keep pace on offense in this spot, so I’m laying the six points and taking the road favorite to cover with ease.