Jacksonville Jaguars vs Pittsburgh Steelers
Prop Bet & Score Predictions 01-14-18 Playoffs
When: 1:05 PM ET, Sunday, January 14, 2018
Where: Heinz Field, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
TV: 1:05 p.m. ET, CBS.
Betting Line: Steelers -7.5
Jaguars vs Steelers Betting Preview
The Jaguars advanced on a 10-3 victory over Buffalo in the wild-card round. Jacksonville (11-6) will rise or fall on the play of quarterback Blake Bortles, who threw for only 87 yards in last weekend’s win over Buffalo. However, Bortles did rush for 88 yards last week and that ability to keep drives alive with his feet will be the key to keeping Jacksonville in this game. Running back Leonard Fournette rushed for a season-high 181 yards and a 90-yard touchdown in the first meeting against Pittsburgh will be part of the Jaguars attempt to control the clock and keep the score close. On defense, the Jaguars had 55 sacks which was second in the league to Pittsburgh. The Steelers (13-3) quarterback Ben Roethlisberger over his last seven games, had 18 touchdowns against just 5 interceptions.Ben Roethlisberger had one of the worst games of his career against the visiting Jacksonville Jaguars earlier this season with 5 interceptions. Wide receiver Antonio Brown, who injured his calf in Week 15, practice fully on Wednesday and should be ready to play. In 2017 he had 101 receptions for 1,533 yards, including 10 for 157 versus the Jaguars. Rookie JuJu Smith-Schuster came on strong over the second half of the season and provided the Steelers with another downfield option. Running back Le’Veon Bell finished third in the league in rushing (1,291) yards to go along with 85 receptions. The Steelers defense led the league with 56 sacks but does have a few holes that can be exploited on play action passing.
Jaguars vs Steelers Prop Betting Preview
Blake Bortles rushed for more yards than he threw for (88 to 87) last week in a home victory over the Buffalo Bills. One thing that may surprise people betting on the games is that for the season Blake Bortles has covered the over on passing yards (9-6) prop bets.
I expect a heavy workload for Leonard Fournette. The Bills held him in check last week, but he tore up this Pittsburgh defense for 181 rushing yards and a pair of scores back in Week 5. He is not heavily involved in the passing game, so if the Jags fall behind big early his touches will be limited,
Blake Bortles only completed 12 passes in the Wild Card win over Buffalo. He also completed just eight passes in the first meeting between these two teams. While both Marqise Lee and Allen Hurns are healthy now, there still isn’t a lot to like for these receivers. If you are going to do “in game” prop betting which is betting on player props during the game. Watch to see if the Jags get the running game going. If they do then look for Allen Hurns to get some looks downfield on play action passing and bet the over on his yardage.
Quarterback Ben Roethlisberger was much better in the second half of the season than he was during the first half. He really picked up his game after the Steelers played Jacksonville (at home) and he threw no touchdowns and five interceptions. That wasn’t as much of a fluke as you might think because the Jacksonville pass defense is one of the best in the NFL if not the best. Add to that, Ben no longer has the arm he used to have and isn’t nearly as mobile which makes him vulnerable to the Jacksonville pass rush.
The Steelers aren’t going to be able to throw easily on the Jaguars so expect the focus to be on the running game. The last time they played the Steelers had a 55/20 pass/run ratio. Expect them to stick with the ground game more often in the rematch. They will feed Bell the ball 20+ times and he should get a few pass receptions out of the backfield. However, the Jacksonville rush defense was greatly improved late in the season. The addition of nose tackle Marcell Dareus had made it almost impossible to run inside on this team.
At receiver,: Antonio Brown is the top wide receiver in the game. Rookie wide receiver JuJu Smith-Schuster was a top find this year and he has a good matchup against the Jaguars. In fact he is really the only receiver on Pittsburgh whose matchup I like. Tight end Jesse James is a non factor in the receiving game and just take a look at his prop betting results in 2017 and he has been a big under bet on receptions and yards.
DVOA and Player Matchup
DVOA is from football outsiders. They are the best at breaking down football statistics. The left hand column has the defense vs position, the rank is the defensive rank vs that position, the offense is the offensive position, the position is the projected offensive starter at the position, targets are receiving targets during the regular season, rec = receptions during regular season, TD’s = regular season touchdowns, yards = passing yards.
Jacksonville vs Pittsburgh DVOA Position Matchup
|3||vs. PASS||1||Ben Roethlisberger|
|4||vs. RUN||29||Le’Veon Bell||106||85||2||655|
|6||vs. WR1||1||Antonio Brown||162||101||9||1,533|
|7||vs. WR2||8||JuJu Smith-Schuster||69||49||6||774|
|8||vs. WR3||11||Martavis Bryant||77||44||3||538|
|9||vs. TEs||19||Jesse James||62||41||3||363|
NFL Prop Betting Tips
Shop the lines. Betting odds & lines vary a lot from one sportsbook to another. It is not uncommon to see a quarterback yardage total of 250.5 at one sportsbook and 257.5 at another. The odds also vary depending on how much money has already been bet. There is nothing worse than losing a bet you could have won if you had just taken 5 minutes to line shop.
Use all of your bonus offers. You most likely know about the welcome bonus and there is an opportunity to leverage your betting while you line shop by opening accounts at several different sportsbooks and taking full advantage of the welcome bonus at each one. There is also another way to add to your bonus total. The refer a friend bonus. You open an account at sportsbook Bovada and your friend opens an account at Sportsbetting.ag. Then you refer each other and collect the refer-a-freind bonus offer.
Here are 5 online sportsbooks to get you started.
Jaguars vs Steelers Betting Predictions
LeVeon Bell had his yards per carry have tumbled from 4.6 over his first six games to 3.2 over his last eight. During that span his total scrimmage yards have fallen from 122.0 over his first six outings to 86.0. He goes against a Jacksonville defense that is already one of the top defenses and has the advantage at the line o scrimmage. Jacksonville must stick to the run and if they have some success, then they can take advantage of Blake Bortles strength. On play-action passes he posted the eighth-highest quarterback rating (107.5) league-wide this season. The Jaguars do not have enough offense to win but they will keep it close enough to cover.
Betting Picks using Bovada sportsbook lines
Pick: Jaguars +7.5
Score Prediction: Pittsburgh 23 – Jacksonville 17
Jaguars vs Steelers Player Prop Betting Predictions
Receiving Yards Allen Hurns JAC 27½ -115 Over
Receptions Dede Westbrook JAC 3½ -115 Over
Rushing Yards Leonard Fournette JAC 80½ -125 Over
Rushing and Receiving Yards Le’Veon Bell PIT 150½ -105 Under
Passing Yards Ben Roethlisberger PIT 257½ -115 Under
Passing Yards Blake Bortles JAC 209½ -105 Under
Passing Attempts in the game Blake Bortles JAC 30½ -115 Under
Completions Blake Bortles JAC 17½ 100 Under