January 14, 2018
There is one pick today.
Take the UNDER 41 total points in Jacksonville Jaguars vs. Pittsburgh Steelers for 3% of the bankroll.
The Jaguars lead the NFL in a number of defensive categories and will pose a challenge for Ben Roethlisberger again. Back in Week 5, on Oct 8th, they went into Heinz Field and picked off 'Big Ben' five times! It was a terrible offensive performance by the Steelers and while we expect them to fare better on Sunday, we still believe they'll find it tough. We don't, however, think the Jacksonville defense will score two touchdowns on its own as it did back in Week 5! Those 14 points scored by the defense in early October gave what should've been a very low-scoring game a 30-9 final score. Without those two defensive TD's, the final score could've been 16-9. We don't expect that low of a scoring affair today but do think this could be a battle of field position and potentially kickers more so than offenses.
Antonio Brown will play but he's not 100% heading into this game. He, of course, is the best receiver in the league in our opinion and arguably the MVP of the league but the fact that he hasn't played at all since Week 14 and is dealing with not only the calf strain but an illness that hit him late this week means he could be more 'contained' than he normally is today. Given that he's Antonio Brown, he'll still find ways to punish the defense but let's just say we don't expect him to put up video-game numbers in this game, as he has in some of the past. And the fact that he's going up against the most formidable defense in the league boasting not one but two All-Pro cornerbacks means it is a tough matchup for him. We believe the Steelers might use him as a decoy in some sets to instead get the ball to Juju Smith-Schuster or Martavis Bryant.
Both of teams like to run the ball and that chews up the clock and limits the number of possessions each team gets. The Jags have been run-reliant all season long and lean heavily on Leonard Fournette. They don't give Blake Bortles too many throws and have proven effective that way. Don't expect them to deviate from a winning formula given that Bortles had ZERO pass attempts in the second half of their most recent game against Pittsburgh in what was an easy victory. They showed on that day that they believe they can beat the Steelers by simply running the ball with Fournette and banking on their stout defense. We don't see them taking unnecessary chances with the often less than accurate Blake Bortles today.
The issue for them is that we don't necessarily see Fournette having another monster game as he did back in Week 5 against the Steelers. On that day, he torched Pittsburgh and silenced Heinz Field with 180 rushing yards and 2 scores! The Steelers have a proud defense of their own and will surely have come up with a better game plan heading into this matchup. Given that they were shredded by Fournette last time around, we expect them to do a better job of limiting him today. He'll still get his fair share of touches and yardage but we don't expect him to be allowed to rack up 100+ yards with ease again. And yet with both coaches electing to run the ball with Bell and Fournette respectively, the clock will keep ticking unlike when there are incomplete passes... that should limit the number of possessions that each offense gets and hence result in a relatively low-scoring game.
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