After squeaking past the Buffalo Bills in their AFC wild card matchup on Sunday, Blake Bortles and the Jacksonville Jaguars will get another shot at duplicating their stunning regular season win over the second-seeded Pittsburgh Steelers when they square off in their AFC divisional round matchup this coming Sunday, January 14 at Heinz Field in Pittsburgh.
Now let’s find out if it is the Jags or Steelers have what it takes to be my expert betting pick in this tilt.
Jacksonville Jaguars Vs Pittsburgh Steelers Line & Expert Pick
What: AFC Divisional Championship
Who: Jacksonville Jaguars (11-6) at Pittsburgh Steelers (13-3)
When: Sunday, January 14, 2018 at 1:05 PM ET
Where: Heinz Field, Pittsburgh, PA
Stream: CBS Sports
NFL Spread: Steelers -7.5
Why Jacksonville Is My Expert Pick
Jacksonville got past the Buffalo Bills 10-3 in the wild-card round on Sunday, but they sure didn’t look very good in doing so, well, at least not offensively. The Jags got the win despite getting just 87 passing yards from Bortles, although the oft-maligned signal-caller did add 88 rushing yards and toss one TD pass in the win. Powerful rookie running back Leonard Fournette was held to a modest 57 rushing yards on 21 carries, but Jacksonville’s defense carried them by picking off quarterbacks, Tyrod Taylor and Nathan Peterman once apiece while limiting Bills Pro Bowl running back LeSean McCoy to 75 rushing yards.
Jacksonville pulled off a huge stunner by beating Pittsburgh 30-9 in Week 5 – by picking off Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger a whopping five times and not allowing the two-time Super Bowl-winning signal-caller to throw a TD pass. Jacksonville got a stellar 181 rushing yards and two touchdowns from Fournette that day although Bortles only passed for 95 yards with one interception and no TD passes.
Why Pittsburgh Is My Expert PIck
The Steelers might have lost to Jacksonville in Week 5, but that loss seemed to awaken something in Pittsburgh as they went on to win their next eight games and 10 of their final 11 games overall. Not only that, but the Steelers have arguably the best offensive trio in all of football: quarterback Ben Roethlisberger, running back Le’Veon Bell and wide receiver Antonio Brown. Pittsburgh finished the regular season ranked third in total offense and eighth in scoring (25.4 ppg) while also ranking seventh in points allowed (19.2 ppg).
Jacksonville Vs Pittsburgh AFC Expert Pick
For this intriguing AFC Divisional round showdown, my expert pick is the Steelers. Pittsburgh is going to extract some serious revenge against a Jacksonville team that hasn’t looked particularly good in dropping their final two regular-season games before narrowly beating the mediocre Bills in their Wild Card matchup.
The Steelers might be an uninspiring 1-5 ATS in their last six games and just 2-6 ATS in their last eight, but I’m thinking revenge is going to be a great motivator for the Steelers in this one, plus, lest anyone forget, Blake Bortles is pretty damned mediocre! Pittsburgh is my expert pick to beat Jax!
Expert Pick: Pittsburgh -7.5