Stealthy Jaguars Surprise in the Steel City in Sunday's NFL Picks

Swinging Johnson

Saturday, October 7, 2017 3:32 PM UTC

Saturday, Oct. 7, 2017 3:32 PM UTC

The Jacksonville Jaguars are licking their wounds after last week's loss to the lowly Jets but we believe the NFL odds are too generous on this dangerous underdog, looking for an upset over the Steelers on Sunday.

Jags Defense Key to Cover

Jacksonville has a skilled defense, as evidenced by their 18.5 PPG allowed, which ranks them sixth in the league. What might surprise you is that their offense ranks a click higher in the No. 5 spot averaging 27.3 PPG which gives the once-woeful Jags a +35 point differential ranking them third best in the league followed closely by their opponents on Sunday with a +31. This team is no pushover and the knock on the club as a whole is their enigmatic quarterback Blake Bortles, whose decision making and passion for the game have long been in question.

Jacksonville's defense should stand tall on Sunday and if they can limit Big Ben to short distance targets and keep the clamps on Antonio Brown this could be a very competitive game. Speaking of Ben Roethlisberger, his play has not been on par with his previous seasons in which he was considered one of the elite QB's in the game or perhaps a half click below. Roethlisberger has just six TD passes on the season and two picks. He certainly has not been abysmal but he no longer seems to command the offense as he once did. Perhaps his talk of retirement in the offseason has eroded the passion he once had, manifesting in his somewhat pedestrian performance this far.


What are the Odds?

When the NFL odds came out on this game the line was Pittsburgh -9 but a steady stream of sharp money on the underdogs has pushed that number to as low as seven in shops like Bookmaker. There is a reason for that and it's because Jacksonville's loss to the Jets last week still echoes clearly with the squares particularly when you contrast that result with Pittsburgh's 26-9 demolition of the Ravens - on the road no less.

The squares have a tendency to bet the chalk with both fists and take into consideration only what teams have done in their most recent performance. That strategy will prove to be their collective undoing because the Jaguars defense is opportunistic and the Pittsburgh offense isn't nearly as potent as it once was when Big Ben was in prime form. In addition, this has the markings of a trap game for the Steelers. They defeated their chief rival last week in Baltimore and must be looking ahead to a date with the currently undefeated Kansas City Chiefs at Arrowhead Stadium. Let's include the Jags in our NFL picks at a touchdown plus before this line drops any further.

Free NFL Pick: Jaguars +8½ Best Line Offered: at 5Dimes

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