Pittsburgh Steelers vs. Jacksonville Jaguars
Sunday, November 22, 2020 – 01:00 PM EST at TIAA Bank Field
Surely the Steelers Won’t Falter Here?
As a Bengals fan it pains me to write nice things about the Steelers, but credit where it’s due, they’re the only unbeaten team left, it’s the first time since 2015 that any team has made it this far unbeaten and 11 of the 21 teams who have gone 9 games unbeaten have then gone on to make the Super Bowl. Mike Tomlin has still never had a losing season as a head coach.
The worry for me isn’t if they’ll lose this game, they won’t they’re too good this year, but it’s whether they cover the spread. We saw against the Cowboys a few weeks back that they can play down to their opposition in any given week and I wouldn’t be shocked at all to see this closer than expected especially with the Ravens on deck on Thanksgiving evening to basically ensure the AFC North title.
I think they’d like to kick-start their running game which has been reduced in recent weeks so I wouldn’t be shocked to see more carries for James Conner or one of the many backups they’ve got in Pittsburgh, the likes of Snell and McFarland may get more touches than they’re used to in a game they’re expected to win comfortably based on the NFL odds boards at the best sportsbooks.
Could the Jaguars Keep This Close?
The Jaguars went up to Lambeau Field last week and were in with a good chance of winning the game in tough conditions against of the better QBs in the league last weekend, when you’re led by a rookie QB and your most effective player on the season is a rookie running back you’ve at least got some positives on your team going forward.
Realistically the Jaguars probably don’t want to win any more games this year, they’re already a game ahead of the Jets in the race for the number one pick in next years’ draft, and I believe they’re probably on the lookout for a true franchise QB going forward, so more than likely want to finish as the 1 or 2 pick, and even a loss here wouldn’t get them level with the Jets at 1.
I think that Jake Luton will throw a couple of picks, he’ll get sacked a lot against probably the best pass rush in the league who will be able to mix up coverages and blitzes to confuse someone with only a couple of games under their belt. It will likely be a rough afternoon for the rookie, but if they’re sensible they’ll give him short passes to Robinson and Thompson in the run game and still be able to move the ball.
So Will the Steelers Cover the Spread?
Despite their winning run which would usually push up spreads to a point they’re un-bet-able, the Steelers have still covered the NFL spread in seven of their nine games this year, so while I think this is a look-ahead spot, I think the Steelers cover. However, I’ll be taking the total with my NFL picks in this one