Today's Free Picks for
Posted Friday at 1:00 PM EST.
1:00 PM EST. This is a tough spot for the Jaguars, as they finish up a three-game road trip that started in London with a stop in New Jersey before heading to Heinz Field to battle the Steelers for this one. The Jags are 2-2 after a pair of dominating wins over the Texans and Ravens but do not forget that their win over Houston came with Tom Savage at quarterback and not Deshaun Watson. Jacksonville crushed the Ravens in London but we are not interested in results from overseas where there are too many variables unaccounted for. Besides that, have you seen the Ravens play lately? They look like 0-16. In Jersey last Sunday, the Jags were able to force overtime with the Jets but Jacksonville owes a big assist to the New York coaches and quarterback Josh McCown for letting them stay in the game. In other words, Blake Bortles and this offense is so bad that the Jets tried to lose but couldn’t. The Jags have now lost seven of their last eight road games but the market has taken notice of their 4-1 record against the spread in their last four road games. The Jags have also played the Steelers tough going 5-2 ATS in their last seven games in Pittsburgh, which is a selling point to many in this market but it’s not to us.
As a popular preseason pick to contend for an AFC title, the Steelers have been less than stellar through the first month of the season. They did not cover against a pair of weaker teams in Cleveland and Chicago and actually lost to the Bears. Adding to their negative publicity is the fit that star wideout Antonio Brown threw on the sidelines last week. Brown was taken to task by both his quarterback and head coach this week. In its three wins this season, Pittsburgh narrowly defeated the Browns, they beat up on the Ravens, who were back from the whooping they took in London and they defeated a Vikings team missing their starting quarterback. That’s not exactly a stellar resume to get behind when being asked to lay significant points against an upstart like Jacksonville.
Despite its 3-1 record, Pittsburgh has been taking a lot of heat in the media for its underachieving ways. They have been sloppy and they absolutely look like they could lose to anyone. The Steelers have a rich history of being a model franchise of consistency, blue collar work habits and winning football games but this edition is not like the others. This edition is a bunch of weed-smoking, undisciplined individuals that Ben Rothlisberger is getting tired of. Big Ben has even called out his coach in the media by saying, Nobody is being held accountable" but we all know how the media blows everything out of proportion.
The Steelers are loaded with talent. They’ve won four straight at Heinz Field and their defense has been solid by allowing 14.8 points and 267 yards per game while quarterback Ben Roethlisberger is doing what he always does iby completing 62.1% of his passes for six touchdowns and just two interceptions. Against the Vikes, the Steelers were similarly priced and we see a lot of similarities between Minny and J-Ville. Both squads came into the game with less than average starting quarterbacks, hot rookie runners and a strong defense. The Steelers left little to doubt with a 26-9 win over the Vikings and they’re in an even better spot here to put a similar or worse beating on the Jags.
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PITTSBURGH -8 -107 (Risking 2.14 units - To Win: 2.00)