NFL Playoffs Wk 2 Jags Steelers

NFL Playoffs Wk 2 Jags Steelers

The NFL playoffs’ Divisional round usually features a strong selection of matchups, but when it comes to real brute strength, there’s typically not a lot to choose from. Whether it’s the evolving nature of the sport or simply a quirk of scheduling, real hard-nosed football doesn’t tend to rear its beautiful(ly bruised, bloody, ugly) head until the Conference Championships. However, Jacksonville at Pittsburgh promises to be smashmouth football at its best.

And don’t get distracted by all this talk of Ben Roethlisberger retiring, either – the guy can still get it done, and he’s still damned near impossible to tackle. On the other side of the ball, Blake Bortles is showing sparks of brilliance as he continues to grow as an NFL starter, albeit he’s coming off a strange performance against a poor Buffalo team (in a game where he managed to outrush everyone with 88 yards on the ground). Whether Jax can hold the Steelers to 3 measly points like they did the Bills remains to be seen, but the best defensive squad in the game can definitely keep things close.

Right now at Bovada, the Steelers point spread favors the home team by 7.5, but the Jags are only +290 on the moneyline, so they’re definitely getting some action from bettors predicting the upset. The game has a weekend-low 41-point over/under, too, so expect things to be closer than Pittsburgh fans would like. Of course, if you think the Steelers are primed for a romping, you might want to sign up at a legal online sportsbook ASAP and take advantage of the current point spread. That’s because WR Antonio Brown – who’s been sidelined with a bad calf injury – looks like he might be ready to go on Sunday (1:05 PM, CBS). Once that announcement is made, expect the spread to jump another 2-3 points in favor of the home team.

All that said, and though the Steelers do seem like the stronger team on paper, USA online sportsbooks thinks Jacksonville already owns a regular season dismantling of the Pittsburgh club, where, back in Week 5 – the Jaguars intercepted Big Ben 5 times and won a laugher by a score of 30-9. If the Jags D holds Roethlisberger’s squad to 9 points this weekend, the Steelers will be watching the AFC Championship game from home. Either way, two juggernauts going at it – with potentially career-making (or career–breaking) performances on the line – is what the NFL playoffs are supposed to be all about. Whatever you do, do not miss this slugfest.