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Wednesday, October 1, 2014

NFL Predictions 2014 Week 5: Steelers Vs. Jaguars

Pittsburgh Steelers Vs. Jacksonville Jaguars: PIT -6 (Pinnacle)

Market Watch

There hasn't been a lot of movement on this line. Westgate had it at -6.5 before Week 4, and due to the Steelers surprising loss it re-opened at -6. That quickly got bet up to as high as -7 at some books, but it's since settled back down at -6.  Where is this line going the rest of the week? I imagine it won't move a whole lot from this range, but I wouldn't be surprised if it closed at -7. Right now 73% of the bets are on Pittsburgh.

Bottom Line

After a less than impressive performance by the Indy in Week 2, many people were wondering if they should be touchdown favorites in Jacksonville. We saw that playing the worst team in the NFL is a good elixir for any perceived problems.

I see a similar scenario playing out this week. Like the Colts, the Steelers have an offense that can move the ball and put up points. I don't see how the Jags will be able to stop Brown and Bell, or disrupt Big Ben for that matter. When pinpointing what's wrong with Pittsburgh, this side of the ball isn't the problem.

The issue for the Steelers is squarely rooted in their defense. Nobody expected this unit to be a top 10 group this year and each week they are doing nothing to change our minds. That said, the focus this week has been on their discipline. That's a coaching issue as far as I'm concerned, and it's definitely something that can be improved upon. In their matchup with Jacksonville's offense, there isn't a whole lot to be worried about. Can Bortles move the ball better than Henne? Absolutely. Does he have much to work with? Absolutely not. Their offense fell apart once they had to come from behind last week in San Diego, and there's no reason to expect any different this week.

I'll keep riding the fade-train until the Jags prove they can cover a spread.

NFL Pick: PIT - 6.

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