Following their walk-off touchdown victory over the Seahawks in Week 1, the Pittsburgh Steelers return to preseason action in Week 2 against a struggling Jacksonville Jaguars team.
The Pittsburgh offense looked solid in its first game thanks to impressive debuts from Mitch Trubisky and Kenny Pickett. Pickett, in particular, completed all but two of his 15 attempts and had two touchdowns, including the game-winner.
On the other hand, the Jaguars are averaging 12 points per game in their two preseason matchups and have had difficulty getting things going. Second-year quarterback Trevor Lawrence has been anything but a part of the problem, though. He threw for 95 yards and a touchdown in his debut last week.
With a pair of exciting young quarterbacks taking the field, this matchup has the potential to be one of the better ones all weekend. With that said, let’s get into our Pittsburgh vs Jacksonville betting tips and predictions.
Steelers vs Jaguars Odds
The Jaguars are 3.5-point favorites in this game, per the NFL odds. I’m a bit surprised to see them favored by this much given how poorly the offense has performed thus far, but if we see more Lawrence in Week 2, then there’s reason to believe that Jacksonville can win this one.
Steelers vs Jaguars Implied Score
Jaguars 23.25, Steelers 19.75
Expect to see another low-scoring preseason game between the Steelers and Jaguars this weekend. Oddsmakers have Jacksonville scoring a hair over 23 points, with Pittsburgh coming in just under 20.
Steelers vs Jaguars Pick of the Day
Read more on this Steelers vs Jaguars bet below.
Steelers vs Jaguars Matchup
Once again, the story for the Steelers is the quarterback position. Trubisky and Pickett looked like QB1 and 2 in Week 1, but Mason Rudolph made some nice plays, as well. In Week 2, Trubisky will once again draw the start, but Pickett will be the first player in off the bench.
The Jags waived backup quarterback Jake Luton earlier this week, who saw a bulk of the reps in Jacksonville’s Week 1 loss to the Browns. This opens the door for undrafted rookie E.J. Perry to earn some reps, and it should allow Lawrence and C.J. Beathard to see some more time on the field, as well.
Steelers vs Jaguars Prediction
Steelers 27, Jaguars 14
Even though the odds imply otherwise, I like the Steelers to win in this spot. Their offense looked on point in their win over the Seahawks last week, while the Jaguars have failed to establish any rhythm on that side of the ball.
Pittsburgh has shown that it can score in a variety of ways and make use of its vast array of weapons so far this preseason. Rookie wide receiver George Pickens stood out in the passing game last week, while third-year back Anthony McFarland proved that he has a place on this roster, as well.
The Jacksonville offense should look better against a Steelers defense that gave up 25 points last week, so giving them at least two touchdowns seems fair. Lawrence should make relatively short work of Pittsburgh’s defensive backs as long as he’s on the field.
In the end, though, the Steelers should pull this one out. Their quarterback competition is heating up, and each will want to show why they deserve to be higher on the totem pole than the other. With that in mind, Pittsburgh should have no problem scoring another handful of touchdowns and winning on the road.
Steelers vs Jaguars Bet Tips
We should always take preseason betting trends with a grain of salt given the volatile nature of these games, though there are still some interesting numbers to note before you bet on this one.
- Mike Tomlin‘s Steelers have gone 13-4 in preseason play since 2017.
- The Steelers have posted a losing preseason record just four times since Tomlin took over in 2007.
- Jaguars coach Doug Pederson has an all-time 8-10 record in the preseason but has not had a winning record since 2016.
Steelers vs Jaguars Best Bets
Steelers Moneyline (+150) at Caesars Sportsbook
There’s very little reason for any team to be this significant an underdog in preseason football. These games are highly unpredictable and generally mean very little to the coaches when it comes to wins and losses, so it’s almost always best to simply chase the value unless there’s a clear reason otherwise.
The Steelers don’t just have the value going for them, but the incentive to play their best football, as well. Trubisky, Pickett, and Rudolph will need to give it their all to compete for the starting quarterback position, and they’ll be motivated to light up this Jacksonville defense.
The Jaguars would like to win if they can, but this game is more about getting reps under their new head coach. They must use this time to learn the new system and get each other on the same page. If a win comes out of that as well, then so be it.
Back the Steelers to take this one in our NFL pick of the day.
Under 43 Total Points (-110) at Caesars Sportsbook
Once again, the focus in this game for the Jaguars will be on making the right reads and establishing chemistry and consistency in their new system. Generally speaking, it’s unusual for teams to score a lot of points in that scenario — hence why the Jags are averaging 12 points per game thus far.
Pittsburgh will supply most of the scoring in this matchup, and I see the total coming in just below this 43-point mark. Ride with the Under.