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Steelers Have a Massive Home-Field Advantage With a Frozen Forecast

Get out your hair dryers and driveway salt, it’s going to be very cold in Pittsburgh on Sunday when the Steelers host the Jaguars in the NFL’s divisional round and with the home team used to frigid temperatures like the ones expected on the weekend, Big Ben and the black and gold are big favorites for good f/reason.

SHARK BITES
  • Ben Roethlisberger is 5-0 SU with a 110.8 passer rating in his last 5 games in sub-freezing conditions.
  • Favorites are 50-15 SU and 35-27-3 ATS in the last 65 NFL games in sub-freezing conditions.
  • The total has gone UNDER in the Jaguars’ last 3 games against the Steelers.

Opening the spread at 7, bookmakers are bullish on the Steelers this week and given the success of underdogs in the wild-card round, the public could be a little gun-shy – justifiably so.

Favored teams went 0-4 ATS last week after an astounding regular season and it seems like books are intentionally setting these lines too high. That said, Pittsburgh has the massive home-field advantage in Steeltown on Sunday afternoon and considering how poor Blake Bortles has been in recent weeks, the line makes a lot of sense.

Mix in Bortle’s form with his lack of experience in cold weather (he’s played one NFL game in below-freezing temperatures) and you have the recipe for a disastrous performance against the Steelers’ very underrated defense.

This isn’t just anecdotal either as teams that are housed in warm climates (Jaguars, Dolphins, Chargers, Rams, Buccaneers, Raiders, 49ers) are an incredible 1-12 straight up and 5-8 against the spread the last four seasons when playing in sub-freezing conditions.

In order for the Jaguars to succeed on Sunday, they’ll have to run the ball effectively – which they did in their Week 5 30-9 thumping of the Steelers – and they’ll have to sell out to stop Le’Veon Bell with Antonio Brown likely handicapped by a serious injury of which there’s some doubt he’s actually fully recovered from.

Opening Odds & Computer Pick

Betting fans looking to side with the Pittsburgh Steelers in this one found them as 6.5-point favorites earlier in the week at Bovada, while the total was sitting at 41.5.

OddsShark prediction models picked the Steelers to win this game on Sunday 27-19. Check the picks page or matchup report during the week as factors may cause that prediction to be re-run. View the computer score prediction and who will win the pick on the moneyline for all upcoming NFL matchups here.

Jacksonville Jaguars vs Pittsburgh Steelers Matchup

Team Betting Records & Power Rankings

The Jacksonville Jaguars will try to spoil the party on Sunday; they are 9-8 against the spread this season, while the Pittsburgh Steelers are 7-9 ATS. Jacksonville is 8-9 on the OVER/UNDER betting totals; Pittsburgh is 6-10. Stay Informed: follow us on Twitter for odds specials, betting line moves and Pittsburgh vs Jacksonville injuries news.

The OddsShark Power Rankings have the Steelers at No. 8 and the Jaguars at No. 5 heading into this contest.

Statistical Matchup

Offensively, the game matches up the Pittsburgh Steelers' No. 7-ranked offense (25.38 PPG) against a Jacksonville Jaguars defense that ranks No. 2 at 15.94 PPG. The Steelers passing attack has averaged 273.75 yards per game, more than the Jaguars give up through the air (167.71 YPG on average).

In comparing defenses, the Jaguars own the league's No. 17-rated front 7 in terms of stopping the run, allowing 115 yards per game when on the road. Pittsburgh, on the other hand, rates No. 22 this week in generating rushing yards at home.

Recent Outings Betting Recap

The Jaguars grabbed a wild-card playoff victory over the Bills in their last game, winning 10-3 at EverBank Field.

JuJu Smith-Schuster hauled in 9 passes for 143 yards against the Cleveland defense in the team's last game, leading Pittsburgh over the Browns 28-24 in their regular-season finale.

Betting Trends
  • Jacksonville is 8-3 SU in its last 11 games
  • Jacksonville is 6-19 SU in its last 25 games on the road
  • The total has gone UNDER in 4 of Jacksonville's last 6 games on the road
  • Jacksonville is 12-5 ATS in its last 17 games when playing Pittsburgh
  • Pittsburgh is 1-5 ATS in its last 6 games
  • Pittsburgh is 10-1 SU in its last 11 games
  • The total has gone OVER in 5 of Pittsburgh's last 7 games
  • Pittsburgh is 1-4 ATS in its last 5 games at home

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