Jacksonville Jaguars vs. Pittsburgh Steelers NFL Player Props & Picks (10/29/23)

Jacksonville Jaguars vs. Pittsburgh Steelers kicks off this Sunday at 1 p.m. EST in Pittsburgh as a home game for the Steelers. The Jaguars are currently a -2 favorite and -125 on the moneyline while the total is set at 40.5. Expect a defensive slugfest, giving the likes of Trevor Lawrence, Najee Harris, and Travis Etienne as valuable player props for this Jacksonville Jaguars vs. Pittsburgh Steelers matchup.

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The Jaguars went through a rough opening stretch to their season, being reduced to an anemic unit on offense while Trevor Lawrence had to find success behind an injury riddled offensive line. Since getting healthy, the Jags have shown every bit of potential Super Bowl contender as they have rattled off four wins in a row. As for the Steelers, they remain fraudulent with their lone success coming off the backs of their defense.

Trevor Lawrence Under 21.5 Pass Completions

As previously mentioned, the Jags offense has been the definition of a roller coaster in production as they went from looking like one of the worst units in football to now well above average in numerous advanced passing metrics. That is heavily correlated to their offensive line health, starting the year without a couple of key starters and folding under pressure from the opening snap.

Since getting back to full health, Lawrence has found himself with ample time in the pocket to let plays develop and make the right read. This has resulted in a drastic rise in their passing metrics, ranking 11th in Pass DVOA, eighth in Pass Success Rate, and 16th in Pass EPA.

The issue this time around is that they now face one of the better defenses in the league with the Steelers defensive front being in a position to routinely collapse the pocket. Pittsburgh currently ranks eighth in Pressure Rate and sixth in Def Adjusted Sack Rate. While the Jags offensive line metrics have improved since getting healthy, they are still susceptible to getting pushed at times as they rank a middling 15th in Adjusted Sack Rate and 29th in Adjusted Line Yards.

More impressive yet, the Steelers accomplish this with one of the heavier blitz rates while also maintaining elite defensive pass metrics. That means their secondary is capable of holding their own while the front seven breaks down the pocket, putting quarterbacks in less-than-ideal situations to complete the pass. The Steelers secondary ranks seventh in Def Pass DVOA and Pass EPA.

Trevor Lawrence Under 1.5 Passing Touchdowns

Touchdowns may come at a premium as the total implies and that directly correlates to the quarterback’s ability to find success in the red zone. Not only do the Steelers thrive in defending the end zone as they rank eighth in Def EPA, but a brunt of that success comes from negating passing touchdowns.

This is in large part of their secondary benefiting from being able to stretch out in coverage while defending less ground, all while their front seven continues to rain down pressure and collapse the opposing pocket. When not able to break through the line, this leaves the Steelers prone to rush success as they rank 20th in Def Rush EPA and the Jags may opt into a heavier dose of the run once they enter the red zone.

Travis Etienne Over 62.5 Rushing Yards

Speaking of the Jags rush success, they may be wise to just call a heavier dose of the run as they will have an advantage in the mid field as well as the red zone. It hasn’t exactly been a successful area of the offense for them as the poor line health strongly correlates to struggling ground game, ranking 15th in Rush DVOA and 26th in Rush Success Rate.

While the rushing metrics are underwhelming, they may find themselves in a better position to succeed due to the Steelers scheme. Those metrics are skewed with early season struggles, now proving to be able to negate the pressure and allow Etienne to get to the open field against a stretched out secondary. The Steelers rank 14th in Def Rush Success Rate and 19th in Def Rush DVOA.

Najee Harris Under 43.5 Rushing Yards

It may be tough sledding for the Steelers lead back as his early season struggles will look to continue against a stout Jags rush defense. The Jaguars currently rank sixth in Def Rush DVOA and third in Def Rush Success Rate, all from their defensive line who clocks in at third in Adjusted Line Yards. Harris will find himself with minimal rushing lanes while the Jags front four force pressure into the backfield against the worst offensive line in the NFL.

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Kody is a sports betting writer here at Lineups. He specializes in college sports as well as the NFL and NBA. He won’t quit believing in the Lions Super Bowl chances even when they are eliminated.

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