Latest posts by Mario Mergola (see all)
- NFL Picks: 2018 Divisional Round Picks Against the Point Spread - Jan 12, 2019
- NFL Picks: 2018 Wild Card Picks Against the Point Spread - Jan 4, 2019
- Week 17 NFL Picks Against the Point Spread - Dec 28, 2018
We have reached the final weekend of the 2017 season in which more than two games will be played. At Sporfolio, we tend to enjoy small slates for tournaments, and this is the last of such. But, we love four-game sets because we can focus our attention on a concentrated area and still have eight teams from which our lineups can be built.
Sporfolio’s NFL Daily Fantasy Sports game-by-game analysis columns are driven by expected game flow. Based on a combination of our Divisional Round NFL picks against the spread and our expectations for a given game, we project the actions necessary to make these picks come to fruition. We aim to pinpoint players integral to our predicted game flow for each game of the week.
Luke May is Sporfolio’s NFL DFS expert, and Mario Mergola operates Sporfolio as the expert for NFL Picks Against the Spread.
Jacksonville Jaguars at Pittsburgh Steelers
Luke’s DFS Take: Last week’s game against the Bills was the perfect example of why the Jaguars are where are they are now, and why they likely are not ready to make a Super Bowl run just yet. Their defense was once again completely dominant as they held the Bills to just three points. Unfortunately, their offense showed their true colors as they managed just 10 points themselves. It’s not often that that type of offense will be enough to win games, and with the teams they will have to play throughout these playoffs they won’t be able to hold them to three points. This week is a very good example of that as the Steelers, who have a healthy Antonio Brown back, have the firepower to really test this defense. In my eyes, the Steelers gameplan should be simple: give the ball to Le’Veon Bell as much as possible because the Jaguars’ defense isn’t as good against the run, and he is virtually unstoppable when he receives a large workload. When it is time to pass the ball, throw it to Brown because he is too talented to be stopped even by these defense. Between these two weapons, the Steelers have enough to break through this defense, and I have no problem rostering one or both of Brown and Bell as many people will likely be afraid of the matchup – which would be a mistake because these two superstars have proven to be matchup-proof. After seeing what the Jaguars put forth last week, I have even less interest I their offense, and I would not be against using the Steelers’ defense.
Mario’s DFS Take: If there were ever a doubt that the Jaguars could beat the Steelers in Pittsburgh, that was erased a few months ago when Jacksonville pulled off this feat, and did so in eye-opening, impressive fashion. Pittsburgh was held to just nine points, which was not only its lowest total of the season, but the lowest since September 25th, 2016. This is fantastic, as it allows the football-watching world to apply the last meeting’s outcome to this weekend’s showdown. Falsely. The Steelers will have had two weeks to prepare for the visiting Jaguars and will have their superstar wide receiver healthy. Said wide receiver, Antonio Brown, is a must-play. Quarterback Ben Roethlisberger is also a nice option after throwing a pitiful five interceptions against the Jaguars’ defense on that fateful day in early October, but he will absolutely turn to Brown for help. As usual, Le’Veon Bell is worth serious consideration if you can afford him, as the Jaguars finished the year with the second-best overall defense in the league, but ranked 26th in yards-per-rush allowed. Jacksonville’s defense tends to steal the show in conversations about Saturday’s contest, but the Steelers’ defense is the significantly better play. Pittsburgh allowed the fifth-fewest yards in the league over the course of the season and, despite Jacksonville’s offensive success over the year, it still tallied no more than 230 total yards in back-to-back games, and has committed a combined seven turnovers over the last three weeks.