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Steelers open as seven point favorites over Jaguars

A touchdown favorite on the road just a week after suffering an upset loss at home...the Steelers must be playing Jacksonville this week.

Robert Hanashiro-USA TODAY Sports

Things really must not be going well as a franchise if a team hosts a 2-2 team and is getting seven points.

The Steelers head into EverBank Stadium Sunday for a Week 5 tilt with the winless Jacksonville Jaguars, and the early line has the Steelers favored by seven points. It's the same Steelers squad that only managed seven points in the second half in a 27-24 loss to Tampa Bay in Week 4. At the same time, it's the same Jacksonville team that hasn't finished a game closer than 17 points to any of its opponents (0-4).

Perhaps the fact rookie quarterback Blake Bortles will be the Jags' starter, his second NFL start, slants the bettors toward the Steelers. It's certainly not their epic meltdown against the fantastically mediocre (and inaccurate) Mike Glennon.

If there's a reason to believe the Steelers can beat Jacksonville by seven points or more on the road, it's likely tied more closely into the prevailing thought the Jaguars can't lose by less than seven points anywhere on the earth. It's a team struggling on both sides of the ball in head coach Gus Bradley's second season at the helm. Issues with former first-round pick Justin Blackmon cost the team a very high draft pick as well as a talented playmaker, and their defense is still transitioning into Bradley's scheme.

They signed free-agent running back Toby Gerhart this offseason, a move praised by the Fantasy pundits but has provided little positive benefit to this point. Really, it's a team in disarray right now. But without a whole lot to analyze from Bortles in terms of game film, and with him making only his second start and third appearance, it could be a benefit for a Jaguars team that really has nothing else to lose at this point.