Each week throughout the 2023 NFL Season, coach Kevin Kelley will give a coach’s perspective and provide analysis for a few games against the spread.

I have two plays I really really like this week.

It is getting to that time of year when you can really see the personality of teams — off travel, after a loss, against teams they should beat, etc.

Some of each of those factors in these plays.


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Pittsburgh Steelers vs. Jacksonville Jaguars Spread Prediction:

Look for the Jacksonville Jaguars to cover the spread as 2.5-point road favorites against the Pittsburgh Steelers.

» Bet the Jaguars -2.5 now

Why I like the Jaguars to cover the spread vs. the Steelers in Week 8:

Trevor Lawrence and the Jacksonville Jaguars have quietly won 4 games in a row, including one in England before coming right back and not slowing down at all.

They are the No. 8 ranked team in DVOA overall.

What I like the best is I think they are honestly showing as much improvement in different areas each week as any team in the NFL right now. I think they have possibly the best coach in the game right now in Doug Pederson.

And their receiving group rivals anyone else’s. Evan Engram, Calvin Ridley, Christian Kirk, Zay Jones, and Travis Etienne out of the backfield are very capable of beating teams in different ways. They can go deep, take short balls and make big plays, and they block well in the run game.

All that said, this offense is ranked No. 13 in DVOA. I think that is way lower than they will be at the end of the year.

The most surprising thing is that the Jaguars defense is ranked No. 4 overall. They have one of the top three corners in the league in Darious WIlliams according to PFF. Travon Walker enters the game as a top edge rusher as well. They actually give up fewer points per game than the celebrated Pittsburgh defense.

The Steelers come in at No. 17 overall in team DVOA, No. 26 in offense and No. 8 in defense.

I do not think Kenny Pickett is their long-term answer at quarterback. After George Pickens, there is a huge dropoff in who defenses have to worry about that can beat them, and that’s when they are worried about it after all.

The Steelers are one of the worst in the NFL in explosive plays with Pickett completing fewer than 61% of his passes with a YPA of 6.8.

If you are going to have a YPA that low, you need to be in the upper 60s or it’s going to be tough to consistently move the ball, which it has been for them.

I do know that defense is good with flashes of brilliance. T.J. Watt is phenomenal and Minkah Fitzpatrick on the back end is one of the best in the game. But what is really winning the Steelers some games is forcing and recovering fumbles. And they are doing that at a rate that I think is completely unsustainable.

The rush of the Steelers defensive line is a concern, but the fact that Lawrence can run and has for 200 yards already alleviates some of that.

The bottom line is that the Jags can win this game on offense or on defense with the run or the pass. I think the Steelers can only win this on defense.

I am on Jacksonville -2.5 for my favorite play of the season so far.

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