Indianapolis Colts starting QB Andrew Luck is under the NFL’s Concussion Protocol and might not play Thursday night when the Colts host the Steelers. With Luck a variable, handicapping this Week 12 AFC showdown between 5-5 sides needing a win is hard, so backing a pick on the 1st Quarter Under is the only look with the line having moved so much.
NFL Picks Season ATS Record: 66-45-2
The Indianapolis Colts (5-5 SU, 5-4-1 ATS, 263 PS-253 PA) open the doors of Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis to face Ben Roethlisberger and the Pittsburgh Steelers (5-5 SU/ATS, 238 PS-215 PA) in week 12 and the Thanksgiving nightcap. With the news that Colts starting QB Andrew Luck (22-10-2 ATS at Home) is Questionable (Concussion Protocol) and that Scott Tolzien (Probable) could ride the horse, sportsbooks currently (Tuesday night) have the Steelers from -8½ to 10-point Road favorites with the total from 47 to 47½.
The money line odds see Pittsburgh solid -295 chalks (Pinnacle) with Indianapolis +220 while the Westgate Las Vegas SuperBook opened up the Steelers as 3-point (-120) favorites in its Week 12 Advanced Line and had Pittsburgh open as 2-point favorites in its Games of the Year, so if you fished early, you have value and the ability to create a big Middle if desired.
Series, Side, Totals Trends, And Injuries
The series Trends see the Underdog 4-1 ATS L5, the Home team 5-2 ATS L7, the Over 4-0 L4 and Pittsburgh 8-2 SU L10. The Steelers are 2-8 ATS L10 in November, 1-3-1 ATS L5 FieldTurf and 1-4 both L5 overall and L5 Week 12 games. The Colts are 8-0 ATS L8 November, 12-1-1 ATS L14 Thursdays and 28-12-1 ATS L41 at Home where they thrive on the FieldTurf (7-3 ATS L10). So the Trends favor Indianapolis (#30 Total Defense) as does the line move. The time to take Pittsburgh was either in the Games of the Year market or on the Advanced Line.
Indianapolis and Pittsburgh both won in Week 11 as did the other four Thanksgiving Day teams and all six are above .500 for the first time since the NFL went from 2 to 3 Turkey Day games in 2006.
Final Thoughts, Logic, Thanksgiving Day Dessert Quick Pick
This is a tough handicap—Luck's real status is a mystery—and with Le'Veon Bell and Antonio Brown, Roethlisberger (46-48-1 ATS on Road) will have the two best athletes on the field at his disposal while LB Lawrence Timmons has been playing great on the Defensive side of the ball. At 7-8, maybe Pittsburgh is worth a shot but at 9+, it's dicey. Best approach? Sit it out or back the 1st Quarter Under when that number comes out, expecting a sluggish start.