Let’s take a look at the series Trends, recent scores, Injuries & any relevant information for this game and come up with some solid NFL picks for this enticing primetime Sunday Night Football game.
Odds Overview: Indianapolis Colts at Pittsburgh Steelers
This Primetime Sunday night game from Heinz Field in Pittsburgh will see red-hot QB Matt Hasselbeck and the visiting Indianapolis Colts (6-5 SU, 6-5 ATS) pay a visit to The Steel City to face the Pittsburgh Steelers (6-5 SU, 5-4-2 ATS) and either Ben Roethlisberger (Probable) or backup Landry Jones in a huge AFC inter-divisional game with both potential divisional (Colts) and Wild Card (Steelers and Colts) implications and both sides heading in with identical 6-5 SU records. There is no Point Spread at press time because of the Roethlisberger Injury (Concussion), but initial NFL odds put out by the Westgate Las Vegas Superbook had Pittsburgh installed as 7½-point favorites (Nov. 29) and the game was bet down to -7 before being taken off the betting board within 20 minutes that same day. Look for a similar number to pop up soon with the Miami of Ohio product listed as Probable.The Total Points posted was at 48½ (VI Consensus). The Westgate Las Vegas SuperBook NFL Odds of the Year had the Colts as slight 1-point favorites here back in the Spring when both Oddsmakers and Sports Bettors visualized the Colts making a run at the Super Bowl but the Ether quickly wore off, the season started and Indianapolis QB Andrew Luck got hurt and also looked not-so Elite. The lesson? Avoid both the Ether and the Hype children.
The Indianapolis Colts (249 PF-260 PA, W3) have actually played better football it seems with backup Matt Hasselbeck than they have with perceived superstar Andrew Luck (Kidney, late December return hoped for) and the Colts find themselves on a 3-game Win Streak and fighting the Houston Texans (6-5)—on a 4-game Winning Streak of their own—for first place in the AFC South, so a Win here would do wonders for the Colts. This is a massive game for Indianapolis (30/1 to win Super Bowl, Marathon), so Hasselbeck and the Horseshoes will definitely be needing RB Frank Gore, WR Andre Johnson, WR TY Hilton, WR Donte Moncrief and dependable TEs Coby Fleener and Dwayne Allen to produce here as well as K Adam Vinatieri with Luck, Rookie WR Phillip Dorsett and RB Ahmad Bradshaw all out for the Indianapolis Offense. On that Injury front for the Colts, CB Vontae Davis (Hamstring), S Mike Adams (Ankle) and T Anthony Castonzo (Knee) are all listed as Questionable for this one while Rookie (Miami Florida) WR Phillip Dorsett (Ankle) and LB Jerrell Freeman (Ankle) are both listed as Doubtful. RB Ahmad Bradshaw (Wrist), RB Tyler Varga (Concussion), DE Henry Anderson (Knee), DT Arthur Jones (Ankle) and CB Tevin Mitchel (Shoulder) are all on the Colts Injured-Reserve List.
The Pittsburgh Steelers (266 PF-230 PA) lost in Seattle to the Seahawks in Week 12 play, dropping Pittsburgh to 6-5 and keeping pressure on this AFC North team which like so many NFL teams, has been fighting Injuries this Regular Season. Steelers Head Coach Mike Tomlin knows his team suffers when backups Michael Vick and Landry Jones are in, so having Ben Roethlisberger (Concussion, Probable) ready to go here is imperative and almost expected, although the game’s Point Spread seems to be waiting to come down the chimney with Santa later this month. If Big Ben—who just got over MCL and Bone Bruise injuries—goes, expect heavy doses of superstar WR Antonio Brown and WRs Martavis Bryant and Markus Wheaton, TE Heath Miller and RB DeAngelo Williams. Even more so than the Colts, Pittsburgh (28/1 to win Super Bowl, William Hill) has injury problems with starting C Maurkice Pouncey (Left Fibula-Ankle), electric RB Le’Veon Bell (Knee), CB Cortez Allen (Knee), T Kelvin Beachum (Knee), other backup QB Bruce Gradkowski (Hand), K Shaun Suisham (Knee), K Garrett Hartley (Hamstring), TE Rob Blanchflower (Ankle), T Mike Adams (back) all on the Injured-Reserve List. As mentioned, QB Roethlisberger (Concussion) is listed as Probable while WR Bryant (Hip), TE Miller (Ribs), LB Ryan Shazier (Shoulder) and S Mike Mitchell (Knee) are all listed as Probable and it seems if either one—or both—of these teams reach the AFC Playoffs that they may be missing too many key personnel but one can also say that about the defending Super Bowl champion New England Patriots (RB Dion Lewis, WR Julian Edelman) and the Denver Broncos (QB Peyton Manning, T Ryan Clady). This is American Football afterall.
Recent Series Trends and Best Betting Approach
The last time these two talented and entertaining AFC sides met, the Steelers won 51-34 here in Naptown last year getting 4½ points and this one should be good TV although it’s obvious many big-name players already are or will be missing. Indianapolis can definitely go into The Steel City and steal this one, but the Heinz Field faithful will be worth more than the cliche 3 points applied to Home teams here and if Roethlisberger starts and goes the whole game, this spells trouble for the Colts (6-5 ATS). At Trend City—where all Trends are half-price until Christmas Day—the Steelers (24.2 PF-20.9 PA) are 10-3 ATS against teams with winning records, but that’s such a random Trend and Indy is lucky to be at 6-5 with some of the wobble it has experienced. The Colts (22.6 PF-23.6 PA) are 21-10-1 ATS in their L32 games against the AFC but it’s always important to remember that when looking at Colts ATS stats involving the AFC that 6 games every season are against the Texans, Titans and Jaguars—almost like a Creatine effect for this team. The Under has Trended heavily for both heading in here with the Steelers Unders 8-3 ATS this year (Colts 6-5 Unders) while the Under is 13-4 ATS the L17 Indianapolis games in December and 11-3-1 in Pittsburgh;’s L15 overall. The Under is also 8-1-1 the L10 Steelers games vs. AFC while the Over is 10-4 ATS the L14 Colts games played on Grass (Heinz Field).
So how could this one play out? The play of the Colts and Steelers (6-4-1 ATS) Defense will be huge, but if Indianapolis doe get 7 or more points when this line re-opens, it seems this one will be close and in any game it seems an underdog can win outright, it usually seems logical to take a shot on them if getting enough points. Even with Hasselbeck in, getting 5, 6 or 7 (or more) with the visitors who should look for Moncrief much seems worth a small shot in what figures to be a relatively high-scoring affair from the great Mideast American Rust Belt city that gave us Sandwich Kings Primanti Brothers, Cat Angel Beth (Ostrosky) Stern and NHL legend Mario Lemieux.
PREDICTED FINAL SCORE: Pittsburgh Steelers 27 Indianapolis Colts 23
NFL WEEK 13 FREE PICKS: Colts +7 (and up) & Over 48 (and down) at BetOnline