Colts vs. Steelers Betting Predictions

Colts vs Steelers NFL
Indianapolis vs. Pittsburgh, NFL Betting Predictions, December 27

It might be time to hit the panic button in the Steel City after the Pittsburgh Steelers lost in Cincinnati last week. That is a third straight loss for the Steelers and now they are in danger of falling out of the lead in the division. They welcome the Indianapolis Colts, who are in the midst of their own divisional race as they head to Pittsburgh. The Colts, though, have won five of their last six games, and have far more confidence than the Steelers.

Colts vs. Steelers Betting Odds

It has not always been pretty for the Colts, but they are a resilient group that has found ways to win on both sides of the ball. The defense ranks seventh in yards allowed, but more importantly it has forced seven takeaways in the last three weeks, many at critical junctures of the game. They forced four turnovers in an overtime win over Green Bay last month and have multiple turnovers in each of the last three weeks. The offense is well-balanced with Jonathan Taylor leading a diverse rushing attack and Philip Rivers settling into the offense and not making mistakes at quarterback. The Colts haven’t had a turnover during this most recent three-game winning streak as they have found different ways to score on offense each week. The Colts defense and special teams has also added some timely scores, and helped take a load off the offense.

Pittsburgh’s biggest problem right now is its one-dimensional offense, which is no longer scaring teams. The Bengals basically dared the Steelers to run the ball and Pittsburgh still had a roughly 2:1 ratio of passes to rushes. Ben Roethlisberger was held to just 170 passing yards and the Steelers offense gained just 244 yards and scored just 17 points with 28 minutes of possession against a mediocre defense. Pittsburgh had three first-half turnovers that the Bengals turned into a 17-0 lead as Cincinnati had just one drive with more than seven plays or 40 yards. The defense didn’t do well in those quick-change situations, but it was the offense that put the defense in such poor scenarios. The lack of a running game is especially important against a Colts secondary with 15 interceptions already this season. If the Colts can just sit on passes like Buffalo and Cincinnati did then Roethlisberger is going to make a mistake or two and put the Colts in excellent position to score points quickly.

The NFL betting sites in New Jersey have set the over/under on this game at 45 points, which is actually a bit high for me. Pittsburgh still has the second-ranked scoring defense and hasn’t allowed more than 27 points since Week 5. The Colts defense hasn’t been nearly as good at limiting points, but they have done very well in the takeaway department. It also might not matter considering Pittsburgh hasn’t scored 20 points in four straight weeks and looks lifeless on offense without a credible rushing attack. The Colts are far less explosive than Pittsburgh and have fewer standout weapons, but they are more balanced and continue to find ways to put points on the board. The question is not whether the under will hit, but how far under this game will end up. My best guess is in the high 30’s, so I’ll bet under 39.5 total points at +200 odds for this matchup.

Colts to win

Just two weeks ago, it was crazy to think that Pittsburgh would be a home underdog, yet that is where we are this week. The Colts are deserved 1.5-point favorites on the New Jersey online sports betting sites, and that might be a bit generous for Pittsburgh. The Colts defense has been very opportunistic in recent weeks and the Steelers have handed out turnovers during this three-game losing streak. Indianapolis ranks third in takeaways and its offense has the third-fewest turnovers in the league, an excellent combination to win on the road. I am very curious to see how the Colts attack a tough Steelers defense, but Indianapolis has scored at least 26 points in the last six games. Still, I expect this will likely be a low-scoring contest with two great defenses battling it out, so I’ll stay safe and bet the Colts to win by 13 points or fewer at +165 odds.

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Josh Walfish is an award-winning journalist who has been covering college and professional sports in the United States. He holds a journalism degree from Northwestern University and his work has appeared in the Miami Herald, Chicago Sun-Times and Providence Journal. He most recently chronicled the UMass hockey teams rise to prominence over the last two years for the local newspaper

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