Steelers Looking For Prime-Time Win, But Sportsbooks Give Indy The Edge

Pickett and passing game will have to do the heavy lifting thanks to Colts' stout rush defense
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The 3-7 Steelers are in Indianapolis for a Monday Night Football tilt against the 4-6-1 Colts. Both teams have been disappointments to this point in the season, and Pennsylvania’s mobile sportsbooks have recognized that in the form of an ugly 39.5-point over/under line.

For those hoping to see this game (somehow) shoot out, the best bang for the buck on the over can be found at FanDuel at -105, whereas those expecting a snoozefest (or “defensive battle,” if you prefer) can get the under at PointsBet at -107.

As for who will emerge victorious, the Colts have been installed as 2.5-point home favorites, which isn’t exactly a roaring vote of confidence. Those looking to back the visiting Steelers can get those points at -105 at FOX Bet.

The Steelers are also +122 (at FanDuel) moneyline dogs.

Of course, the game is played on the field, and with that in mind … can the Steelers steal one in Indy? Short answer: Why not? Longer answer: The way the Steelers would like to play this game offensively doesn’t match up well with the opponent, so Pittsburgh is probably properly priced as a slight underdog.

Najee’s night?

The Colts are ranked sixth in rushing defense DVOA, according to the Football Outsiders metric. And with Jaylen Warren out for this game, the backfield goes back to what would appear to be Najee Harris’ to dominate. And the sportsbooks expect that to be so, putting Harris’ rushing attempts over/under at 17.5, with the over juiced to -130 at DraftKings (the under can be had for -105 at BetMGM.)

But Harris’ rushing yardage prop is a pedestrian 58.5 (at -114 either way) at FanDuel, though DraftKings has pushed it up to 63.5 yards.

So for the Steelers to get the job done against the Colts, it would appear that Kenny Pickett and company will have to do the heavy lifting, and Pickett’s yardage prop is — well, pretty pedestrian as well, as low as 209.5 at BetMGM (at -125 on the over) and as high as 215.5 (at -110 on the over) at PointsBet.

As for who will be catching the ball, here’s a notable nugget: The Colts have given up the fifth-most receptions to running backs, and Harris’ reception prop is at 2.5 — albeit at -169 odds at Caesars. Harris has hit that number in all but two games this year, and has done so in seven of his last eight outings. Warren — who, as noted, is out — is averaging 1.6 receptions per game himself, making Harris’ prop look even better.

Clearly, this is a winnable game for the struggling Steelers, and a road victory here can go a long way for the confidence of Pickett. And it’s worth noting that the rest of the schedule after this features plenty of other winnable games.

If coach Mike Tomlin, who never posted a record worse than 8-8 in his previous 15 years guiding the Steelers, is going to have a shot at keeping that streak alive, a Monday night win in Indy seems like a must.

Photo: Kareem Elgazzar/USA TODAY

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