Indianapolis Colts (10-4 8-6 ATS) at Pittsburgh Steelers (11-3 8-6 ATS)
The reeling Steelers look to right their ship in an AFC matchup hosting the Colts. The Colts are a slight 1.5-point road favorite with the total sitting at 44.5.
The Steelers have lost three in a row, which is why the public has backed the Colts in this game. Indy opened as a 3-point dog and as of Wednesday is a 1.5-point favorite.
Pittsburgh looked to be poised for a first rind bye in the playoffs and a possibly perfect season before hitting the skids in a three-game win streak. They are still in the playoffs and can win the AFC North with a win or loss by the Browns, who they face in the season finale.
While the Steelers are cold the Colts are hot winners of three in a row and have won five of their last six games. There are several scenarios in which they can clinch a playoff berth but if they can win this game they are in. However, they are one game back of the Titans in the AFC South and don’t hold the tiebreaker so they will likely have to rely on a Wild Card.
The Colts are a balanced team and they will be up against a Steelers’ team that has only averaged 16.3 ppg in their three-game skid.
The Steelers have covered the spread in four of their last five games facing the Colts.
Indy Peaking at Right Time
The Colts have peaked at the right time as the playoffs approach and they are a team nobody wanted to face in the post-season. They beat the Houston Texans 27-20 in their last game where they were outgained but came up with a huge turnover late in the game to secure the win.
One of the main reasons the Colts are playing well is the play of rookie RB Jonathan Taylor. In the last four games, he has rushed for 414 yards with four TD and averaged a more than solid 5.8 yards per carry.
Phillip Rivers has had a good season in his first one in Indy and to say he has been consistent as of late would be an understatement. He has two TD in each of his last four games and in each of the last three games has two TD and no INT.
It is not only the Pittsburgh offense that has struggled in their three-game losing streak. The team ranks second in the league giving up an average of 18.9 ppg but in their last three games are giving up an average of 26.3 ppg.
Not the Bengals!
In the Steelers’ last game, they lost to a Bengals team that entered the game with two wins and withing their starting QB and lost 27-17. It was the first loss to Cincy since the 2015 season and while the team played the pass well they gave up 152 rushing yards.
Ben Roethlisberger’s play is one of the main reasons for the Steelers’ skid and he was 20 for 28 for only 170 yards with one TD and a pick in the loss to the Bengals. In his last three games he has four picks and five TD and this despite the fact he was only sacked twice in that span.
Benny Snell Jr. rushed for 87 yards in the loss to Cincy but the team has missed leading rusher James Conner, who is a question mark for this game.
The Colts have a balanced and solid defense and they have a good pass rush with 33 sacks.
The Colts are 4-0 ATS in their last four road games while the Steelers have failed to cover the spread in their last four games overall.
Pretty simple, as the Colts are hot, and the Steelers are not. The 11-0 start for Pittsburgh is a thing of the past and in this game, Indy will take advantage of the struggling Steelers. I see Big Ben putting up a fight but the team has several issues and the Colts will get the W and cover in what I think will be a close game.
PICK: Colts -1.5