MNF Picks: Pittsburgh Steelers vs. Indianapolis Colts

by | Nov 27, 2022 | nfl

Pittsburgh Steelers (3-7 SU, 4-5-1 ATS) vs. Indianapolis Colts (4-6-1 SU, 5-6 ATS)

Date/Time: Monday, November 28, 7:15 PM EST

Where: Lucas Oil Stadium, Indianapolis

TV: ESPN

Point Spread: Pitt +3/Ind -3 (Bet your MNF pick and ALL your bets at -105 odds instead of the spendier -110 your bookie is hammering you with! Bet smart! Join BetAnySports!)

Over/Under Total: 39

Week 12 of the NFL schedule will draw to a close in Indianapolis, with Mike Tomlin bringing his Steelers to town to face the Colts. This is a must-win for both of these teams if they want to keep their slim hopes of making the playoffs alive, and BODAVA.LV is making the Colts 3-point favorites on their home field. The play is to lay the field goal and take the Colts on Monday Night Football. Here is the handicap.

The Steel Curtain Is Dead

For years it was a given that Pittsburgh’s defense would dominate games and take no prisoners. The 2022 Steeler defense will not be confused with those teams. This year’s Black and Gold defensive unit is a sieve, especially the pass defense, and it will be on display Monday night. Pittsburgh ranks 30th in the league allowing 7.8 yards per pass attempt, and has allowed the most passing touchdowns. Joe Burrow carved up the Steeler secondary last Sunday despite not having his best receiver, to the tune of 346 yards and four touchdowns. T.J. Watt has returned to bolster the Steeler pass rush, but the squad managed to get past the much-maligned Bengal O-line and bring Burrow down only twice in the game. Pittsburgh will face a better offensive line this week in Indy, which will know if they double-team Watt, no one else will give Matt Ryan trouble. Pittsburgh’s run defense is respectable, but will also have issues with Jonathan Taylor this week. Cleveland rushed for 171 yards against them early in the year, and New England and Philly both topped 120 against them. Teams that can stretch the field in the running game cause the Steelers trouble, which will be the case on Monday Night.

Indy’s offense has issues, but those issues are getting cleaned up. Ryan regaining the starting job and giving the team a legitimate NFL QB has made a world of difference. Ryan has averaged just under 200 passing yards over the last two games. In Ryan’s two games, the Colts destroyed the hapless Raiders, then held a lead against the one-loss Eagles until under 2 minutes in the contest. Jonathan Taylor is getting healthy and finally starting to get some running room, including 84 yards last week against a good Eagle front 7. Look for Taylor to find some running room on the edges and open up the play-action passing for Ryan and receivers Michael Pitman Jr. and Parris Campbell. I expect Indy’s offense to control the game on Monday night. Pittsburgh’s defense looked helpless against the Bengals last week, forcing only three punts. I don’t think it will get much better this week.

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Kenny Pickett Isn’t There Yet

Pickett has the hopes of Steeler Nation riding on his back as he tries to replace HOF QB Ben Roethlisberger. Pickett may grow into a reliable NFL signal caller, but it is going to take more time. He has made some impressive throws, but as was on display last week against the Bengals, when teams know he is going to throw, he can’t get it done. Pickett has good weapons in fellow rookie George Pickens and veteran Diontae Johnson, but neither are top-notch talents that the Colts will have to gameplan to take out of the game. The Steeler ground game has been and will continue to be little help for Pickett. Najee Harris averages a mere 3.7 yards per carry, and has only eclipsed 4.0 yards per carry in 3 games. The lack of a run game has put Pickett in third and long, contributing to the Steelers being 23rd in the league converting on the money down. Pittsburgh’s attack has looked a little better the last two weeks, but now on the road, things will take a turn for the worse.

Indy’s defense has risen to the challenge since Jeff Saturday took over as coach. They held the Eagle attack to 314 yards and forced two turnovers on the way to only allowing 17 points – their lowest total of the year. Overall, they rank 7th in opponent yards per play and 2nd in opponent’s yards per rush. They are middle of the pack at pressuring and sacking opposing QBs, so against a weak Steeler O-line, they should be able to make Pickett uncomfortable. Indy has also excelled on 3rd down, allowing opponents only to convert one of our three chances. I expect Pickett to look like the lost rookie he was on the road at Philly in Week 8 more than the fairly composed QB he was over the last two weeks at home. At some point, everyone in the stadium will know a pass is coming, and Pickett will not be able to deliver.

Indy Is On A Roll

Before the Raider game in week 10, the Colts were the league’s laughingstock. They had played the worst game of the century in Week 9 and then hired a coach from ESPN. The team and their fans have rallied, and the team has played inspired football since. They know that even with a win this week, the playoffs are probably out of reach, but they have bought into what Saturday is selling and will be inspired to play in front of the national television audience on MNF.

On the other hand, Mike Tomlin has the reputation of being a great motivator when his team are underdogs. When Tomlin was an underdog 3 or 4 times per year, he could motivate the troops. But week 12 will represent the 9th time in 11 contests Tomlin has been an underdog in 2022. He has only motivated the squad to cover three of the previous eight contests and is even 2-3 ATS as a road underdog. I think it’s safe to say the magic underdog dust has run out this year.

Lay The Field Goal With The Colts

This might be an ugly Monday Night contest, but look for Indy to cover the field goal and cash tickets. Bet your NFL picks for FREE this week by scoring a massive 100% REAL CASH bonus up to $500 at Betnow Sportsbook!