Indianapolis’ Matt Ryan is trying to keep the Colts’ faint playoff hopes alive as the Pittsburgh Steelers visit on Monday night.
Ryan regained the starting quarterback job after interim coach Jeff Saturday replaced the fired Frank Reich. In two games since, the Colts (4-6-1) have split a pair of close contests while Ryan has avoided turnovers.
He has started 225 more NFL games than his Monday counterpart, Steelers rookie Kenny Pickett. Pickett has also avoided interceptions the past two games but still has eight picks against three touchdown passes on the season.
The Colts are consensus 2.5-point favorites at home and have been backed by 63 percent of the spread bets and 60 percent of the money at DraftKings.
However, the public is backing the Steelers (3-7) with 54 percent of the bets and 57 percent of the money at BetMGM and 54 and 51 percent, respectively, at BetRivers.
Colts RB Jonathan Taylor Anytime TD Scorer (-139 at BetRivers): The same prop is -160 at the other two sportsbooks and has drawn the most money at BetRivers. Taylor has scored in consecutive games since Ryan returned to the lineup. The Steelers rank sixth in run defense, but that’s in part because opponents have been hammering their 31st-ranked pass defense. Pittsburgh allows an average of 24.4 points per game.
Under 39.9 Total Points (-110 at all three sportsbooks): The Steelers average a league-worst 6.1 yards per attempt and have thrown a league-low seven TD passes. The Colts haven’t been much better at 6.7 and 10, respectively, and Ryan struggles to throw the ball down field behind poor pass protection.
Steelers OLB T.J. Watt Over 0.25 Sacks (-195 at DraftKings): This has been the fourth-most popular non-touchdown prop bet at the sportsbook. The odds are short, but so, too, are the odds of the Colts keeping Watt away from Ryan for four quarters. The Steelers have only 19 sacks on the season but Watt missed seven games. The Colts have allowed 40 sacks through 11 games, second-most in the NFL, and Ryan has been dropped 29 times in nine starts.
Steelers: Running back Jaylen Warren (hamstring) and cornerback Ahkello Witherspoon (hamstring) are out, while wide receiver Miles Boykin (oblique) and linebacker Robert Spillane (back) are questionable)
Colts: Defensive end Kwity Paye (ankle) is out and tight end Kylen Granson (illness) is doubtful. Defensive tackle DeForest Buckner (ribs/illness), defensive end Yannick Ngakoue (back) and outside linebacker Zaire Franklin (illness) are each questionable.
Both offenses are likely going to need to string together lengthy drives in order to put points on the board. That’s a tall task for two turnover-prone quarterbacks – their past two games notwithstanding. Give the nod to the veteran signal-caller at home. — Colts 20, Steelers 16
–Field Level Media
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