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NFL Week 16: Colts vs. Steelers odds, preview, and pick

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December 23rd, 2020

The Pittsburgh Steelers (11-3) return to Heinz Field on Sunday afternoon (1:00 p.m. ET, CBS) looking to stop a three-game losing streak. But they’ll host arguably their toughest opponent of the season in the red-hot Indianapolis Colts (10-4).

Bettors are jumping all over Philip Rivers and company, turning the Steelers from favorites to underdogs in this one. Is the money right, or will taking a contrary stance pay off? Here’s our wagering preview.

Sun, December 27 2020, 6:00 PM

Pittsburgh Steelers

Moneyline

+107

Spread

-2.5

Total

O 46.5

Indianapolis Colts

Moneyline

-130

Spread

+2.5

Total

U 46.5

Steelers’ offense is stunted

Pittsburgh is running out of excuses for its poor play. Ben Roethlisberger and company have averaged a paltry 264.7 yards of offense during their three-game losing streak.

The source of consternation for the Steelers seems to be their offensive line. They aren’t generating any holes for their running backs, and Roethlisberger has made a habit of tossing quick passes in an apparent attempt to avoid standing in the pocket and taking hits.

Indy’s pass rushers – who have tallied 10 sacks over their last three games – should be licking their chops ahead of this one.

Colts and Steelers statistics and rankings

Team NamePassing YardsRushing YardsPassing Yards AllowedRushing Yards Allowed
Indianapolis Colts
260.8, 9th
114.0, 15th
236.0, 17th
98.1, 5th
Pittsburgh Steleers
240.1, 17th
88.9, 31st
193.3, 2nd
104.6, 8th

Colts’ scorers are surging

Since being held to 10 points by the Baltimore Ravens in Week 9, the Colts have averaged 31.8 points per game (six games). 

Quarterback Philip Rivers has been on a tear in this span, completing 69.7 percent of his throws for 7.9 yards per attempt. He’s tossed 12 touchdowns compared to only two interceptions during this hot streak.

Will the Colts cover in Week 16?

Jonathan Taylor should help Colts control this tilt

Perhaps the most pleasant surprise for the Colts this season has been the emergence of rookie running back Jonathan Taylor.

Since missing Week 12, Taylor has averaged 108 rushing yards per game (6.6 yards per attempt) and scored three touchdowns. The Wisconsin product has added nine receptions for 71 yards and a touchdown in that span.

The Steelers’ defense is flagging without linebackers Bud Dupree and Devin Bush, as they allowed the Cincinnati Bengals to rush for 152 yards on Monday night. Expect Taylor to attack this beleaguered Steelers unit throughout.

Trends say side with Indy

The Colts have helped bettors cash in five straight games as road favorites. Indy is also 15-6 against the spread in its last 21 games against teams with winning records.

Pittsburgh has failed to cover in seven straight December games. The Steelers are also 2-5 ATS in their last seven games following a spread loss.

Score prediction: Colts 24, Steelers 17

NFL Pick: Colts -2


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