The Steelers fell 39-30 at the Seattle Seahawks in Week 12. The loss dropped Pittsburgh to 6-5 overall, and the team is now No. 8 in the AFC. A home date with the Matt Hasselbeck led Colts will present the Steelers with an excellent opportunity to get back on track in Week 13.
The Colts ripped off three consecutive victories following a 3-5 start to the season. Starting quarterback Andrew Luck suffered a lacerated kidney and a partially torn abdominal muscle against the Denver Broncos in Week 9, but Indy has stayed the course with Hasselbeck under center. Since Luck went down, Hasselbeck has led the team in back-to-back wins over the Atlanta Falcons and Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
Week 12 Recap
The Steelers were defeated by the Seahawks 39-30 at CenturyLink Field in Week 12. Three interceptions led to 19 points for Seattle, as Pittsburgh failed to cover the spread for the fourth time this season.
Ben Roethlisberger threw for a season-high 456 yards in the loss. It marked the most passing yards surrendered by the Seahawks in franchise history. But Roethlisberger also threw two costly interceptions, and voluntarily removed himself from the game after suffering concussion-like symptoms late in the fourth quarter.
The Steelers secondary could not stop Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson. The fourth-year pro finished with 345 yards, five touchdowns and no interceptions.
Winning bets: Seahawks to win -180
Losing bets: Steelers to cover -120, under 46.0 points, Seahawks score under 25.0 points -115, Antonio Brown over seven receptions -115, Heath Miller to score a TD and Steelers win +650
Roethlisberger and linebacker Ryan Shazier cleared concussion protocol and will both play this week. Mike Mitchell, Will Allen, James Harrison, Martavis Bryant, and Matt Spaeth were all full participants in practice on Friday and appear ready to go for Sunday night. Linebacker Sean Spence will miss Week 13 with a hamstring injury, and tight end Heath Miller (ribs) is listed as questionable. It appears Miller's participation will be a game-time decision.
For the Colts, center Khaled Holmes (fibula) is questionable, while tackle Anthony Castonzo (knee), guard Hugh Thornton (elbow), receiver Philip Dorsett (ankle), linebacker Jerrell Freeman (hamstring), and quarterback Andrew Luck (abdomen/kindey) will miss the game.
The Steelers and Colts last met at Heinz Field in Week 8 of the 2014 season. Pittsburgh won that game 51-34 behind a career-high 522 yards and six touchdown passes from Roethlisberger.
Steelers offense: No. 9 (24.2 PPG) vs. Colts defense: No. 17 (23.6 PPG)
Steelers defense: No. 11 (20.9 PPG) vs. Colts offense: No. 17 (22.6 PPG)
My season record straight up: 7-3
Steelers -350 ($10.00 wins $2.86)
Colts +275 ($10.00 wins $27.50)
This is a must-win game for the Steelers, who need to win to keep pace in the AFC Wild Card race.
(Chart from CBSSports.com)
At No. 8, the Steelers are currently on the outside look in. But a win over the Colts would likely move them into the No. 5 or No. 6 spot.
Pittsburgh is 7-0 straight up in its last seven games in December, and 15-6 straight up in its last 21 games at home. History is on the side of the Steelers, who are 12-2 in their last 14 games against the Colts.
I love the Steelers at home here. With their backs against the wall, going up against a 40-year old backup quarterback in prime time, Pittsburgh's defense should rise to the occasion.
With Roethlisberger back in the lineup, the Steelers offense has scored at least 30 points in three consecutive games. Big Ben should have no problem carving up the Colts No. 27 pass defense (272.8 YPG) after throwing for 456 yards against the Legion of Boom last week.
The Play: Steelers -350
My season record against the spread: 5-3-2
Steelers -7 (-115) ($10.00 wins $8.70)
Colts +7 (-105) ($10.00 wins $9.52)
If the Steelers are legitimate contender, they will win this game by double digits at home. Pittsburgh is superior to the Colts on both sides of the ball, and won't have to worry about Andrew Luck picking apart its struggling secondary. Hasselbeck has had a fine career, and he's 4-0 as a starter this season, but he's not keeping defensive coordinators up at night.
Look for the Steelers offense to commit to the run after DeAngelo Williams carried the ball just eight times in Seattle. Per OddsShark.com, the Steelers boast the league's No. 8 home rushing attack. Their prediction models have the Steelers winning the game 30-17.
The Play: Steelers -7
Here's what Scott Cooley at BookMaker Sportsbook thinks about the Steelers-Colts matchup, and the other two Week 13 AFC North games:
Indianapolis Colts at Pittsburgh Steelers (-7, 47)
We didn't put up a line for this game until mid-morning Thursday due to the uncertainty of Roethlisberger. As I've mentioned before, Big Ben is worth around 7 points to a spread, which is one of the highest player values in the league, so his absence greatly impacts the odds making for Steelers' games. Without him, we would've opened Pittsburgh as an underdog. If Le'Veon Bell was still on the field, Landry Jones would be more of an average replacement instead of a liability.
Cincinnati Bengals at Cleveland Browns (+9.5, 43)
We saw interesting movement for this game due to Cleveland's quarterback situation. The spread surfaced at -7.5 in favor of Cincinnati but once Austin Davis was named the starter, we pulled the line off the board and adjusted to Bengals -12. That generous number attracted action on the underdog. Much like Cincy's game last week, I don't see how the Browns keep this close.
Baltimore Ravens at Miami Dolphins (-4, 43.5)
We opened Miami as a 3.5-point dog and were as high as -4.5 so betting action has forced us to adjust slightly. A win like Baltimore had last week could propel them into some serious momentum. They're playing loose with no pressure on their shoulders. Miami is mired in a slump, but this team isn't as bas as it has looked of late. I could see this spread dropping to -3 by kickoff.
49.5 (-110) ($10.00 wins $9.09)
The Steelers offense has been extremely aggressive over the last few weeks, putting up at least 30 points in three consecutive games. Roethlisberger threw for 456 yards in Seattle last week, and I expect him to come out firing early and often against one the league's worst pass defenses. Pittsburgh has a porous pass defense as well, which ranks No. 30 in the NFL.
The play: over 49.5 points
Steelers will score over 28.5 points -115 ($10.00 wins $8.70)
DeAngelo Williams over 100 rushing yards Even ($10.00 wins $10.00)
The Long Shot
Martavis Bryant over 150 yards receiving +2500 ($10.00 wins $250.00)
Steelers 34, Colts 24