Monday Night Football: Steelers-Colts betting preview (odds, lines, best bets)

Orchard Park, New York, USA; Pittsburgh Steelers outside linebacker T.J. Watt (90) pass rushes against Buffalo Bills offensive tackle Daryl Williams (75) in the fourth quarter at Highmark Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Mark Konezny-USA TODAY Sports

Bet Steelers-Colts o39.5 points: Greenline finds 3.1% value on this contrarian play.

• The Colts are 26th in PFF coverage grade on defense; Pittsburgh passes above expectation and could be chasing points early.

Bet Colts WR Michael Pittman o23.5 longest reception: He’s receiving WR1-type usage, closing in on 30% target share for first-read throws.

Last updated: Nov. 28, 2:10 p.m.

Estimated reading time: 5 mins


We’ve had a few privileged primetime games, but this AFC matchup between the Indianapolis Colts and Pittsburgh Steelers might be the worst of them. Expect the run to be established early and often, with our one saving grace the ability to wager on some of the events that transpire on our televisions. Let’s dive into the best bets to make for “Monday Night Football.”

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GAME LINES

Bet: Colts -2.5 (-110)

Bet Gameplan: Playable to -115

Bet: Over 39.5 -110

Bet Gameplan: Playable to -115

After a lookahead line at -3, we dropped half a point and have held to the -2.5 spread throughout the week. The total saw similar half-point movement between 39.5 down to 39, before coming back to the opening number as we move toward kickoff.

PFF Greenline shows 3.1% value on Over 39.5 (-110): The model actually likes more points to be scored than the betting market, countering the primetime unders narrative that held through the first half of the season. But it also looks like the #sickos play based on our understanding of both offenses. 

Both units rank among the five worst teams in EPA per play: And Jeff Saturday specifically has been establishing it since taking over as the head coach, with a -7.2% pass rate under expectation. Pittsburgh actually has an above-average pass rate over expectation.

Jumpstart by Jonathan Taylor might be needed to get over this game total: As both offenses have played so poorly. The feature back might need to break off a few chunk plays early, unless the Colts pivot and highlight the pass before allowing Taylor to take over in the second half.

Pittsburgh is 26th in PFF coverage grade, compared to 6th vs run: If they want to play to the best matchup against the Steelers defense, the Colts will pick on Pittsburgh's secondary.

The Colts featured Michael Pittman on their opening play set last week: And should again have at least a couple targets intended for him to open tonight. If one or two connect, expect the Colts to jump out to an early lead, with the Steelers forced to pass to keep up.

Based on PFF Greenline, Steelers rookie QB Kenny Pickett won’t find enough ways in the end to get it done, with the Colts expected to cover the -2.5 spread and the game to go over this total. 

Bet: Colts -2.5 (-110)

Bet Gameplan: Playable to -115

Bet: Over 39.5 -110

Bet Gameplan: Playable to -115

PLAYER PROPS

Bet: Colts WR Michael Pittman — Longest Reception Over 23.5 Receiving Yards (-109)

Bet Gameplan: Playable to -120

Featuring Michael Pittman early looks like the best plan for struggling Colts offense: He’s started to receive WR1-type usage, closing in on the 30% target share threshold for first-read throws. The concern with this bet is his aDot is among the lowest in the NFL. 

Thankfully, Pittsburgh not only poor in coverage — Steelers see the fourth-highest aDot, allow the third-most yards per attempt: Even if Pittman doesn’t get a deep shot downfield, his ability to make defenders miss after the catch should be on full display and will lead to an easy cash of his over prop early on in this matchup. 

Bet: Colts RB Jonathan Taylor — Over 19.5 Carries (-114)

Bet Gameplan: Playable to -125

Even if Pittman is featured early, it should be The Jonathan Taylor Show late: Since Nyheim Hines was traded to Buffalo, it’s been a revolving door backing up Jonathan Taylor. Deon Jackson looks like the most likely third-down back, but Taylor’s snap usage exploded when Jackson was out in Week 10. We should see Taylor close to a 75% snap share if this game stays close, and he should handle over 80% of the carries for Saturday's establish-it offense. With everything pointing toward a positive game script, Taylor toting the rock 20+ times is one of Monday's best available props.

Bet: Steelers QB Kenny Pickett — Over 1.5 Passing TD’s (+196)

Bet Gameplan: Playable to +175

On Cyber Monday, the time is now to buy low: Pickett hasn't thrown multiple touchdowns in his first six starts, but as mentioned above, the pass rate over expectation is still high for the Steelers, and they seem willing to mix in some tricks once they enter the redzone. The game script once again points toward this bet having plenty of opportunities to come through, and with the price reaching an unrealistic number, now is the time to buy into Pickett finally going over his passing TD prop at the NFL level. 


Ben's overall record (NFL/college) this season is 74-93 (-4.76 units).

 

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