Thanksgiving Thursday means one thing in the NFL. A day full of great football action. After games throughout the day, the final kickoff goes from Pittsburgh as the Steelers will welcome a Colts squad slated to play without Andrew Luck. The Colts’ star QB is currently in the league’s concussion protocol and has not received clearance to play in time. It’s expected that backup Scott Tolzien will pick up the slack for the 5-5 Colts. This remains a huge game for their playoff hopes, but it won’t be easy taking on a Pittsburgh team that is equally as hungry. The Steelers are only 5-5 at the moment and will surely be entering knowing things are tight in the AFC North. Following a big win last week over the Browns, it’ll be interesting to see if they can carry the momentum over and dispose of the Luck-less Colts. Thanksgiving Day is a special time in the NFL and we’ve got you covered. Read on below for full game details and an official betting selection.
Steelers vs. Colts Betting Odds:
Pittsburgh Steelers -9 (-105)
@ Indianapolis Colts +9 (-115)
Over 48 (-110)
Under 48 (-110)
Betting odds provided by Bovada.lv
Steelers vs. Colts Pick:
For starters, it is an incredibly tough break for the Colts to have to host a big game without Andrew Luck. Scott Tolzien is awful and is a real downgrade from Andrew Luck. Pittsburgh too knows they have dodged a real bullet. This game is now a virtual auto-win for the Steelers and I’d expect them to do just that. The Colts enter Week 12 with an absolute mess of an offensive line and of course Tolzien won’t be able to handle this like Luck typically does. Expect Pittsburgh to be able to implement a variety of defensive schemes and rushes to confuse and rattle Tolzien, and lead to a stagnant Colts’ offence on Thursday night. This should lead to hurried throws and eventually turnovers. Pittsburgh’s defence hasn’t been all that great at times this year, but it’s amazing how quickly that can and should turn when facing Tolzien. Expect a rough evening for the Indy attack.
Not only are the Colts without Andrew Luck, they’re also without two key defenders in their stop unit, as Clayton Geathers and Vontae Davis are both unlikely to suit up. Geathers and Davis are two vital members of the Colts’ secondary and without them, expect Antonio Brown and Ben Roethlisberger to feast on Thanksgiving Thursday. The duo typically thrive in dome-environments and this match-up favours them heavily and should be no different. Roethlisberger also doesn’t have much of a Colts pass rush to worry about either and will take full advantage of this.
The Colts are also quite anaemic in defending the run, even though they have made some improvements of late. Le’Veon Bell is one of the league’s most talented backs and should be able to gain positive yardage whenever he wants. Both with his carries and catches out the backfield, look for a big outing from Bell. DeMarco Murray was very effective going against Indy in Week 11, and Bell should find similar success.
While this match-up is tough to fully gage without Luck, we’ve seen Tolzien recently and he is not an effective back-up quarterback. This is an insanely tough spot for him to be inserted into and expect him to handle this spot poorly. Even though the Steelers aren’t as good away from home, they’ll seize this opportunity and take full advantage. They are big favourites but it’s warranted given the talent and skill discrepancy. Roll with the Steelers in a blowout to close out your Thursday.
PICK = Steelers -9 (-105)