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Sunday Night Football Betting – Colts vs. Steelers Week 13

Posted by Matthew Forrester on 12/6/2015 2:39:54 PM

It’s hard to distinguish the “most injured team” in the NFL these days, but the Sunday Night Football betting matchup between the Colts and Steelers might feature at least two such squads. Perhaps the biggest name that will definitely be missing from this game is Andrew Luck, who is sidelined indefinitely with a broken (heart?) ribs.

Replacing Luck is the surprisingly effective but unsurprisingly dull Matt Hasselbeck. With a roaring record of 4-0 SU and 3-1 ATS with the 40-year old quarterback at the helm, Hasselbeck draws intrigue simply because the Colts look better with him under center. By the way, that record mentioned has a built in 3-0 SU and ATS streak heading in to this game.

Injuries to the Colts, however, are the big reason that this Sunday Night Football betting line has taken so long to be released. Shutdown corner Vontae Davis is bothered by a bum hamstring, and left tackle Anthony Castonzo is nursing a bad ankle. Those are two big pieces to lose, even if they’re available in limited capacity.

The implications for this game are massive for Indianapolis as well. Indy is tied with Houston, a team they beat in Week 5 and will play again in Week 15. The Texans are making the AFC South awfully interesting and challenge a Bills team that may not be as tough as we thought. This is as must-win as it gets for the Indianapolis Colts, and it also represents the most difficult task they have for the remaining five weeks. Indy closes at Jacksonville, against Houston, at Miami and against Tennessee in to the New Year.

Indianapolis Colts (6-5) vs. Pittsburgh Steelers (6-5)

Sunday, December 6th --- Heinz Field --- 8:30pm EST

Week 13 Sunday Night Football Betting Line: PIT -9.5 (50.5)

It’s actually quite remarkable that both of these teams are in the position that they are. The Steelers have been riddled with various maladies all season. Le’Veon Bell is gone, though DeAngelo has seen completely fine in relief. But Big Ben is having trouble staying on the field. He’s reportedly been cleared by team doctors to play and should be available. Knowing Roethlisberger, that’s probably likely.

But he may be without Martavis Bryant, who hurt his hip this past weekend and is listed as questionable. The team also has a concussion issue with Ryan Shazzier at linebacker who is also listed as questionable. Like the Colts, these are big pieces to lose and that could put a dent in any plans to support Pittsburgh as big home favorites in Sunday Night Football betting.

The general notion revolving around Pittsburgh is that they’re bankable. With Bryant, Roethlisberger and Antonio Brown, they have one of the most explosive offenses in the league. Williams is a step down from Bell, but he doesn’t cramp their style nearly as much as anyone else expected him to. The Steelers are a terrific offense, ranking 4th overall in yards and 10th with 24.2 points per game.

Their defense sometimes shows up, and other times it lets Seattle score 39 points or Oakland drop 35. Limiting Luck would’ve been a living nightmare for this side, but Hasselbeck is a much easier burden to bear, especially if Costanzo is out. The blitz will be ramped up for the Steelers.

The reason you take the Steelers with that Sunday Night Football betting line is if Davis is out. Stopping the Steelers’ aerial onslaught is difficult enough with just Antonio Brown scampering around unabated. If Davis isn’t there to keep tabs on him, then Roethlisberger and the Steelers will find plenty of ways to move the ball up and down the field.

If Bryant plays, this game is all Steelers so I’d leave it as late as possible to grab this number. The Steelers are 8-3 ATS when playing at home against a good road team, and they’re also 7-0 ATS in their last 7 December games. When the going gets tough, Pittsburgh tends to get tougher.

I can’t say the same about Indianapolis. Hasselbeck changes the perception of this team. Nobody should be scared of him, and if he’s under fire in a way he hasn’t been all season thanks to Pittsburgh’s blitz packages, then this game is over. The injuries to the Colts are far more significant because they allow Pittsburgh to do what they love to do – pressure the quarterback and air the football out.

The Steelers seem like a pick that would push the OVER, but if you want to stack your Sunday Night Football betting with a take on the game total, then slam the UNDER. Pittsburgh is 3-8 O/U on the season, and should be able to put the clamps on the very man they beat to win their first Super Bowl in the modern era.

Sunday Night Football Betting Pick – Pittsburgh -9.5 (UNDER)

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