Indianapolis Colts 0-2 (0-2 ATS) at Pittsburgh Steelers 1-1 (1-1 ATS)
When and Where: When and Where: Friday, Aug. 25, Heinz Field, Pittsburgh, Pa. 7:30pm EDT
Spread: Pittsburgh -5; Total: 41
The Colts head to the Steel City still looking for their first win of the preseason. The third week of the preseason as always the most important as the starters typically will play into the second half of the contest. Pittsburgh is coming off of a 17-13 win at home over Atlanta last week. The teams have met 29 times in the regular season with the Steelers having won 23 of the contests.
Colts Counting on Big Year from Luck
Andrew Luck had shoulder surgery over eight months ago and while reports having him back to throwing the football, Jim Irsay told the Indianapolis Star that there is no guarantee that the Stanford Alum will be back in time for the regular season. Luck is entering his sixth season with mixed results to this point, but had a solid year with 31 touchdowns and 13 interceptions in 2016. Without him behind center, the Colts have scaled back the playbook for backup Scott Tolzien.
In the 24-19 loss to the Cowboys a week ago, Tolzien got the start and completed 10 of 14 passes for 70 yards and led his team to a FG in one of his five drives at the helm. Backup running back Marlon Mack had a 23-yard run and ended up with 45 yards on five carries, good enough for a 9.0 yard average. JoJo Natson hauled in three receptions for 60 yards. The Indianapolis defense gave up 489 total yards, 328 of which came through the air.
Steelers Looking for Steady Performance
Last week the Steelers found themselves trailing the Atlanta Falcons 13-3 at halftime but rallied in the second half with two touchdowns to pull out the four-point comeback victory. Rookie quarterback Josh Dobbs got the start for the Steelers. The Tennessee alum complete 10 of his 19 passes for 70 yards and an interception. It was undrafted free agent quarter Bart Houston who would provide the winning touchdown pass, however, hitting Justin Foster on a 6-yard strike with 6:35 remaining.
Reports out of practice this week have Mike Tomlin running his team hard. Entering his 11th season as head coach, he said, “Preparing to play without the physical part, is like asking a boxer to go in and fight without sparring. There is a certain hardening that has to happen to your group individually and collectively, I believe, through this process. I believe live tackling not only aids in that, but is kind of central to that. Against Atlanta, Pittsburgh amassed just 189 yards of offense, while giving up 318.
- 1-4 ATS in their last 5 vs. AFC
- 4-1-1 ATS in their last 6 Saturday games
- 4-1-1 ATS in their last 6 games on grass
- 7-2-1 ATS in their last 10 games overall
- 6-2-1 ATS in their last 9 vs. AFC
After sitting last week, you should expect to see Ben Roethlisberger in action this week, as well as star wide receiver Antonio Brown. No offense to Scott Tolzien, but asking him to head to Pittsburgh and outplay this star-studded Steelers side is a lot to ask.
Pick: Pittsburgh -5
With the starters going most of the way you can expect the offenses to click more. You also have to take into consideration that the starting defenses will be out there as well. The under is 7-3 in the Steelers last 10 games in glass, and 7-3 the last 10 times the Colts have played on a Saturday. 41 points are just too many for this one.