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Steelers vs. Colts prediction: Don’t expect a lot of points on Monday Night Football

Indianapolis and Pittsburgh are a combined 15-6 to the Under this season. Bet on that trend continuing.

Indianapolis Colts quarterback Matt Ryan (right) has a pass deflected by Philadelphia Eagles linebacker Haason Reddick last Sunday. Ryan and the Colts are averaging just 15.7 points per game this season, second worst in the NFL. (Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images)
Indianapolis Colts quarterback Matt Ryan (right) has a pass deflected by Philadelphia Eagles linebacker Haason Reddick last Sunday. Ryan and the Colts are averaging just 15.7 points per game this season, second worst in the NFL. (Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images)Read moreAndy Lyons / Getty Images

When the NFL unveiled its 2022-23 schedule back in the spring, Steelers vs. Colts looked like an intriguing matchup to close out Thanksgiving weekend. Today? Not so much.

The Week 12 Monday Night Football clash involves two perennial postseason contenders that will walk into Lucas Oil Stadium with a combined 7-13-1 record. As such, both are almost certainly out of the playoff picture.

So there’s denying that this contest lacks the sizzle we expected six months ago. That said, it’s still on the NFL betting board. And we’ve still got a strong opinion about how things will play out — just not from a win-loss perspective.

Here’s our Steelers vs. Colts prediction for Monday Night Football.

Note: Odds updated as of 3 a.m. ET on Nov. 28.

Steelers vs. Colts Prediction

  1. Under 39.5 points (at Caesars Sportsbook)

Steelers vs. Colts Prediction: Analysis

How much of an Under team have the Colts been this season?

Through 11 games, their offense has generated more than 20 points just twice; their defense has surrendered more than 20 points just four times; and they have played just two games that ended with more than 41 combined points.

After its 17-16 last-minute loss to the Eagles in Week 11, Indianapolis is now 9-2 to the Under for the season. That includes seven games with 37 or fewer combined points. Only Denver (now 10-1 this season following Sunday’s 23-10 loss at Carolina) has cashed more Unders than the Colts.

The only two games in which Indianapolis has topped the total were in Week 6 at home against Jacksonville (34-27 win, with 21 points scored in the fourth quarter) and Week 11 at Las Vegas (25-20 win). In fact, those are the only two games in the last 16 dating to last season that the Colts have gone Over the total.

Given all these facts, it shouldn’t be shocking to learn that Indy ranks 31st in the NFL in scoring (15.7 points per game) and 11th in points allowed (20.0).

Pittsburgh’s offense, meanwhile, has been nearly as impotent. The Steelers are 28th in scoring at 17.0 points per game.

» READ MORE: Eagles among early favorites in matchup with Titans during Week 13 NFL slate

True, rookie quarterback Kenny Pickett led Pittsburgh to a season-high 30 points in last week’s 37-30 home loss to Cincinnati. But that was the first time the Steelers scored more than 20 points since a season-opening 23-20 overtime win against … Cincinnati.

Take away those two games against the Bengals, and Pittsburgh has averaged 14.6 points per contest.

On the opposite side of the ball, the Steelers’ once-vaunted defense has gotten lit up a few times this season. Prior to getting torched by the Bengals a week ago, Pittsburgh yielded 35 points to the Eagles, 38 to the Bills and 29 to the Browns.

However, Cincinnati (Joe Burrow), Buffalo (Josh Allen) and Philadelphia (Jalen Hurts) are all led by competent, dangerous quarterbacks. Rapidly aging Colts QB Matt Ryan is neither of those.

Also, the 29 points Cleveland scored are misleading: The Browns had a 23-17 lead when they scored a touchdown on the game’s final play when Pittsburgh fumbled after multiple desperation laterals.

Remove that touchdown — as well as last week’s game against Cincinnati, and blowout losses to the Bills and Eagles — and the Steelers’ points-allowed average drops from 24.4 to 18.3.

Also, even though Pittsburgh is “only” 6-4 to the Under this season, those six low-scoring games averaged a combined 34.8 points. And of those half-dozen contests, the only two that cleared 40 points reached 41 (38-3 loss at Buffalo) and 43 (23-20 overtime loss to the Bengals in Week 1).

With an over-the-hill Ryan and still-wet-behind-the-ears Pickett leading two offenses that rank 25th and 27th in total yards, we can’t see this game clearing 40 points. That is, unless Ryan and Pickett treat the football like a hot potato (always a concern).

Still, we confidently recommend playing Steleers vs. Colts Under the total at Caesars Sportsbook — and we’ll call for a final score in the 17-14 or 20-13 range.

Steelers vs. Colts Odds (via Caesars Sportsbook)

  1. Point spread: Steelers (+2.5, +100) @ Colts (-2.5, -120)

  2. Moneyline: Steelers (+118) @ Colts (-140)

  3. Total: 39.5 Points

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