Call it parity – or as Tom Brady would say, “mediocrity” – but as we enter the last couple games of the 2023 NFL regular season there is still a lot to be determined in the playoff picture for both conferences. In the AFC for example, there are six teams right in the playoff hunt at 7-6, and two of those meet up in the week 15 Steelers at Colts betting matchup.
Pittsburgh (7-6) and Indianapolis (7-6) are trending in different directions as the season winds down. The Steelers have dropped three of their last four and are only fighting for a possible wild card berth in a jam packed field. The Colts however have won four of their last five, and could punch their ticket to the postseason by winning the AFC South – where they are currently just 1 GB of the Jaguars. Indy is still just a -1.5 home favorite here though.
Why the Steelers Have Value at +1.5
The first thing that jumps out at Saturday afternoon’s (4:30 PM ET, NFLN) line is that it is too low. Pittsburgh is slumping down the stretch going 1-3 in their last four games while the Colts are hot, yet Indianapolis is just a -1.5 favorite at home? 51% of the public taking Pittsburgh doesn’t indicate a trap line, but it sure feels like one.
Mitch Trubisky gets another start at QB for the Steelers with Kenny Pickett sidelined with an ankle injury – and also being horribly inefficient anyways. Trubisky hasn’t exactly inspired greatness, but he has thrown TDs in all three games he’s played significant time in this season.
One positive for the Steelers is that the Colts faced a QB making just his third NFL start last week and proceeded to give up an 18/24 for 275 yard passing day to the Bengals’ Jake Browning in a 34-14 Cincinnati win. That’s three straight games the Indianapolis defense has allowed 20+ points.
Why the Colts Have Value at -1.5
If you can overlook the fact that this line sure seems like a trap, it’s hard not to like the Colts in this game. Indianapolis is reinvigorated after a 3-5 start and have hopes of a possible division title, but meanwhile Steelers fans, players, and even former players seem to have quit on the team. Pittsburgh legend Ben Roethlisberger said on his podcast that the Steelers’ storied tradition may be a thing of the past.
Pittsburgh has lost back to back games – but to New England and Arizona who have a combined 6-20 record this season. This game is not just about how bad the Steelers have been though, because the Colts are doing some nice things in going 4-1 over their last 5. What’s more impressive about that is only one game over the span has been at home as Indianapolis plays just their second game at Lucas Oil Stadium since November 29th on Saturday.
The Colts should have the QB edge here as Gardner Minshew II has 240+ yard passing yards in three straight games. The Steelers defense has allowed 24 and 21 points to the Cardinals and Patriots in the last two weeks.
Free Week 15 Steelers at Colts Betting Pick
Conspiracy theorists are more than welcome to take Pittsburgh here as a contrarian play, but that’s a Steelers team that has quit ala the Chargers in Thursday night’s 63-17 loss to the Chargers. The Colts get a rare home game, and Minshew II is going to enjoy having the NFL spotlight for this Saturday showcase.
Free Pick: Colts -1.5