Indianapolis Colts vs. Pittsburgh Steelers Preview
Where: Heinz Field – Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
When: Saturday, August 26, 2017 – 7:30 PM ET
Line: Indianapolis Colts (+5.5) at Pittsburgh Steelers (-5.5); total: 41.0 – view all NFL lines
TV Broadcast: FOX59, KDKA2
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Betting on the Indianapolis Colts (+5.5)
The likelihood of Andrew Luck starting for the Colts in their season opener against the LA Rams is growing dimmer by the day. Luck still hasn’t fully recovered from his shoulder surgery and as a result remains on the physically unable to perform list. That’s bad news for Colts fans who now have to make do with the inconsistent Scott Tolzien as their starting quarterback.
He hasn’t thrown a touchdown in Indianapolis’ two preseason games, going a combined 12-of-19 for 94 yards. The Colts, for that matter, have scored a total of just three points with Tolzien running the offense in those games. Saturday’s game against Pittsburgh will likely be Tolzien’s final live preseason action so he better get his act together. The Colts’ starters are expected to play until at least halftime against the Steelers and none of Indianapolis’ key players will likely play in the preseason finale against Cincinnati on August 31.
If Tolzien continues to stumble, that may leave the door ajar for Stephen Morris. He has been the Colts’ most effective quarterback this preseason, going 24-of-35 for 205 yards. Morris led the Colts down the field for their only two touchdowns in the preseason while playing in the fourth quarter against players competing for final roster spots. He took second-team snaps in practice Monday.
Betting on the Pittsburgh Steelers (-5.5)
The Pittsburgh Steelers preserved their unbeaten record this preseason with a thrilling 17-13 victory over the Atlanta Falcons on Sunday. James Conner starred for the Steelers in this clash, rushing for 98 yards on 20 carries. The rookie running back, who overcame Hodgkin’s lymphoma and a serious right knee injury to reach the NFL, is staking his claim to make Pittsburgh’s final 53-man roster.
Another welcome sight for Pittsburgh fans was the return of Martavis Bryant. He caught 2-of-3 targets for 20 yards in his preseason debut against the Falcons. It has been 19 months since Bryant last played in a football game so imagine the delight from the Steelers faithful when he snatched a huge 23-yard pass from rookie quarterback Joshua Dobbs. Bryant’s propensity for big plays will be a major plus to a Pittsburgh offense that is already loaded with Antonio Brown, Le’Veon Bell and Ben Roethlisberger. Since Bryant entered the league in 2014, the Steelers have scored 30 or more points in almost half the games he’s played.
Even though he remains suspended, Bryant is permitted to participate in all preseason activities – including practices and games. He’s expected to appear in Pittsburgh’s next preseason game against Indianapolis. Also expected to participate in that contest are Roethlisberger and Brown. They are the only starters to be held out of the Steelers’ first two preseason games.
The Steelers (-5.5) ease past the Colts, 27-14.
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