Monday Night Football Bets: Can The Steel City Put Naptown To Rest?

Monday Night Football Bets: Can The Steel City Put Naptown To Rest?
✍️ Written by
Sarah Ryan
🗓 Updated
May 19th 2023

As the entire world has their attention transfixed on another type of football, being played by 32 teams from around the world over, we’ve got two teams facing off in what’s bound to be one of the most exciting Monday Night NFL matchups of the season. The Pittsburgh Steelers are slated to kick things off against the Indianapolis Colts at their Lucas Oil Stadium tonight at 8:16!

Both teams will be looking to recover from some rather brutal close losses, where they narrowly suffered through the agony of narrow defeat. The Steelers were brought down in the final quarter by a touchdown and an extra point from the Cincinnati Bengals, and the Colts were brought down by only one point against another Pennsylvania team, losing to the Philadelphia Eagles 17-16 on their own home turf.

With Indianapolis at a meh 4-6 record, and Pittsburgh far down at the bottom of their division standings with a dismal 3-7 rebound, both teams will be gunning for a second-half rebound this season, but only time will tell if they pull it off. Only time will tell who pulls off the win tonight, but in the meantime, we’ve got the odds, over-unders, injuries, and FanDuel promos all worth giving a look.

Monday Night Football Predictions

On FanDuel Sportsbook, the odds are set at a relatively close, even range between both sides of the moneyline. The Colts are priced as slight home favorites at -144 odds to win outright, and -115 to cover the spread (-2.5) by over a field goal or more. On the other side, the Steelers are +122 road underdogs, and being given -105 odds to cover the spread at +2.5 points.

Even though both teams are heading into tonight with a relatively even level of rest, it does make sense that the Colts are being given a slight edge by the oddsmakers, as their season record carries a slight, one-game edge over Pittsburgh’s. Both teams tout powerful offensive firepower in the form of running backs Jonathan Taylor and Najee Harris, which could make discerning the more probable outright winner here a tough call.

But the Colts’ overall offense ranks 31st in the NFL for EPA (expected points added), and the Steelers defense has at least two legs up in the form of T.J. Watt. When he’s on the field, Watt’s usually able to hold plays back for a yard or more. On paper, this seems like a potentially bad omen for the Colts’ offense, and it very well might be. Although Watt has only recently returned to the field after being out seven games for an injury, his post-recovery return has been an impressive one, as the Steelers’ defensive talent has produced an average -0.09 EPA per play with him on the lineup.

If Watt and the rest of Pittsburgh’s D can maintain that same form tonight, they just might have a shot at upsetting the home team. But in case things remain as close as Indianapolis’ last outing against a Keystone State team, you could consider taking Pittsburgh on the spread as a slight insurance policy of sorts. No, you won’t be getting the plus money, but so long as Pittsburgh doesn’t lose by a field goal or more, you can still get the win.

Monday Night Football Over/Under

Even though the odds are close, we wouldn’t say they’re in that sweet spot to hedge or arbitrage this game across books. That’s unfortunate; with probable close-call games like tonight, it’s always nice to find opportunities to win, regardless of the event’s true final winner or loser.

But another area where you could potentially do that lies in the game’s over/under, which FanDuel currently has set at a 39.5-point total. Usually, when an NFL game’s total is set just below 40, that indicates that the books have caught onto two trends shared by the two teams’ playing: poor offense, but great defense. This trend has remained true for both the Colts and Steelers throughout their 2022 NFL season, and you probably wouldn’t be surprised to know that these trends have led to the majority of both teams’ games trending under this season.

According to the O/U data aggregate found on TeamRankings, 60% of Pittsburgh’s games have gone under this season, while Indianapolis’ under has hit with a staggering 81.8% clip so far over this season. We don’t have a crystal clear picture of what the near future holds tonight, but given the facts and the recent overall performance from both teams, we have good reasons to suspect that this will most likely be a lower-scoring affair.

Monday Night Football Injury Report

The most recent Colts-Steelers injury report projects multiple players on both teams out for injuries, but Indianapolis could be losing a particularly important team asset, as linebacker Zaire Franklin has questionable playing status due to an illness.

This could spell another bad omen for the home team, especially given the fact that they’re playing against a stronger defense than usual. Below is the full list of players most likely sidelined on both teams:

Steelers Injury Report/Players Out

  • LB Zaire Franklin (Illness) - Questionable

  • DE Yannick Ngakoue (Back) - Questionable

  • DT DeForest Buckner (Ribs/Illness) - Questionable

  • TE Kylen Granson (Illness) - Doubtful

  • DE Kwity Paye (Ankle) - Out

  • T Dennis Kelly (Illness)

  • DT Grover Steward (Resting)

  • C Ryan Kelly

  • WR Parris Campbell

  • G/T Matt Pryor

  • TE Jelani Woods

Colts Injury Report/Players Out

  • WR Miles Boykin (Oblique) - Questionable

  • LB Robert Spillane (Back) - Questionable

  • CB Ahkello Witherspoon (Hamstring) - Out

  • RB Jaylen Warren (Hamstring) - Out

  • TE Connor Heyward (Sick)

  • OL Mason Cole (Foot)

  • OL James Daniel (Groin)

  • DL Cameron Heyward (Resting)

  • DL Larry Ogunjobi (Resting)

Monday Night Football FOR FREE?

Unfortunately, you’ll probably have to fork over a cable company some decent cash to watch tonight’s game. But whether you’re playing from Pennsylvania, Indiana, or anywhere else in between, you can score a decent first-bet refund from FanDuel, matching your cash with site credit.

Read our review to learn more about the online sportsbook, and sign up here to claim their promotional welcome offer.

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