Monday’s prime-time game between the Pittsburgh Steelers and Indianapolis Colts might not get everyone excited, but this game is still loaded with prop gems. Will both teams try to establish the run in a game that should see a fairly neutral game script, or will either coach trust two of the worst passing offenses in football?
One thing I do know is this game is ripe for sacks, and there is just one pass-catcher I’m trusting for an Over.
Find out my free prop picks in Monday Night Football’s Week 12 game between the Steelers and Colts.
Steelers vs Colts props
Click on each pick to jump to the full analysis.
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Steelers vs Colts MNF props
Talented tight end
Since rookie quarterback Kenny Pickett got the starting job in Week 5, tight end Pat Freiermuth has totaled at least 44 yards receiving in three of his five games and has at least four grabs in all but one of those matches. He is coming off a season-high 12 targets in Week 11 and is getting a healthy 24% target share since Week 7.
Pittsburgh is still a top-half team in terms of passing percentage. Game script has had a lot to do with that as a losing team, but it won’t be easy for Pittsburgh to run the ball with success Monday night as the Colts sit fourth in the league in EPA/rush and Top 10 in success rate against the rush. Pickett will have to move the sticks through the air, and that could mean another heavy-targeted game for the tight end.
Freiermuth ran a route on 36 of the Steelers’ 44 dropbacks last week and has emerged as one of the best pass-catching tight ends. Only Travis Kelce is averaging more yards per game than Freiermuth since Week 7.
Diontae Johnson is doing next to nothing with his sparse target share, while George Pickens’ talent is taking more attention away from the tight end and giving him better looks. The Colts have not seen many top-tier pass-catching TEs this season, which also plays in Freiermuth’s favor.
THE BLITZ is projecting 62.52 receiving yards, which is the third-highest production amongst TEs behind Travis Kelce and Mark Andrews this week. Some books are already as high as 47.5 yards.
Pat Freiermuth Prop: Over 43.5 receiving yards (-115)
No two teams have taken more sacks over the last three games than the Colts and Steelers. Combined, they are averaging 9.4 sacks taken per game, which is a wild number and a reason this game’s sack total is set at 6.5.
Even with the high sack total, I’m still expecting a heavy dose of QB takedowns Monday night, as Matt Ryan and Kenny Pickett are two of the highest sacked/game QBs in football.
Ryan took four sacks last week vs. the Eagles, and that was with a fairly neutral game script and minimal dropbacks (37). Now he’ll face a healthy TJ Watt, who has yet to have a big game since returning.
Pickett has also been getting hit of late. He’s taken at least six sacks in two of his last three games and has absorbed 16 total sacks over his last four games. The Colts sit in the middle of the league in sacks per game (just under 3.0) but are efficient with 28 total sacks compared to 25 QB knockdowns. They sacked Jalen Hurts three times last week, as well.
With both defenses sitting Top 10 in success rate against the run, each team could see plenty of third-and-longs on Monday, which will have both units salivating in the pass rush. Seven sacks is a lot, but both QBs have taken five or more sacks alone on multiple occasions this season.
Total sacks Prop: Over 6.5 (+115 at bet365)
Matt Ryan’s longest completion is sitting at 36.5 yards, which is a number he's gone Under in seven of nine games the season. Across his nine starts this year, he’s completed a pass of 37 yards or longer just twice.
Receiver Michael Pittman has zero catches of 30-plus yards this season, and only Alex Pierce has a catch of 40-plus on the team. While Ryan has a completion percentage of 52% on passes of 20-plus yards, his air yards/attempt currently sits at 4.0 yards, Ryan isn’t getting the ball deep at all, and his protection up front is a part of the problem, too.
Add in an emphasis on getting Jonathan Taylor the ball under new coach Jeff Saturday, and the chances of Ryan completing a deep pass are slim on Monday. This is especially the case with T.J. Watt not letting deeper routes develop with his pass rush.
Ryan hasn’t connected downfield all season. In a game that will likely feature the run with a neutral game script, there won’t be much need for the Indy QB to take many deep shots.
Matt Ryan Prop: Under 36.5 yards longest completion (-115)