Colts travel to Pittsburgh as underdogs for Sunday Night Football

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The Indianapolis Colts will be looking to strengthen their tenuous hold on top spot in the AFC South with a fourth straight win when they battle the Pittsburgh Steelers on Sunday Night Football as 6.5-point betting underdogs at sportsbooks monitored by OddsShark.com.

The Colts improved their straight-up record to 6-5 last weekend with a 25-12 win over the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, covering as 3-point chalk to extend their current win streak against the spread to four games.

It was an important victory for Indianapolis, which enters Sunday night’s Colts vs. Steelers betting matchup at Heinz Field in a tie in the division standings with Houston, but holds the tiebreaker edge on the strength of their 27-20 victory over the Texans back in Week 5.

The Colts have also been racking up the victories despite the absence of quarterback Andrew Luck, who remains sidelined for at least one more week after suffering internal injuries in the club’s 27-24 win over the Denver Broncos a month ago.

Matt Hasselbeck has performed admirably in relief of Luck, with the 40-year-old throwing a pair of touchdowns in each of the last two outings. However, the Colts’ ground game has struggled, tallying just 99 total yards in those contests.

A lot is on the line in Week 13 for the Steelers, who are coming off a 39-30 loss to the Seattle Seahawks but remain in the thick of the AFC Wild Card hunt with a 6-5 SU record.

Pittsburgh has run hot and cold this season, failing to string together three SU wins all year while going a dismal 1-4 ATS in their last five games according to the OddsShark NFL Database.

Of even greater concern is the health of starting quarterback Ben Roethlisberger, who had appeared in just six games this season due to knee and foot injuries prior to last week’s loss to the Seahawks in which he went down once again, this time with a concussion.

Big Ben received the green light to return to practice this week, and barring any setbacks is expected to play on Sunday night.

That’s good news for the Steelers, who have dominated Indianapolis historically, going 12-2 SU in their last 14 meetings, including a mammoth 51-34 home win over the Colts last season while claiming the outright win as 5-point underdogs.

Broncos double-digit favorites on Sunday night vs. winless, depleted Giants

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The Denver Broncos head into Sunday night with the largest spread they have had at home after a bye week in at least 25 years. The Broncos are 11.5-point favorites against the winless New York Giants with a 38.5-point total for the Week 6 Sunday Night Football matchup at sportsbooks monitored by OddsShark.com.

Denver is 6-1 straight-up and against the spread in post-bye week games dating back to 2010. There’s a similar long-running trend of Denver being 7-2 SU and ATS in home games following a bye week since 2003. However, this is the first time since 1996 that Denver has been a double-digit favorite in that scenario.

The Giants, which are 0-5 SU and 2-3 ATS, had three wide receivers, including Odell Beckham Jr., sustain season-ending injuries last week. That has left QB Eli Manning with WR Roger Lewis (15 career catches) and WR Tavarres King as his main outside targets. Slot WR Sterling Shephard (sprained ankle) could be inactive.

While team performances tend to gravitate toward the mean with time, the Giants will need to show something new – with replacement-level personnel – in order to move the ball against a Denver pass defense which allows only 6.2 yards per pass, fifth-best in the NFL.

The Broncos’ top-ranked defense, led by OLB Von Miller, is also first in run defense and has every starter healthy. While NFC teams are a combined 1-10 SU on the road against Denver since 2012, the Giants are a solid 7-3 ATS in their last 10 games against the AFC.

Denver, 3-1 SU and 2-1-1 ATS, has been quietly efficient on offense. The Broncos, with QB Trevor Siemian, are in the middle of the NFL pack in yards per pass, but they are facing a Giants secondary that is minus CB Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie (suspension) and has also had inconsistent play from CB Eli Apple.

Denver, 7-2 ATS over its last nine home games in October, has been good at opening holes for the tandem of C.J. Anderson and Jamaal Charles, who are each capable of making things happen in the open field if the tackling gets sloppy. New York also won’t have DT Olivier Vernon drawing double teams up front and keeping blockers off MLB Damon Harrison.

Unless the Broncos stop themselves, they should be able to grind out a workmanlike win.

The total has gone over in three of the Giants’ last four games against the Broncos, according to the OddsShark NFL Database. The total has gone over in six of the Broncos’ last seven games as a favorite of 11.0 points or more.

For more info, picks and a breakdown of this week’s top sports betting news check out the new OddsShark podcast with Jon Campbell and Andrew Avery. Subscribe on iTunes, or check it out at OddsShark.libsyn.com.

Watch Indianapolis Colts vs. Seattle Seahawks live on NBC

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The Seattle Seahawks host the Indianapolis Colts on Sunday Night Football as both teams look to get back to .500.

Russell Wilson will be the focal point of the Seahawks offense after throwing for a career-high 373 yards and four touchdowns in a losing effort vs. the Titans in Week 3. Wilson’s ability to avoid the rush and use his legs will be on full display as Seattle’s offensive line continues to struggle.

On the defensive side, the Seahawks’ “Legion of Boom” will look to get back on track at home in a raucous environment against Colts QB Jacoby Brissett who is filling in for an injured Andrew Luck.

If the Colts have any chance to pull off the upset on the road, Brissett will have to use his legs and connect on some deep throws to T.Y. Hilton.

Football Night in America

Start time: 7:00 p.m. ET

TV channel: NBC

Live stream: NBCSports.com, NBC Sports app

Colts vs. Seahawks

Start time: 8:30 p.m. ET

TV channel: NBC

Live stream: NBCSports.com, NBC Sports app