Indianapolis vs. Pittsburgh Betting Pick for Week 2 NFL Preseason: August 19th 2012
Week 2 NFL Preseason Betting Picks: August 19th 2012
Indianapolis Colts vs. Pittsburgh Steelers
Current line: Pittsburgh (-4/38)
Indianapolis visits Heinz Field in Pittsburgh to take on the Steelers on Sunday at 8pmET. The Steelers defeated the Colts, 23-20 laying 10.5 in the regular season last year. Last week, Pittsburgh fell at Philadelphia, 24-23 getting 1, while Indy routed the Rams, 38-3 last Sunday at home.
Weather: 72 degrees with a 15% chance of rain.
Indianapolis is coming off a 2-14 SU season, and they were 6-10 ATS and 7-9 Under. Last year, they went 2-2 ATS in the preseason. Chuck Pagano in his his first year as head coach. Pittsburgh finished 12-4 SU last season, impressive considering the injuries. They were also 7-9 ATS and 6-10 Under in 2011. Mike Tomlin is 16-5 SU, 26-32-6 ATS and 25-31 Under in preseason.
Outlook: The Colts are rebuilding after a two-win season. Rookie QB Andrew Luck takes over for Peyton Manning. Very big shoes to fill. Luck has some of the same attributes Manning did have and he’s a much better athlete. At receiver, they added Donnie Avery and re-signed Reggie Wayne. They also drafted Luck’s teammate TE Coby Fleener, to replace Dallas Clark. WR T.Y. Hilton should add a playmaker at WR and KR. The defense allowed 143.9ypg on the ground. Pagano is a 3-4 guy so the Colts have to adapt to a new scheme. DE Cory Redding and S Tom Zbikowski come over from Baltimore to add some experience and toughness.
Any bitterness Colts fans were still harboring over the organization’s unpopular decision to release the at-risk Peyton Manning in March probably subsided after witnessing Luck’s pro debut. The No. 1 overall pick in this past draft lived up to his advance billing and more, orchestrating three touchdown drives on his first four possessions in contributing to last weekend’s 38-3 shellacking of the St. Louis Rams at Lucas Oil Stadium.
Luck made an impact right off the bat, finding Donald Brown for a short pass that the running back turned into a 63-yard touchdown on the Colts’ initial play from scrimmage. The former Stanford star connected with Austin Collie for a 23-yard score later on and finished his first game with 188 yards on a crisp 10-of-16 passing.
A new-look Indianapolis defense that’s transitioning to a 3-4 scheme also shined in Pagano’s initiation, limiting the punchless Rams to 215 total yards while not yielding a touchdown. Jerry Hughes, a 2010 first-round pick who’s shifting to outside linebacker, led the effort with a pair of sacks.
The Colts did have a few down moments, however. Starting inside linebacker Pat Angerer fractured his foot in the contest and will miss the beginning of the regular season as a result, while right guard Mike McGlynn sustained a high ankle sprain and running backs Delone Carter and Mewelde Moore exited with rib injuries.
Moore spent the last four seasons with Pittsburgh before joining the Colts as a free agent. He and Carter are competing with rookie Vick Ballard to be the primary backup to Brown.
Angerer’s injury creates a battle between ex-Eagles Moise Fokou and Greg Lloyd, former CFL player Jerrell Freeman and Mario Harvey for the starting nod opposite Kavell Conner.
Pittsburgh addressed their issues on the offensive line by drafting G David DeCastro and T Mike Adams. Both will start in Game 1 as tackle Max Starks and guard Willie Colon are coming off injuries. The key is protecting Ben Roethlisberger (ankle/rotator cuff) who is already banged up. They also need to find a running game as Rashard Mendenhall (knee) is questionable for the start of the season and burly Isaac Redman will get the start.
The Steelers enter their 2012 home preseason opener somewhat banged up as well. Perennial Pro Bowl linebacker James Harrison will be sidelined at least the next three weeks after undergoing a scope on his left knee on Wednesday, longtime nose tackle Casey Hampton remains on the physically unable to perform list while recovering from offseason knee surgery and starting fullback David Johnson was recently placed on injured reserve after tearing his ACL in last week’s 24-23 loss at Philadelphia.
And Pittsburgh remains without Mike Wallace as the fleet-footed wide receiver continues a camp holdout over dissatisfaction with his contract.
The Steelers have some health issues at running back as well, with 2011 leading rusher Rashard Mendenhall still on the mend from a torn ACL and projected replacement Isaac Redman doubtful for Sunday’s contest with a strained groin. Jonathan Dwyer, who ripped off 40 yards on only two carries against the Eagles, is dealing with a minor shoulder sprain but is expected to play.
Pittsburgh will also be undergoing some shuffling along the offensive line for this game, with normal right tackle Marcus Gilbert moving to the left side and Ramon Foster sliding into Gilbert’s usual spot. Veteran left tackle Max Starks (knee) isn’t yet ready to play after just being activated off the PUP list, while rookie second-round pick Mike Adams struggled in his place during the opener.
Quarterback Ben Roethlisberger was sharp in a brief appearance in the Philadelphia game, however, completing 7-of-8 attempts for 49 yards in helping the Steelers jump out to a 13-0 halftime lead.
The Colts and Steelers will be squaring off in preseason play for the first time since 2000, but the teams did face another in Indianapolis during Week 3 of last year’s regular season, a 23-20 Pittsburgh win. The Colts own an 11-9 edge in the preseason series and have taken the last two meetings, including a 24-23 decision in Mexico City back in 2000.
Key Injuries: Indy: LB Pat Angerer (foot) is out indef. RG Mike McGlynn (high ankle sprain) is out. WR Donnie Avery (hip) is dbtful. Pittsburgh: RB Isaac Redman (groin) is ? WR Mike Wallace (holdout) is out. LB James Harrison (knee) is on PUP list. RB Rashad Mendenhall (knee) is out. OT Max Starks (knee) is on PUP. NT Casey Hampton (knee) is out.
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