The NFL has given us some stinkers on primetime this year, and we may be in for another this week as the 3-7 Steelers travel to Indianapolis to take on the 4-6-1 Colts. With how tight the AFC playoff race is, a loss for either of them practically seals their fates. Both teams will likely miss the playoffs regardless of who wins, but the window isn’t shut yet.
It was a sad Thanksgiving in the prop department, as all three props lost. Devin Singletary had one of his most efficient games of the year, Dalton Schultz barely missed his total despite catching two touchdowns, and the Patriots had their most pass-happy game of the year, dropping Mac Jones back for a season-high 39 pass attempts and only giving Rhamondre Stevenson seven carries. The props are now 28-23 on the year, so we’re still a few bets up in the win column despite the poor Turkey Day.
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Steelers-Colts NFL Player Props
Pat Freiermuth Over 48.5 Receiving Yards
After the departure of Chase Claypool, Pat Freiermuth has taken on a more prominent role in this offense. Freiermuth ran a route on 67% of dropbacks in Week 8 with Claypool on the team. He’s now run a route on 89% and 83% of dropbacks over the past two games sans Claypool while seeing 19 targets.
His target rate per route run is stellar, as he’s being targeted on 27.5% of his routes. Freiermuth managed 36 and 79 yards over the past two weeks, but these were in two difficult matchups. The Saints and Bengals rank in the top 10 in DVOA against tight ends and play a ton of man coverage.
The Colts are 27th in DVOA against tight ends and play a lot of zone coverage. Indianapolis plays zone coverage on 72% of passing plays, and against zone coverage, Freiermuth has been targeted on a team-high 26.2% of his routes with Pickett in the lineup.
Our Prop Tool projects this number at about 47.5, but his median is up to 52.
Michael Pittman Jr. Over 65.5 Receiving Yards
Michael Pittman and Matt Ryan seem to be getting their chemistry back, as they connected on six-of-seven targets last week for 75 yards against Philadelphia. The Eagles are a difficult matchup for perimeter receivers, so it was an encouraging performance.
He gets a tasty matchup here, as the Steelers have allowed 93.8 yards per game to opposing No. 1 receivers. No defense allows more yards per game to opposing wideouts than Pittsburgh, at 202.5 per game. Pittman has seen at least six targets in every game this season and is averaging 9.62 per game with Ryan under center.
Pittman has gone over this total in four of seven games with Ryan while coming very close in his misses (59, 58, and 53 yards). With the matchup being as exploitable as it is, we think Pittman has the juice to get over this total.
His projection is right around the number, with his median projection at 66. However, with this being such a good matchup, there’s upside for him to go over 66.5.