The NFL typically has one game on Thursday night, however today is an American holiday (Thanksgiving). Accordingly a lot of people have some extra time off and the NFL will be looking to cash in with increased viewership. There isn't just one game on tap for Thursday but a whole day's worth. The late game of the three NFL games to be played will feature the Pittsburgh Steelers at the Indianapolis Colts.

Trends favor Indianapolis Colts to win

Both teams have been mediocre so far this season. They enter the Week 11 match-up with identical 5-5 records. Furthermore, each team is in 2nd place in their respective divisions.

The Steelers are chasing the Baltimore Ravens in the AFC North while the Colts are chasing the Houston Texans in the AFC South. Neither division really features an elite team, so both Pittsburgh and Indianapolis can hope to get into the post-season by winning their division still.

As far as the recent trends go, the Colts are the hotter team at the moment. They have won three of their last five games while the Steelers have gone just 1-4 during the same stretch. Furthermore, the home-and-away splits favor the Colts as they are 3-2 at home while Pittsburgh are 2-3 on the road this season. However, the Pittsburgh Steelers have been stronger on the season as a whole when it comes to net points.

They are +23 from that point of view while the Colts are just -10.

Game is key for Wild Card purposes as well

While neither team is out of their divisional race, the loser of tonight's game will suffer a significant setback. There are only sixteen games to be played in the short NFL schedule and each team will only have five left following tonight.

The loser on Thursday will fall to 5-6 on the season and will start looking like an afterthought to make the post-season.

But with two Wild Card spots up for grabs in the AFC, the winner between Pittsburgh and Indianapolis on Thanksgiving will re-enter the mix. Both the Kansas City Chiefs and the Denver Broncos are 7-3 entering Week 11.

When Pittsburgh or Indianapolis gets to 6-5 then that team could start targeting the 2nd Wild Card spot as a back-up plan if the divisional title gets out of reach. Kansas City and Denver actually play one another this weekend, so the winner between the Steelers and Colts will be one win behind one of those teams by the end of the NFL's Thanksgiving weekend.

Game time on Thursday night between the Steelers and Colts is 8:30pm ET. NBC has the television coverage and the betting odds strongly favor the Steelers despite the recent trends (-425 with bet365 straight-up).

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