Home underdogs are on the menu in the Colts at Texans pick as Houston is listed at +3 from Reliant Stadium. That’s a very tempting line for a Houston squad that has a couple extra days rest after blowing by Detroit 41-25 on Thanksgiving as -3 road favorites.
Indianapolis meanwhile is licking their wounds a bit after being absolutely demolished 45-26 by the Titans last week as -3 home favorites. Now the Colts have to go on the road after playing three of their last four at home, does that put the value on the Texans? 62% of the betting public still likes Indy.
Were the Colts Just Exposed?
Indianapolis fell hard last week in a game which would have put them in the driver’s seat in the AFC South with a win. The Colts are still in a great spot at 7-4, but did their defense show themselves a bit in giving up 45 points to a Titans team they just beat 34-17 two weeks earlier?
The Colts do have the #5 defense in the NFL, ranking 6th vs. the pass and 7th vs. the run. This is also a Colts defense that allowed Green Bay to get out to a 28-14 halftime lead in week 11 before holding them to just 3 the rest of the game in a 34-31 Indianapolis OT win as -1.5 favorites. Aaron Rodgers had 311 yards and 3 TD in that game, but Derrick Henry had 178 yards and 3 TD rushing last week. Those are two of the best at their positions, but it also shows the Colts defense can be gotten to.
Another big question heading into the Colts at Texans pick is where Philip Rivers and the Indy offense will choose to attack Houston? The Texans are 23rd defensively vs. the pass and 31st vs. the run. Rivers was just 24/42 vs. the Texans, but had completed at least 65% of his passes in 4 of 5 games prior. Look for Indy to have some balance on Sunday with C Ryan Kelly (neck) and Jonathan Taylor (COVID) back in the lineup, boosting the rushing attack.
Next Man Up For Houston
All the bluster that comes from having a couple extra days off after a win in the national spotlight over Detroit on Thanksgiving was just burst for Houston. The Texans announced Will Fuller and Bradley Roby would miss the rest of the season due to testing positive for performance enhancing drugs, dealing a huge blow on both sides of the ball for a team holding on to faint hopes of a playoff berth.
The loss of Fuller is especially damaging for Houston, as the wide receiver was coming off a 6-catch, 171 yard performance vs. the Lions with 2 TDs. Subsequently it was another big day for Deshaun Watson, who had 318 yards and 4 TD. Watson now has 15 TD to 0 INT his last six games, and QB play like that lifts whoever is playing WR. Aside from Brandin Cooks, the targets are a bit thin for Watson however.
Free Colts at Texans Pick
This is a matchup of two teams that seem like they can put up points, but when they meet each other games are actually lower scoring with 5 of the last 7 falling under Sunday’s total of 50.5. The Texans offense is dealt a big blow with the loss of Fuller, and the Colts should try to churn out yards on the ground vs. the league’s second worst rush defense. That should mean fewer points.
Colts 24 – Texans 23
Free Pick: Under 50.5