First place in the AFC South will be up for grabs on Thursday Night Football when the Houston Texans play host to the Indianapolis Colts. Kickoff is set for 8:20 EST at NRG Stadium and will be televised on both FOX and the NFL Network.

Oddsmakers opened up this game at Texans -3.5 and while that line is still available at some places, several books have jumped the line up to Houston -4. The total opened at 46.5 and down slightly to 45.5.

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Texans vs Colts Vegas Odds & Game Preview

Indianapolis Colts (6-4 SU, 5-5 ATS)

The Colts come into this one off an impressive 33-13 win and cover as a slim 1.5-point home favorite against division rival Jacksonville. It was a big bounce back performance for Indy, who lost the previous week 16-12 at home to the Dolphins as a 11-point favorite. The Colts had failed to cover 3 straight prior to the easy cover against Jacksonville.

It was a bit of a surprise that more people didn’t give the Colts a better shot at beating the Jags at home. I get losing to Miami at home looks bad given how bad the Dolphins have been, but Indy did have to play that game without starting quarterback Jacoby Brissett.

While Brissett didn’t do anything special in the win over the Jaguars, the Colts offense did get back to what they do best and that’s run the ball. After totaling just 109 yards on 29 attempts (3.8 yards/carry) against the Dolphins, Indianapolis posted a season-high 264 rushing yards on 36 attempts (7.3 yards/carry).

Houston Texans (6-4 SU, 5-5 ATS)

The Texans had to have one of the most disappointing showings of any team in Week 11. Houston, who had won two straight and four of five overall, got annihilated 41-7 at Baltimore as a mere 3.5-point dog. The Ravens outgained the Texans 491 to 232 and Houston went scoreless until midway thru the 4th quarter.

It was a one-sided affair in the much anticipated showdown of Lamar Jackson and Deshaun Watson. Jackson threw for 222 yards and 4 scores, while also rushing for 86 yards. Watson went just 18 of 29 for 169 yards with 0 touchdowns and 1 pick.

Matchup History

This will be the second and final meeting between these two AFC South rivals this season. The Colts won the earlier matchup 30-23 at home in Week 7. Indy jumped out to a 7-0 lead in the 1st quarter and would not relinquish the lead the rest of the way and led by double-digits going into the 4th quarter. Indy has won and covered 3 straight and 5 of the last 6 overall in the series.

Free NFL Betting Pick & Predictions: Texans -3.5

My early lean would be lay the points with Houston at home on Thursday. I just think this is a great price to get the Texans coming off their worst performance of the season. I was actually shocked with how much respect Houston was getting on the road against a Ravens team that is playing as well anyone right now.

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It’s just a lot harder than people think to slow down Lamar Jackson and that Ravens offense. As is the case for a lot of teams that go against Baltimore, the Texans just couldn’t stop the Ravens running game. Baltimore piled on 263 yards on the ground.

The good news is that prior to giving up all those yards on the ground to the Ravens, Houston had gone 7 straight games where they held their opponent under 95 yards rushing. In the previous matchup with the Colts, they held Indy to just 62 yards on 26 attempts. I know the Colts got the win despite the low rushing numbers, but I don’t think it will be as easy for them to score without being able to run the ball on the road.

Another thing to keep in mind with that previous result against the Colts, is that Indianapolis had a big advantage in that game coming off their bye week. Now it’s the Texans who get the big scheduling advantage playing at home on just 3 days of rest.

You also have to love how Houston has responded after a bad game like they had against the Ravens. The Texans are 9-3 ATS in their last 12 games following a game where they gave up more than 150 rushing yards. They are also 16-7-1 ATS last 24 after scoring fewer than 15 points. Houston is also 7-1-1 ATS last 9 off a game where they failed to cover and 27-12 ATS last 39 when revenging a loss where they gave up 28 or more points. Give me the Texans -3.5!