This Sunday the Houston Texans (9-3) will host the Indianapolis Colts (6-6). Kickoff is set for 1:00 EST at NRG Stadium and will be televised locally on CBS.
Taking a look at the Week 14 NFL odds, the books have the Texans listed as a 4.5-point home favorite with the total set for 49.5 points.
Texans vs Colts Vegas Odds Preview
Indianapolis comes into this one off one of the more surprising results of Week 13. The Colts were shutout in a low-scoring 6-0 loss at Jacksonville. It was the first time the Colts had ever been shutout with Luck under center (82 games) and it put an end to his streak of 8 straight games with at least 3 touchdown passes. Even with a win here the Colts chances of winning the division are slim, which means their only hope of making the playoffs is to sneak in as the final Wild Card team.
Houston enters this one off an impressive 29-13 win at home over the Browns, easily covering as a 6-point favorite. Houston’s defense deserves a big chunk of the credit for that victory, as they forced 4 turnovers and shutout Cleveland for the entire 1st half, as they built up a 23-0 lead. That’s now 9 straight wins for the Texans, who not only looking great in the race for the AFC South title, but also in a position to possibly earn a first round bye in the playoffs.
It just so happens that Houston’s winning streak started with a 37-34 OT win at home against the Colts in Week 4. It was quite the game, as the Colts trailed 28-10 in the 2nd half, but scored a TD in the final minute of regulation to tie it up at 31-31. Indy got the ball first and took a 3-point lead on a 44-yard field goal, but Houston responded with a field goal of their own and then won the game with another field goal on the final play of the game.
Free Betting Pick & Predictions: Texans -4
My early lean here would be to lay the points with the Texans at home. For me it comes down to the injury to Colts starting center Ryan Kelly. The offense just hasn’t been the same the last two weeks without him (suffered knee injury in Week 11 win over Titans). He’s currently listed as questionable, but the fact that it’s now Wednesday and he’s not practicing, hard to imagine he will play.
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Prior to Kelly’s injury Luck had gone 5 straight games without getting sacked and he’s been sacked 4 times in the two games he’s missed, including 3 last week against the Jaguars. Hard to imagine it’s going to be any better against J.J. Watt and company if Kelly can’t suit up and even if he does play, he’s likely going to be at less than 100%. Keep in mind the Texans sacked Luck 4 times in the first meeting with Kelly in the lineup.
I also think it’s easy to look at the fact that the first game between these two teams went to OT, but I think a lot of that was the Texans taking their foot off the gas after jumping out to that 28-10 lead. They aren’t going to make that same mistake twice and I think it says something about the gap between these two teams that Houston was able to go into Indy and dominate early like that.
Another thing to keep in mind is this Houston offense has been a lot better at home, where they are averaging 27.7 ppg, 396 ypg and 6.5 yards/play. In their last three home games they put up 29 on the Browns and 34 against the Titans and 42 versus the Dolphins. I know the Colts defense is improved this year from previous seasons, but it’s still middle of the pack.
Fading Indianapolis in division games has also been a wise move of late, as the Colts are just 3-8-1 ATS in their last 12 games vs the AFC South. Houston has also been a good team to back off a blowout win, as they are 13-6-1 ATS last 20 off a win by more than 14 points. They are also 5-0 ATS in their last 5 vs a team from the AFC.