It’s the Colts at Texans in an AFC South clash this week, and the NFL betting odds have Indianapolis as an early favorite at -8.5 on the road. The Colts had their winning streak interrupted last week with a home loss to Tampa Bay but will look to bounce back against the 2-9 Texans.
It’s been a trying year for Houston, and at this point, the Texans are playing for pride as they look to start building some momentum for next year. So let’s take a closer look at what we can expect from this Week 13 tilt.
The Colts Will Have a Chance To Regroup
The Indianapolis Colts looked like they were ready to make a push for the division before Tampa came to town. They had won three straight, had been scoring copious amounts of points (109 in those wins), and quarterback Carson Wentz was making good decisions and not turning the ball over.
Couple that with the fact that the division-leading Titans have lost their last two games, and it looked like the AFC South was up for the taking. But the Bucs’ defense hounded Wentz all day, including three sacks, a forced fumble, and two interceptions.
The Colts blew a 24-14 halftime lead and lost the game 38-31 after a rushing touchdown by Leonard Fournette with 29 seconds to play. I believe that the bottom-dwelling Texans will be just what the doctor ordered to get the Colts back in the win column this week.
Recent Scoring Trends
The Colts have averaged 35 points per game in the last four contests. They’ve run for 144.5 yards per game (4th) thanks to the outstanding play of sophomore sensation Jonathan Taylor – the current NFL rushing leader (1205). In addition, Carson Wentz has had a bounce-back season and is averaging 232.5 passing yards per game to go with 21 TDs and five picks, two of which came last week.
Things haven’t been quite as rosy for the Houston Texans. The Tyrod Taylor-led Texans are dead last in the NFL in total yards and points, averaging a ghastly 264.8 yards per game and a minuscule 14.9 points. Taylor missed most of the season due to injury, and the Texans had to rely on rookie quarterback Davis Mills to get the job done. But Taylor has now been back for three games, and things haven’t gotten much better.
Colts at Texans: Best Bets
I believe that the Colts money line should be a lock at -375, but I’m feasting my eyes on a very achievable 8.5-point spread. Indianapolis is a respectable 7-5 against the spread this year, while the Texans sit at 5-6. The way the Colts are scoring points right now (and the way the Texans aren’t) has me excited to see a single-digit spread.
The Texans rank 31st in rushing yards allowed per game (135.6), which plays into the Colts’ offensive strategy. As mentioned above, Jonathan Taylor is the best rusher in the NFL, so I can see him rushing for 120 yards and a few touchdowns. It’s hard for me to imagine the Texans hanging around with the Colts for long in this one.
The total points are a different story at 46.5. While I fully expect Indy to score 30-plus, I’m not so confident that Houston will be able to take care of the balance. Eight of Indianapolis’ 12 games have gone over this year, while just four of Houston’s 11 have done the same. So my gut is saying over. In the Colts’ last six contests, there’s only been one game that’s gone under 46.5.
I could see the Colts scoring around 31 and the Texans scoring between 14 and 17 points. Personally, I’m torn, so I’m probably going to stay away from the over-under bet in this game.
Indianapolis Can Make Up Ground This Week
With the Tennessee Titans on a much-needed bye, the Colts at Texans game presents an excellent opportunity for Indy to move up in the standings. However, after the Texans, the Colts have the Patriots and Cardinals, two excellent teams that will give the Colts a difficult time. That makes this week’s game all that more critical for Indianapolis.
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