Indianapolis Colts vs. Houston Texans
The Indianapolis Colts look for their second win of the year as they host the Houston Texans on Thursday Night Football. The Texans are -6.5 point favorites over the Colts with an over/under point total set at 40.5.
The Indianapolis Colts finally got their first win of the year last week as they knocked of the Tennessee Titans in convincing fashion. After struggling all season Indianapolis finally put it all together and played four solid quarters of football looking like a pro football team. Dan Orlovsky only threw for 82 yards in the win and only completed 11 passes but it was his not forcing it and the strong running game which was the difference. Donald Brown is having a decent year averaging 5.1 yards per carry and picking up 161 yards on Sunday alone while Joseph Addai still doesn’t look to be 100 percent after missing most of last year. Pierre Garcon and Reggie Wayne both have not had great years as the passing game has suffered but when they have got their chances they have made the most of them averaging 14.1 yards and 13.2 yards per catch respectively. The Colts’ defense spends a lot of time on the field allowing 385.1 yards and 28.2 points per game but they looked a far cry from that against the Titans even getting a score. Pat Angerer has 132 tackles, Antoine Bethea has 120, and Dwight Freeney and Robert Mathis are still two of the better defensive ends in the NFL. There will be better days ahead for the Colts as aside from the number one overall pick they will be picking first in every round of what looks to be one of the deeper drafts in recent memory.
The Houston Texans had the best record in the AFC heading into last weekend but after taking a one sided loss to Carolina they now need to win to get a first round bye in the playoffs. Houston has had serious injuries to their QB, best wide receiver, top running back, best defensive player and pass rusher but overall they have managed to overcome it. Houston has plenty of talent and has shown they can win but they are going to need to bounce back quickly. T.J. Yates is about as experienced as a rookie third string QB can be and he has all of the tools and leadership ability to win in the NFL, it’s just a matter of can he get it done this early in his career at a playoff level. Arian Foster continues to be one of the best running backs in the NFL rushing for 1,066 yards and nine touchdowns while 1,000 yards for Ben Tate isn’t out of the question as he is at 846. With Andre Johnson out of the lineup for the bulk of the year Owen Daniels leads the Texans with 53 catches while Kevin Walter has 36 and Jacoby Jones has 26. The big story for Houston this year has been the defense where they allow just 277.9 yards per game and 16.9 points. Brian Cushing has 98 tackles, Glover Quin has 68 tackles, and Connor Barwin has 10.5 sacks. Once again a simple combination of a good running game and a solid defense wins games in the NFL and it has worked this year in Houston.
Indianapolis is 15-5-2 against the spread against a team with a winning record, 1-4 against the spread in their last five home games, and 1-4 against the spread against the AFC South. Houston is 4-0 against the spread in their last four road games, 6-1-1 against the spread in their last eight games overall, and 7-2-1 against the spread in their last 10 games as a favorite.
The total in this one is set at 40.5 and while this series generally plays to the over it also generally features Matt Schaub and Peyton Manning, neither of which we will see here. This one goes to the defense and for my pick I will take the under 40.5.