Week 12 NFL Picks: Indianapolis Colts vs. Houston Texans Odds and Predictions
A sweep on both picks for last Thursday's game between the Steelers and Browns as we recommended Cleveland at -2.5 and "under" the total of 40. Projected a final score of 20-17, and I was sort of close as the Browns won 21-7 to save their season for the time being. No one will remember that game result, though, but instead the craziness of Browns star defensive end Myles Garrett, who nearly brained Pittsburgh quarterback Mason Rudolph with his own helmet. Garrett was suspended for the rest of the season and he should have been. The former No. 1 overall pick is lucky that Rudolph didn't press charges for assault.
It's an AFC South matchup this week as the Indianapolis Colts visit the Houston Texans, with the winner probably going to claim the division - one of these teams has won it every year this decade but 2017 when the Jaguars did. The Colts and Texans are tied at 6-4, and if Indy wins here it would own the season tiebreaker. The second tiebreaker would be record inside the division. The Colts are currently 3-0 and the Texans 2-1.
Bovada lists Houston as the -110 division favorite with Indianapolis at +140. Indy seems to have the slightly easier remaining schedule: vs. Titans, at Bucs, at Saints, vs. Panthers, at Jaguars. Houston closes vs. Patriots, vs. Broncos, at Titans, at Bucs, vs. Titans.
Colts at Texans Betting Story Lines
Indianapolis snapped a two-game losing streak with a 33-13 home rout of the Jaguars on Sunday. Jacoby Brissett returned from a one-game injury absence and threw for a touchdown and rushed for one. The Colts' ground game was the story as they gashed a pretty solid Jacksonville defense for 264 yards rushing, Indy's highest total since 2004. Marlon Mack had 109 yards and a touchdown on 14 carries and Jonathan Williams 116 yards on 13.
Alas, Mack - who is having a great season -- fractured his hand and is out indefinitely, so here's guessing that Williams will be a top waiver-wire pickup in your fantasy league this week. He was a 2015 fifth-round pick by the Bills out of Arkansas who had totaled 94 yards on 30 carries entering this season. Jordan Wilkins also will see an increase in action if healthy; he missed Sunday's game but might be ready Thursday. Top receiver T.Y. Hilton hasn't played since Oct. 27 due to a calf injury and is questionable for Thursday. Safety Khari Willis already has been ruled out Thursday with concussions symptoms. He has been a very nice find as a 2019 fourth-round pick out of Michigan State.
Not really all that surprised Houston lost at red-hot Baltimore on Sunday but sure didn't see a 41-7 beatdown coming. It was the first time that Texans star quarterback Deshaun Watson lost an NFL game by more than eight points. It was also his first game without either a passing or rushing score as Watson was 18-for-29 for 169 yards with a pick. The Texans failed to score in the first half for the first time this season.
That Houston offensive line remains a major problem as Watson was sacked six times and looked like he was seriously hurt on one of those but was able to keep playing. If you are wondering, AJ McCarron is the No. 2. Houston's secondary also is a bit of a worry and it's thinner now. Safety Mike Adams managed to suffer a concussion on pregame warmups and didn't play, while cornerback Lonnie Johnson left with a foot injury and safety Justin Reed with a shoulder problem.
Colts at Texans Betting Odds and Trends
At 5Dimes, Houston is a 3.5-point favorite (-110) with a total of 45.5. On the moneyline, the Texans are -190 and Colts +165. On the alternate lines, Houston is -3 (-135) and -4 (-102). The Colts are 2-1-1 against the spread on the road and 2-2 "over/under." The Texans are 1-3 ATS at home and 1-3 O/U.
Indy has covered six straight vs. the AFC South. It is 10-1 ATS in its past 11 against teams with a winning record. Houston is 7-1-1 ATS in its past nine after a loss. It is 2-7 ATS in its previous nine on Thursday. The under is 13-3 in the Colts' past 16 vs. teams with a winning record. It's 5-1 in the Texans' previous six vs. the AFC South. Indianapolis is 6-0-1 ATS in its past seven in Houston. The under is 5-2 in the previous seven meetings.
Colts at Texans Betting Prediction
Brissett had the game of his career in Week 7, throwing for 326 yards and four touchdowns without a pick in a 30-23 win over Houston. Zach Pascal caught two of those scoring passes and Hilton had one. Brissett is 4-0 with eight touchdowns (seven passing, one rushing) and zero interceptions career vs. Houston for a 107.2 passer rating. Watson wasn't nearly as good, throwing for 308 yards and a TD but also two picks. He tends to play much better in prime-time games, though, with 16 TD passes and just two picks in six career prime-time outings.
I'll be waiting for an alternate line of -2.5 and taking the Texans. They win 23-20 so go under the total.
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