Texans Host Colts In Important AFC South Clash On Thursday Night Football

Both teams are 6-4 heading into their TNF matchup and the outcome could have playoff implications

Keith Allison, Flickr

Colts (6-4) at Texans (6-4)

HOU -3.5, O/U 45.5, Thursday 8:20pm EST

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  • When the Indianapolis Colts (6-4) take the field against the Houston Texans (6-4) at NRG Stadium on Thursday night, a lot will be on the line. Since both teams are tied atop the AFC South standings at the moment, the outcome could have serious playoff implications, especially for the home team.

  • As seen every week in the NFL, anything can happen, but 7-4 feels a whole lot different than 6-5. As indicated by the 3.5-point spread and 45.5 point over/under, this is expected to be a close-fought, moderately low-scoring battle between two very similar teams.

  • On the campaign, the Colts are +21 in point differential while the Texans are +13. 

  • BetQL's NFL Model lists Houston’s -195 moneyline as the best bet in this matchup. Read our preview below and determine what the best spread and over/under bets are!

Colts

Indianapolis is coming off of an impressive 33-13 victory over the Jacksonville Jaguars last week and celebrated the return of quarterback Jacoby Brissett, who was injured during Indy’s Week 10 loss to the Pittsburgh Steelers and sat out during their embarrassing home defeat to the Miami Dolphins. While he didn’t exactly light it up, the Colts’ running game did, as multiple contributors turned 36 carries into a whopping 264 yards and three touchdowns. 

However, the team’s leading rusher Marlon Mack suffered a broken hand and will be out for at least this week (and maybe longer). That opened the door for Jonathan Williams, who logged 13 carries for 116 yards. Expect Williams to see most early-down work tonight, while Nyheim Hines’ snap count should also increase, especially on passing downs. It remains to be seen how Indianapolis’ offense operates without Mack, who has been relied on to shoulder the load throughout 2019. Game script will likely determine which backup sees more time on the field.

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The Texans have allowed 102.0 rushing yards per game (13th) and 272.4 passing yards per game (29th) this season, so a pass-heavy game plan could be in store for the Colts. It’s worth mentioning that both T.Y. Hilton (calf) and Eric Ebron (ankle) fully practiced on Wednesday, but are listed as questionable for this contest. If they both suit up, Brissett will likely have plenty of time to find open receivers in the pocket, as Indy’s elite offensive line has allowed just 15 sacks all season and Texans’ Pro Bowl pass rusher J.J. Watt (pectoral) is done for the season.

Texans

Over the past two weeks, the Colts defense has allowed 47 and 31 yards, respectively, to opposing running backs. That doesn’t create much of a positive outlook for Texans running back Carlos Hyde, who is enjoying a resurgent season (4.9 yards per carry, 769 rushing yards). He has been explosive over the last couple of weeks, averaging 8.4 yards on 19 carries against the Jags and then 7.2 on nine carries in a loss to the Baltimore Ravens. If Houston can establish the run with Hyde, Deshaun Watson will become very dangerous. 

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Even though the Colts have allowed just 228.8 passing yards per game (11th), there’s a chance that he will have his full stable of weapons back on the field for this game - if Will Fuller (hamstring) is able to suit up. After getting embarrassed by the Ravens last week, expect Watson to lean on DeAndre Hopkins, Kenny Stills, Keke Coutee, Darren Fells, Duke Johnson and Fuller (if he plays). Don’t be shocked if Watson and company rebound from last week and light up the scoreboard in front of their home fans.

Prediction

BetQL’s NFL Model lists Houston’s -195 moneyline as the best bet in this matchup. Find out which team the algorithm supports against the spread and whether the over or under is the best bet!

Per BetQL’s NFL consensus picks dashboard, 58 percent of total bets and 58 percent of the money has been wagered on the Texans -3.5 while 54 percent of total bets have been wagered on the over. Find out what shocking percentage of the total money has gone on the over on BetQL’s NFL ATS Picks dashboard!