The Colts travel to Houston as 1.5 point underdogs to play the Texans for the third time this year with each team winning one of their previous contests. The line for this game has come down after opening Texans -2. The NFL playoffs have so much more money being bet than the regular season that the lines are dictated by the public. That is the case here with the public coming in on the Colts after they finished the regular season winning 10 of their last 11 games. They have played very well both offensively and defensively down the stretch and have gone a little under the radar doing so. The Texans went on a mid-season 9 game winning streak that had many people ready to pencil them into the Super Bowl. That was ended by the Colts in Reliant Stadium where we have our rematch this week. The Colts had a chance to win or tie the first game as well but turnovers were their undoing. They had 2 turnovers in the first half that resulted in 14 points for the Texans and they had a turnover on downs in overtime that resulted in the Texans winning the game. The Colts out-gained the Texans in that matchup and very well could have swept the series.
Had the Colts swept the series against the Texans we would be looking at this line opening at a pick-em which it probably will be by kickoff. The Colts (8th) are ranked higher in overall efficiency than the Texans (11th) and pretty much dominated them in their last game despite only winning by 3. The Colts out-gained the Texans 436 to 315 which equates to 6.6 yards per play for the Colts to 4.6 yards per play for the Texans. I see a similar outcome in this game. The Texans have had issues on their offensive line all year and Deshaun Watson was sacked 12 times in the two games against the Colts. Despite the Texans having a better overall defense than the Colts, it has been led by their defensive line. Their secondary is their weak spot which does not bode well going against the Colts offense that has one of the best offensive lines in the league. We have seen Andrew Luck play very well against the Texans this year combining for 6 TDs and only 1 INT. The Colts offensive line has been able to give Andrew Luck time to find his open receivers which has resulted in a successful year for him and the Colts offense. The same can not be said for Deshaun Watson who has been sacked more times than any other QB throughout the year. The Texans offense offense is ranked only 21st in overall efficiency; much lower than the Colts at 10th. This has a lot to do with their offensive line play this year. The Texans offense is not lacking any weapons with great receivers and running backs but they are hindered by poor offensive line play. That becomes a much bigger issue in the playoffs which is why I have the Colts here.