On Saturday, the NFL Playoffs begin with an AFC South showdown as the Indianapolis Colts travel south to Texas to take on the Houston Texans in the first of four Wild Card games this weekend. The Colts and Texans will meet for the third time this season after splitting the first two games.
Both teams look to capitalize on late season runs and bring plenty of momentum into the post season. Can the Colts pull off the big road win or will the Texans move on to the Divisional Round? Kickoff inside NRG Stadium is at 4:35 PM ET.
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The following odds are courtesy of live odds feed:
|Betting Data||Indianapolis Colts||Houston Texans|
|Current S/U record||10-6||11-5|
|2018 ATS Home||3-4-1||4-4|
|2018 ATS Away||5-3||3-3-2|
|2018 O/U Home||4-4||3-5|
|2018 O/U Away||4-4||4-4|
Saturday’s Wild Card game marks the 35th time these two teams have played against each other since the Houston Texans have come into the league. Currently, the Colts have a commanding lead in the head-to-head series as they are 26-8 against the Texans. Indy is 9-4 in their last 13 meetings and 12-5 in Houston. The Colts have won 5 out of the last 6 games in Houston including two straight.
Indianapolis (10-6) is arguably the hottest team in the NFL as they’ve gone 9-1 over their last 10 games. The Colts got into the playoffs by defeating the Tennessee Titans in the final game of the season to secure the 6th spot in the AFC. Now, they will have to travel to Houston where they have had a great deal of success over the years. Can the Colts continue their hot streak and advance to the Divisional Round of the playoffs?
Houston (11-5) defeated the Jacksonville Jaguars in Week 17 to clinch the AFC South division and a home field game in the first round of the playoffs. The Texans have alternated between wins and losses ever since they went on a 9 game winning streak. Houston appears to be healthy in their key positions on both sides of the ball. Will they fulfill their potential and win this Wild Card game?
Like with most of the Wild Card games, the spread opened at -2.5 points in favor of the Texans. From there, we saw a quick decline with the spread at most online betting sites. At some football sportsbooks, Houston ended up getting 1.5 points. However, the majority of internet sportsbooks are settling at the Texans favored by 2 points. The Over/Under has seen very little movement. With most online football betting sites, the O/U opened at 47.5 total points and remains unchanged.
Indy has really improved over the second half of the season and might surprise you with some of their overall team rankings. A great example of this improvement can be seen in the two games that these teams played against each other.
In the first game, Indy allowed 37 points and 466 total yards. In the second game, Indy only allowed 315 total yards and 21 points. However, both games were decided by three points each. This is why most football oddsmakers have listed the spread at under a FG. With that said, I really like how well the Colts match up with the Texans.
Defensively, the Colts finished 11th overall in total yards allowed at 339.4 ypg. The Texans offense finished 15th overall in total yards gained at 362.6 ypg. Indy is also stout against the run at allowing only 101.6 rushing ypg, which is 8th in the league. Houston is 8th in the NFL on the ground as they average 126.3 ypg. I believe this is the battle that will decide the game.
If Houston can run the ball with Miller then they will open up their offense more and the play action could be brutal against a Colts secondary that allowed 237.8 passing ypg. However, if the Colts defense can contain Miller then it will put more pressure on 2nd year QB DeShaun Watson.
For the Colts offense, it begins and ends with Andrew Luck. Indy’s QB had a great comeback year after missing all of 2017 with a shoulder injury. He ended up 5th in the league with 4,593 passing yards and 2nd overall with 39 passing touchdowns. Houston’s pass defense was 28th in the NFL as they allowed 260.4 ypg. This bodes well for Indy and Luck. In a battle of quarterbacks, I give the edge to Luck.
This is a good position to be in if you think the Colts will win, and I believe they will. We have two options, their moneyline of +105 or the spread of +2 points at -110. I think the smart play is taking the 2 points for a $15 dollar difference.
Indy is 9-1 SU over their last 10 games, 5-2 SU after two wins or more, 4-0 SU against teams with winning records, 6-3 ATS in their last 9 road games, 17-7 SU in their last 24 against Houston, and 5-0-1 ATS in their last 6 games at Houston.
The Texans are 4-10 ATS in their last 14 games following a divisional contest, 2-6 ATS after winning a divisional game, 5-11 SU and 5-11 ATS against teams with winning records, 7-12-2 ATS in their last 21 overall games, and 3-8-2 ATS in their last 13 games against the Colts.
Right now, the Colts defense is outplaying the Texans defense that features more superstars. Furthermore, I believe Indy can contain the Houston rushing attack and make this a battle of quarterbacks. With that said, I’m taking Andrew Luck over Watson and just about any other young QB in the league right now. Colts win 27-24.
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