Colts vs. Texans Odds & Picks: How to Bet This Key Thursday Night Football Matchup
Thomas J. Russo-USA TODAY Sports. Pictured: Deshaun Watson
Colts at Texans Betting Odds
- Odds: Texans -3.5
- Over/Under: 45.5
- Kickoff: 8:20 p.m. ET
- TV Channel: FOX/NFL Network
Odds as of Wednesday evening.
The Houston Texans will host the Indianapolis Colts in a key Thursday Night Football matchup with big implications for the AFC South.
Though tied at 6-4, the Colts currently sit atop the division with a tiebreaker win over the Texans in Week 7. A win on Thursday night would cement the Colts’ lead. A win for the Texans wouldn’t necessarily give them the clear upper-hand in the various subsequent tie-breaking scenarios, but it would certainly boost their chances of winning whichever one this could potentially come down to if both teams are still tied at the end of the season.
TL;DR: This is a must-win game for both teams.
With the stakes in mind, our experts analyze every angle of this matchup from a betting perspective, complete with a comparison of the current odds to Sean Koerner’s projections as well as a staff pick.
Colts-Texans Injury Report
Which team is healthier? Texans
The key injury for the Texans is Will Fuller, who head coach Bill O’Brien considers to be a game-time decision with a hamstring injury. Fuller has been getting in limited practices over the past few weeks, so he could be close to returning.
The Colts ruled out Marlon Mack (hand) early in the week, leaving Jordan Wilkins (ankle) or Johnathan Williams to step into Mack’s early-down role. Additionally, Eric Ebron (ankle) and T.Y. Hilton (calf) have missed practice on Monday and Tuesday. Hilton’s practice status isn’t surprising, but the fact Ebron hasn’t returned should be somewhat concerning. — Justin Bailey
Note: Info as of Wednesday. See our Injury Report for daily practice participation and game statuses up until kickoff.
DeAndre Hopkins vs. Colts Secondary
Despite a disappointing season by his All-Pro standards, Hopkins returns home to face a short-handed Indianapolis secondary. Rookie cornerback Rock Ya-Sin has not practiced due to an ankle injury suffered last week’s win over Jacksonville. In addition, veteran cornerback Pierre Desir is a game-time decision as he recovers from a hamstring injury.
Hopkins has enjoyed consistent fantasy WR1 production against the Colts over the past five seasons.
In Week 7 in Indianapolis, Hopkins tallied an overall WR3 performance with 12 targets, nine receptions, 106 receiving yards and a touchdown. And since 2015, he’s averaging 6.3 receptions, 79.4 receiving yards, 0.64 touchdowns and 18.1 PPR fantasy points in home games.
The importance of containing Hopkins cannot be understated in this critical divisional matchup. With Fuller a game-time decision as well as wideout Kenny Stills’ recent lack of efficiency, look for Houston Deshaun Watson to continue to pepper Hopkins with targets. — Mike Randle
Sean Koerner’s Projected Odds
- Projected Spread: Texans -3.5
- Projected Total: 47
Despite 67% of the tickets and 79% of the money coming in on the Texans (see live public betting data here), this line has moved from its 4-point opener to my projected line of -3.5.
There’s good reason to believe sharp action has been coming in on the Colts. My guess as to what sharps would be keying in on are the offensive line issues the Texans had last week as well as Watson’s ankle injury.
Watson was under pressure all game and was sacked six times by the Ravens. On one of the sacks he had his ankle roll underneath the defender and it looked like it could potentially be a significant injury. He was able to finish the game, but due to the short week, we have to wonder if Watson will be less than 100% this week. Any lack of mobility will be an issue for him as it will be tougher for him to escape pressure behind his leaky O-line.
Justin Houston has a sack in six straight games and could have a field day here. Taking the road team with +4, which is still available at some books, seems like the play here. — Sean Koerner
PRO System Match
Since 2003, the under is 825-732-29 (53.0%) in division games. Unders have been a smart play in division games as increased familiarity between teams creates a lower-scoring environment.
It may seem obvious to some bettors, but it’s been more profitable to take the under in division games with high totals (more than 44 points). It’s just easier for unders to cash when more points are expected to be scored.
Following this Pro System, bettors have gone 182-110-3 (62.3%) since 2003. A $100 bettor would have returned a profit of $6,298 following this strategy.
This total opened 46.5 and has been bet down to 45.5, an indication sharps are on the under. — John Ewing
PRO Systems are data-driven betting strategies that turn winning long-term trends into easy-to-follow picks, all handpicked and monitored by our team of analysts. Try Action PRO now and instantly access real-time game matches for every PRO System.
Chad Millman: Texans -3.5
Are you kidding me? I know the stakes in this game. I know Bill O’Brien is wasting Watson because he coaches with the arrogance and misunderstanding of a Pee Wee football dad.
But a home team on a short week on Thursday night? At this price, I’m buying.
What’s the rule we love to preach? Public perception is everything when bookmakers post numbers. In this case, bettors just saw Jacoby Brissett and the Colts get healthy against the Jags, a game with a number that moved in Jacksonville’s direction. And, ICYMI, the Texans got blown out by the Ravens.
We got a buy-low (Texans), sell-high (Colts) scenario, people. Time to Gordon Gekko this one.
Randle: Texans -3.5
The Colts have dominated the Texans recently, holding a 28-8 historical advantage and winning five of the past six meetings (including all three at NRG Stadium).
However, the Colts will likely be without the services of Hilton, who has been a major thorn in the side of the Texans’ defense.
In 15 career games against the Texans, Hilton has averaged 5.5 catches, 101.3 receiving yards, 0.67 touchdowns and 19.6 fantasy points per game. While he’s vowed to play this Thursday night, his official status is questionable and his effectiveness is likely limited as he continues to recover from a nagging ankle injury. Brissett has been directly impacted by Hilton’s absence, finishing as the QB26 and QB17 over his last two games without the receiver.
Then there’s Mack, who has already been ruled out. The Texans still have one of the league’s best run defenses, ranking 10th in Football Outsiders’ DVOA. While the loss of All-Pro defensive end J.J. Watt has hurt, they have more than enough at home to limit the ground production of Wilkins and/or Williams.
And as I outlined earlier, the Colts’ injured secondary is cause for concern, especially against Hopkins. Slot wide receiver Keke Coutee has against gained the trust of the coaching staff, and workhorse running back Carlos Hyde has averaged more than 100 total yards over the past three games.
In the 16 home games with Watson at quarterback, the Texans have averaged 27.6 points with a 7.44 point differential. I’m taking Houston at home as the healthier team in a true must-win game against an inconsistent division rival.