Texans-Colts Betting Preview: Will Deshaun Watson & Co. Bounce Back as Road Dogs?
David Butler II-USA TODAY Sports. Pictured: Deshaun Watson
Betting odds: Houston Texans at Indianapolis Colts
- Spread: Colts -2.5
- Over/Under: 47
- Time: 1 p.m. ET
- TV channel: CBS
>> All odds as of Friday morning. Download The Action Network App to get real-time NFL odds and track your bets
Betting market: The public is fed up with the Texans, who have failed to cover this season. They got 80% of bets in Tennessee two weeks ago and 55% of bets at home against the Giants last week.
This week, the Texans are getting only 36% of bets as a small dog in Indy as of this writing (see live data here). This line did a lot of moving in the first 24 hours after opening, but has remained rather calm over the past couple days. — Mark Gallant
Trends to know: Don’t sleep on the 0-3 Texans. According to our Bet Labs data (since 2003), teams that are winless have gone 36-23-1 against the spread in Week 4, including 15-6-1 ATS when playing a division rival. — John Ewing
Andrew Luck is 17-6-2 ATS (+10.6 units) against divisional opponents, covering the spread by 5.8 points per game.
No quarterback is more profitable ATS vs. divisional opponents than Luck since he was drafted first overall in 2012.
When Luck and the Colts enter a divisional game coming off a straight-up loss, Indy is 9-0 SU and 7-2 ATS, covering the spread by 7.5 points per game. — Evan Abrams
Domes provide optimal conditions for scoring but don’t guarantee that the over will hit. In home games in the Luck era, the under is 21-15. In division games, it’s 10-2. — Ewing
Metrics that matter: Good old fashioned yards per attempt — they’re boring, but telling.
In six starts with Will Fuller, Texans quarterback Deshaun Watson averages 9.5 yards per attempt. Since coming back from injury, Luck is averaging 5.3 yards per attempt.
Favorites averaging fewer than 6.0 yards per pass (like Luck and the Colts) are 115-140-10 (45.1%) ATS since 2003. — Chris Raybon
Matchup: These are two of the top three teams in term of pace so far this season. Houston also rates last in guarding tight ends, which is not good news against a Frank Reich offense that loves to utilize its tight ends.
Expect a lot of quick throws from Luck (as he’s been doing all year) to help alleviate the advantage the Texans defensive line has over the Colts offensive line. And expect a big day from Eric Ebron. — Stuckey
Injury watch: The Texans lost slot receiver Bruce Ellington (hamstring, IR) for the foreseeable future, and it remains to be seen whether Keke Coutee (hamstring) is ready to take over as the offense’s No. 3 receiver.
Houston continues to list DeAndre Hopkins (thumb/ankle/hamstring) and Will Fuller (hamstring) as limited participants in practice, but both receivers have keep getting their usual workload on Sundays.
The bad news is that the Texans’ already-porous offensive line could also be without left guard Senio Kelemete (knee).
Discussing who isn’t injured on the Colts might be an easier task. The defense risks being without linebacker Anthony Walker (groin), defensive tackle Al Woods (quad), cornerback Quincy Wilson (concussion), defensive end Hassan Ridgeway (calf) and free safety Malik Hooker (hip/groin).
The offense is expected to again be without tight end Jack Doyle (hip) and left tackle Anthony Castonzo (hamstring), in addition to right tackle Joe Haeg (ankle)
The good news? Running back Marlon Mack (foot/hamstring) and Ebron (shoulder/knee) are both on track to play.
DFS edge: Watson has been pressured on 49.2% of dropbacks this season, the highest percentage in the NFL. Meanwhile, the Colts defense looks underrated, or at least above average, allowing the eighth-fewest DraftKings points to quarterbacks.
Bet to watch: Texans +1.5
The Texans are better than you think. Sure, they’re 0-3. But their record is misleading as they’ve lost each game by seven or fewer points. In fact, they’re the better team according to Football Outsiders, which ranks the Texans 11th in DVOA and the Colts are 18th.
The Action Network NFL model agrees, making Houston a 1-point road favorite.
Indy is down to its third-string right tackle, which could mean a big day for J.J. Watt, who had three sacks, three tackles for losses, four quarterback hits and a forced fumble in Week 3. — Ewing
Editor’s note: The opinions on this game are from the individual writers and are based on their research, analysis and perspective. They are independent of, and may not always match with, the algorithm-driven Best Bets from Sports Insights.