Texans vs. Colts Betting Odds & Picks: Deshaun Watson Undervalued?

Texans vs. Colts Betting Odds & Picks: Deshaun Watson Undervalued? article feature image

Denny Medley-USA Today Sports. Pictured: Deshaun Watson.

  • The Indianapolis Colts are 1-point home favorites in Sunday's showdown with the Houston Texans.
  • Our experts break down the betting odds, complete with our projected spread, and make their picks.

Texans at Colts Betting Odds & Picks

  • Odds: Colts -1
  • Over/Under: 47
  • Kickoff: 1 p.m. ET
  • TV Channel: CBS

Odds as of Thursday evening and via PointsBet, where Action Network users can access an exclusive promotion to get a 200% deposit match (deposit $50, bet with $150).

The Texans lead the AFC South standings and face the Colts in Indy after their bye week. This game opened with a short spread and has only moved a half-point toward Houston since.

Bettors have been relatively split with a little more than 50% of bets taking the road team. So how should you bet this divisional matchup?

Our analysts break down every angle of this game, including Sean Koerner’s projected odds, key matchups, trends and a pick.

Texans-Colts Injury Report

Which team is healthier? Texans

The Texans should be full strength with Kenny Stills (hamstring), DeAndre Hopkins (ribs) and Will Fuller (calf/oblique) all logging full practices on Thursday. Stills seems to be back to full strength after his hamstring issue as he practiced in full on both Wednesday and Thursday.

The Colts will be getting linebacker Darius Leonard (concussion) back after he missed the past several weeks. And more good news, T.Y. Hilton and Marlon Mack are no longer on the injury report with the Colts coming off the bye.

Eric Ebron (illness) was added to the injury report on Thursday after he missed practice, so his status will be worth monitoring Friday. Most of the injuries to the Colts stem on the defensive side with corners Kenny Moore (knee) and Pierre Desire (hamstring) failing to practice on Wednesday and Thursday.

The Texans could have a field day if the Colts are missing some pieces in their secondary. Deshaun Watson could have even more time to throw if defensive Justin Houston (calf, DNP Thursday) doesn’t suit up. Houston was added to the injury report on Thursday and leads the Colts in pressures and hurries. Justin Bailey

Note: Info as of Thursday. See our Injury Report for daily practice participation and game statuses up until kickoff.

Biggest Mismatch

Texans Rush Offense vs. Colts Rush Defense

I am by no means enamored with the backfield duo of Carlos Hyde and Duke Johnson Jr., but on a team level, the Texans have been efficient on the ground with their 0.55 rushing success rate and 5.0 yards per carry.

It helps that they have one of the league’s better rushing quarterbacks in Watson, who has averaged 5.9 yards per carry for his career.

And Hyde is actually having a better season than most people realize. His 4.3 yards per carry is acceptable, and his 0.59 rushing success rate is exemplary: It’s actually the highest rate in the league for any lead back. Hyde doesn’t get a lot of yards, but for a high percentage of his carries, he gets enough yards for the offense to sustain drives.

Jay Biggerstaff-USA TODAY Sports. Pictured: Houston Texans running back Duke Johnson (25).

As for Johnson, he’s seeing just 6.2 carries per game, and while that’s not a large number, that’s more than the 4.7 he averaged in his first four years with the Browns. He’s having a highly efficient season, averaging 6.5 yards per carry.

The run-game matchup for the Texans is almost as good as it could be. The Colts are No. 29 with a 58.9 Pro Football Focus run-defense grade. They especially struggle in the intermediate range of the field, where they rank No. 30 with 1.40 second-level yards allowed per run (per Football Outsiders). Once opposing backs get 5-10 yards past the line of scrimmage, they tend to pick up even more yardage.

And the Texans offense especially excels at the second level, where it ranks No. 2 with 1.49 second-level yards per run. With their downfield blocking, the Texans make it easy for their runners to pick up extra yards once they clear the line of scrimmage.

Watson and Johnson will pitch in, but this matchup really comes down to Hyde and his ability to keep drives going with steady yardage.

With back-to-back games of 20-plus carries, Hyde seems likely to be used heavily once again, and he could get a number of chunk-yardage runs thanks to the second-level edge the Texans have. — Matthew Freedman

Sean Koerner’s Projected Odds

  • Projected Spread: Colts -1
  • Projected Total: 46.5

This is a matchup of two teams that are typically undervalued according to my power ratings. I was expecting this market to favor the Texans here, but it looks like it’s in agreement with me with the Colts coming off a bye.

The betting behavior looks incredibly balanced, so this line looks solid. I’m going to pass on this game, but whichever team loses could be a value next week as both teams are better than their public perception.Sean Koerner

Expert Picks

Freedman: Texans +1

Watson has been his best in adverse circumstances. His career doesn’t offer a huge sample of games, but his splits are suggestive (per RotoViz Game Splits App).

  • Underdog (13 games): 270.2 yards and 2.31 touchdowns passing, 39.3 yards and 0.62 touchdowns rushing
  • Favorite (16 games): 249.7 yards and 1.69 touchdowns passing, 29.6 yards and 0.25 touchdowns rushing
  • Road (14 games): 270.1 yards and 1.86 touchdowns passing, 38.1 yards and 0.50 touchdowns rushing
  • Home (15 games): 248.5 yards and 2.07 touchdowns passing, 30.1 yards and 0.33 touchdowns rushing

And we see these same splits reflected in his ATS record. As a dog, he’s 9-3 (48.4% ROI). On the road, he is 9-4-1 (33.8% ROI).

And as a road dog, he’s an outstanding 8-2 ATS (57.9% ROI).

I bet this at Texans +2.5 and +1.5, so I like the even lower price.

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