Colts vs. Texans Betting Pick: Smart to Buy Low on Thursday Night Football?
Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY. Pictured: Houston Texans wide receiver Kenny Stills (12) and quarterback Deshaun Watson (4)
- The Texans are 3.5-point favorites vs. the Colts on Thursday Night Football (8:20 p.m. ET, FOX).
- Using Bet Labs, we share a profitable strategy for wagering on NFL teams after a bad loss.
The Texans were embarrassed in Week 11, losing 41-7 to the Ravens. Deshaun Watson went 18 for 29 for 169 yards with an interception and a fumble. Houston’s defense had no answer for Lamar Jackson as the electric quarterback threw for four touchdowns and racked up 86 rushing yards.
Casual bettors may be hesitant to back Watson & Co. on Thursday Night Football as 3.5-point favorites against the Colts (8:20 p.m. ET, FOX), but history suggests the Texans are buy-low candidates.
Did you know: NFL teams that lost their previous game by 20 or more points have gone 432-366-18 (54.1%) against the spread (ATS) in their next game since 2003.
The larger the margin of defeat the better these teams have performed for gamblers:
Why are teams undervalued after ugly losses?
Bettors tend to remember blowouts. As a result, teams that exceed expectations by winning and covering easily are likely to be overvalued by gamblers, while those that get blown out will be undervalued.
Oddsmakers know that casual bettors will overreact to recent results and shade lines in anticipation of public perception.
History shows that teams are undervalued after a big loss. Of course, it is important to consider the opponent. Getting blown out by the Patriots is better than losing by three scores to the Dolphins.
Any team can get rolled by Tom Brady and Bill Belichick, but an ugly loss to one of the league’s worst teams is a bad omen for gamblers.
Most bettors view all blowouts the same, but there is added value targeting teams that lose to a quality opponent.
We define a quality opponent as a team that has won two out of every three games this season — that would be the equivalent of a 10-win team over a full season.
Since 2003, teams coming off a loss of 20 or more points against a quality opponent have gone 187-137-7 (56.9%) ATS. If the loss occurs in Week 8 or later in the season, when the opponent’s win percentage is more indicative of its underlying talent, the ATS win rate improves:
Gamblers following this strategy have won more than 60% of their bets since 2003. A $100 bettor would have returned a profit of $3,991 following this system per Bet Labs.
Nothing went right for the Texans last Sunday. As bettors, it is important to not overreact to one game. Teams are rarely as good or bad as they looked in their previous outing.
Houston got trucked by Baltimore and there is no shame in losing to a Super Bowl contender. Recreational bettors may shy away from the Texans on Thursday Night Football, but savvy gamblers know this is a good opportunity to buy low.