Free Picks: Houston Texans vs Indianapolis Colts

Texans at Colts NFL
Houston Texans vs Indianapolis Colts, NFL, Lucas Oil Stadium

At this late stage in the season, the Houston Texans (4-9) have nothing to play for but pride — or draft position, depending on which way you look at it. But what better matchup to fire up the Texans than a divisional foe, the Indianapolis Colts (9-4), that they saw just two weeks ago? Houston hopes to play spoiler on Sunday, while Indianapolis can solidify its playoff position with a third-straight win.

Colts’ surging run game presents nightmare matchup for Texans

If you watched running back Jonathan Taylor at all during his University of Wisconsin days, the recent output by the rookie shouldn’t be at all surprising. Frankly, behind a strong offensive line on a team dedicated to the ground game, it was only a matter of time before Taylor got rolling.

Fresh off a 150-yard, two-touchdown performance, Taylor leads the Colts into their matchup against the Texans as 7.5-point favorites (-109 at 888Sport) on various betting sites. Considering the Texans allow an average of 152.3 rush yards per game (31st in NFL) and 406.6 total yards per game (31st in NFL), it’s a juicy matchup for Taylor and Co.

Two weeks ago, Taylor rushed for 90 yards on just 13 carries in a 26-20 win over Houston. The Colts were 3.5-point favorites in that game, and now at home their spread has more than doubled. The emergence of Taylor, who is averaging over six yards per carry in his past three games, is a big part of the reason for that line movement.

Another factor is the dismal performance by Houston last weekend in Chicago, where they lost, 36-7. It was the Texans’ second game without top receiver Will Fuller V, out for the season with a PED suspension, and their second receiver Brandin Cooks was out with a concussion.

Cooks remains questionable for the Texans after practicing in limited capacity all of last week. Good news for Houston is that starting running back David Johnson should be lifted from the reserve/COVID-19 list that kept him sidelined in Week 14. Even then, it won’t be enough to change the outcome of this game.

The over has hit in four of the past five Colts’ games, and we like for the line of over 51 points (-105 on 888Sport) to hit this week with Indianapolis operating full steam ahead — even if the Texans are missing a playmaker or two.

Stats

  • Houston is 4-6 ATS in its past 10
  • The UNDER has cashed in six of the Texans’ past nine games
  • Indianapolis is 6-4 ATS in its past 10 games
  • The OVER has cashed in seven of the Colts’ past nine games

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Jordan Horrobin is a freelance sports journalist based in Toronto, Ontario, who enjoys sports-related research and telling engaging stories. His work can also be found at Sportsnet, Forbes and elsewhere. Though he abandoned most of his team-specific fandoms in the interest of unbiased analysis, Jordan roots hard for his fantasy football/hockey teams (and he's a complete homer for all things Ohio University). You can follow Jordan on Twitter at @JordanHorrobin

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