AFC Wildcard Round Betting: Indianapolis Colts vs. Houston Texans

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After a 1-5 start to their season, the Indianapolis Colts now find themselves in the playoffs for the first time since 2014. Since that start, the Colts have gone 9-1 and lead the league in point differential and points allowed per game.


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The Houston Texans also started their season poorly, 0-3, before going on to winning their division and hosting this wildcard match up. These two divisional rivals met twice during the regular season with each team picking up a three point road win, Houston in Week 4 and Indianapolis in Week 14. The Texans are -1.5 point favorites in this battle that kicks off the 2018-2019 NFL Playoffs.

Luck having Tremendous Season

The Indianapolis Colts can scary anybody with their powerful offense led by Andrew Luck. Luck posted career highs in passer rating and completion percentage this season He also had no problem carving up the vaunted Houston defense. In the two match ups with Houston, Luck combined for six touchdowns and 863 yards, the third most all-time for a quarterback against a single opponent in a season. What really jump started the Colts winning streak though was their defense. In their first six games, the Colts gave up 34 or more points four times. In their final ten games, the Colts never gave up more than 28. Their defense is led by rookie sensation Darius Leonard, who led the Colts with 163 total tackles.


Texans Sensational in 2018

Houston also finished the season strong, but barely missed out on the #2 seed in the AFC with two upset losses late to these same Colts and the surging Philadelphia Eagles. The Texans finished fourth in the league in points allowed and were a top ten defense in both sacks and turnovers forced. J.J. Watt and Jadeveon Clowney combined for 25 sacks and 8 forced fumbles. To keep up the defensive dominance, the Texans pass rush is going to have to penetrate the remarkably improved Colts offensive line and disrupt Andrew Luck. On offense, the Texans will rely on Deshaun Watson, who just became the first player in league history to have 4000 passing yards, 25 passing touchdowns, 500 rushing yards, and 5 rushing touchdowns in a season. However, as great as Watson has been, he has not been able to make up for a lack of a rushing attack. When Houston loses, Watson has high attempt numbers and the Texans have low rushing attempts/yards. The Texans need a find a way to get their running game going early and often on Saturday.

Pick and Prediction

Not too long ago, Indianapolis was a team of disarray. They could not stop anyone defensively and Luck never had pocket time to survey the field. The consistency of their offensive line will truly be tested against the Texans pass rush. For Houston, they need to be able to run the ball and not expect Watson to do it all. The last match up between these two are a better litmus test for what will happen on Saturday. The Colts protected Luck and the Texans could not protect Watson or run the ball. I expect a repeat. Take the Colts to cover and win, 24-23.  

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