Thursday night football brings us a critical AFC South clash between the division’s top two this week as the Colts and Texans will do battle at NRG Stadium with sole possession of first-place on the line. Despite winning the first matchup between these two teams, the Colts come into tonight’s game as a 3.5-point underdog at most PA online sportsbooks and Indiana online sports betting sites. Can they complete the season sweep and continue their historical dominance over the Texans? We’ll get into it and take a look at the latest odds, best betting promos, and need-to-know trends with our Colts vs. Texans betting predictions and preview.
The Colts knocked off the Texans in a 30-23 win back in Week 7 and come into tonight’s game with a dominant 28-8 lead in the all-time series. They have won five of the last six meetings played in Houston and can take what essentially amounts to a commanding two-game lead in the division by virtue of owning the head-to-head tiebreaker with a win tonight.
Indianapolis’ rushing attack was simply unstoppable last week on its way to piling up 264 yards on 36 attempts (7.3 ypc) to pace a blowout victory over Jacksonville, but the Colts could have difficultly sustaining that success this week against the Texans in the absence of their top rusher. Marlon Mack (862 yards, 4.5 ypc) is out tonight following hand surgery earlier this week for an injury he sustained in the second half of that win over the Jags, which means the unproven trio of Jordan Wilkins, Jonathan Williams, and Nyheim Hines must shoulder the load against the NFL’s 13th-best rushing defense (102 yards allowed per game).
Meanwhile, the Texans were gashed on the ground last week for 256 yards by the Ravens in an embarrassing blowout loss. In fact, Houston was uncharacteristically blasted on both sides of the football in what was their first loss decided by more than one score this season. MVP frontrunner Lamar Jackson threw for 222 yards and four touchdowns while adding another 79 yards on the ground. Things weren’t any better offensively as Deshaun Watson threw for only 169 yards and posted a season-low 63.7 quarterback rating.
How to Bet on Colts vs. Texans
If you’re in the state of Indiana and heading to the game, you can get in on the action with DraftKings Sportsbook Indiana where you’ll get a $200 bet match and up to a $500 deposit bonus by registering here .
FanDuel Sportsbook is now also live in Indiana and offering a $500 risk-free first bet.
How to Watch Colts vs. Texans
- Date: Thursday, November 21
- Time: 8:20 p.m. EST
- Location: NRG Stadium (Houston, TX)
- Announcers: Joe Buck (play-by-play), Troy Aikman (color analyst), Erin Andrews and Kristina Pink (sideline)
- Radio: WFN 107.5 FM/1070 The Fan (Indy), KILT 610 AM/100.3 FM (Houston)
Colts vs. Texans Weather
It will be cloudy with temperatures in the low 70s in Houston tonight with a chance of scattered thunderstorms moving in during the second half, but the weather won’t play a factor because the roof of NRG Stadium is expected to be closed.
Colts vs. Texans
Here are the current Colts vs. Texans betting odds at some of the top legal online sportsbooks as of 1:00 p.m. Thursday afternoon:
|Colts||+3.5 (-110)||+163||O 46 (-110)|
|Texans||-3.5 (-110)||-200||U 46 (-110)|
|Colts||+3.5 (-118)||+150||O 46 (-110)|
|Texans||-3.5 (+100)||-175||U 46 (-110)|
|Colts||+3.5 (-115)||+166||O 45.5 (-115)|
|Texans||-3.5 (-105)||-194||U 45.5 (-105)|
Checking ELO and similar projection models is a worthwhile exercise to find potential betting value.
As for tonight’s game, ELO projects the Texans as a three-point favorite and gives them a 60% chance to win outright. With Houston currently favored by 3.5-points at most sportsbooks, the ELO projection suggests there is roughly a 1/2 point of value on the Colts.
Meanwhile, the implied win probability of the -200 moneyline odds on the Texans at DraftKings is 66.7%, which means the moneyline price is more expensive than what the ELO projection would suggest (-150 would be in line with a 60% win probability).
As for the Colts, the implied win probability of their +163 moneyline odds at DraftKings is 38%, meaning there is some very slight moneyline value on Indy tonight.
Colts vs. Texans Injury Report
Here is the final injury report from Wednesday afternoon.
Colts Injury Report
T.Y. Hilton is listed as questionable for #TNF.
— Indianapolis Colts (@Colts) November 20, 2019
Obviously, the headliner here is Mack’s absence. The Colts are only 1-5 when Mack sits with an injury since he came into the league. It will be Jordan Wilkins (6.1 ypc this season), journeyman Jonathan Williams (13 carries, 116 yards last week), and Nyheim Hines (primarily on third down) attempting to replace Mack’s 19.2 carries per game against a Texans defense yielding a generous 4.7 yards per rush (though they held the Colts to just 62 yards and 2.4 yards per rush back in late October).
The good news for Indianapolis is the expected return of wide receiver T.Y. Hilton who should provide a much-needed boost to a Colts’ passing attack that’s averaging just 174 passing yards per game over the last four weeks. In 15 career games against the Texans, Hilton is averaging 5.5 yards and 101.3 yards per contest.
Texans Injury Report
The Texans come in with a banged up secondary. Safeties Mike Adams and Justin Reid are both out with concussions, while cornerback Lonnie Johnson Jr. will miss the game with an ankle injury. Bradley Roby is questionable with a hamstring injury.
Offensively, the Texans could be without wide receiver Will Fuller (34 recs, 450 yards, 3 TD), but there’s some optimism he could suit up.
FOX Bet’s Custom Sal’s Money Back Special continues to be a popular Thursday night betting promo. His guaranteed money-back special this week is on Jacoby Brissett 250+ passing yards, Deshaun Watson 250+ passing yards and the Texans to win at a +200 payout. Two notes on this prop:
- Watson is averaging 260.1 passing yards per game this season, which includes six 250+ yard outings. Given Watson’s passing performance is correlated with a Houston win, it’s worth noting that he’s averaging 282.7 yards per game in the Texans’ six wins. He is, however, averaging only 185 passing yards in two games this month.
- Brissett has surpassed 250 passing yards in only three of his nine starts this season, but he did throw for a season-high 326 yards against Houston back in Week 7. As noted above, the Colts have had recent struggles throwing the football with four-straight games under 200 total passing yards, but the return of Hilton against the NFL’s fourth-worst pass defense (272.4 yards per game) that is now missing multiple key members of its secondary should set Brissett up for success.
FOX Bet, which will be rolling out tons of generous Thanksgiving week promos and odds boosts starting Saturday, is also offering eight different bet boosts on this game, including:
- Texans -1.5, Watson 280+ pass yards, DeAndre Hopkins +75 receiving yards, Texans 3+ TD (+600)
- Carlos Hyde to score a TD, Texans to win, over 41.5 total points (+320)
- DeAndre Hopkins to score a TD in the first quarter (+550)
- Only six of Hopkins’ 51 career regular season touchdowns have come during the first quarter.
- Hyde was averaging 19.4 carries per game over his previous five games prior to last week when he had only nine attempts during that blowout loss to the Ravens. He’s scored a touchdown in four different games this season (three of them Texans wins).
Over at DraftKings Sportsbook, you can grab a $25 insurance refund on all losing moneyline bets if your team scores 24 points but goes on to lose the game.
DraftKings offers a staggering amount of intriguing game and player props, including the following bet boosts:
- Watson and Brissett to combine for over 4.5 touchdown passes (boosted from +485 to +520)
- DeAndre Hopkins to score first touchdown (boosted from +700 to +760)
DeAndre Hopkins to score a touchdown (+105)
Hopkins, who has 75 catches for 745 yards and four scores this season, hauled in nine catches for 106 yards and score against Indianapolis in late October. He’s averaging 5.9 receptions and 79.9 yards per game in 12 career contests against the Colts.
The 4 ➡️ 10 Clemson Connection. Deshaun Watson tosses a touchdown to Deandre Hopkins. pic.twitter.com/rFQjhIy2Zw
— Austin Pendergist (@apthirteen) October 20, 2019
Eric Ebron to score a touchdown (+165)
The Texans have had a difficult time slowing down Ebron in recent meetings. The tight end has scored in four consecutive games against the Texans.
DraftKings is also offering a $25 first touchdown insurance. Bet on a player to score the game’s first touchdown. If your bet loses, but your player goes on to score later, they’ll refund your bet up to $25.
Colts vs. Texans Betting Trends
Note: All historical trends date back to the start of the 2003 season, unless otherwise noted.
Why Backing the Colts is a Good Bet
The Colts are 7-4-1 ATS in road games under Frank Reich and 5-3-1 ATS as a road underdog.
The Colts are 6-2-1 ATS in division games under Frank Reich and 3-1 ATS in road division games. Moreover, the Colts have won six consecutive games against AFC South opponents.
The Texans are 1-8 ATS in their last nine games following a road loss.
Why Backing the Texans is a Good Bet
The Texans are 10-7-1 ATS as a favorite of 3-4 points under Bill O’Brien and 6-2-1 ATS in division games following a head-to-head loss in the previous matchup.
AFC South underdogs of 3-4 points that won the previous head-to-head matchup by seven points or less are only 6-13-4 ATS in October or later. They’re only 2-11-1 ATS as road underdogs in this spot, and they’re 0-5-1 ATS as road underdogs in division games.
AFC South underdogs that won the previous head-to-head matchup by seven points or less are only 5-13-1 ATS in games played after the month of October.
AFC South underdogs in November or later are only 29-46-3 ATS in division games. They’re only 7-15-2 ATS as underdogs of 3-4 points.
A Word on the Total
No official play here, but the trends suggest the under is the correct side in terms of the total:
- The under is 41-25-1 in November or later when the home team went under in its three previous games and the road team is coming off an over.
- The under is 8-2 when the total closes 45-46.5 points in division games played in Week 12 or later.
- The under is 6-0 in the Texans’ last six games against conference opponents.
If you’re on the over, here’s the best I can do for you—the over is 6-3 in AFC South division games played in November or later when the home team is gone under in three straight games.
Where’s the Action Going?
As of early Thursday afternoon, 62% of all spread bets and 73% of the spread money is on the Texans at reporting sportsbooks. Meanwhile, the 69% of bets and 68% of the money is on the over.
Colts vs. Texans Prediction
The Colts should be able to make some plays in the passing game against the Texans’ banged up secondary, but I wonder how effective their typically dominant run game will be in the absence of Marlon Mack. Jordan Wilkins has proven to be a capable runner with limited opportunities, while Jonathan Williams was impressive last week in spot duty against the Jaguars, but I expect a spirited effort from the Texans tonight after being gashed on the ground at Baltimore a week ago.
The strong public backing of Houston scares me just a little bit, but the historical trends point to favorites at this number being successful in division rematches. I think Deshaun Watson gets back on track and leads the Texans to a win and cover.
Prediction: Texans (-3.5) over Colts