NFL Free Pick: Houston Texans vs. Indianapolis Colts

texans colts nfl pickThe Indianapolis Colts (9-4) will put their three-game winning streak on the line when they play the Houston Texans (7-6) this week. This game will feature the NFL’s leading passer, Andrew Luck (4,305 yards, 36 TDs), and third-leading receiver, T.Y. Hilton (1,295 yards, 7 TDs). Indianapolis comes into this game looking to continue their recent success. They have won four of their last five. The game will begin Sunday at 1:00 p.m. ET and can be seen on CBS.

Indianapolis will have a chance to extend their four-game winning streak against Houston this week. Their last meeting came in Week 6, a 33-28 victory for the Colts. Hilton had a standout performance in the last game against the Texans, hauling in nine receptions for 223 yards and one TD. Luck had a big day as well, contributing 370 yards and three TDs through the air. Arian Foster had a great outing running the ball for Houston in that game, carrying it 20 times for 109 yards and two TDs.

The Colts, a six-point favorite, will be looking to hold down their home field when Houston comes to town. The Over/Under (O/U) for the matchup is sitting at 49 points. Heading into Week 15 of league action, the Colts are 9-4 both Straight Up (SU) and Against The Spread (ATS). In their five most recent matchups, the Colts went 4-1 SU and 3-2 ATS. Judging from past games this season, expect to see a heavy dose of the Indianapolis passing game, which currently averages an NFL-best 321.9 passing yards per game. Crossing over to the defensive side of the ball, the Colts look to have a distinct advantage in certain spots. Indianapolis’s secondary will be licking its chops against the Texans and their struggling pass game this season. Houston averages just 197.3 yards per road game through the air, ranking 28th in the NFL. The Colts may rely on Houston’s special teams as a means for extra yardage in this week’s clash. Out of all teams, the Texans are at the bottom of the barrel when it comes to return yards given up, with 102.5 allowed per game.

As for their opponent, the Texans head into Week 15 with records of 8-5 ATS and 7-6 SU. In the previous five games, Houston has a record of 3-2 both SU and ATS as well. Odds are Houston will continue to rely on its run game, where its 173.3 rushing yards per road game ranks first in the league. Switching gears to the Houston defense, it has some favorable matchups that it may be able to take advantage of as well. The Colts should be concerned about the turnover-generating machine that is the Texans defense, which leads the league with 2.2 turnovers per game. The Texans will look to put the ball in the end zone against an Indianapolis defense that allows an average of seven points in the third quarter of home games, one of the worst marks in the league. It won’t be a shocker if Indianapolis is heavily penalized in this week’s matchup. During home games, the Colts average 67.9 penalty yards, making them one of the worst in the league.

Predictions: SU Winner – IND, ATS Winner – IND, O/U – Over

Notes

Houston is 7-18 SU in its last 25 games.

The total has gone OVER in 11 of Indianapolis’s last 15 games.

Houston is 4-2 SU in its last 6 games.

Indianapolis is 9-2 SU in its last 11 games.

Houston is 5-13 SU in its last 18 games on the road.

Indianapolis is 5-1 SU in its last 6 games at home.

The total has gone UNDER in 6 of Houston’s last 8 games when playing Indianapolis.

The total has gone UNDER in 6 of Indianapolis’s last 8 games when playing Houston.

Houston is 4-21 SU in its last 25 games when playing Indianapolis.

Indianapolis is 21-4 SU in its last 25 games when playing Houston.

Houston is 1-5 ATS in its last 6 games when playing Indianapolis.

The total has gone UNDER in 5 of Indianapolis’s last 5 games when playing at home against Houston.

Houston is 1-4 ATS in its last 5 games when playing on the road against Indianapolis.

Indianapolis is 5-0 SU in its last 5 games when playing at home against Houston.

The total has gone UNDER in 5 of Houston’s last 5 games when playing on the road against Indianapolis.

Houston is 0-5 SU in its last 5 games when playing on the road against Indianapolis.

Houston is 5-0 SU when leading at the half this season. Indianapolis is 8-1 SU when taking a lead into halftime.

Houston is 7-0 SU when leading at the start of the fourth quarter this season. Indianapolis is 8-0 SU when carrying a lead into the fourth quarter.

This season, Houston is 6-2 SU in games where it wins the turnover battle, and only 1-2 SU in games where it loses the turnover battle.

This season, Indianapolis is only 5-2 SU in games where it loses the turnover battle.

The Indianapolis defense has forced an average of 2.0 turnovers per game this season, but Houston is 6-3 SU when turning the ball over at least 2 times in a game.

Dating back to last season, Indianapolis is a perfect 10-0 SU against AFC South opponents, while Houston is 4-6 SU against divisional foes.

When it comes to passing this season, Indianapolis is rated higher on both sides of the ball. Its top-ranked passing attack will face the 28th-ranked pass defense of Houston, while its 22nd-ranked pass defense will look to limit the 24th-ranked passing game of the Texans.

Houston is rated higher in the ground game on both sides of the ball. Its fourth-ranked rushing attack will face the 13th-ranked run defense of Indianapolis, while its 15th-ranked rush defense will look to contain the 18th-ranked run game of the Colts.

Houston has allowed 20.0 points per game this year, which is ranked eighth in the league. Indianapolis has put up 31.3 points per game this year and is ranked second overall.

Indianapolis has given up 18.9 points per contest at home this year, which is ranked 10th in the league. Houston has scored 23.9 points per game on the road (ranked ninth overall).

Aaron Ryan

Andrew Ryan has been in the sportswriting biz since the late-90s, and he has worked side by side with some of the best and brightest in sports gambling. Always searching for the best trends in sports, Andrew uses his brilliant math mind to his advantage to beat the books.