NFL Betting Favorite: Texans -6
On the same weekend that the Green Bay Packers dropped their first game of the season, the Indianapolis Colts won their first game. Indianapolis picked up an impressive two touchdown win at home over the Tennessee Titans. Houston booked its first trip to the playoffs two weeks ago in Cincinnati. The Texans were beaten 28-13 at home by the Carolina Panthers. Can they get back on track this Thursday in Indianapolis?
Dan Orlovsky has come in and done a nice job at quarterback for the Colts. Indianapolis was getting poor quarterback play all year from Kerry Collins and Curtis Painter, but Orlovsky has been a big upgrade. Orlovsky has completed 64% of his passes during his three games as a starter. He has a quarterback rating of 85.9, which is about 20 points higher than Collins or Painter. Pierre Garcon is the Colts leading receiver this year. Garcon has 62 catches and six touchdown receptions in 2011. The most encouraging part of last week’s game for this offense was the emergence of Donald Brown in the backfield. Brown had 28 carries for 161 yards. If the Colts can continue to get the running game going, it will help them be much more competitive to finish off the year.
Indianapolis has Dwight Freeney and Robert Mathis on the edges as a terrific pass rushing tandem, but the Colts defense doesn’t have too much else going for it this season. This unit has allowed 28.2 points per game. Pat Angerer has stepped up as the team’s most consistent linebacker, but the Colts need more play makers on defense.
T.J. Yates had a great first few weeks in the NFL, but last weekend is a week he’d rather forget. Yates threw no touchdowns and two interceptions in the team’s loss last week. The Texans have the second best rushing offense in the league. Arian Foster and Ben Tate have both been nearly unstoppable this season. Foster has gained 1,066 rushing yards already this season, and he has nine touchdown runs. He is also second on the team in both receptions and receiving yards. Tate has had a breakout season in the backfield as well. He is averaging a very impressive 5.5 yards per carry. Andre Johnson is listed as questionable for this game due to a hamstring injury.
The Texans defense has been superb this season. This is a secondary that ranked dead last in the league last year against the pass, but this year they have been tremendous. Johnathan Joseph was a huge acquisition in the offseason for this unit, and he has proven to be a lockdown corner this season. Brian Cushing and DeMeco Ryans form a terrific tandem of middle linebackers. This is a complete defense that has no real weakness. Houston is giving up just 16.9 points per game.
The Colts offense has been much better over the last few games. Houston should be able to move the ball quite a bit against the weak Indianapolis defense. The over is my favorite play in this one.
Free NFL Pick: Over 40.5
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