Indianapolis Colts at Houston Texans (+3, 46)
The Indianapolis Colts and Houston Texans already have
separated themselves from the AFC South pack as they prepare
for a first-place showdown Thursday night in Houston. “The
division games are huge. I think everybody that has played in
the league knows that and really understands how much they
mean,” Texans quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick told reporters.
“There is an added emphasis on this week, for sure, especially
with it being Indianapolis.” The defending division champion
Colts have won nine straight against AFC South rivals dating to
The Colts have won three straight after dropping their first
two games by a combined 10 points, and their defense has been
impressive during the winning streak. They’ll try to continue
that trend against a Houston offense that has struggled to find
consistency, particularly in the passing game. The Colts have
won three straight meetings and 20 of 24 all-time.
TV: 8:25 p.m. ET, CBS, NFL Network.
LINE HISTORY: The Colts opened as 2.5-point road
faves, but that has moved to -3. The total opened 45.5 but has
increased a half-point to 46.
INJURY REPORT: Colts – LB Jerrell Freeman
(Questionable, hamstring), T Jacke Mewhort (Questionable,
ankle). Texans – DB Darryl Morris
(Questionable, ankle), CB Johnathan Joseph (Questionable,
knee), LB Brian Cushing (Out, knee).
COVERS POWER RANKINGS: Colts (-2.0) + Texans (+1.0) +
Home Field (-3.0) = Pick
WHAT CAPPERS SAY: “Battle for the top spot in
the watered down AFC South should be interesting given Andrew
Luck’s dismal 1-2 SU and ATS career mark as a favorite in games
versus winning opponents. Meanwhile like Indy, the Texans enter
with an identical 3-2 record despite the fact they’ve lost the
stats in all five contests. Go figure.” Covers
Expert Marc Lawrence.
ABOUT THE COLTS (3-2 SU, 4-1 ATS, 4-1 O/U): The
defense has been a pleasant surprise in Indianapolis, holding
three straight opponents under 350 total yards and forcing
three turnovers in each contest. That unit turned in a strong
effort in Sunday’s 20-13 home win over Baltimore, helping the
Colts overcome four turnovers. The Colts hope last week’s
offensive miscues were an anomaly and look for a bounce-back
effort from quarterback Andrew Luck, who threw two
interceptions against the Ravens but is aiming for his fourth
straight 300-yard passing game.
ABOUT THE TEXANS (3-2, 4-1 ATS, 2-3 O/U): Fitzpatrick
has been inconsistent in his first year with Houston, but he
has excelled in two home starts against the Colts, compiling
377 yards with four TDs and no interceptions for a 116.6
rating. Running back Arian Foster also has enjoyed facing
Indianapolis — he has 752 rushing yards and six TDs in six
meetings, including a career-high 231 yards and three scores in
2010. Houston’s defense has given up big yardage totals all
season but has bailed itself out with a league-best 12
* Colts are 10-1-1 ATS in their last 12 Thursday games.
* Home team is 7-1 ATS in their last eight meetings.
* Under is 6-1 in the last seven meetings.
* Texans are 0-4 ATS in their last four Thursday games.
COVERS CONSENSUS: According to Covers
Consensus, the Colts are seeing 66.84 percent of support from