The Colts will look to build on their nine straight Thursday night wins (seven on the road) when they travel to Houston for an important AFC South divisional matchup. After staring the season off by losing their first two games, the Colts have won three in a row over the Jaguars, Titans, and Ravens by a combined score of 105-47.
The Colts defense allowed 819 total yards in the first two week losses, but only allowed 892 yards total in the last three weeks – while posting 11 sacks and forcing nine turnovers. The Colts run defense, which was pretty bad the previous two years, is ranked 11th in the league (18th overall) this season.
The Texans defense was able to keep E.J. Manuel, Derek Carr, and RG3 in check – but got lit up against Eli Manning and Tony Romo, who both combined for a 71% pass completion – 558 yards and 4 TD’s. The Texans are not as good defensively as everyone thinks – as they are 28th overall in team defense.
Colts offensive lineman Lance Louis has filled in well for the injured guard Jack Mewhort, and Joe Reitz or A.Q. Shipley will start in place of the injured guard Hugh Thornton. Part of the Colts’ success this season is due to the improved play on the offensive line. Mewhort and Reitz have been out for a couple weeks now, and they have been fine without them. They might not be the best offensive line in the league, but they are definitely above average. Left tackle Anthony Castonzo, the 22nd overall draft pick in the 2011 NFL Draft, will have the duty of blocking J.J. Watt. This will be a key matchup in the game. The Colts will also double up on Watt with their TE’s and RB’s.
Although they will all most likely end up playing for the Texans tonight – J.J. Watt, Arian Foster, Andre Johnson, and Ryan Fitzpatrick are all banged up – and the short week sure doesn’t help.
- Colts are 20-4 in the series.
- Colts are 3-0 ATS and SU against the Texans in the their last three matchups.
- Colts are 6-1 ATS against the AFC South in the last seven games.
- Colts are 7-1 ATS in their last eight road games.
- Colts are 4-1 ATS this season, winning the last 3 SU.
- Andrew luck is 2-0 in Thursday night games.
Pick: If the Colts can live up to the 11th best run defense in the league, and somewhat contain Arian Foster, it will force the Texans to be one dimensional – and that doesn’t bode well for the error-prone Fitzpatrick – who has thrown 6 interceptions so far this season. In addition, if the Colts jump out to an early lead, the Texans will be forced to abandon the run and throw the ball. The Colts have the 2nd best offense in the league – and Luck is living up to the high expectations, leading the league in both passing yards and TD’s. QB play will be the big difference in tonight’s game, as Ryan Fitzpatrick is just not that good, plain and simple. Taking the Colts at -2.5 -120 (5Dimes) to cover the spread.