Grab Plus Odds With Texans as the Sharp NFL Pick vs. Colts

Ted Sevransky

Friday, December 18, 2015 9:03 PM UTC

Friday, Dec. 18, 2015 9:03 PM UTC

Our professional NFL analyst provides a breakdown of the upcoming game between Houston Texans vs. Indianapolis Colts. Don't miss this betting preview & a free NFL pick.

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NFL Pick: Texans +2.5
Best Line Offered: at Heritage


Houston Texans vs. Indianapolis Colts
I could do this write-up in a single sentence: ‘Indy can’t be laying.”  And that’s the truth of it!  The Colts aren’t going to have Andrew Luck back behind center this week, even though he returned to practice (and took practice snaps away from Charlie Whitehurst in the process). Backup Matt Hasselbeck has started their last four games after starting two games in October following Luck’s early season injury. But Hasselbeck has been knocked out of Indy’s last two games, both ugly blowout losses: 45-10 at Pittsburgh and 51-16 at Jacksonville. He’s expected to get the start here, but he’s nowhere near healthy, dealing with a very painful bruised ribs situation as well as numerous other ailments (his neck and his shoulder are both hurt as well). 

This pointspread has been set as if Hasselbeck is good to go. If you read his quote following practice yesterday, you know that’s not the case.  “Breathing is probably the hardest thing, like heavy (breathing).” To say that he did not ooze confidence is something of an understatement.  The fresh, healthy and contributing Matt Hasselbeck from October is a long, long way in the rear view mirror now. This is a 40 year old very banged up QB playing behind a weak offensive line facing an elite level pass rush.  I’d say that’s a recipe for failure!

If (arguably ‘when’) Hasselbeck gets knocked out of this game, the Colts have only clipboard Jesus to take over behind center, Charlie Whitehurst’s well deserved nickname.  Whitehurst completed just two passes for ten yards with an interception in his eight attempts after relieving Hasselbeck last Sunday; fairly typical of his performances as a pro. In fact, Whitehurst has been nothing short of awful in previous stints with the Chargers, Seahawks and Titans, all of whom gave him a legitimate chance to earn the starting job and all of whom moved on from him rather quickly.

The Colts offensive line is a disaster area, just like it’s been all year – there’s a reason that Indy’s QB’s have taken a beating this year, and their bottom tier 3.6 yards per carry average for the running game is tied for the 31st ranked running offense in the league.  Their defense has been lit up for 96 points over the last two weeks, a bottom tier stop unit. And the Colts homefield edge isn’t exactly a huge one – they’ve won only twice on this field all year, both SU and ATS.

The Texans got pounded by New England last week with the Patriots coming off back-to-back losses, no shame there.  And their four game winning streak ended the previous week in a mistake filled performance in Buffalo. But the Texans downgrade from starter Brian Hoyer to backup TJ Yates isn’t nearly as extreme as the Colts downgrade from Luck to Hasselbeck to (potentially Whitehurst). 

Houston has the vastly superior defense, allowing more than a half yard per play less than the Colts this year. The Texans are in revenge for a competitive home loss to Indy back in October when Hasselbeck was healthy. And Yates has been in this spot before, playing for the division on the road at Indy. He failed in that task as a rookie, primed for redemption here against a Colts squad that simply can’t be laying….Take Houston as the NFL pick against the NFL odds.

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