It looks like Andrew Luck will start for the Indianapolis Colts Thursday night against the Houston Texans, but the NFL odds are on hold until we know for certain.
Jason's 2015 record as of Oct. 7: 16-9 ATS; 0-1 ML (-1.00 units); 10-13 Total
Nothing should ever be taken for granted. Even while Andrew Luck's status for Week 4 was downgraded to probable, and then to questionable, there didn't seem to be any concern from the Indianapolis Colts about Luck not being available for last week's game against the Jacksonville Jaguars. The Jags were 9-point road dogs on the NFL odds board all the way up until Sunday morning.
Then the bombshell. Luck was scratched from the game with a sore shoulder, and Indianapolis dropped all the way to –4. It still wasn't enough; Matt Hasselbeck and the Colts needed overtime (and two missed field goals by Jags kicker Jason Myers) to beat Jacksonville 16-13. Indy is back on top of the awful AFC South at 2-2 SU and 0-4 ATS, with the division-rival Houston Texans playing host to their Week 5 matchup on Thursday Night Football (8:25 p.m. ET, CBS/NFLN).
This Is 40
I have this terrible feeling of déjà vu. Once again, the Colts say they're confident Luck will be able to make the start, but after last week's debacle, the books are keeping this game circled until more information comes in. There isn't even an early line from Vegas as we go to press.
They'd better get a move on if we're going to be able to make our usual NFL picks against the spread and total. Hasselbeck was replacement-level (–9 Total DYAR) in relief of Luck, which is pretty good for a 40-year-old back-up quarterback. Actually, it's much better than what we've seen from Luck this year (–114 Total DYAR). But you can understand why the spread moved from –9 to –4 after Luck was ruled out.
The Colts can thank their lucky stars they play in such a weak division. The Houston Texans (1-3 SU and ATS) have some serious issues on both sides of the ball; they ended up pulling QB Ryan Mallett in the middle of last week's game against the Atlanta Falcons, with Atlanta (–4 at home) up 42-0. Brian Hoyer mounted three touchdown drives in the fourth quarter, but it was far too little and much too late in a 48-21 final.
What happened to Houston's defense? DE J.J. Watt had his usual strong game, but he was one of just two people to make contact with Falcons QB Matt Ryan – DE Jared Crick was the other. However, the obvious point of concern is with the offense. The Houston Texans turned the ball over four times against Atlanta, and while Hoyer was able to put up some decent numbers in garbage time, he's already lost the starting gig once. Let's see how all this shakes out on this short week, and we'll do our best to pick this game with whatever odds come down the pike.