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Matchups Week 1: Texans vs. Colts

Indianapolis Colts Team Preview

Houston Texans vs. Indianapolis Colts

Spread: Texas +7

Game Total: 45.5

Team Totals: Colts (26.25), Texans (19.25)

Weather: Dome

The Line Report

  • The current consensus line is Texans +7, with a few Texans +7.5 available.
  • This line opened as Texans +8 at most locations.
  • This line has gotten to as high as Texans +10, while consensus was Texans +8 just a few days ago.
  • DraftKings Pick’Em has the Texans +8.5.
  • Circa Sports Millions Pro Football Contest has the Texans +7.
  • The current consensus total is 45.5, with a few 46s available.
  • This total opened between 44 and 45. It’s gotten as low as 43.5, and as high as 47 over the course of the summer. 

Notable Injuries

Texans: EDGE Mario Addison (Questionable)

Colts: LB Shaquille Leonard (Questionable)

The Texans Offense vs. Colts Defense 

The Texans have a solid offensive line, anchored by premium left tackle Laremy Tunsil. The Colts have a fringe top-ten front four, making this a fairly even matchup slightly in favor of the Colts at first glance. However, the Texans start the season with two new guards, including No. 15 overall pick Kenyon Green. That lack of continuity, paired with a rookie guard making his NFL debut, could create some opportunities for stud DT DeForest Buckner.

If Colts linebacker Shaquille Leonard’s status trends towards him missing this contest, that would be an impactful loss for Indianapolis.

Notes and Observations

  • The Texans were 8-9 against the spread in 2021.
  • The Texans were 8-9 on overs in 2021.
  • Per The Edge, Indianapolis gave up the eighth-fewest rushing yards to opposing running backs last season. The Colts gave up the 13th-most receiving yards to running backs last season.
  • The Colts gave up the eighth-fewest yards to wide receivers last season.
  • Brandin Cooks went 9-89 on 13 targets in his first matchup with the Colts last season. He was held to just 38 yards on 3 catches in his second contest with Indianapolis.
  • Per The Edge, the Colts yielded the seventh-most yards to tight ends last season with the 19th-most yards per route run to the position.
  • Over the last four games last season, Texans rookie quarterback Davis Mills was ninth in the league in passing yards and 12th in attempts. Mills had 8 passing touchdowns to just 2 interceptions over this span.

The Colts Offense vs. the Texans Defense

The Colts have a top-ten caliber offensive line, while Houston has more of a back-of-the-pack front four. This disparity gives Indianapolis a significant edge in pass protection and an even bigger one in the run game. This edge is a big reason why Jonathan Taylor blew up the Texans twice on the ground last year.

Notes and Observations

  • The Colts were 10-7 against the spread in 2021.
  • The Colts were 8-9 on overs in 2021.
  • Per The Edge, the Texans gave up the most yards and the second-most yards per carry to running backs last season. Houston yielded the eighth-fewest receiving yards to running backs last year.
  • Last season, Jonathan Taylor ran for over 140 yards with 2 scores in both matchups against Houston. Taylor was only targeted twice in his first meeting with Houston and not at all in the second.
  • Per The Edge, the 2021 Texans surrendered the sixth-most yards to wide receivers and the 12th-most to tight ends.
  • Keep in mind that Matt Ryan is making his first regular season appearance for the Colts on opening day.

This is What You’re Betting On in Texans vs. Colts

A bet on the Texans is a bet on a young team that played their best football at the end of last season. If you’re betting on Houston in this spot, you’re not overly concerned about their coaching change to Lovie Smith this offseason. If you’re betting on Houston at their current spread, you are getting a bad number as this line was +8 just a few days ago. A bet on Houston, in many ways, is also a bet against Matt Ryan in his Indianapolis debut.

A bet on the Colts is a bet on a good, but not quite great football team. The Colts are a well-coached, more old school football operation that wins with physicality and strong defensive efforts. The Colts enjoy reliable line play on both sides of the ball.  A bet on the Colts is also a bet on Matt Ryan bringing stability to Indianapolis. It also comes with the expectation that Ryan can elevate this offense right out of the gate. If you’re betting on Indianapolis against the spread, you’re getting them at a better number now than you could have just a few days ago.

Winner/Confidence Pool: If you’re in a large field winner pool with weekly payouts, the Texans are a high-risk differentiator option. In a smaller, more casual winner pool, I’d look to get different somewhere else. In a confidence pool, I’ll have the Colts ranked third or fourth this week.

Spread Pool: In tournaments where I can get value on the Texans, they will be in my pool of options. I’m not married to taking every tournament option that provides line value, but I always consider those options, especially when they get past a key number. In every game ATS pools, I’ll be more likely to take Houston in spots where I can get them at a good line value.

Survivor: The Colts are a reasonable survivor option this week, but I’d prefer to take them later in the year.