SNF - Colts at Texans
November 1, 2013
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INDIANAPOLIS COLTS (5-2) at HOUSTON TEXANS (2-5)
Sportsbook.ag Line & Total: Indianapolis -3 & 43.5
Opening Line & Total: Houston -1.5 & 46
The Texans, losers of five straight, look to get back into the win column with a crucial home matchup with the AFC South rival Colts set for Sunday night.
Indianapolis and Houston are both well-rested coming off of their bye weeks, but both offenses have major injuries to overcome. The Colts lost their top WR Reggie Wayne to a torn ACL last game and the Texans could be without both of their top two ball carriers in RBs Arian Foster (hamstring) and Ben Tate (ribs) who will both be game-time decisions. Houston QB Matt Schaub (ankle) is reportedly healthy enough to play, but the team will stick with Case Keenum who nearly led his team to an upset in Kansas City in his first start in Week 7.
These teams have split the past six meetings with the home team winning every time (SU and ATS), but the 2013 season has been quite different for both clubs. Indy is 5-2 including handing the Seahawks and Broncos their only losses of the season.
Houston has lost five in a row SU, including its most recent home game by a 38-13 score to 9.5-point underdog St. Louis, and is 1-6 ATS for the season. Over the past two seasons, Indianapolis is 6-0 ATS when playing teams who give up 27 or more points per game, and is also 10-2 ATS after having won two out of its past three games during the same period. The Texans, however, are 11-3 ATS when playing at home against conference opponents in the past three seasons and 10-2 ATS at home after a close loss (3 points or less) since 1992.
Before the Colts' bye week, they pulled off a dramatic 39-33 victory over the Broncos. In that game, QB Andrew Luck spoiled Peyton Manning’s return to Indy as Luck threw for 228 yards, three touchdowns and no picks while also rushing for 29 yards and another touchdown. Luck has now thrown for 1,574 yards, 10 touchdowns and just three interceptions this season. Although his accuracy was horrible against Houston last year (49% completions), he still threw for 377 yards with 4 TD and 0 INT in the two meetings. However, the Colts suffered a major blow in their last game as top WR Reggie Wayne tore his ACL going for a ball that was underthrown. Wayne had 38 receptions for 503 yards and two touchdowns this season, and it is now up to T.Y Hilton (27 rec., 412 yards, 2 TD) to step up as Indianapolis’ go-to receiver.
The Colts have also been a strong running team this season with 129 rushing YPG (9th in NFL) on 4.6 YPC (7th in league) despite the struggles of No. 1 RB Trent Richardson (228 rush yards on 3.0 YPC in five games with Indy).
The pressure is also on the Colts defense to continue their solid play this season. They are allowing just 18.7 PPG, which makes them the eighth-best scoring defense in the league, thanks in large part to stopping teams on third down (35% conversions, 6th-best in NFL). Their secondary has also been strong this season, allowing just 228.4 YPG through the air (13th) with eight interceptions.
The Texans have struggled this season, but they at least picked up their first ATS win before the bye week. Case Keenum is the new starting quarterback, a role solidified after he threw for 271 yards, 1 TD and 0 INT in his NFL debut, a 17-16 defeat at the hands of the Chiefs.
RB Arian Foster carried the ball just four times that game before leaving with a hamstring injury. He has rushed for 542 yards on 4.5 YPC) this year, and has dominated Indy in his career with 173 total yards per game and 6 TD in the past six meetings. Both he and No. 2 RB Ben Tate (ribs) will be game-time decisions for this one, and if they are both out, the team will ask a committee of Ray Graham, Dennis Johnson and Deji Karim to run the football. This would put a lot of pressure on Keenum and the air attack. Top WR Andre Johnson had four catches for 89 yards with Keenum throwing against the Chiefs and now has 48 receptions for 584 yards this season. Johnson has not caught a touchdown pass yet though, with TE Garrett Graham (3 TD) and rookie WR DeAndre Hopkins (2 TD) the team's only players with more than one touchdown grab this season.
The brightest spot for Houston this year has been their passing defense. The unit has allowed just 145.6 passing YPG, which leads the NFL, but the team has only three interceptions as part of a meager five forced turnovers for the entire year. The Texans lead the NFL in yards per game margin (+113), but poor red-zone efficiency on both sides of the ball (47% on offense, T7th-worst in NFL; 68% on defense, 2nd-worst in NFL) has led to their horrible 2-5 record.