Indianapolis Colts vs. Houston Texans Prediction, Preview, Picks & Odds - 12/5/2021

by Chuck Sommers

Game time: 1 p.m. ET
Venue: NRG Stadium, Houston, TX
Where to watch: CBS

Opening Odds at USA Sportsbooks


DraftKings: Colts -8.5
BetMGM: Colts -8.5
Caesars: Colts -9

Season record
Colts: 6-6 (2nd place, AFC South)
Texans: 2-9 (T-Last, AFC South)

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Colts - Texans preview and analysis


Last week
Colts: lost 38-31 vs. Buccaneers
Texans: lost 21-14 vs. Jets

The Indianapolis Colts may not be a lost cause after all, and will look to prove that again Sunday (hopefully) when they visit the Houston Texans.

The Colts have suddenly found themselves back in playoff contention after a three-game winning streak, but had it end against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers on Sunday. Despite the loss, the Colts are only two games back in the win column of the first-place Tennessee Titans (despite not having the tiebreaker).

Carson Wentz continued his strong bounceback season with 306 yards and three touchdowns, but did throw two interceptions in the loss to Tom Brady and co. 

"It is frustrating," Wentz said. "I don't know how many times we can turn the ball over against a good team like that, that many times, and still score that many points. It's not going to happen."

The star of the show was running back Jonathan Taylor, the leading vote getter for the Pro Bowl after early returns, rushing for 83 yards and a touchdown.

Taylor, who leads the league with 1,205 yards and 14 touchdowns on the ground, can become the first place since LaDainian Tomlinson (2004) with a rushing touchdown in 10 straight regular season games. Taylor has 100 yards rushing in three of the last four games and had 145 yards and two touchdowns in the Week 6 meeting, a 31-3 Colts victory.

The Colts have gone 2-3 against the spread and have been underdogs the past two weeks; the 7-point dogs covered easily against the Buffalo Bills two games ago, while the Colts were given three against the Bucs.

Indianapolis has to feel good about facing a lowly Texans team that went from defeating the Titans in Nashville one week, to losing outright to the quarterback-less New York Jets by a touchdown last week.

Tyrod Taylor, now back under center and the only hope for the Texans right now, threw for 158 yards and two touchdowns but did throw an interception. Even if the numbers weren’t impressive, at least they’re better than what Davis Mills could do when he was running this offense.

Brandin Cooks did catch his third touchdown of the season last week and Texans fans have to feel fine knowing the starter and No. 1 receiver continue to find that chemistry … and that the Texans know that a quarterback should always throw to his leading receiver.

"We just didn't play well consistently offensively," coach David Culley said.

That’s about the only consistent thing about the Texans this season.

Prediction


This matchup should be an easy cakewalk for the Colts. Not only has Indy got the talent edge by a country mile, but should control the possession game by just running the ball with ease. Colts by 21

Betting trends


The Colts are 6-1 ATS off a home loss in their last seven.

The Colts are 5-0 ATS in their last five following an ATS loss.

The Texans are 14-20 ATS in their last 34 AFC games.

The Colts are 8-0-1 ATS in their last nine games in Houston.

Players to watch


Colts: Wide receiver T.Y. Hilton had his first receiving touchdown of the season last week and had 80 yards back in Week 6.

Texans: Running back David Johnson had a season-high 55 yards from scrimmage last week.

Statistical leaders


Colts:
Passing: Carson Wentz -- 2,790 yards, 21 TD, 5 INT
Rushing: Jonathan Taylot -- 1,205 yards, 14 TD
Receiving: Michael Pittman -- 805 yards, 5 TD
Defense: DeForest Buckner -- 5.5 sacks

Texans:
Passing: Tyrod Taylor -- 921 yards, 5 TD, 4 INT
Rushing: David Johnson -- 176 yards
Receiving: Brandin Cooks -- 704 yards, 3 TD
Defense: Jonathan Greenard -- 8 sacks

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Chuck Sommers

About the Author:

Chuck Sommers has camped outside of sportsbooks since he can remember, learning the tricks and nuances of the trade. He still has nightmares of betting $5,000 on the Raiders in the Tuck Rule game but has since turned that to 25 years of veteran handicapping greatness. You can find him mostly in the shadows at the Red Rock or Aliante casinos wondering if the over is cashing on any given Sunday.

All photographic images used for editorial content have been licensed from the Associated Press.

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