The Indianapolis Colts have rather strangely lost eight straight games in Week 1, but that streak figures to end Sunday with the Colts and new quarterback Matt Ryan as slightly better than TD favorites on the NFL odds in Houston.
How to Bet Colts at Texans NFL Odds & TV Info
- When: Sunday, 1 PM ET
- Where: NRG Stadium
- TV: CBS
- Radio: http://www.siriusxm.com/nfl
- Stream Option: https://nflst.directv.com/
- Opening NFL Lines: Colts -7.5 (total 45.5)
The Colts routed Houston twice in 2021. The one in Texas was 31-0 in Week 13. It was the first time Indy has held a team scoreless since beating Dallas 23-0 on Dec. 16, 2018, and the team’s first shutout on the road since a 6-0 victory at New England in 1992. Jonathan Taylor ran for 143 yards and two touchdowns to lead Indy’s offense in the rout. The Texans turned the ball over twice in the first quarter and quarterback Tyrod Taylor was benched in the third quarter.
Why Bet on Indianapolis?
Indianapolis quarterback Matt Ryan will be making his Colts debut when the team travels to play Houston on Sunday. He enters the season ranking eighth in league history with 59,735 passing yards and needs 265 passing yards on Kickoff Weekend to become the second-fastest player ever (223 games) to reach 60,000 career passing yards. Ryan also enters his first season in Indianapolis with 73 career games with at least 300 passing yards, tied with Philip Rivers for the fourth-most such games in NFL history. Only Drew Brees (123 games), Tom Brady (108) and Peyton Manning (93) have more.
Ryan, last seen struggling pretty badly for the 2021 Falcons, is clearly the best quarterback in the AFC South. Barring a significant step forward from Trevor Lawrence or Ryan Tannehill somehow rediscovering his elite efficiency despite no longer having A.J. Brown by his side, Ryan seems likely to be the most productive passer during the 2022 season as well.
The Colts landed Ryan for a mere third-round pick in a trade with the Atlanta Falcons in one of this offseason’s most heralded moves, but will Ryan just be solid for the Colts or does he still possess the ability to produce at an elite level when needed? He’s 37 now, several years removed from the guy who won NFL Most Valuable Player in 2016. The selection of Alec Pierce from Cincinnati with the team’s top draft pick (53rd) will go a long way to solidifying their wide-receiving corps.
The Colts will be run-heavy again behind star tailback Jonathan Taylor, who won the NFL rushing title last year. Taylor 16 touchdowns to surpass Barry Sanders (47) for the most ever by a player in his first three seasons. Taylor has 32 career touchdowns. He needs eight games with at least 100 rushing yards and a rushing touchdown to surpass Earl Campbell (19 games) and Eric Dickerson (19) for the most such games by a player in his first three seasons in NFL history. Taylor has 12 career games with at least 100 rushing yards and a rushing touchdown.
Pro Bowl linebacker Shaquille Leonard will participate in practice this week, Coach Frank Reich said, after having ankle surgery earlier this summer. The Colts will evaluate Leonard’s status for Week 1 at the end of the week, per Reich, but the approach now is: “Let’s get out there and practice and keep making progress, and don’t force anything, but let’s keep making progress,” Reich said.
The team has named third-round rookie Nick Cross their starting strong safety. On the heels of the surprise Khari Willis retirement, Cross and Rodney McLeod battled to be the starter next to Julian Blackmon.
Five of the Colts’ first seven games are against AFC South opponents, including both meetings with the Jacksonville Jaguars (Weeks 2 and 6) and Tennessee Titans (Weeks 4 and 7). The Colts haven’t won their season opener since 2013, haven’t won in Jacksonville since 2014 and haven’t won the AFC South since 2014.
Why Bet on Houston?
The Texans were one of the NFL’s worst teams last year and probably will be again. It will be the Houston head coaching debut of Lovie Smith, who was the defensive coordinator in 2021. Smith replaced David Culley, who was fired by the Texans in mid-January, less than one year after he was hired. Under Smith, Houston’s defense ranked 23rd in Football Outsiders’ defense-adjusted value over average but had 25 takeaways in 2021.
Smith was previously an NFL head coach with the Chicago Bears (2004 to 2012) and Tampa Bay Buccaneers (2014 to 2015). He joined Culley’s staff after being fired after five seasons as head coach at the University of Illinois. Smith has an 89-87 record as an NFL head coach and was the 2005 AP Coach of the Year.
QB Davis Mills had a solid rookie season and is now the undisputed starter. Mills started 11 games as a rookie and went 2-9 in those contests. He’s 263-of-394 passing for 2,664 yards with 16 touchdowns and 10 interceptions in his career. His 2,664 passing yards were a franchise rookie record. Although Mills’ first-year numbers were decent, there’s some uncertainty about his long-term future with the Texans. Mills is under contract with Houston through the 2024 season, but if Mills doesn’t show he’s the right quarterback this season, the Texans might be inclined to select a QB in the 2023 draft.
Mills’ top target is Brandin Cooks, who finished last season with 1,037 yards and six touchdowns, taking part in 16 out of the Texans’ 17 games. He also finished with a career high in receptions (90) and targets (134). The chemistry between them could lead to Cooks’ seventh 1,000-yard receiving season in Year 9 and potentially a big jump in Year 2 for Mills.
One of the bright spots around the league in the preseason was Texans fourth-year running back Dameon Pierce, who has been named the starter. He began training camp behind Marlon Mack and Rex Burkhead. But Mack no longer is with the Texans, who cut him from the active roster and the practice squad roster, and Burkhead is Pierce’s backup. He is expected to help improve the team’s running game, which ranked 32nd in the league with 1,422 yards. The Texans averaged 3.4 yards per rush and scored only eight rushing touchdowns in 2021.
“He’s been one of the hardest workers all camp,” said Mills of Pierce. “In the building, one of the earliest guys here, last ones to leave. He’s ready for the opportunity and I know what we’ve seen from him preseason and throughout camp so far.”
- Colts are 6-1 ATS in their last 7 road games.
- Colts are 6-2 ATS in their last 8 games as a road favorite.
- Colts are 2-6 ATS in their last 8 vs. AFC South.
- Texans are 6-2 ATS in their last 8 vs. AFC South.
- Texans are 2-5 ATS in their last 7 games in September.
- Road team is 12-3-2 ATS in their last 17 meetings.
- Colts 24, Texans 20