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In-Depth Prediction, Preview, and Odds

Texans vs. Colts Prediction

Sunday, October 20, 2019 at 1:00pm EDT
Lucas Oil Stadium, Indianapolis

This article covers a past game!

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In-depth Coverage

This is an in-depth analysis of this game, covering every possible detail and angle. Use the table of contents to navigate between each section, or just jump on in!

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Table of Contents

Last Updated: Sunday, October 20, 2019 at 10:29am EDT

Introduction

National Football League action on Sunday afternoon and a pair of teams from the AFC South will duke it out as the Houston Texans pay a visit to Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis, Indiana to rumble with the Indianapolis, Colts. These teams split the regular-season meetings last year with both games being decided by three points while the Colts won the playoff game by a score of 21-7.

The Texans are off a huge 31-24 road win over the Kansas City Chiefs on the road and they are now at 4-2 on the year. The Offense has been incredible of late as they have scored 84 points over their last two games and they will look to keep it rolling in this one. Deshaun Watson has thrown for 706 yards with six TDs and two INTs over his last two games and he is 1-1 in two career regular-season games against the Colts. Watson will look for a better showing than the playoff game as he hit 29 of 49 passes for 235 yards with a TD and an INT in the loss. Can Watson continue his stellar play of late and get revenge for last year's playoff loss? We shall see.

The Indianapolis Colts were picked by many to win the division prior to the season, but then most had them pegged for last after Andrew Luck retired. Well, they have fooled everyone so far with their 3-2 start. The Colts are off their bye week and prior to the bye, they beat the Chiefs on the road by a score of 19-13. Jacoby Brissett has thrown for 1062 yards with 10 TDs and just three INTs so far while posting a 94.9 QBR, which is 17th in the league. The defense for the Colts has been middle of the pack as they are 16th in points allowed, giving up 23 ppg and that defense will be tested against the red-hot Houston offense. Can the Colts continue to fool the rest of the league and all the pundits with a big win in this one? You'll have to check back to find out.

Houston Texans Review

The Houston Texans come into this game sitting atop the AFC North standings with a 4-2 record. The Texans began with a two-point loss at New Orleans and they had a six-point loss at home to Carolina a couple of weeks later. This team is just eight points removed from being undefeated at this point in the year. We also note that three of their four wins so far have also been by seven points or less. The Texans have been playing some tight football games this year.

They do have a very easy win on their year and that was a 53-32 home win over the Atlanta Falcons a couple of weeks ago. The Texans rolled up 592 yards of total offense in that game, including 426 yards passing. Deshaun Watson threw for all 426 yards and he had five TDs with no INTs in the contest as well. He followed that up by throwing for 280 yards with one TD and two picks in a 31-24 road win over Kansas City last week. The Texans are now at 2-1 on the road for the year and will look to keep it going against the upstart Colts in this one.  

Indianapolis Colts Review

The Indianapolis Colts were dealt a huge blow in the offseason when Andrew luck announced his retirement. Everyone expected this team to go into the tank and in fact, they were picked by many to finish in last place in the AFC South. The Colts have fooled everyone as they have gotten off to a 3-2 start and a win in this game will put them into first place in the division. 

The Colts began with a six-point loss to the Chargers in OT on the road, before winning against Atlanta and Tennessee. They were then surprised at home by the Oakland Raiders before bouncing back two weeks ago with a road win over the Chief. Both these teams have now beaten the chiefs on the road. Indianapolis is off their bye week, so they should be fresh for this one. Like the Texans, The Colts have also played close games as all five of their games have been decided by seven points or less. Can the Colts use the extra break to take down a red-hot Houston team? Read on to find out.

The Running Game

Houston Texans Running Offense
vs. Indianapolis Colts Running Defense

Houston Texans Running Offense

The Houston ground game is one of the best in the league and while they threw for 426 yards last week, they also ran for 166 yards in the win over the Chiefs. A strong running game will only make Deshaun Watson all the more effective. Just ask the Chiefs. Carlos Hyde was traded to the Texans, by the Chiefs, in the preseason and he has made an impact so far. Last week, he had 116 yards and a TD against said Chiefs and has now rumbled for 426 yards and three TDs on the year. He is 10th in the league in rushing.

Duke Johnson is a nice compliment to Hyde as he is 2nd on the team in rushing with 239 yards and at 6.5 yards per pop. Third on the team is Watson, who has rushed for 165 yards and five TDs. He can beat you with both his arm and his legs. This is a very tough offense to contain when the running game is clicking. The offensive line is another plus for the Texans as it is one of the better in the league.   

Indianapolis Colts Run Defense

The Indianapolis Colts will have a tough task in stopping this ground game as they are 19th in the league against the run so far. If they can’t stop the run, then they will be in trouble. The Colts have had the extra week to prepare for this offense and they did allow just 36 yards on the ground to the Chiefs in their last game. How much can we read into that as the Chiefs are beaten up at RB, plus they are more of a throwing team? 

Houston will through the ball a lot, but more so once they establish their ground game, which is 4th in the league. Indy has allowed 105.7 yards per game on the ground over their last three games but they have allowed 140.5 ypg rushing in their home games so far. This will be interesting to see if the Colts can stop the run. It could be a long afternoon if they can’t.   

Stats

Houston's Rushing Offense

  • 11th in run play percentage (43.44 percent)
  • 10th in rushing attempts per game (28.2)
  • 5th in rushing yards per game (139.8)
  • 6th in yards per attempt (5.0)
  • 5th in rushing first downs per game (8.2)

Indy’s Run Defense

  • 13th in the percentage of run plays against (38.28)
  • 8th in run plays per game against (22.2)
  • 19th in rushing yards allowed per game (113.2)
  • 29th in opposing yards per attempt (5.1)
  • 28th in rushing first downs per game against (7.4)

Who has the Edge?

I have to give the edge here to the Texans. They are 5th in the league in rushing and the Colts are 19th against the run. The Colts have looked better against the run of late as they have allowed just 105.7 ypg on the ground over their last three games, but most of that is due to the fact that they held the Chiefs to just 36 yards on the ground. Kansas City is more of a throwing team and they are beaten up at the RB position. The Texans had 166 yards on the ground against the Chiefs last week and have now rushed for 164.7 rpg over their last three games. Carlos Hyde, Duke Johnson, and Deshaun Watson are all solid in the running game and that is just too much for the Colts to stop here.   

Advantage: Houston Texans

Indianapolis Colts Running Offense
vs. Houston Texans Running Defense

Indianapolis Colts Running Offense

The Colts have also have had a strong ground game this year as they come in ranked 4th in the league in rushing, but we do note that they have averaged 113.3 ypg on the ground in their last three games and just 80 ypg on the ground in their two home games thus far. The Colts have had to turn to the run a bit more than they wanted to after Andrew Luck retired and it has been working well for them so far. 

Marlon Mack leads the team in rushing with 470 yards and that is also 7th in the league. He has rushed for a solid 4.7 yards per attempt as well and that is nice. Jordan Wilkins is 2nd on the team with 125 yards and at 6.6 yards per pop while 3rd is Jacoby Brissett with 60 The solid effort from the ground game has helped take off some of the pressure on Brissett and it will need to continue to do so.   

Houston Texans Run Defense

The Houston Texans have a solid run defense that ranks 8th in the league and it will need to be on point in this one as the Colts have a solid ground game right now. The run defense for the Texans has been even more stout of late as they have allowed just 68 ypg on 3.5 yards per attempt over their last three games. That number may be a bit skewed as they have faced the Falcons and Chiefs in their last two games and both teams take to the aerial route more than overland.

Houston has allowed teams to rush for 4.5 yards per attempt and they will be looking to shut down mack and company and make Brissett beat them. The Colts have rushed for 113.3 ypg and at just 3.7 yards per pop over their last three games, so Houston has a decent shot at shutting the Indy ground game down.   

Stats

Indy’s Run Offense

  • 5th in run play percentage (47.89 percent)
  • 4th in rushing attempts per game (31.8)
  • 4th in rushing yards per game (142.0)
  • 13th in yards per attempt (4.5)
  • 2nd in rushing first downs per game (9.4)

Houston’s Run Defense

  • 2nd in the percentage of run plays against (31.99)
  • 4th in run plays per game against (19.8)
  • 8th in rushing yards allowed per game (88.0)
  • 20th in opposing yards per attempt (4.4)
  • 6th in rushing first downs per game against (4.5)

Who has the Edge?

I will be giving the edge here to the Texans. I realize that the Colts have been strong on the ground this year, but they have been a bit weaker of late and the Texans have allowed just 68 rpg on the ground over their last three games. You can bet that the Texans will look to take away Mack and make  Brissett beat them and they have the run defense to do so. The Texans have allowed just 88 ypg on the ground for the year and just 3.5 yards per attempt over their last three games while Indy has gone for just 3.7 yards per attempt over their last three games. I see the Colts struggling to run the ball in this one. 

Advantage: Houston Texans

The Passing Game

Houston Texans Passing Offense
vs. Indianapolis Colts Passing Defense

Houston Texans Passing Offense

The Houston passing game has really taken flight of late as they have thrown for 706 yards in their last two games. Deshaun Watson has been getting the time and he has picked apart the last two defenses he has faced, but we have to note that those two defenses were Atlanta’s and Kansas City’s. Not exactly tong pass defenses there. Still, if the ground game gets going in this one, then Watson could have another big game. 

Watson has thrown for 1644 yards with 12 TDs and just three INTs while posting a QBR of 107.9, which is 4th in the league. Will Fuller V is off to a solid start as he has 444 yards receiving and three TDs, while Deandre Hopkins has 402 yards receiving and two TDs. This is a deep receiving corps as the top five have at least 159 yards receiving and the five have combined for 11 of Watson’s 12 TD passes on the year.    

Indianapolis Colts Passing Defense

The Colts have been near the middle of the pack in passing yards allowed per game and one has to wonder if that will be enough. They are near the bottom of the league in defensive pass completion percentage and opponent passer rating. Those are not good rankings, especially against a red-hot Houston passing game. Indy could have an even tougher time stopping the pass if they struggle to stop the run. 

The Colts do not have a star in their secondary as no one on the team has more than one pas defended and they have picked off just two passes on the year so far. Denico Autry has 2.5 sacks to lead the team while Justin Houston and Grover Stewart are both second with two Each. Can the Colts get enough pressure on Watson in this one? If they don’t, then it will be a long afternoon for them. 

Stats

Houston’s Pass Offense

  • 20th in pass attempts per game (33.7)
  • 10th in passing yards per game (257.0)
  • 8th in completion percentage (69.31)
  • 6th in yards per pass attempt (7.6)
  • 12th in yards per pass completion (11.0)
  • 4th in TD passes (12)
  • 11th in INT thrown (four)
  • 4th in passer rating (105.3)

Indy’s Pass Defense

  • 10th in pass attempts against per game (33.2)
  • 17th in passing yards per game allowed (242.0)
  • 26th in completion percentage allowed (69.88)
  • 22nd in yards per pass attempt (7.3)
  • 15th in yards per pass completion (10.4)
  • 25th in TD passes allowed (10)
  • Tied for 26th in INT (two)
  • 14th in sacks per game (2.6)
  • 29th in passer rating allowed (108.0)

Who has the Edge?

I have to go with the Texans in this category. They have a strong passing game that is starting to take flight. Houston has a deep WR corps and the Colts have a below-average secondary. Indy is near the bottom of the league in opponent passer rating, defensive completion percentage and 25th in TD passes allowed while picking off just two passes so far. The Texans are also excellent in 3rd down conversions and that should help them keep drives rolling along. I do not see the Colts being able to slow down this passing game, especially if Carlos Hyde gets the ground game rolling. 

Advantage: Houston Texans

Indianapolis Colts Passing Offense
vs. Houston Texans Passing Defense

Indianapolis Colts Passing Offense

The Colts could have had a strong passing game, but that went by the wayside when Andrew Luck retired. Now the offense is in the hands of Marlon Mack and Jacoby Brissett. Brissett has thrown for 265 and 310 yards in his two home games and he could have a nice showing against a Houston defense that is 24th in the league against the pass. He could use help from his ground game which has gone south a bit of late. 

Brissett did struggle in his last game as he threw for just 151 yards against a bad KC pass defense, but with the extra week to prepare, that could change in this one. He has thrown for 1062 yards with 10 TDs and three INTs while posting a QBR of 94.9, which is 17th in the league. Ty Hilton leads the team in receiving with 232 yards and four TDs while TE Eric Ebron is second with 136 yards and two TDs and Zach Pascal is 3rd with 133 yards and a TD. This is not a very talented WR corps, but they are not taking on a very talented secondary in this one. It should be an interesting battle.  

Houston Texans Passing Defense

The biggest weakness of the Houston Texans is their pass defense. They defend the run very well, but stopping opposing passing games has not been easy. Teams know this as they have thrown the ball 39.5 times per game against them. Houston will look to stop the run in this game and that means the onus will fall on the skills of their defensive backs, which are not terribly strong. The good news is that they are facing a rather weak Indianapolis WR Corps. 

Part of the reason for bad numbers against the pass is that teams have had to pass a lot, due to the fact that it is the only way to match points with this explosive offense. Johnathan Joseph leads the team in passes defended with seven while three other players have four. Tashaun Gipson leads the two with two INTs and he brought one of them back for a TD. If the Colts have to play catchup, then the Texans could again give up som big yards through the air.

Stats

Indy’s Pass Offense

  • 23rd in pass attempts per game (33.4)
  • 27th in passing yards per game (202.0)
  • 17th in completion percentage (64.67)
  • 28th in yards per pass attempt (6.0)
  • 27th in yards per pass completion (9.4)
  • 4th in TD passes (10)
  • 9th in INT thrown (3)
  • 14th in passer rating (94.9)

Houston’s Pass Defense

  • 29th in pass attempts against (39.5)
  • 24th in passing yards per game allowed (268.0)
  • 23rd in completion percentage allowed (67.93)
  • 12th in yards per pass attempt (6.8)
  • 11th in yards per pass completion (10.0)
  • 23rd in TD passes allowed (11)
  • Tied for 24th in INT (three)
  • 13th in sacks per game (2.7)
  • 22nd in passer rating allowed (99.4)

Who has the Edge?

I will be giving the edge to the Colts in this one. They do not have a strong passing game, but the Texans have struggled against the pass this year. They are 24th in passing yards per game allowed, 23rd in defensive completion percentage and 22nd in opponent passer rating. We also note that Brissett has not had a 200-yard passing game on the road, but at home, he has thrown for 265 yards and 310 yards. I feel the Colts will have to pass more as the Texans will shut down their ground attack and that will allow them to pile up the yard. This category goes to the Colts.

Advantage: Indianapolis Colts

Intangibles

Houston Texans

The Texans are on the road, but they have already beaten the Chargers and Chiefs away from home. That throws the home field edge out. Well, Maybe. LOL Houston can be bitten by the penalty big as they are 18th in the league in penalties at 7.8 per game and they are 17th in the league in defensive yards per point at 15.9. Now the god new, Houston is 10th on offensive yards per point and 5th in the league in offensive yards per play. 

Houston comes in at 24th in the league in punting, but they are 2nd in the league in third-down conversions per game at 6.3. The one area that the Texans have struggled some is in the kicking game as Ka'imi Fairbairn has already missed three field goals and four extra points. Will that be the key to this game? We shall seel. 

Indianapolis Colts

The Colts are at home, but will that matter here. They have already lost to the Raiders here at home and they narrowly beat Atlanta here, winning that game by just three points. Still, indy has been a solid home team overall in his career and the Colts have a slight edge in the kicking game as Adam Vinatieri has missed three FGs and three extra points. 

The Colts are 14th in the league in offensive yards per point at 15.2 and 20th in defensive yards per point. The Colts are 17th in the league in turnover margin and 2nd in the league in penalties, committing just 5.4 of them per game.   

Who has the Edge?

I think this is a push as both teams do some of the extra stuff right and both struggle at some of the extra stuff as well I do feel that the Texans have an edge in coaching, but the Colts get the special teams edge and they are a disciplined team that won’t commit many penalties. The Texans have the edge in yards per point and they have played well on the road so far, but the Colts seem to always play well at home. All the intangibles cancel themselves out. 

Advantage: Push

Final Outlook

I will be siding with the Houston Texans in this one. Deshaun Watson and that offense are on fire at the moment and I don’t see the Colts coming up with enough stops or enough points on offense to win the game. Marlon Mack has been a good portion of their offense, but the Texans have a strong run defense and they will take him away. That means that Brissett will have to beat Houston and I just don’t see him outdueling Watson. 

The Houston ground game has been strong of late as they have averaged 164.7 ypg over their last three games and while Indy has been better of late against the run, we note that part of that is the 36 yards they allowed to KC in their last game. The Chiefs are a throwing team and they are banged up in the backfield. Once the Texans establish the run, then the passing lanes will open up for Watson, who has been on fire of late, having thrown 706 yards and six TDs over his last two games. 

The Colts are the home team and that should give them the edge, but the road team is 8-1-2 ATS the last 11 games in this series and Houston has already beaten the Chargers and Chiefs on the road. Houston is the better team in this one and they have the far better QB, plus they are 8-3-1 ATS in their last 12 vs. the AFC. Look for the Texans to grab a big road win here and remain atop the AFC South standings   

Latest Updates, Injury Reports, and Line Movements

Prediction: Houston +1

Second Opinion on this pick from StatSalt.com

Additional Insiders' Best Bets

Full-game Total Bet

Insiders Status:

Rating:

I will look for this game to go Under the total. The Texans will put up some points in this game, but they will also run the ball a lot against a less than average run defense. That will aid in chewing up the clock. The Colts have to run the ball as they look to keep the pressure off their young QB. They will not be able to gain much when they run the ball, but the Colts will still have to keep plugging away. 

Colt home games and Houston road games have been high scoring this year, but I just don’t see it in this one. I still like Watson to have a nice game, but the weakness of the Colts on defense is their run defense. The weakness on the Houston defense is their pass defense, but Brissett has been very average in the early going and I don’t see him breaking out in this one. 

The Under is 6-1 in Houston’s last seven games after accumulating more than 150 yards rushing in their previous game and 14-3 in Indy’s last 17 vs. a team with a winning record, plus 9-1 in the last 10 meetings between these teams here in Indianapolis. Lastly, the last 10 games in this series (regulation) have averaged just 39.5 ppg, which eight points off of today’s total. Look for this one to finish right around 40 as well.  

Prediction: Under 47.5

Full-game Prop Bet

Insiders Status:

Rating:

I love this prop. The Houston offense has been scorching hot of late and it should continue here in this important game for both teams. Houston has averaged 31.3 ppg over their last three games and the Colts have allowed 22.7 ppg over the same stretch. That is all the info I need for this one.

Prediction: Texans Team Total Over 22.5

Half-time Side Bet

Insiders Status:

Rating:

The Houston Texans will take this game outright and I see them getting off to a strong start. The Texans have their offense rolling and I just don't think that the Colts will be able to keep up from the start of the game. Take the Texans in the first half of this one.

Prediction: Houston +0.5 (First Half)

Half-time Total Bet

Insiders Status:

Rating:

This may be the best of the Props for me. The Texans have averaged 14 ppg in the first half over their last three games and they have allowed 14.7 ppg in the first half over the same stretch. The Colts have started fast as well of late with 14.3 ppg in the first half over their last three games while allowing 11.4 ppg in the first half over the same stretch.

Prediction: Over 23 (First Half)
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Written By David Hess

David has always had a fascination with numbers and sports, so he combined the two to become a handicapper and a writer for us here at Winners & Whiners, along with StatSalt. All the information that David puts in his articles are well-researched and his predictions are well-thought out. He is a big fan of all the major pro sports and the colleges making David a very versatile and a constantly winning handicapper. David has been writing for the past 10 years and has been handicapping for over 20 years. He will help you beat the Man, so be sure and follow along.