Thursday Night Football preview: Colts at Texans
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Thursday Night Football will pit a pair of 6-4 teams that are looking to separate from the AFC South pack when the Indianapolis Colts travel to face the Houston Texans in Week 12. Here's everything you need to know about the divisional clash from a betting perspective.

Line movement

There's been a bit of a knee-jerk reaction to Houston's 41-7 blowout loss at the hands of the Baltimore Ravens in Week 11. The Texans opened as 5.5-point favorites this week, but they've since seen that number cross -4 all the way to -3.5.

When these two teams met earlier in the season, the total closed at 46 and went over in the Colts' 30-23 win. However, after opening at 46.5 this time, the number has dropped to 45.5.

Betting trends

While Houston was embarrassed in the biggest game of last week's slate, Indianapolis bounced back from a home loss to the Dolphins with a resounding 33-13 win over the Jaguars. Colts head coach Frank Reich is now on a 6-0 run against the spread against AFC South rivals, and Indy has covered 10 of its last 11 against teams with winning records. So, you can probably expect Indianapolis to throw the kitchen sink at Houston - an AFC South team with a winning record.

However, Houston hasn't stayed down for long after losses. The Texans are on a 7-1-1 run ATS after failing to cover the previous game.

The X-factor

Houston's injury-riddled secondary must avoid getting burned again. The Texans rank 20th in yards allowed per completion (10.8), and they've been dreadful over the last three, surrendering 12.2.

In the earlier meeting between these teams at Lucas Oil Stadium, the Texans allowed quarterback Jacoby Brissett to throw for 326 yards and four scores. You can't let a Colts offense that prefers to control the clock and run the ball - Indy ranks No. 7 in rush offense DVOA and No. 20 in pass offense DVOA - sling it all over the yard like that and expect to win games.


All the trends point to Indianapolis in this spot. Not only have the Colts fared well against good divisional opponents, but they're also 5-1 ATS over the last six meetings, while the road team is on a blistering 8-2-2 run across the last 12 games in this matchup.

However, Houston feels like the more legitimate 6-4 team. The Texans have posted more net yards per play and have faced a much more difficult schedule to date. After one of the more embarrassing losses we'll see this season, Houston should be able to rally and cover the number.

Alex Kolodziej is a betting writer for theScore. He's a graduate of Eastern Illinois who has been involved in the sports betting industry for 12 years. He can quote every line from "Rounders" and appreciates franchises that regularly wear alternate jerseys. Find him on Twitter @AJKolodziej.

Thursday Night Football preview: Colts at Texans
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