This Sunday marks the first Sunday of the NFL season and with that we have some divisional matchups going down in week one. One of those matchups coming out of the AFC South as the Indianapolis Colts travel to Houston to take on the rival Texans. Both teams take on new leadership in different forms. The Colts have a new starting quarterback taking the helm in Matt Ryan, while the Texans have a new head coach with longtime veteran Lovie Smith. It will be interesting to see how both of these teams start off their 2022-23 campaigns so let’s dive into this game’s matchup odds and predictions.
Indianapolis Colts vs. Houston Texans Betting Odds
The Indianapolis Colts are currently opening this game as the moneyline favorites at -385. Their spread line is currently placed at -7.5 points. This should not be a surprise to anyone as the Colts on paper appear to be the more talented team. The Colts finished last season at 9-8 narrowly missing the playoffs and after improving at the quarterback position by getting former MVP Matt Ryan, one would only expect to see the team improve on that record. The Texans finished last season at 4-13 and didn’t really add major free agents that’ll improve their record significantly. I expect them to be a little more competitive with QB Davis Mills getting a full season to lead the team, but I still believe they will float near the bottom of the AFC standings.
This is a home game for the Texans so that definitely could play a factor in the Texans keeping this matchup close or taking the victory. With it being week one as well, it’s hard to predict what teams will show up but if we look at last season’s matchups it would tell us that favor is with the Colts. The Colts swept the Texans last season in their two games while winning both games by multiple TDs. We shall see if a similar Colts team shows up to Houston this year.
Indianapolis Colts vs. Houston Texans Picks & Predictions
My pick: Colts cover -7.5 (-110)
Even with the question marks the Colts have, I think they are able to get this win fairly easy in Houston. The Texans are going to be a candidate for the first overall pick in next year’s draft and I don’t believe they will be able to keep teams from scoring on them with an abysmal defense. I think their offense may be a tad better as Davis Mills gets more exposure and Brandin Cooks will surely be successful but this team is still smack dab in the middle of a rebuild. The Colts are coming into this game hungry after last season’s shortcomings and will not waste any time building for that postseason run. The Indianapolis Colts are favorites to win the AFC South this year as well so a win against Houston is crucial for that run. I expect a big game out of Jonathan Taylor in the run game and I believe Matt Ryan will not take much time into getting familiar with Wide Receivers Michael Pittman Jr. and Paris Campbell.
The over/under line is also being placed at around 46 points and I’m not entirely sure if I want to touch that. That is entirely dependent on the Texans ability to score on the Colts defense as I am not totally concerned about the Colts inability to score.
The Colts are 6-1 ATS in their last seven road games. One thing to keep in mind though is that they are 2-6 ATS against the AFC South in their last seven. The Texans have been 6-2 ATS in the AFC South. Head-to-head the Colts are 15-5-2 ATS against the Texans.
Indianapolis Colts: Darius Shaquille Leonard, questionable,
Houston Texans: Pharaoh Brown, questionable
Check out the key matchups and mismatches for the Indianapolis Colts vs the Houston Texans below.
Jonathan Taylor vs. Houston Defense
Jonathan Taylor was the top NFL rusher last season and many expect him to have another dominant running season in the 2022-23 campaign. I believe we will see this on display Sunday as the Texans had the second-worst rushing defense last season. The Colts will definitely use that to their advantage and “RTDB” as Jonathan Taylor will get heavy carries. I believe with the quarterback improvement with Matt Ryan, it will keep defenses on their toes as well and not be able to predict the run coming.
I also expect RB2 Nyheim Hines to have a big game as well and predict him to play in the slot position frequently in this game to go for big yardage. The Texans lost star safety Justin Reid to the Chiefs so I think the Colts offense should be able to have their way with this Texans defense if they want this team to have the offensive explosion they expect out of this season.