Thursday Night Football Betting: Colts at Texans

Thursday Night Football Betting: Colts at Texans

The Week 5 Thursday night extravaganza has the chance to be a showdown between Indy’s Josh Johnson and Houston’s, uh, whichever guy draws the short straw between Brian Hoyer and Ryan Mallett. Andrew Luck is questionable with his shoulder subluxation, and the ageless Matt Hasselbeck is fighting an unspecified illness. It’s not as if these Thursday nighters need to be handicapped anymore than they already are, so everyone should cross their collective fingers that Luck can take the field. Neither team is playing at a high level, and injuries are partly to blame for their struggles; a total of 16 players might not suit up. Here’s a preview and prediction for Colts-Texans.

Indianapolis at Houston -1

The Colts are fortunate to be 2-2, because they aren’t doing much right on either side of the ball. They can’t run the ball, score touchdowns, stop opposing offenses on a consistent basis, and their turnover ratio is -9. Andre Johnson has been a bust, Frank Gore has lost two fumbles, and the pass rush has amassed a whopping five sacks. If Luck and the offense can’t move the chains and find the end zone, the defense simply isn’t good enough to win games against quality competition. The good news is the comedy duo of Hoyer and Mallett isn’t a threat to inflict a lot of damage. If the Colts can find a way to generate pressure, a crucial mistake or two is highly possible. Indy is 0-5 ATS in its last five overall and 2-5 ATS in its last seven road trips.

Despite the quarterback conundrum, the Texans are actually doing a solid job of moving the ball, ranking 7th in total yards. The problem is they aren’t finishing drives with touchdowns. Arian Foster’s return from groin surgery last week didn’t yield positive results (8 carries, 10 yards), but trailing 35-0 didn’t afford him many opportunities to shake off the rust. Third-year receiver DeAndre Hopkins has been the lone bright spot; his 409 yards if good for fifth best in the league through four games. If he ever gets a capable signal-caller to throw him the ball, Hopkins will be close to unstoppable. J.J. Watt is basically a one-man gang on defense; he has four of the team’s six sacks. Jadeveon Clowney is MIA, and new addition Vince Wilfork isn’t plugging rush lanes. Texans are 1-3 ATS in 2015, and 6-12 ATS in their last 18 home tilts.

Indy is 6-3-1 ATS in the last ten meetings in the series. If Luck and Hasselbeck can’t go, Houston is the obvious pick. However, if one of them does get cleared, the Colts should have the juice to eek out a victory.

Bet Indianapolis +1