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Texans vs. Colts 2023 NFL Week 18 Odds, Preview & Pick

By Hank Blaine

The only game in Week 18 around the NFL where both teams would earn a playoff spot with a win, but both would miss out with a loss is Saturday night from the AFC South as Houston visits Indianapolis with the Texans as very short favorites.

The winner of this game would win the AFC South and host a playoff game on Wild Card Weekend if Jacksonville loses on Sunday at Tennessee, which isn’t likely but is possible. Even if the Jags win, the winner here gets a wild card spot. The loser goes home regardless.

Saturday will be the first primetime game for both the Colts and Texans, who were two of three teams to not have a previously scheduled primetime game in 2023.

Houston Texans vs. Indianapolis Colts Game Information

  • When: Saturday, January 6th, 2024. 8:15pm EST.
  • Where: Lucas Oil Stadium, Indianapolis, IN
  • Radio: 100.3 The Bull FM (Texans) // 107.5 The Fan FM (Colts)
  • Live Stream: NFL+
  • NFL Odds: Texans (-1.5) // Colts (+1.5)

Why Bet on the Houston Texans?

Houston got star rookie QB CJ Stroud, the sure-fire NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year, back in Week 17 after he missed back-to-back games in the concussion protocol and he completed 24 of 32 passes for 213 yards, one touchdown and no interceptions in a 26-3 win over the Titans. He threw for his touchdown early in the second quarter on a 12-yard completion to Brevin Jordan and connected on four passes of at least 15 yards. Stroud is now 156 passing yards shy of becoming the fifth rookie to throw for at least 4,000 yards and could become the third rookie QB drafted in the Top 2 to start a playoff game in the common draft era (since 1967).

Stroud was the No. 2 overall pick in the 2023 draft and the Texans traded up with Arizona to get No. 3 and take Alabama pass-rusher Will Anderson Jr. , who is a candidate for Defensive Rookie of the Year. Anderson had one of the best games of his young career against the Titans. He gathered two sacks, both on the same drive, and six quarterback pressures while terrorizing both Will Levis and backup Ryan Tannehill after missing the previous two games with an ankle injury. Anderson’s seven sacks are a franchise rookie record. For comparison, franchise legend J.J. Watt had only 5.0 in his rookie campaign.

The Titans were just 1-of-12 on third down on Sunday, and of their 10 possessions, one ended in a field goal, one ended with a Houston defensive touchdown, another was the final play of the game, two more ended on downs and five resulted in a punt.

“It all starts up front with our defensive line,” coach DeMeco Ryans said. “When we play well, they play well. So we just continue to lean on our defensive line. They’re the driving force for our defense. When they’re playing well, we have a really good chance to win games.”

Why Bet on the Indianapolis Colts?

Indianapolis was a 23-20 home winner over Las Vegas on Sunday. QB Gardner Minshew completed 15 of 23 passes for 224 yards and a touchdown. Minshew and the Colts leaned on their running game after taking a 14-3 lead into halftime, limiting the quarterback’s production, but he did help pad that lead with a 58-yard TD strike to Alec Pierce late in the second quarter.

Linebacker Zaire Franklin registered 10 tackles (seven solo) in the win and is up to a franchise-record 170 tackles on the season, which surpassed his previous career high of 167 he set in 2022. He’s reached that mark in two games and still leads the league in tackles ahead of Bobby Wagner and Foyesade Oluokun. The last Colts player to lead the league in tackles was linebacker Shaquille Leonard, whose previous franchise record of 163 tackles topped the NFL in 2018.

Indy was able to patch together its secondary – which was without its two most veteran players, cornerback Kenny Moore II (who was inactive with a back injury) and safety Julian Blackmon (who was placed on injured reserve on Tuesday) – and still come away with a win, even with All-Pro Raiders wideout Davante Adams catching 13 passes for 126 yards with two touchdowns.

The Colts (9-7) have already more than doubled their win total from last season (when they went 4-12-1) and are in that position despite losing starting quarterback Anthony Richardson and only having running back Jonathan Taylor for nine games of 16 games. The Colts were estimated to have a 17% chance of making the playoffs before this season began. And that was before the injuries.

Indianapolis won in Houston 31-20 in Week 2. Richardson rushed for two touchdowns before leaving with a concussion, and Minshew threw for 171 yards and a TD in relief in the first win for coach Shane Steichen. The Colts led by 18 at halftime and managed only a field goal in the second half. Houston’s Stroud threw for 384 yards and two touchdowns. But he was sacked six times and hit nine other times, playing behind a line filled with backups.

Texans vs. Colts Betting Trends

  • Houston is 6-3 SU in their last 9 games.
  • The Texans are 7-3 ATS in their last 10 games on the road.
  • The totals went under in 5 of Houston’s last 7 games.
  • Indianapolis is 6-2 SU in their last 8 games.
  • The Colts are 5-1 ATS in their last 6 games when playing as the favourite.
  • The totals went over in 5 of Indianapolis’ last 6 games.

Texans vs. Colts Expert Betting Predictions

Colts take the win on Saturday.

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*All stated odds are subject to change without prior notice.

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