Can Houston Maintain Winning Run Against Indianapolis?

Will the Texans win their 10th-straight game?

The Houston Texans are making a surge for the top seed in the AFC Conference, reeling off nine wins on the bounce and will target a 10th-straight win when they face the Indianapolis Colts on Sunday.

Bill O’Brien’s men started the season 0-3 before meeting the Colts in at Lucas Oil Stadium. Frank Reich’s decision to go for it in overtime may have saved the Texans’ season. Houston stopped their rivals on fourth down, allowing Ka’imi Fairbairn to kick a game-winning field goal.

Since then the Texans have been a dominant force in the NFL courtesy of their winning streak. They are one game behind the Kansas City Chiefs in the one seed, although they have lost the tie-breaker against the New England Patriots. There’s work ahead of O’Brien’s side, but they’re in a good place to regain a position in the playoffs and earn a bye for the first time in franchise history.

The Colts put their playoff hopes in huge jeopardy last week with a horrendous performance on the road against the Jaguars. Jacksonville had lost seven matches on the spin, while the Colts had won five-straight games, but it did not translate on the field.

Cody Kessler led two field-goal drives, which were enough to secure the victory as Andrew Luck and company were shut out. Frank Reich’s men cannot afford another loss sitting at 6-6 in their campaign.

Will the Texans win their 10th-straight game?

Houston Texans

The Texans eased past the Cleveland Browns at NRG Stadium last week. Deshaun Watson was on point, while the defense intercepted three Baker Mayfield passes. Houston gained an early lead and were able to grind out the contest using their running game.

Lamar Miller rushed for over 100 yards, while Alfred Blue also had success on the ground. Johnathan Joseph, Zach Cunningham and Andre Hal notched the interceptions to prevent a comeback from the Browns, allowing O’Brien’s men to secure their ninth win of the season.

Houston have found a balance between their offense and their defense, which has improved almost every week during their winning run. Watson has started to find the form he displayed last season before he tore his ACL. DeAndre Hopkins continues to make incredible catches on the outside, while the addition of Demaryius Thomas has eased the burden on the wideout.

Encouragingly for the Texans, they have been able to close out victories without dominant performances from JJ Watt or Jadeveon Clowney. Both players have performed well this term, but neither have had to be at the peak of their powers recently to help their team triumph. It bodes well for the club, who could be hitting the playoffs with momentum, boasting a potent offense and defense – something that the rest of the AFC playoff sides take note.

O’Brien’s men have not been made to beat a lot of quality teams in their run. Indianapolis present arguably their toughest challenge to date, although this contest is on home soil. However, it would send out a strong statement if the Texans were to take care of the Colts with ease.

Indianapolis Colts

The Colts were in position to make a surge for a spot in the Wildcard Round, but their defeat against the Jaguars has put them under huge pressure. Reich and Luck had performed a brilliant job of putting points on the board, despite their lack of talent in the skill positions. The lack of pedigree finally caught up with them against Jacksonville, who put the clamps on the limited wideouts and tight ends, while bottling up the running game. Luck has been impressive this term, but even he was affected by the pressure of the Jacksonville defense.

Indianapolis’ injury situation will not improve significantly for the contest against the Texans. Center Ryan Kelly has been a large part of their success, holding down the middle of the offensive line. TY Hilton is also struggling with a shoulder problem.

As a result, the Colts could be travelling to Houston without a number of their key players on offense, heaping further pressure on Luck. It has been the story of their season as players have not been able to stay healthy.

Indianapolis have made strides on defense, with Darius Leonard impressing in the middle of the unit. He has notched 123 tackles and six sacks over the course of the campaign. If he can lead another spirited effort on defense then the Colts have a chance of making it a tight game. Reich’s men are in a must-win situation due to the performances of the rest of the AFC in the bid for the Wildcard Round. It would be hard to see them secure a spot with seven defeats to their name.

Head to Head

Games Played: 33 Houston Texans: 8 Indianapolis Colts: 25

The Texans won the duel between the sides in Indianapolis earlier in the campaign. Reich’s decision to go for it on fourth down inside his team’s own territory backfired, allowing the Texans to secure their first win of the season through a Fairbairn field goal. If the Colts had converted Houston’s season would look very different now.

O’Brien is 4-5 against Indianapolis since arriving at the club in 2014, winning the same amount of games against the Colts than his predecessors combined. During the days of Peyton Manning, the Colts dominated the matchup. Watson won his first game against the Colts earlier in the season and another victory could start to address the balance between their head-to-head duel.

Betting Options

The Texans are rolling on both sides of the ball and may just be starting to peak at the right time. Watson is beginning to look like the quality quarterback he was before his injury last season. He has the weapons with Hopkins and Demaryius Thomas to cause the Colts a lot of problems. Defensively, Houston will be able to hold Indianapolis’ limited offense in check.

Therefore back the Texans to get the win – their 10th on the bounce – at odds of -225   with TopBet. The spread line has been set at 4.5 points, but for value take Houston to win by over a touchdown on -7.5 at odds of +140   with 888Sport. Indianapolis shut out last week by a quality defense and given the talent of Houston’s unit they should be able to respond to their performance. Take the under on a total of 49.5 points to be scored at odds of -104   with BetOnline.

Tips Summary

Houston Texans To Beat Indianapolis Colts
Sunday 9th December 2018 13:00 ET (18:00 GMT)
Odds: -225

Houston Texans -7.5 Spread
Sunday 9th December 2018 13:00 ET (18:00 GMT)
Odds: +140

Under 49.5 Total Points To Be Scored
Sunday 9th December 2018 13:00 ET (18:00 GMT)
Odds: -104