Texans (-5) (-240)
Colts (+5) (+200)
Were I in Vegas, I would take one look at this game, bet the under, and run and hide. This game opened at a "pick 'em", was taken off the board due to the Andrew Luck injury and has quickly moved to the Texans as a clear favorite.
First, the things I don't like:
1. I don't like the Texans at (-5) - The problem with the Texans is that they don't play, at home, as if they have a home-field advantage. Coach Bill O'Brien gave good entertainment on Hard Knocks which has not been replicated on the field. His teams have come out poorly coached and not ready to play the game. This team has a lack of talent at almost every position except D-Line. Their overall record against the Colts is 3-7 SU, 3-7-1 ATS. Yuck.
2. I don't like the Colts at (+5) - The Colts have looked awful this year, needing a last second meltdown by the Jaguars kicker to walk away with the division lead at 2-3. Like O'Brien, I don't think Pagano is all that smart a football coach, nor do I believe the Colts think he is either. When I handicapped this season I thought the Colts would benefit from a healthy Luck and the last gasps of Frank Gore and Andre Johnson's career. Clearly I was wrong. I still think they make the playoffs because the division is so poor, but I think the AFC Super Bowl slot is pretty much being gifted to the Patriots as the other teams collapse. Against the Texans the Colts are 7-3 SU and 6-3-1 ATS.
3. I don't like either team this year. ATS both these teams are horrible. The Colts are 0-4 ATS this year and the Texans are 1-3. Clearly there's going to have to be something run against trend in order for one team to improve on that record.
Now, the things I like:
1. 41 Total: In ten games all time the Texans/Colts have gone under 7 times. Now you add in the truth of Thursday Night Football: Teams on short rest, playing ugly football, and this game has under written all over it. Neither team has an NFL caliber starting quarterback eligible to play in this game and both of them are offensively challenged. While it's true that neither team has shown the ability to play quality defense against a good offense, I think the poor offensive line play on both sides of the ball make this a punt/turnover fest that will have audiences in Houston switching off fairly quickly.
2. Watching the Houston Astros vs. Kansas City Royals. Do yourself a favor, switch off the football game and watch one of the most fun baseball teams in the MLB try and move further ahead of schedule by beating the Royals. Carlos Correa is a legitimate superstar in the making and Altuve and Springer are entertaining to watch. In Rasmus, Gomez and Gattis they have some entertaining role players to boot. This team has fun playing, they deserve your support while the Texans do not.
Final Score Prediction: Colts 17 Texans 6
This game has the potential of expanding the Thursday Night Football theme of setting back NFL football 50 years. Don't kid yourselves, these are two bad teams. Somebody's got to win and I think the Colts find a way to win despite themselves. Also, it will be a miracle if either team finds itself with a totally healthy QB on the roster by the end of the game. It will be a miracle if Arian Foster doesn't reinjure something this week because he is going to be worked to death tonight.