Deshaun Watson and the Houston Texans may have won the AFC South title this season, but they’re going to have their hands completely full when they take on Andrew Luck and the division rival Indianapolis Colts in what looks like a thriller of an AFC wild-card showdown just waiting to happen. If you want to know whether Watson and company will avoid the upset and cover the chalk or whether Luck and the red-hot Colts will pull off the upset, then let’s get to my expert AFC wild card in the NFL betting lines right now.
Colts vs Texans 2018 AFC Wild Card Betting Lines & Game Preview
- When: Saturday, January 5, 2019, 4:35 PM ET
- Where: NRG Stadium
- TV: ESPN, ABC
- Radio: SiriusXM/NFL
- Live Stream: NFL League Pass
- 2018 AFC Wild Card Betting Lines: Houston Texans -1.5 (Total 49)
- Clear: 17°C/63°F
- Humidity: 49%
- Precipitation: 0%
- Cloud Cover: 0%
- Wind: 5 mph S
- Stadium Type: Retractable
Why Bet On the Indianapolis Colts at +1.5?
Why should you consider betting on Indianapolis as a 2-point road underdog in this contest? Well, there are a bunch of good reasons to do so. First, the Colts will hit the postseason playing their best football of the season at just the right time, having won four straight games and a scorching nine of their last 10 games overall.
Indianapolis comes into the playoffs coming off a fantastic 33-17 win over Tennessee on Sunday night that lifted them into the playoffs as Andrew Luck passed for 285 yards and three touchdowns while Marlon Mack rushed for 119 yards and one score on 25 carries.
“It’s been a lot of fun,” Luck said. “It’s been a journey, that’s for sure. I think what this team is doing is enjoying the journey.”
Another good reason to back Indianapolis is the fact that the Colts has a fantastic offense that averaged 27.1 points per game to rank fifth in scoring this season. Another good reason to back Indy is the fact that they have a solid defense that allows just 21.5 points per game (10th) and has improved each week as the season has gone along.
Two more excellent reasons to back Indianapolis is because they have shown some serious perseverance this season and they have the best quarterback in this pairing, although Houston’s Deshaun Watson is certainly no slouch.
“I mean you’re 1-5, and that’s special,” Reich said. “It not only takes the whole team for 10 weeks, so that’s very special.”
Oh, last but not least, Indianapolis beat Houston 24-21 on the road in Week 14.
Why Bet On the Houston Texans at -1.5?
Why should you consider betting on Houston as a slight home favorite in this contest? There are a bunch of great reasons, starting with the fact that Houston has an elite defense that finished the regular season ranked fourth in points allowed (19.8 ppg). Houston has a pair of elite defensive ends and several other Pro Bowl caliber stars on defense.
There’s also the fact that Houston beat Indianapolis 37-34 in overtime in Week 4 despite being on the road. Another good reason to back Houston is the fact that they have a legitimate star at quarterback in second-year signal-caller Deshaun Watson. One year after missing half of his rookie campaign due to a torn ACL, Watson has completed a stellar 68.3 percent of his passes for 4,165 yards with 26 touchdowns and a modest nine interceptions.
Then there’s the fact that Houston will be looking to find some consistency after alternating wins and losses over their last five regular games, although they did manage to claim the AFC South title by beating Jacksonville 20-3 on Sunday as Watson passed for 234 yards while rushing for an additional 66 yards and one touchdown.
“We have a lot bigger goals,” J.J. Watt said. “I have a lot bigger goals but it’s good. Especially after starting 0-3 and everybody writes you off. Guys in the locker room believed. Guys in the locker room never gave up.”
Another great reason to back the Texans is that they showed some serious perseverance after getting off to an uninspiring 0-3 to start the season. Houston won 11 of its final 13 regular season contests.
“The way we started out, it’s a testament to the players in that locker room,” coach Bill O’Brien said. “They’ve always hung tough. And to go from 0-3 (and then) go 11-2 in this league is pretty tough to do. Give credit to the players.”
Colts vs Texans 2018 AFC Wild Card Betting Trends
- Indianapolis is 6-3 ATS in its last 9 games on the road
- Indianapolis is 5-12 SU in its last 17 games on the road
- The total has gone OVER in 4 of Indianapolis’s last 6 games on the road
- Houston is 4-1 ATS in its last 5 games at home
- Houston is 6-1 SU in its last 7 games at home
- The total has gone UNDER in 5 of Houston’s last 7 games at home
Expert Analysis & Score Prediction for Colts vs Texans
Indianapolis is playing some outstanding football right now and I won’t lie, the Colts look like they’re quite capable of pulling off the road win in Houston like they did earlier this season.
Having said that, I think the smart money is on Houston to get past Indianapolis in an absolute brawl that ends in a field goal finish.
The Colts are just 1-4 ATS in their last 5 playoff road games while the Texans are 6-1-1 ATS in their last 8 vs. AFC and 4-1 ATS in their last 5 home games. Indianapolis might be a near-perfect 5-0-1 ATS in their last 6 meetings in Houston and 8-3-2 ATS in their last 13 meetings overall, but right now, the Texans are the better team and they’re playing at home. I’m going with Watson and the Texans to get past Luck and the Colts.
Score: Indianapolis Colts 20 – Houston Texans 23