Indianapolis Colts vs Houston Texans: TNF Predictions and Odds (NFL Week 12)

This game goes to the Houston Texans by three, since Deshaun Watson and company are healthier and just as hungry for a win in this one.

How to Watch: Colts vs Texans

What: Indianapolis Colts at Houston Texans
When: Thursday Night Football, November 21 at 8:20 pm ET
Where: NRG Stadium in Houston, Texas
How (TV): NFLN

Also check out our favorites to win the Super Bowl!

Latest point spread: Colts +3.5, Texans -3.5

In this potentially thrilling Thursday Night Football AFC South Matchup, the 6-4 Indianapolis Colts take on the 6-4 Houston Texans in a quest for sole leadership of that still up-for-grabs division.

The Colts are coming off a big win over the Jacksonville Jaguars in Week 11, while the Texans are still recovering from the beating they took that same week from the Baltimore Ravens.

One team is better on defense and the other is far superior on offense, so let’s take a quick look at how the two football franchises compare as they get ready for their Week 12 confrontation on Thursday Night Football.

The 6-4-0 Indianapolis Colts

The Indianapolis Colts are going into Week 12 with a fairly banged up squad, from quarterback to running back to wide receiver, their star playmakers are either marked out or marked as questionable for this one.

For example, quarterback Jacoby Brissett had to skip Week 10 with a knee injury, running back Marlon Mack is out with a bad hand and star wide receiver T.Y. Hilton is listed as questionable because of a bad calf.

This team won big over the Jags in Week 11, but now they have to travel injured to Houston and play an important divisional game against a strong Texans teams while limping, so this Week 12 outcome will say a lot about how this Colts team can continue to survive its not-so-ideal current circumstances.

The 6-4-0 Houston Texans

In Week 11, the Houston Texans got rocked by the Baltimore Ravens (as have quite a few teams this season) and now they have to figure out how to take care of a wounded Colts’ team that has an equal share of their division right now.

Deshaun Jackson got uncharacteristically shut down by the Ravens in that one (0 touchdown passes and an interception) with the offense not being able to score a point until the fourth quarter when it was far too late.

The Texans’ 5th ranked rushing attack (starring Carlos Hyde and Duke Johnson) will come in handy for this Week 12 divisional showdown with the Colts, who rank 9th against the run and who aren’t too shabby on the ground themselves, but only when healthy (which they’re not right now, see below).

Colts vs Texans: What’s at Stake for TNF?

These two NFC rivals have met 36 total times (including 1 postseason game), with Indianapolis winning 28 of those times and Houston winning the other 8 games.

The last time these two teams played was in the playoffs last season, with the Colts beating the Texans in Houston in the Wild Card matchup by a score of 30-23.

If the Colts win this matchup, they’ll move to 7-4-0 and snag the top spot in the AFC South by a single win, an important move towards the postseason at this point in the season.

But if the Texans come out winners in this one, they’ll be 7-4-0 and they will move ahead in the AFC South, a division that still has four of its team still (more or less) in the running.

Questions to Answer

Who’s favored to win this Week 12 Colts-Texans matchup?

Which team has a better offense? Defense? Special teams?

Which team’s quarterback is more likely to lead his team to victory?

We’re going to briefly compare the Colts and the Texans next and attempt to answer those questions and more.

Offensive Stats Comparison

Indianapolis Colts Overall Offense

  • Ranked 22nd overall in 2018
  • Ranked 21st overall in 2019

Passing attack: The Indianapolis Colts have the 28th ranked passing offense in the league right now, averaging 202.7 yards per game through the air after eleven weeks.

Quarterback Jacoby Brissett is currently under center in Indianapolis and ranked the 25th most productive passer in the league having completed 168-of-260 passes for 1,797 yards and 15 touchdowns with 4 interceptions and a completion percentage of 64.6.

The Colts’ leading receiver after eleven weeks is Zach Pascal, who is currently ranked 77th in the league among receivers with 23 catches for 364 yards and 4 touchdowns.

Rushing attack: The Colts’ rushing attack is ranked 4th in the NFL after averaging 141.1 yards on the ground per game.

Marlon Mack (who is listed is OUT, see below) is the Colts’ best runner and he is currently the 5th in the NFL with 192 carries for 862 yards and 4 rushing touchdowns, averaging 4.5 yards per carry.

Indianapolis has scored 227 total points this season, or 22.7 per game, which is the 16th best total in the NFL.

Indianapolis Offensive Injuries   

Listed as questionable for Week 12: wide receivers T.Y. Hilton (calf) and Parris Campbell (hand), running back Jordan Wilkins (ankle), tight ends Mo Alie-Cox (thumb) and Eric Ebron (ankle) and offensive tackle Anthony Castonzo (toe).

Injury notes: running back Marlon Mack (hand) is listed as OUT, while wide receivers Daurice Fountain (ankle), Devin Funchess (collarbone) and Steve Ishmael (knee), tight end Billy Brown (undisclosed) and guard Javon Patterson (knee – ACL) have been placed on injured reserve.

Houston Texans Overall Offense

  • Ranked 15th overall in 2018
  • Ranked 7th overall in 2019

Passing attack: Houston has the 14th best passing attack in the league right now after averaging 239.5 yards through the air each game.

Quarterback Deshaun Watson is the 12th most productive NFL passer after completing 230-of-331 passes for 2,601 yards and 18 touchdowns with 6 interceptions and a completion percentage of 69.5.

The Texans’ best receiver is currently DeAndre Hopkins, who has caught 75 passes for 745 yards with 4 touchdowns in eleven weeks, ranked 13th among NFL receivers right now.

Rushing attack: Houston has the 5th ranked rushing attack, so far averaging 140.7 yards on the ground per game.

Duke Johnson is now the Texans’ best runner and now he is the 41st most productive back in the NFL with 60 carries for 327 yards and 1 touchdown, averaging 5.5 yards per carry.

Houston has scored 245 points in 2019, averaging 24.5 per game, which is currently the 10th highest scoring average in the NFL.

Houston Offensive Injuries

Listed as questionable for Week 12: wide receiver Will Fuller (hamstring) and offensive tackle Tytus Howard (knee).

Injury notes: tight ends Kahale Warring (concussion) and Jordan Thomas (cracked rib), offensive guard Senio Kelemete (wrist), running back Lamar Miller (knee – ACL), offensive tackle David Steinmetz (ankle), quarterback Joe Webb (foot) and wide receiver Isaac Whitney (wrist) have all been placed on injured reserve.

Offensive Advantage: Colts vs Texans

The Houston Texans have a better offense at this point, especially given how banged up Jacoby
Brissett and his targets have been and how healthy Deshaun Watson remains, so Houston gets the offensive advantage in this one.

Defensive Stats Comparison

Indianapolis Colts Overall Defense

  • Ranked 22nd overall in 2018
  • Ranked 11th overall in 2019

Pass coverage: The Colts have the 12th best pass defense in 2019 so far, allowing opponents to throw for 228.8 yards through the air per game.

Indianapolis’ defense has 7 team interceptions and they have 25 sacks total.

Run coverage: The Colts are the 9th best NFL team against the run right now after allowing opponents to run for 96.8 yards per game.

Indianapolis has allowed their opponents to score 206 total points, or 20.6 per game, which is 18th least in the NFL.

Colts Defensive Players to Watch

Always a good idea to check out Colts’ outside linebacker Darius Leonard – the guy’s excellent, so far with 3.0 sacks, 3 quarterback hits, 2 interceptions, 6 passes defended, a forced fumble and 65 total tackles (4 for a loss).

Another good NFL player to watch is Indianapolis defensive end Justin Houston, who has 8.0 sacks by himself (T-11th most in the league),14 quarterback hits, a safety, a forced fumble, 2 fumble recoveries and 28 total tackles (9 for a loss).

Check out Colts’ outside linebacker Darius Leonard, who roams the secondary and has 2 interceptions, 6 passes defended, 3 sacks, 3 quarterback hits. A forced fumble and 65 total tackles (4 for a loss).

Colts Defensive Injuries

Listed as questionable for Week 12: cornerbacks Pierre Desir (hamstring), Shakial Taylor (ankle) and Rock Ya-Sin (ankle) and safety George Odum (shoulder).

Injury notes: safety Khari Willis (concussion) is listed as OUT, while defensive ends Jegs Jegede (undisclosed) and Kemoko Turay (ankle) and safeties Isaiah Johnson (undisclosed) and Kai Nacua (undisclosed) have been placed on injured reserve.

Houston Texans Overall Defense

  • Ranked 21st overall in 2018
  • Ranked 26th overall in 2019

Pass coverage: The Texans’ defense is 29th best against the pass, allowing their opponents to throw for an average of 272.4 yards per matchup.

Houston’s defense has 5 interceptions on opposing quarterbacks and they have 22 total sacks after eleven weeks.

Run coverage: The Texans are 13th best against a rushing attack, allowing opponents to run for an average of 102.0 yards per game.

Houston has allowed their opponents to score 232 total points this season, or 23.2 per matchup, which is 14th fewest in the NFL.

Texans Defensive Players to Watch

The best tackler on the Texans right now is inside linebacker Zach Cunningham, who is tied for the 16th most tackles with 79 total (5 for a loss), plus a sack, a quarterback hit and 2 fumble recoveries.
Make sure to watch for Texans’ excellent outside linebacker Whitney Mercilus, who has 5.5 sacks, 9 quarterback hits, an interception, 2 passes defended,  4 forced fumbles, a fumble recovery and 34 total tackles (7 for a loss).

He’s listed as questionable (see below), but free safety Tashaun Gipson is fantastic, so far with 2 interceptions (one for a 79-yard pick-six), 6 passes defended and 29 total tackles.

Texans Defensive Injuries

Listed as questionable for Week 12: linebacker Dylan Cole (knee), cornerbacks Bradley Roby (hamstring) and Lonnie Johnson (ankle) and safeties Mike Adams (concussion), Justin Reid (concussion) and Tashaun Gipson (back).

Injury notes: defensive end J.J. Watt (pectoral), linebacker Duke Ejiofor (Achilles), linebacker Chris Landrum (undisclosed), cornerback Phillip Gaines (ankle), defensive tackle Ira Lewis (undisclosed) have been placed on injured reserve.

Defensive Advantage: Colts vs Texans

The Colts have a far better defense than the Texans right now, so they will have the defensive advantage over the Texans on Thursday night right now.

Special Teams Stats Comparison

Punters

Indianapolis’ punter, Rigoberto Sanchez, is in his third NFL season, all with the Colts, and in 2019 he has punted 35 times for a net average of 41.7 yards per punt, 21st best in the league.

Houston’s veteran punter, Bryan Anger, is in his eighth NFL season, brought in after the Texans cut Trevor Daniel, and so far this season he has punted 22 times for a net average of 43.7 yards per punt, 4th best in the league right now.

Placekickers

Indianapolis’ placekicker Adam Vinatieri, in his 24th NFL season (his 14th with the Colts).

Vinatieri has gone 15-for-20 this season, his longest a 55-yarder, and he has missed 6 extra point attempts (18/24).

Houston’s Hawaiian born placekicker, Ka’imi Fairbairn, just had a second-round restricted free agent tender placed on him in March.

Fairbairn is 13-for-18 this season, his longest a 52-yarder, and he missed 5 extra point attempts (24/29).

Punt Returners

Indianapolis’ punt returner, wide receiver Chester Rogers, is ranked 10th in punt return average in 2019.

So far this year, Rogers has returned 14 punts for 137 yards and 0 touchdowns, averaging 9.8 yards per return, his longest for 21 yards.

Houston’s punt returner, wide receiver DeAndre Carter, is ranked T-13th in punt return average this season.

Carter has returned 14 punts for 124 yards and no touchdowns, averaging 8.9 yards per return, his longest for 23 yards.

Special Teams Advantage

Both placekickers have missed five kicks, so that equals out, but the Texans seem to have a better punter than the Colts, so give them a slight advantage in special teams on Thursday.

Indianapolis Colts vs Houston Texans: Final Game Analysis

Why Will the Colts Win this Game?

The Indianapolis Colts will win this one because they need it to get to the playoffs and they will use whoever is healthy enough to play to get the job done.

Jacoby Brissett and company will have to use the next-man-up philosophy to steal a road win here on Thursday night, including big games from secondary receiver Zach Pascal and backup receiver Parris Campbell (who’s also hurting) as well as backup running backs Nyheim Hines and Jordan Wilkins.

The biggest reason this Colts team can win this one is because they have a far better defense, and if they can get after Watson and keep him scrambling while they shut down the Texans’ typically effective two-headed run game, they could take this one into the fourth quarter and fight for a close road victory.

Why Will the Texans Win this Game?

When equally healthy, these two teams measure up nicely, but the Houston Texans are far healthier in Week 12 than the Colts and so they stand a better chance of coming out of this one victorious.

Watson and company got thrown off by the Ravens last week and they are anxious to get their postseason run back on track against these Colts at home, and they can do it with their far superior passing attack and a running game that’s every bit as effective as theirs.

The key is for the Texans’ 26th ranked defense to step up here and shut down the wounded Colts, who are not capable of putting up their normal level of fight this time, a situation that Houston had best take advantage of while they can.

Colts vs Texans Game Prediction and Odds

This game goes to the Houston Texans by three, since Deshaun Watson and company are healthier and just as hungry for a win in this one.

John Breech of CBS Sports predicts the score as Colts 23, Texans 20.

My prediction for the final score is Texans 23, Colts 20.

Odds to Win

The odds for the Colts vs Texans are provided by bet365 NJ, DraftKings Sportsbook, and Caesars NJ.

Be sure to also check out our NFL betting guide!

If you’re in NJ, take a look at the best NFL betting bonuses in New Jersey.

Not in NJ? Then we got you covered with this article on where to bet on NFL legally!

Moneyline

SportsbookIND ColtsHOU Texans
bet365 NJ+167-192
DraftKings+163-200
Caesars NJ+170-190

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