Saturday, December 29, 2012

Houston Texans vs Indianapolis Colts: HOU -6.5 (Pinnacle)

Markets

This game opened with the Texans as -4 favorites, but early money quickly moved the line all the way up to -7.  At that number I felt like passing on it since so much value was sucked out of the line, combined with the fact that it hit a key number.  That said, we now have a bunch of -6.5's available if we choose to take it.  The look-ahead line is once again meaningless since there is such a discrepancy in motivation.

Bottom Line

Like most coaches, Pagano has said he won't be using this game to rest up his guys. Let's go ahead and take that with a big grain of salt because he should.  The Colts are locked in and don't have much to play for.  The Texans on the other hand need this game to secure home field advantage throughout.

Even if Pagano's words come true, the Texans are good enough to win this game by a touchdown.  They might not be the dominant force they were earlier in the season, but they are well-balanced enough to take care of a team as flawed as the Colts.  The Colts defense is even worse than they look if we dig deeper into the advanced stats.

This game could likely be up in the air up until halftime.  I expect Indy to play loose and confidently at home while the Texans could wind up pressing too much knowing they might let the top seed slip away.  That said, over the course of the entire game I think the Texans will take care of business on Sunday.  If Pagano was smart, he'll take his foot off the gas at some point. Houson should also be able to control this game with the running attack and wear down a weak Colts D by the 4th quarter.

NFL Pick: HOU -6.5.