Texans at Colts odds preview: Indianapolis slight favorites in game with no playoff implications

Indianapolis Colts quarterback Sam Ehlinger (4) throws a pass during the second half of an NFL football game against the New York Giants, Sunday, Jan. 1, 2023, in East Rutherford, N.J. (AP Photo/Bryan Woolston)

The Indianapolis Colts and Houston Texans will look to end the season on a high note when they play in Indianapolis on Sunday, playing for nothing but pride after tying in the season opener, 20-20.

The Texans have had a tough season, but for the past few weeks, they had been competitive. They beat the Titans two weeks ago and gave Super Bowl contenders Kansas City and Dallas extremely competitive games before losing. Last week, however, the Texans lost to the Jaguars 31-3. In that game, the contending Jaguars rushed for 169 yards and three touchdowns against the Texans.

Like the Texans, it has been a tough year for the Colts. The difference was the Colts entered the season with high expectations, as it was expected that Matt Ryan could help lift the team to the playoffs. In the middle of the season, the Colts hired Jeff Saturday as their interim coach, and the results have not been any better. After the historic loss to the Vikings three weeks ago where the Colts blew a 33-0 lead, they have followed that up with two more losses by at least 17 points to the Chargers and Giants.

FanDuel Sportsbook lists the Colts as a 2.5-point favorite with an over/under of 38.5.

Let’s take a closer look at the odds and trends:

Houston Texans at Indianapolis Colts

Time/TV: 1 p.m. ET Sunday, CBS

Point spread (from FanDuel): Indianapolis -2.5

Money line: Houston +130, Indianapolis -154

Over/under: 38.5

Analysis: While it has been a tough year for the Texans, but there are signs of optimism for the future with the performances of young players. Rookie running back Dameon Pierce won’t play in this game, but he rushed for 939 yards in 13 games. Another rookie, safety Jalen Pitre, has had an outstanding season. He is 12th in the NFL in tackles (139) and his five interceptions lead all rookies, with four others tied for the lead with six.

The Colts will be starting Sam Ehlinger at quarterback in the season finale after he came in for Nick Foles last week. He has started two games this year, against the Commanders and Patriots, and has thrown for 364 yards and completed 62% of his passes. Wide receiver Michael Pittman Jr. has had to deal with a lot of different quarterbacks this season but has still been able to have a very productive year, as he has 96 catches for 895 yards.

With a loss, the Texans clinch the No. 1 pick in the NFL draft, and the Colts will do just enough to end the season with a win.

Prediction: Indianapolis 20, Houston 17

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