NFL Week 14 Free Picks - Indianapolis Colts at Houston Texans
Big game in the AFC South, as Houston goes for their 10th straight win and continues their push towards a top-2 seed for the AFC playoffs. The Texans are three games clear of the Colts, who had their 5-game winning streak snapped in a 6-0 loss last week at Jacksonville. Indy had been surging, and would be the no-brainer in NFL Week 14 free picks if they hadn’t been shut out by Jacksonville in a listless effort. Indianapolis trails Baltimore by one game for the second wild card playoff spot, and the Colts are tied with Tennessee, Denver and Miami with a 6-6 record.
Indianapolis Colts (6-6) at Houston Texans (9-3) Sunday Dec. 9th – NRG Stadium, Houston Texas - 1:00pm ET NFL Week 14 Betting Line: Houston -5 (50.0)
Much credit to the Texans, who have reeled off 9-straight wins with four of them by 3-points or less. But a closer inspection of the schedule shows that Houston has not beaten a team with a winning record during their winning streak. That’s why you should tread lightly around them facing a modest line in NFL Week 14 free picks.
The Texans allows 5.4 yards per play, and while their run defense is stout allowing 93.1 yards per game and 3.7 yards per rush to rank top-5 in the league, that’s not what the Colts rely on as Indy gains just 28.29% of their yards on the ground to rank in the bottom quartile of the league. The Colts go as far as quarterback Andrew Luck can take them, and he’ll be airing it out often in this rematch.
In Week 4 the Colts lost to the Texans in overtime 37-34. Indianapolis coach Frank Reich decided to take a big gamble late in overtime and go on fourth down near midfield. The Colts failed, and a few plays later Houston was in field goal range and kicked the game winning field goal as time expired. But Andrew Luck had a huge game, passing 62 times with 40 completions for 464 yards and 4 touchdowns without an interception.
The Colts’ defensive stats nearly mirror the Texans with both slightly better than league average allowing 5.4 and 5.5 yards per play. Houston did allow Cleveland QB Baker Mayfield to pass for 397 yards at 9.2 yards per pass last week, but the rookie’s three interceptions proved costly in defeat. The Colts defense has been better in their last three games allowing just 262 yards per game and 4.6 yards per play. We note that Indy has also played five losing teams during their recent winning streak, but the offense led by QB Luck had been productive and efficient scoring at least 24 points in the previous eight games.
The win over Cleveland last week was the Texans’ first cover in December in their last eight late season games, and Houston has a losing ATS record this season at 3-5 against the spread when favored by 3 or more points. According to Playbook.com, the Colts are 16-1 SU/ATS with QB Luck in games which they have a winning percentage of .333 or greater and are coming off a game in which they failed to score at least 21 points.
Situation suggests an all-in bounce back effort by the Colts, and Indianapolis is the play with Andrew Luck as their leader.
NFL Week 14 Free Picks – Indianapolis Colts +5.0
Fairway Jay is a professional handicapper based out of Las Vegas. He focuses primarily on the four majors along with college football and college basketball. You can follow him on Twitter @FairwayJay.