Thursday Night Football: Week 12 Preview, IND at HOU

A battle between AFC South rivals takes place on Thursday Night Football tonight. When the Colts travel to Houston to take on the Texans, are we going to get a bounceback game from Houston? Or, will the Colts continue to build off of a strong victory? Let’s preview Thursday Night Football right here and now!

Indianapolis Colts at Houston Texans

NRG Stadium

Houston, TX

Betting

I am all over the Texans -3.5 (-110) tonight! This is a great bounceback game for Houston as they are fully healthy on offense, unlike the Colts. The Colts offense may get their best weapon back but are without their top runner and #2 receiver. That being said, I like the OVER (-110) 46.5 points tonight on Thursday Night Football. Neither defense is anything to write home about and the Texans are hurting in the secondary. Lastly, Zach Pascal anytime touchdown is currently +150 and you’ll see why I like those odds shortly.

Injuries

Some big injury news from Ed Werder here:

With Will Fuller expected to play, the Texans will be full steam ahead on offense. Since each of their playmakers will likely be available, the Texans can utilize Kenny Stills underneath and over the middle of the field more. The defensive side of the ball for the Texans is a much different story tonight though. The early week claim of Vernon Hargreaves will be a huge get for this defense as they’re hurting in the secondary. Already ruled out are the following players: Justin Reid, Mike Adams, and Lonnie Johnson Jr. If that weren’t enough, Tashaun Gipson Sr and Bradley Roby are questionable.

Whereas the Texans are fully healthy on offense, the Colts are desperate for some playmakers tonight. According to James Palmer, the Colts might get their biggest piece back tonight.

Even if T.Y. Hilton returns to action, the Colts will be without Marlon Mack and Parris Campbell. This opens up a huge opportunity for Zach Pascal tonight to attack a depleted Texans secondary. 

Want even more fuel to the fire on Pascal tonight? Eric Ebron and Mo Alie-Cox are questionable to play. As for a quick defensive injury update, Khari Willis is OUT and Rock Ya-Sin is questionable for Thursday Night Football.

Texans Offense vs. Colts Defense

Averaging over 400 yards of offense per game, the Texans are going to attack this meh Colts defense with ferocity tonight. Deshaun Watson has all of his playmakers available for the first time in a while which means the potential MVP is back! Watson will be able to attack all levels of this Colts defense with ease. With Carlos Hyde and Duke Johnson splitting time in the backfield, the Texans are going to be able to fully rotate players on and off the field. I like the chances the DeAndre Hopkins finds the endzone or gets 100+ yards tonight as the Colts secondary struggles against top wideouts.

Deshaun Watson via Keith Allison for Thursday Night Football
Deshaun Watson via Keith Allison

The bright side for the Colts defense is that they create turnovers and force sacks. Well, one player forces sacks… *cough Justin Houston cough*. With Watson being sacked 31 times this season already, the Colts should be able to create pressure and perhaps an INT. 

Colts Offense vs. Texans Defense

With Marlon Mack forced out of r/neverbrokeabone, the Colts are going to have to rely on Jordan Wilkins and Jonathan Williams for carries. For non-game script watchers, Nyheim Hines looks like the go-to guy in the backfield but he will continue in his pass-catcher role regardless of Mack missing time. That being said, the Colts are going to have to throw in order to keep up the pace with the Texans tonight. So, Hines will likely see an extended bit of playing time while a returning T.Y. Hilton (possibly) will get all the targets he can handle. As I previously mentioned, Zach Pascal has a great track record against the Texans. Will the Texans missing a majority of their secondary, Pascal will have a solid chance to continue his hot streak.

T.Y. Hilton via Jeffrey Beall for Thursday Night Football
T.Y. Hilton via Jeffrey Beall

Unlike the Colts, the Texans cannot force pressure (mainly due to JJ Watt being out from the year) or create turnovers. They catch a slight break tonight as the Colts are missing most of their playmakers but still, the Texans are missing some big pieces as well. 

Predictions

Colts: 24

Texans: 31

Guaranteed Touchdown Scorer: DeAndre Hopkins

Dart Throw Touchdown Scorer: Zach Pascal

Conclusion

Who do you think will win on Thursday Night Football tonight? How many turnovers are we going to see? Let me know in the comments below! Also, check out the shop and other content by clicking here.

-Mitchell Seefeldt

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