Two teams more than familiar with each other will battle for the third time this season, with everything on the line in the opening game Saturday as Wild Card weekend betting begins for fans of NFL betting.
The Colts and Texans split their regular season matchups, Houston taking the first one and losing the second game. Both teams have top tier QBs in Andrew Luck and Deshaun Watson. Both teams have aggressive defenses and a balanced running game. Both matchups were decided by three points. Get your popcorn ready!
It’s been a season of revival in Houston as the Texans saw multiple players comeback from injury to lead their team. Watson has been nothing short of spectacular, pacing his team to a nine-game win streak, despite the immense amount of pressure he’s under each week.
Watson has been able to rely on Lamar Miller to take some pressure off, but Watson is still the No. 2 rusher on the team. It’s been a one man show in the air, as Deandre Hopkins dominated this season finishing with over 1500 yards and 11 TDs.
For the first time in Andrew Luck’s career there seems to be a complete team built around him. There’s also the matter of Luck looking completely healthy. The Colts will go to RB Marlon Mack a bunch on Saturday, like they did all season to help balance their offense. There’s also the matter of rookie LB Darius Leonard, who seems to be everywhere on the field and in on every single tackle.
The line here effectively comes down to who do you think will win this football game, and how close each of the two previous games were. The issue of trust isn’t found on offense; Luck and Watson have proven over the course of the season they will show up.
Miller for Houston and Mack for the Colts, the running game edge goes to Houston. Their QB can escape just a little easier than Indy’s and has a much worse offensive line than Luck.
JJ Watt for Houston and Leonard for the Colts might be the two most important players on the field Saturday. Both lead run defenses that finished in the top 10, despite Indy giving up nearly 20 more yards per game on the ground. It’s a race to see which team can make the other one dimensional.
Luck vs. Watson is the matchup you will hear all week. The superficial idea that both QBs are going head-to-head in this game will drive the conversation. But in this case the devil is in the details, specifically on defense.
The Colts will have more of an uphill battle than the Texans, but this game will be won on defense no matter who comes out on top. Running the ball with Mack may prove much more difficult as Houston was the third-ranked run defense in the NFL.
Hopkins was limited in the Texans loss, while Luck was pressured all day when the Colts lost. Look for both scenarios to play out here. Luck was sacked 12 times in their six losses, and Watt is coming off a monster season.
Watt and Jadeveon Clowney accounted for over half of the team’s sacks (25 of 43) this year. Watt, in his first full year since 2015, accounted for 16 sacks and a league-high seven forced fumbles. Bet the under with Karamba.
There’s little doubt this game is expected to be close no matter where you look. But just how close, especially early on, is a little less complicated to answer when you look at one key stat. Sacks.
The Texans won nine straight games this season, including a win over the Colts, with some of the worst pass protection in the NFL. The Texans more than survived despite Watson being harassed nearly every time he dropped back. It was far from an indicator of the team’s success.
This isn’t the case for the Colts, who saw an increase of QB pressure and sacks lead to losses. When Luck was protected, they won games. In their 10 victories this season, Luck was sacked just six times. A stark contrast to their 12 in six losses.
Bet on the Texans to lead at halftime with Betfair, pressuring Luck early to grab the lead.
Up to €50 Wager Free Bonus
Read Review ||BET NOW||18+ T&C's Apply. New customers only. Begambleaware.org|
50% First Deposit Bonus up to €100 Promo Code: SNW100
Read Review ||BET NOW||18+. T&C Apply|
Bet €10, Get €30 in Free Bets Promo Code: 30fb
Read Review ||BET NOW||18+. T&C Apply|
Be the first to receive the latest welcome offers, free bets, tips and strategy