Houston Texans (1-4) at Indianapolis Colts (1-4)
The Texans nearly won last week against the Patriots, losing by a field goal in their first competitive game since losing starting quarterback Tyrod Taylor and having to turn to raw rookie backup Davis Mills, who saw the Texans get outscored 81-16 in his first 10 quarters of action prior to last week’s close loss. Even last week’s near win came against a Patriots team that was missing most of its offensive line with injury and, despite that, still won the first down rate battle play battle by 8.67%, with much of the Texans’ offense coming on 50/50 balls downfield that happened to go their way. The Texans were also likely giving their best effort after getting blown out 40-0 the previous week, something they could struggle to repeat in back-to-back weeks after last week’s demoralizing loss, especially since they will be without arguably their best player on either side of the ball, left tackle Laremy Tunsil.
The Colts are missing their two best offensive linemen, Braden Smith and Quenton Nelson, and are not the kind of team that should be favored by double digits over anyone in a normal circumstance, but the Texans without Davis Mills are a different kind of bad, so it wouldn’t surprise me at all if they were able to beat them by multiple scores, barring the Texans bringing their best effort for the second straight week. My calculated line actually has the Colts as 13 point favorites and, while they might not give their best effort either with a tougher game against the 49ers on deck, which makes them unbettable, they are still my pick for pick ‘em purposes.
Indianapolis Colts 24 Houston Texans 13
Pick against the spread: Indianapolis -10