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Indianapolis Colts vs. Houston Texans NFL Preview: Week 1 Free Pick

NFL Football Previews – Indianapolis Colts vs Houston Texans

Even before Peyton Manning’s injury problems, many bettors and pundits billed 2011 as the year the Houston Texans finally pass the Colts and reach the playoffs. The Colts made few significant changes over the offseason and the Texans finally improved their woeful pass defense, so many of us believed that they’d gain ground.

Now that Manning is out indefinitely due to complications from his neck surgery, the door is open like never before. Will Houston capitalize and stake its claim to the AFC South with a dominant effort against Indy in Week 1?

NFL Week 1: Colts vs Texans
Date: Sunday, September 11, 2011
Venue: Reliant Stadium, Houston, TX
Broadcast: CBS
Indianapolis Colts at Houston Texans Betting Lines from DSI Sportsbook
Money Line: Colts +320, Texans -400
Spread: Texans -9
Over/Under: 43

Indianapolis Colts (0-0)

Anyone who has claimed over the last 13 years that the Colts were more than just Peyton Manning will put that theory to the test this Sunday, when No. 18 misses his first-ever NFL start.

The prospect is scary. It looks like 38-year old Kerry Collins will start for the Colts on Sunday. Does that mean the Colts will defer to Joseph Addai and rookie Delone Carter in the running game more often? Indy ranked 29th in the NFL with just 92.7 rushing yards per game and averaged only 3.8 yards per carry last season. They can only hope Carter’s fresh legs give them a badly needed boost in Week 1.

Houston Texans (0-0)

Offense hasn’t been a problem for the Houston Texans for several seasons now. They have one of the NFL’s best and most balanced attacks. Matt Schaub can seriously hurt opponents downfield, connecting with elite wideout Andre Johnson and underrated tight end Owen Daniels. Arian Foster was the best running back in football last season. Even if his hamstring keeps him out this week, Ben Tate and Derrick Ward showed in the preseason that they are capable backups.

The Texans scored plenty last year – even beating up on the Colts in Week 1 – but their “D” was atrocious. They were far-and-away the league’s worst against the pass, surrendering 267.5 yards per game. However, they finally addressed the problem this offseason, signing cornerback Johnathan Joseph away from the Cincinnati Bengals. Adding him to the secondary, not to mention converting Mario Williams to outside linebacker (as a pass rusher), should improve their pass “D.” [soliloquy id=”82219″]

The pick:

Houston’s improvements won’t even come into play this week. Collins probably won’t test the Texans and, even if Carter bolsters Indy’s running game, they won’t be able to rely on it for long if (and when) they fall behind.

The Colts’ “D” won’t scare Houston away from attacking aggressively and putting major points on the board. The nine-point spread is justified. Don’t be surprised if the Manning-less Colts look like an expansion team on Sunday.

Indianapolis at Houston Gambling Trends:

Over is 10-1 in IND last 11 road games.
Over is 5-2-1 in IND last 8 games overall.
IND are 12-5-2 ATS in their last 19 games on grass.
HOU are 2-8 ATS in their last 10 games on grass.
Over is 10-3-1 in HOU last 14 vs. AFC.
Over is 19-7 in HOU last 26 games in September.
Over is 10-2 in the last 12 meetings.

Colts vs Texans prediction: Texans 35, Colts 13

Money Line: Texans -400
Spread: Texans -9
Over/Under: OVER 43

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About Shea Matthews

Shea Matthews the Senior Writer at CP. Lives and breathes sports. He made the transition from athlete to sports journalist at a young age, writing in TV & national papers. Shea applies his knowledge to sports betting + handicapping daily, and shares winning picks with the world.


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