Line analysis: Texans-Colts

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Line analysis: Texans-Colts

Rematches of divisional games typically create scenarios in which value can be found, even more so late in the season when motivation plays a greater role. Among five such contests this weekend, Texans-Colts is the one that has generated some early movement.

Oddsmakers opened the Colts as 6-point favorites at home against Houston, which immediately attracted some sharp action on the Texans side.  By Tuesday evening, the LVH, MGM and William Hill books had all adjusted the line by a half-point to Indy -5.5. The public has been on Andrew Luck and the Colts all season, their support buoyed by Indy going 5-3 ATS over the first half.

The wiseguys’ reason for riding Houston is simple: they like getting a full two field goals against a Colts team whose home-field advantage hasn’t been nearly as pronounced as it was in 2012. In six games at Lucas Oil Stadium so far, Indy is 4-2 straight up and just 3-3 against the number, with its wins coming by four, six, six and eight points.

Not surprisingly, the public favors the Colts, with 68 percent of tickets having come in on Indy as of Thursday morning. That the line has moved in the other direction only underscores the sharp money being on Houston.

The Texans have generally been a tough team to handicap, their NFL-worst 11-game losing streak scaring off bettors en masse. But that is yet another reason the wiseguys are on them, as they likely see the line as being shaded as much as a point toward the Colts. Combined with the fact that despite their continued inability to win a game since mid-September, the Texans haven’t rolled over, dropping their last seven by one score or less while going 3-4 ATS after an 0-6 start.

Finally, in the first matchup, Houston was up 21-3 before Gary Kubiak suffered a minor stroke going into halftime, which clearly had an effect on the players in the second half. With Kubiak now dismissed and in a rivalry game that figures to be emotional on multiple levels for the Texans, taking a contrarian stand on the ‘dogs could pay off.

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