Can the Houston Texans Clinch NFL Playoff Berth vs. Indianapolis Colts?

Dan Favale
By , Updated on: Apr 9, 2024 08:00 PM
Can the Houston Texans Clinch NFL Playoff Berth vs. Indianapolis Colts?

Did you pounce on the Houston Texansodds to make the NFL playoffs before the start of the season, when they were paying out more than 10-to-1? Well, if you did, your savvy bet may be about to cash in Week 18. That is, assuming the Indianapolis Colts don’t have anything to say about it this Saturday night.

  • What: Indianapolis Colts vs. Houston Tecans
  • Date: Saturday, January 6, 2024
  • Time: 8:15 p.m. eastern standard time
  • Where: Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis, Indiana
  • Point Spread: Texans (-1.5), Colts (+1.5)

Make no mistake, the Colts aren’t about to roll over. Indianapolis still has a chance to make the 2024 NFL playoffs, as well. Not surprisingly, the significance of this game bears out in the latest NFL online betting odds:

Houston Texans-120+102Indianapolis Colts

Please make sure to double-check these online NFL betting odds until you actually submit your wager. Our Texans vs. Colts betting odds are accurate entering Wednesday, January 3. That gives the best NFL online betting sites plenty of time to make adjustments leading into opening kick-off on January 6.

Fortunately, we don’t expect to see much movement on the Colts vs. Texans betting lines. There was some question whether the Colts’ Zach Moss would suit up after missing the past few games with a forearm injury. So far, though, he’s considered doubtful for Week 18. These odds should hold steady, just like the injury reports for both squads.

This raises the question: What else needs to happen for the Texans or Colts to crack the NFL playoff picture in the 11th hour? And above, which team will win in Week 18? Read on to check out our Colts vs. Texans predictions.

Unlike the Indianapolis Colts, the Houston Texans Control Their Own Fate in Week 18

The Texans will lock up a playoff berth in Week 18 with a win over Indy. But they have a host of scenarios on the table.’s Jeffri Chadiha outlined them for us:

Nobody was talking about the Texans as a playoff team when this season began. Look at them today. All they need is a win in Indianapolis on Saturday night and they’re going to the postseason. At the very least, that would get them a wild-card berth. But if that's combined with a Jaguars loss at Tennessee on Sunday, Houston claims its first AFC South title since 2019. Either way, the Texans are in position to take a huge step in the development of this franchise. It helps that quarterback C.J. Stroud is back on the field after missing two games due to a concussion.”

Stroud’s return is huge for this Texans offense. They have been slumping even before he went down. In fact, Houston has topped 25 points just once since Week 10. Facing Indy’s defense won’t be a picnic. They are 10th in points allowed per game and are among the best in the business at stopping opponents on third downs.

Still, the Colts are also teeming with weaknesses. They struggle to shut down the run, which can be a massive issue going up against mobile QB such as Stroud. Indianapolis’ offense can also look like a sham. They don’t turn the ball over a ton, but they don’t exactly move the chains at an eye-popping clip, either. The Colts rank in the bottom half of the league in both net yards per rush attempt and net yards per pass attempt.

Indiana, to their credit, did smash Houston 31-20 in Week 2. But this is a different Texans team. It’s likewise a different Colts team. The defense is starting to show wear and tear. They’ve surrendered nearly 25 points per game over their past five contests. Unless you believe Stroud will show rust after missing a couple of games, this game should belong to the Texans.

OSB Prediction: Houston Texans (-120)

Houston Texans To beat the Indianapolis Colts

Will Indy and Houston Take Their Final Game of the Season Down to the Wire?

Congratulations to the Texans and Colts…or something. The latest NFL point spread betting odds have them carrying the smallest margin for Week 18:

  • Houston Texans, -1.5 (-105)
  • Indianapolis Colts, +1.5 (-115)

The early action has favored the Colts, which comes as a surprise to us. Playing at home is bound to invite some investments, but they have been among the NFL’s most inconsistent teams all year.

To that end, there is no decision here for us to make. We already have the Texans winning, and their point spread provides slightly better value. If you find yourself tempted by the Colts’ spread, though, you might as well just pick them to win outright.

OSB Prediction: Houston Texans, -1.5 (-105)

Houston Texans To cover the point spread against the Indianapolis Colts

Which Side of the Ball will Shine Brighter in Texans vs. Colts: Offense or Defense?

Contrary to the Texans vs. Colts point spread, this game’s over/under is one of the largest for Week 18:

  • Over 47.5 (-110)
  • Under 47.5 (-110)

While the end of the regular season can lend itself to sloppy defensive performances, we have seen nearly enough lately out of Indy’s or Houston’s offenses to believe they’ll combine for 48 or more points. Indeed, Stroud’s return increases the firepower for the Texans. But as we already mentioned, they weren’t lighting up the scoreboard prior to his injury. 

Teams fighting for playoff positioning also have a tendency to play tight. Neither the Colts nor the Texans are fielding proven postseason squads. We could easily see this game devolving into a war of conservative play-calling and attrition.

OSB Prediction: Under 47.5 (-110)

Texans and Colts To score under 47.5 combined points

Take a look at this list of the top online sportsbooks so you can find one that works for all of your 2024 NFL betting:

Meet the author

Dan Favale

Dan Favale leverages over 12 years of sports journalism expertise in his role as New York staff writer. He provides in-depth analysis across the NBA, NFL, MLB, NHL, tennis, NASCAR, college basketball, and sports betting. Dan co-hosts the popular Hardwood Knocks NBA podc...

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