We are getting Week 12 started by giving away free Thursday Night Football predictions for an AFC South battle with huge implication as The Indianapolis Colts (6-4) visit the Houston Texans (5-4) at NRG Stadium with kickoff just after 8 PM EST.
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Thursday Night Football Betting Picks | Colts vs. Texans Odds
Another one of the most reliable sportsbooks in New Jersey is William Hill, which is where we get our Week 12 betting lines from for Thursday Night Football. Houston opened as a four-point favorite, but that number has quickly settled at -3.5 (-110) for the home team.
These teams share 6-4 records and are currently tied for the top spot in the AFC South due to the Colts' home win over Houston a few games ago. Can the Texans even the score and take the division lead back in Week 12?
Colts Betting Preview Week 12
Indianapolis had a tough couple of weeks and the last game brought another mixed bag. The Colts erupted on the ground for 264 rushing yards in a dominant victory over Jacksonville but lost starting running back Marlon Mack for several weeks to a fractured hand.
QB Jacoby Brissett returned strong from injury in Week 11 and will look for a repeat performance after having the game of his life against Houston in October, throwing for 326 yards and four touchdowns.
Despite missing J.J. Watt, the Texans are a top-10 run defense according to Football Outsiders, so we can expect Brissett to attack Houston through the air. Things become a little bit harder, however, if the Colts are forced to go without top receiver T.Y. Hilton (quad) once again.
Texans Betting Preview Week 12
The good news is that Deshaun Watson's eye is fully healed, but the bad news is the Texans were demolished by the Ravens last Sunday and desperately need a win in Week 11. How much does desperation play a role?
What we know will play a role is the Texans' running game, which was nonexistent in the first matchup between these two. Watson and DeAndre Hopkins are magic, but not if their offense is completely one-dimensional. For his part, Hopkins managed 109 yards and a score in the first meeting in October.
Despite the Texans' inability to protect Watson at times, Houston still has a top-ten pass defense going by DVOA metrics from Football Outsiders. Keeping the franchise QB upright and being able to run the ball a little with Carlos Hyde will decide this game.
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TNF Picks: Colts vs. Texans Predictions
This may not matter all that much, but the desire for payback runs deep for Houston. Aside from the implications of the current season, the Colts also stymied the Texans in the Wild Card round last time these two played at NRG Stadium.
That said, the Colts may not be the same team it was several weeks ago, let alone last season. They've got a strong offensive line, but we can't be sure seldom-used Jonathan Williams makes the same impact Mack does. And without T.Y. Hilton, this offense is suddenly very banged up at the skill positions.
Two of Houston's first three losses were followed up by masterful performances from Watson and the Texans' offense, and we are going to see the same here. These teams are too evenly matched for the Colts to take both of these matchups, and the Texans know a win puts them on the inside track to win the AFC South and host a playoff game.
Houston will win this game, and if the spread drops to -3, bet it confidently. Until then, take the -3.5 and hope the Texans rebound strongly from an embarrassing loss last week.
Pick: Houston Texans -3.5 (-110) - Place TNF Bets at William Hill NJ
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NFL Week 12 Picks: Thursday Night Football Prop Bets
Most betting platforms offer a range of prop markets for making TNF betting picks in addition to traditional spreads and totals. This week, we are definitely reaching deep into the bag for the market we are looking at from William Hill NJ: total turnovers.
We already established our expectations for the Watson and the Texans playing well, and Brissett has done an outstanding job taking care of the football in general. For these reasons, we think the total number stays fairly low.
The average off turnovers per game has been dropping for several years and currently sits between two and three per game, which is one of the choices offered at William Hill. According to the odds, this is the most likely outcome as well.