Last week, I got out of my funk of not being able to pick straight winners. I finished the week 10-5 when picking games straight up. But my spread picks were poor, finishing 6-9. My season totals picking straight is now 44-32, while my spread record falls to 41-35. Hopefully this week I’ll bounce back.
* All lines come from ESPN.
Indianapolis Colts (3-2) at Houston Texans (3-2)
Thursday, October 9 at 8:25 pm ET on CBS/NFL Network
*Line: Texans (+2.5)
The Colts are the better team and with the way Texans quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick has generally played this season, they should be an easy winner to pick. But Fitzpatrick has played much better at home than he has on the road this year. I can’t say that he’s played well at home, but at least he’s played at a competent level there. The possibility that Andre Johnson does not play tonight, given he did not practice this week, doesn’t bode particularly well.
But the big reason why I’m siding with the Texans tonight is the fact that the Colts interior offensive line has been decimated by injury. Guards Hugh Thornton and Jack Mewhort weren’t exactly setting the world on fire anyway, but with Lance Louis and Joe Reitz starting in replacement for them is not a good thing. Especially with that guy named J.J. Watt lining up on the other side of the ball. That only compounds the fact that the Colts are going with a green, undrafted center in Jonotthan Harrison in only his second NFL start. His first didn’t go great, and snapping the ball has been an issue for him. I think this is going to be another game where Andrew Luck gets hit quite a lot, and I think that will keep it a low-scoring affair, enough that Fitzpatrick and the Texans running attack can pull off the victory at home.
The fact that every Thursday night game has been a blowout this year does give me some pause, and if anybody is going to get blown out, it’s likely going to be the Texans. But one of these days that trend is going to end and we’ll get a relatively competitive game. I’m again betting that is this week, even though last week I said the same thing and I looked pretty silly.
Spread Pick: Texans
Straight Pick: Texans