Texans vs Colts NFL Free Pick & Prediction [1/6/2024]

Houston (9-7) at Indianapolis (9-7)
When: Saturday, January 6th, 2024
Where: Lucas Oil Stadium,
Indianapolis, IN

Time: 8:15 ET | TV: ESPN
Opening Odds: Indianapolis -3/46

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Huge playoff implications are on the line when the Houston Texans visit the Indianapolis Colts on Saturday night at Lucas Oil Stadium. The AFC South can be won by either one of three teams entering the final week of the regular season. The Jaguars, Texans and Colts are all 9-7 with Jacksonville currently owning the tiebreaker. The Jags host the Titans on Sunday afternoon. Either way, the winner of this Houston vs. Indy game is in the postseason no matter what.

The Texans have been a surprise this year under quarterback C.J. Stroud and hold their fate in their own hands even if they fail to win the AFC South. Because of the tie-breaker earned against the Steelers, the Jaguars could win on Sunday and the Texans would still be a road Wild Card team with a win Saturday. Houston is also attempting to avoid a season sweep at the hands of the Colts. Houston was blitzed at home 31-20 way back in Week 2.

Indianapolis is in a similar situation. A win on Saturday would get them into the postseason as at least a wild card team. A combination of a win and Jaguars loss on Sunday would earn the Colts the division title. Indy is in this position by winning six of their last eight games including a hard-fought 23-20 win over the Raiders last week to set up this Saturday night game. Currently, the Colts are 1-point home underdogs with a total of 47.5.

Stroud missed two games with a concussion but came back last week to lead the Texans to an easy 26-3 win over the Titans. He was 24-for-32 for only 213 yards, but he did throw a touchdown to Brevin Jordan. Ka’imi Fairbairn kicked four field goals after several Houston drives stalled out. The defense stood tall, knocking out Tennessee quarterback Will Levis and got a scoop and score from Sheldon Rankins. Houston will be missing its sack leader Jonathan Greenard (12.5), who was ruled out with an ankle injury. Wide receiver Noah Brown (back) also won’t play. Rookie defensive end Will Anderson Jr. (ankle), receiver Robert Woods (hip), fullback Andrew Beck (calf), tackle Laremy Tunsil (groin) and defensive tackles Maliek Collins (hip) and Sheldon Rankins (ankle) are all questionable.

Houston Texans Injury Report [Week 18]

Will Anderson Jr.DEQues Sat - Ankle - 1/2/24
Sheldon RankinsDTQues Sat - Ankle - 1/2/24
Robert WoodsWRQues Sat - Hip - 1/1/24
Andrew BeckFBQues Sat - Calf - 1/1/24
Maliek CollinsDTQues Sat - Hip - 1/1/24
Laremy TunsilOTQues Sat - Groin - 1/1/24
Noah BrownWROut Sat - Hip - 1/4/24
Jonathan GreenardDEOut Sat - Ankle - 1/4/24
Jimmie WardSI-R - Quadricep - 12/26/23
Tavierre ThomasCBOut indefinitely - Hamstring - 12/16/23
Tank DellWRI-R - Leg - 12/5/23
Tytus HowardOTI-R - Knee - 11/29/23
Dylan HortonDEOut indefinitely - Illness - 12/20/23
Grayland ArnoldSOut indefinitely - Calf - 11/18/23
Hassan RidgewayDTOut indefinitely - Achilles - 11/7/23
M.J. StewartSOut indefinitely - Shoulder - 11/7/23
Teagan QuitorianoTEOut indefinitely - Groin - 10/31/23
Jarrett PattersonCOut indefinitely - Ankle - 10/31/23
Eric MurraySOut indefinitely - Knee - 10/18/23
Kendrick GreenCI-R - Knee - 10/5/23
Kenyon GreenGI-R - Shoulder - 8/30/23
Kilian ZiererOTI-R - Ankle - 8/24/23
Jesse MatthewsWRI-R - Knee - 8/8/23
DJ Scaife Jr.OTI-R - Leg - 8/8/23
Scott QuessenberryCI-R - Knee - 8/4/23
Troy HairstonFBI-R - Back - 8/19/23

It’s been an up-and-down season for the Colts, but Gardner Minshew has led them to within one game of the postseason. Anthony Richardson, drafted by the Colts No. 4 overall last April, ran for two touchdowns in the win over Houston back in September but left with a concussion. Richardson then sustained a season-ending shoulder injury in Week 5, forcing the Colts to go to Minshew. He was 15-of-23 for 224 yards and a touchdown in the must-win over the Raiders last week. E.J. Speed and Zaire Franklin led the defense with 15 tackles combined. The Colts rank fifth in the league with 49 sacks.

Indianapolis Colts Injury Report [Week 18]

Braden SmithOTProb Sat - Knee - 1/3/24
Taven BryanDTProb Sat - Calf - 1/2/24
Isaiah LandDEProb Sat - Hip - 1/2/24
Tyquan LewisDEProb Sat - Back - 1/2/24
Kenny Moore IICBProb Sat - Back - 1/3/24
Cameron McGroneLBProb Sat - Illness - 1/2/24
Zack MossRBProb Sat - Forearm - 1/3/24
Ryan KellyCQues Sat - Ankle - 1/2/24
Chris LammonsDBQues Sat - Ankle - 1/2/24
Quenton NelsonGQues Sat - Ankle - 1/2/24
Jack AndersonCQues Sat - Illness - 1/1/24
Isaiah McKenzieWROut indefinitely - Suspension - 12/19/23
Tony BrownCBOut indefinitely - Suspension - 12/19/23
Julian BlackmonSOut indefinitely - Shoulder - 12/27/23
Anthony RichardsonQBI-R - Shoulder - 10/20/23
Dallis FlowersCBI-R - Achilles - 10/4/23
Evan HullRBI-R - Knee - 10/13/23
Jelani WoodsTEI-R - Hamstring - 12/16/23
Titus LeoDEI-R - Undisclosed - 8/29/23
Danny PinterGI-R - Ankle - 8/29/23
Genard AveryDEI-R - Knee - 8/18/23
Ashton DulinWRI-R - Knee - 8/18/23
Jake WittOTI-R - Hip - 8/5/23
Daniel ScottSI-R - Knee - 8/3/23

The Colts got the better of Houston in the first matchup but that was a long time ago. Houston is different team now and Stroud is emerging as a star. The defense for the Texans is banged up but I still trust them against Minshew and company. Houston is the better team and will outscore the Colts in this one.

Week 18 Staff Selections

Pick: Texans -1