Last week was a tough week in the prop bet department in spite of the Houston Texans dominating win. In fact, it would be more accurate to say it was a tough week because of the dominating win. The team was able to put everything on cruise control in the second half which made my comrade’s ambitious prop bets moot. It can be frustrating when your team can easily reach your ambitious picks, but doesn’t need to because the game is already in hand.
So, before we embark on individual prop bets, we need to imagine how this game will end up going. It is one of those rare Week 18 matchups where both teams give a rip as a spot in the playoffs is on the line. In fact, this is the first and only game this season where the Texans are not playing at noon on Sunday. It is bound to have an effect as both teams have been Sunday regulars this season.
In their last three meetings these teams combined for 51 points (20-31), 63 points (32-31), and 40 points (20-20). They are exactly 1-1-1 in those three meetings. So, this game is likely to be close and it is likely to be high scoring. There have been defensive touchdowns, wild fourth down plays, and unlikely finishes in at least two of those three games. Past is prologue in the gambling community, so let’s see what DraftKings Sportsbook has for us.
Last week, my comrade-in-arms picked Stroud to throw for well over 300 yards. It was ambitious and he could have done it had the Texans not demolished the Titans at the outset. This one is supposed to be close as the Texans are entering as 1.5 point favorites. Stroud has played in 14 games this season and has surpassed 300 yards in six of them. This has the feel of those games as two of the last three games between these two teams have been shootouts.
This one is too easy. The DeMeco Ryans has done one thing this year on defense and that has been to consistently sell out on stopping the run. The Texans are on pace to give up around 1,500 rushing yards this season. For those not good at the math, that would be less than 100 yards per game. At one point this season, they were number one in yards per carry surrendered to running backs at 3.2 yards per attempt. I really like Taylor as a running back, but if Derrick Henry can’t surpass 50 yards against you I’m not sure how Taylor gets to 70.
DeMeco Ryans and Bobby Slowik finally figured something out in the last month. Dameon Pierce is just not good in this offense. I couldn’t tell you why. I think I have my suspicions, but it really doesn’t matter. Singletary has been the guy and that’s all that matters. The Indianapolis Colts are 27th in rushing yards allowed, so this one feels doable. Plus, if the game becomes one-sided you know the Texans will rely on their running game to take it home.
Nico Collins has been a revelation this year, but let’s look at some numbers. In nine home games this season he has 55 catches and 906 yards receiving. Again, that is more than 100 yards per game. On the road, he has 16 receptions for 196 yards in five games. Granted, he missed two games due to injury, but essentially he is Devante Adams at NRG and Kevin Walter away from NRG. Obviously, there are complex reasons why he hasn’t been effective on the road, but at this point I don’t ask questions. I just go with the trends.
Remember that we are talking about narratives and how the game is likely to go. When Desmond Ridder and Zach Wilson torch you for more than 300 yards (not to mention Joe Flacco) your expectations have to reflect the reality. Much of this is due to the Texans selling out against the run. I can’t complain about the overall results, but if Jonathan Taylor and Zach Moss don’t do much then it makes perfect sense that someone has to. The Colts have to move the football and this is the most likely way they do it.