Houston Texans at Indianapolis Colts Betting Preview

Sunday, December 20, 2020, Lucas Oil Stadium, Indianapolis, Indiana, 1 p.m. ET

Texans at Colts Betting Preview: Texans (+7/-108), Colts (-7/-112)

Houston Texans

The heartbreak of the Texans’ loss to the Colts on Dec. 6 extended into last weekend when Houston (4-9) seemed to lack competitive fire in a 36-7 defeat to the Bears. Now comes a rematch against a Colts team they kept out of the end zone in the second half two weeks ago.

Quarterback Deshaun Watson passed for 341 yards against the Colts earlier this month and ran for another 38 so he is well aware he can move the ball against Indianapolis. Without his late-game fumble near the goal line, the game could have belonged to Houston.

Watson is second in the NFL with 3,761 yards passing but he has been sacked 39 times, third most in the league. The running game has an abysmal 1,121 yards, fewest in the NFL.

Indianapolis Colts

Wide receiver T.Y. Hilton is back with four touchdown receptions in his last three games, including two last week against the Raiders and one two weeks ago against the Texans. The veteran did not have a TD over his first 10 games.

Tied atop the AFC South at 9-4 with the Titans, the Colts close with the Titans, Steelers and Jaguars. Only the Steelers’ game is on the road. Veteran quarterback Philip Rivers has multiple scoring passes in each of his last four games and has done it six times in the last eight games.

Colts punter Rigoberto Sanchez is the feel-good story of the week after returning to practice two weeks after surgery to remove a cancerous tumor. His status for Sunday remains in question.

Texans at Colts Betting Pick for Week 15

Eliminated from playoff contention after their humbling loss to the Bears last week, the Texans can at least use their recent loss to the Colts as motivation. What should be a motivator, though, is reversing their lackluster effort at Chicago when Watson was sacked seven times.

Colts head coach Frank Reich believes his team showed its true identity in last week’s 44-27 victory over the Raiders. Indianapolis has won four of five and figures to have plenty of momentum after collecting 456 yards last week, including 212 on the ground.

Texans at Colts Betting Pick:

Colts 34, Texans 21

Texans at Colts Best Bet for Week 15

Look for Reich to step on the gas in order to see if his Colts team really is hitting its stride with the playoffs approaching and a spot not yet secured. The Texans’ offense figures to be more like it was two weeks ago against the Colts as long as it fixes some of what plagued it in Sunday’s game at Chicago, although getting the running game going would appear to be a tall order.

Texans at Colts Best Bet: OVER 51 total points (-110)

Houston Texans at Chicago Bears Betting Preview

Sunday, December 13, 2020, Soldier Field, Chicago, Illinois, 1 p.m. ET

Texans at Bears Betting Preview: Texans (-1/-110), Bears (+1/-110)

Houston Texans

The Texans (4-8) have won two of their past three games but will look to bounce back from a 26-20 loss against the Indianapolis Colts a week ago. The teams combined for 44 points in the first half and only two points in the second half off a safety by the Colts.

This season has not gone according to plan for Houston, but interim coach Romeo Crennel has helped to steady the ship. After the Texans started the season 0-4 under former head coach Bill O’Brien, who then was fired, the team has posted a 4-4 record with Crennel at the helm.

Deshaun Watson certainly is not the reason for Houston’s woes. Watson enters Week 14 with an impressive 110.0 passer rating on the season. He has completed 68.8 percent of his passes for 3,542 yards, 24 touchdowns and six interceptions. 

Chicago Bears

The Bears (5-7) are falling apart, and with each defeat that piles up, the scrutiny intensifies regarding the future of general manager Ryan Pace and head coach Matt Nagy. Chicago has lost six games in a row, including a 34-30 collapse at home last week against the Detroit Lions.

Can Nagy get his players to regroup after a long string of disappointments? Maybe. But he will need a better effort from his defense, which has appeared to lose focus while giving up 75 points over the past two weeks. That marks a sharp downturn for a unit that had not surrendered more than 26 points in any of its first 10 games.

The Bears’ offense remains a work in progress, with Mitchell Trubisky coming off a good performance that ended with an awful turnover against Detroit. Trubisky has an 88.2 passer rating this season with 1,069 passing yards, 10 touchdowns and five interceptions.

Texans at Bears Betting Pick for Week 14

Both teams have turned in disappointing seasons and appear headed for sub-.500 finishes. But Houston is playing better right now, and until the Bears prove that they can put together a winning game plan, it will be hard to make a case for them.

Another factor to consider is that the Bears turned down a chance to draft Watson in 2017. Instead, Pace traded up to the No. 2 overall spot to select Trubisky, leaving Watson and his incredible college credentials on the board. Houston eventually picked Watson at No. 12 overall.

Could Watson still feel slighted? Could he try to stick it to the team that passed on him? It would not be a surprise in the least.

Texans at Bears Betting Pick:

Texans 31, Bears 21

Texans at Bears Best Bet for Week 14

The weather forecast is something worth watching as game time approaches. Early forecasts call for a high of 33 degrees and a low of 23 degrees, with a chance for precipitation. Any kind of wet weather could lead to a sloppy field along Chicago’s chilly lakefront, which could subdue both offenses. However, the Bears’ defense has been a sieve of late, and Houston has given up 26.9 points per game, which ranks 24th in the league. Barring nasty weather, look for the offenses to prevail.

Texans at Bears Best Bet: OVER 45 total points (-108)

Houston Texans at Detroit Lions Betting Preview

Thursday, November 26, 2020, Ford Field, Detroit, Michigan, 12:30 p.m. ET

Texans at Lions Betting Preview: Texans (-3/-105), Lions (+3/-115)

Houston Texans

The Texans (3-7) should be brimming with confidence after outplaying the New England Patriots last Sunday in a 27-20 victory. Houston is 3-3 since Romeo Crennel replaced fired coach Bill O’Brien, and the Texans have suddenly become stingy on defense, allowing a total of 30 points over the past two games. Houston even held the Patriots to 86 rushing yards as the NFL’s worst run defense (159.3 yards per game) exhibited a sharp turnaround in the impressive triumph.

Quarterback Deshaun Watson threw for 344 yards for his fifth 300-yard outing in the past seven games, and he has 20 touchdown passes against just five interceptions this year. It is impossible for Will Fuller V to make people forget departed star wideout DeAndre Hopkins, but Fuller does have four 100-yard outings while making 47 catches for 708 yards and six TDs. The Texans are having trouble getting pressure on quarterbacks — defensive end J.J. Watt has a team-best four sacks — and have intercepted an NFL-low two passes.

Standout left tackle Laremy Tunsil (illness) available for practice on Tuesday and has a chance to play after sitting out against New England. Receiver Randall Cobb (toe) appears in jeopardy of missing the game.

Detroit Lions

The Lions (4-6) are in their familiar role on the Thanksgiving Day stage and are hoping to move on from a turkey performance last weekend in a 20-0 road loss to the Carolina Panthers. Detroit had just 185 total yards against a team that had lost five straight games. The Lions also were blanked for the first time since 2009 — and the initial time with Matthew Stafford as the starter. Stafford is battling a sore thumb on his throwing hand, but he has thrown 17 touchdown passes on Thanksgiving, one behind the record held by former Dallas Cowboys quarterback Tony Romo.

Detroit’s running game was non-existent with just 40 yards and a long gain of 8 against the Panthers as rookie D’Andre Swift (concussion) was badly missed. Swift was a limited practice participant on Tuesday, and the Lions badly need his production — he had 246 scrimmage yards (145 rushing, 101 receiving) in the previous two games. Detroit has just 14 sacks, and six have come from defensive end Romeo Okwara, who is closing in on his career high of 7.5 set in 2018.

The short week could make it tough for receivers Kenny Golladay and Danny Amendola to return from their hip injuries. Golladay has missed the past three games, and Amendola sat out against the Panthers.

Texans at Lions Betting Pick for Week 12

Stafford was disappointed to be part of his first shutout as a starting quarterback and his thumb soreness should be dissipating. But getting Swift back would be the bigger plus as future Hall of Fame running back Adrian Peterson (3.7 average per carry) is slowing down.

Hard to tell if the Texans’ run defense can follow up a stellar showing or if it will revert back to form. Watson is playing well, but you also have to expect the Lions to be highly motivated for their annual Thanksgiving affair.

Texans at Lions Betting Pick: Lions 30, Texans 24

Texans at Lions Best Bet for Week 12

Stafford said “putting up no points is unacceptable and we know that,” so let’s figure that Detroit will find the end zone a few times. Houston gave up 30 or more points in five of its first seven games, so this could easily become a high-scoring affair.

Texans at Lions Best Bet: OVER 51.5 total points (-112)

Sources: Members Of Two NFL Teams Test Positive For COVID-19

Sources tell ESPN players on the Houston Texans and Dallas Cowboys have tested positive for Coronavirus

Earlier today, it was reported that players on the Cowboys and Texans tested positive for COVID-19. The news was first reported by Tom Pelissero and Ian Rapoport of the NFL Network.

Ezekiel Elliott is one of the players that has tested positive for the Coronavirus according to his agent. Zeke’s agent told the NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport that Elliott is “feeling good.” However, Dallas could not provide any further information on the status of the all-star running back in a statement issued by the team shortly after the news was reported.

Sources say one player was reportedly feeling flu-like symptoms but is fine now. Meanwhile, sources also confirmed that another player who tested positive for the disease is currently asymptomatic. Previously, Von Miller of the Denver Broncos and Brian Allen of the Los Angeles Rams are the only other NFL players that have publicly revealed they tested positive for COVID-19.

According to Ian Rapoport, none of the players that tested positive for the disease have visited team facilities yet. Rapoport is also saying that the Texans and Cowboys are currently following all proper health protocols outlined by local health officials and the NFL.