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A look at NFL handicapping with the PFW editor lobbying to become Las Vegas bureau chief.

Pointspread indicates gap narrowing between Colts, Texans, but line is telling

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Updated Oct. 06, 2010 @ 7:27 p.m.
By Mike Wilkening

The Texans have never been favored against the Colts, and they have only won straight-up just once in 16 games against Indianapolis, scoring a 27-24 victory in 2006. Let the record show that Houston was the last team to beat Indy that season; the Colts, of course, would eventually prevail in Super Bowl XLI vs. Chicago.

The Texans would like nothing more than to be the first team to beat the Colts this season, and a win in the season opener at Reliant Stadium would be a nice way for Houston to begin their quest for the franchise's first playoff opener. But once again, the Texans find themselves underdogs vs. the Colts. Indianapolis is a three-point favorite against Houston in Week One — though, interestingly enough, the M Resort in Henderson, Nev. has Indy favored by just 2½ points, according to's line movement chart. This is noteworthy because the Colts have been at least three-point favorites in every game in the series.

While the Texans are just 1-15 straight-up vs. Indianapolis, they are 8-7-1 against the spread vs. the Colts. They are 4-3-1 ATS at Reliant Stadium in the series.

The teams last met on Nov. 29, 2009, with Indianapolis winning 35-27. However, the Colts were favored by just a field goal. Moreover, Indianapolis hasn't been favored by double-digits in the last seven matchups between the teams after being favored by at least 11 points in seven of the first nine meetings. Houston is a solid 4-2-1 ATS in the last seven games in the series.

The pointspread is a measurement of perception, and it's clear the public has greater respect for the Texans' ability give the Colts a game than it once did. That said, the Texans are a home underdog for a reason — the Colts are still regarded as the clearly superior club.

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