A Game The Wiseguys Are All Over Today

Indianapolis Colts Vs Houston Texans Betting Preview
The Colts enter todays game as 1 point road favorites
The Indianapolis Colts begin their AFC championship defense against the Houston Texans Sunday afternoon. Can Peyton Manning and the Colts start the 2010 season with the same kind of winning streak as last season? The public thinks so, but the wiseguys do not.

Professional bettors seem to be siding with the home Texans in this match-up. The line opened with the Colts as 3 point road favorites and even with the public playing the Colts at over 90%, the line has dropped to the Colts favored by 1 ½ or 2 points, depending upon the book. This type of reverse action is a good indication that the wiseguys are going a particular direction.

The Colts are set to have another stellar season. Reggie Wayne and Dallas Clark are each coming off 100 catch/1,000 yard/10 touchdown seasons. Pierre Garcon and Austin Collie should also make meaningful contributions. Joesph Addai and Donald Brown will split time in the backfield, though Addai will likely get the lion’s share of carries. The offensive line looks to be solid again with center Jeff Saturday leading the way (though Saturday is questionable for Sunday’s game). The big change comes on the sidelines. Tom Moore retired as offensive coordinator. It always seems like Manning calls most of the game himself, so I’m not sure how much of an impact this will have on the Colts. Nevertheless, replacing the offensive coordinator on such a dynamic offense is some reason for concern.

The defense actually seems to be healthy. In particular, both defensive end Dwight Freeney and strong safety Bob Sanders are ready to play. The Indy defense looks about ten times better with Freeney and Sanders in the lineup.

The Texans finally managed to get over the 8-8 hump, finishing 9-7 in 2009. Houston was in the hunt for a playoff spot up until the final week, but ended up being left out. Matt Schaub had a tremendous season, leading the NFL in passing yards and finishing with numbers very similar to Manning. The Texans don’t have as many dangerous threats, but Schaub’s primary target – Andre Johnson – is one of the most underrated players in the League. The problem for the Texans has been establishing a meaningful ground game. Arian Foster is the likely starter with Steve Slaton backing him up.

The defense is anchored by defensive end Mario Williams. Last season Williams ended up with 43 tackles and 9 sacks. If Houston hopes to beat Indy – or at least have another winning season – Williams needs to have a big year. Linebacker Brian Cushing is the reigning Defensive Rookie of the Year after leading his team in tackles (134) and interceptions (4). But Cushing is suspended for the first 4 games of the season after he tested positive for a fertility drug, HCG. Without Cushing behind Williams, the Texans defense seems more ordinary. Look for safety Bernard Pollard to pick up the slack left by Cushing’s absence. Pollard also had 4 picks last year and totaled 102 tackles – third best for the Texans.

The Colts have dominated this series, winning 15 of the 16 match-ups. But in three of the last four games the Texans have led at the half. In the end, Peyton Manning has been able to engineer the necessary comebacks, usually relying on huge fourth quarters. But if Williams and company can find a way to get Manning on the move, and if Schaub and Johnson can keep up the pressure, then Houston could win this game. The wiseguys seem to like the Texans. But the only sure way to know is to sign up for Maddux Sports premium NFL sports picks. The picks are guaranteed and the professionals at Maddux Sports have a long history of great returns and are on one hell of a run right now.

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