NFL Week 17 odds: Houston at Indianapolis

Both teams are in the playoffs. The Texans have won the AFC South and the Colts have secured a Wild Card berth. Houston is in control for home-field advantage. With a win, the Texans will secure the No. 1 seed in the AFC playoffs. Houston can also clinch home-field with losses by Denver and New England. If the Texans fail to get the No. 1 seed, they can still gain a first-round bye with a Denver loss or a New England loss.

Houston was upset 23-6 by Minnesota in Week 16. Matt Schaub connected on 18-of-32 passes for 178 yards, while Andre Johnson caught seven passes for 97 yards for the AFC South-champion Texans (12-3), who have lost two of their last three.

Indianapolis beat Kansas City 20-13. Andrew Luck’s 7-yard TD pass to Reggie Wayne with 4:08 remaining lifted the Colts and they up the AFC’s fifth seed. Luck completed 17-of-35 passes for 205 yards for the Colts (10-5), who have won four of five. The Stanford product broke Cam Newton’s single-season rookie passing record late in the second quarter and has 4,183 yards this season. Wayne caught five passes for 81 yards for Indianapolis, which will get head coach Chuck Pagano back for this game. Bruce Arians has been filling in for Pagano, who underwent treatment for leukemia.

The Texans beat Indianapolis 29-17 two weeks ago. Andre Johnson had 151 yards receiving and a touchdown, Bryan Braman had a special teams score on a blocked punt, and Shayne Graham kicked five field goals. Luck threw for 186 yards with two touchdowns in the return to his hometown.

Texans running back Arian Foster left last Sunday’s game in the third quarter due to an irregular heartbeat, but he should be ready to go in Indianapolis. What is more of a concern is that he had just 15 yards on 10 carries by that point. The Texans need a strong ground game to make their play-action passing attack effective and will want to get Foster untracked early against one of the league’s weakest run defenses. Last week’s loss to the Vikings was the second time this season Foster averaged fewer than 2 yards a carry, and that can’t happen again.

WAGERWEB.COM OPENING ODDS: Texans -7 (TBA) Check our current lines.

TEXANS NOTES: Have most wins in single season in franchise history (12) … QB MATT SCHAUB (3,733) needs 267 passing yards to reach 4,000 for 3rd time in career (4,770 in ’09; 4,370 in ’10) … In 4 career meetings vs. Ind., RB ARIAN FOSTER averages 164 rush yards per game (656 total). Since ’10, Foster leads NFL in rush yards (4,168) & rush TDs (40) … WR ANDRE JOHNSON (806) reached 800 career catches in 2nd-fewest games (137) in NFL history last week, trailing only MARVIN HARRISON (131). Johnson (1,457) needs 43 rec. yards to reach 1,500 for 3rd time. Has 9 career games with at least 10 rec. & 150 yards, tied with TIM BROWN for 2nd-most in NFL history. HOFer JERRY RICE has most in league annals with 10 such games. In past 6, Johnson is averaging 143.3 rec. yards per game (860 total) … DE J.J. WATT (20.5) needs 2.5 sacks to surpass MICHAEL STRAHAN (22.5 in ’01) for most sacks in season. Tied career-high with 3 sacks in last game vs. Ind. … LB WHITNEY MERCILUS is tied for 1st among AFC rookies with 6 sacks.

COLTS NOTES: Have 10-0 record vs. Texans at home. Have won 5 consecutive home games … 4th team in NFL history to win 10 or more games following season with 2 or fewer victories … QB ANDREW LUCK (4,183) surpassed CAM NEWTON (4,051 in 2011) for most passing yards by rookie in NFL history last week. Has 7 game-winning drives in 4th quarter or OT, tied for most in single season of any QB since 1970. Luck’s 10 wins are most by rookie QB who was drafted No. 1 overall in SB era (since 1966) … RB VICK BALLARD ranks 2nd among AFC rookies with 736 rush yards … WR REGGIE WAYNE (13,023) needs 67 rec. yards to surpass HOFer STEVE LARGENT (13,089) for No. 13 on all-time list. Reached 100 rec. for 4th time in career, tied for 2nd-most such seasons in NFL history … LB ROBERT MATHIS has 8 sacks in 11 games in ’12. Needs 2 sacks to register at least 10 sacks for 5th time … CB DARIUS BUTLER posted 2nd INT-return TD of season last week. Has career-high 4 INTs in ’12. CB VONTAE DAVIS posted 1st INT as Colt last week.

WAGERWEB.COM TRENDS: Texans are 3-0-1 ATS in their last 4 games following a S.U. loss. Texans are 4-0-2 ATS in their last 6 games in Week 17. Texans are 6-1 ATS in their last 7 road games vs. a team with a winning home record. Texans are 8-2-1 ATS vs. a team with a winning record. Texans are 8-2-2 ATS in their last 12 vs. AFC South. Colts are 5-0 ATS in their last 5 home games. Colts are 9-1 ATS in their last 10 games in December. Under is 4-0 in the last 4 meetings. Home team is 5-0 ATS in their last 5 meetings.


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