The Houston Texans own the edge in the recent rivalry with the Indianapolis Colts, winning four of the last six meetings outright, including an overtime thriller earlier this season, and going 3-2-1 against the spread along the way. Who's the smart bet for Sunday afternoon's AFC South showdown in Houston?


NFL point spread: The Texans opened as 3.5-point favorites; the total was 51.5 early in the week, according to sportsbooks monitored by OddsShark. (Line updates and matchup report)

NFL betting pick, via OddsShark computer: 28.8-16.7 Texans (NFL picks on every game)

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Why the Colts can cover the spread

Indianapolis is shooting to bounce back this week after having its five-game winning streak snapped by a 6-0 loss at Jacksonville last week. The Colts had chances to score but came up empty on four possessions that reached Jaguars territory, including one that ended at the Jacksonville 1-yard line.

On the day Indianapolis actually out-gained the Jaguars 265-211 and held a 19-11 advantage in first downs. The Colts just couldn't put any points on the board.

Indianapolis has now out-gained eight of its last nine opponents and out-rushed five of its last seven foes. And prior to last week, the Colts averaged almost 35 points per game during their winning streak.

At 6-6 overall, Indianapolis trails Baltimore by just one game in the battle for the second AFC wild-card spot.


Why the Texans can cover the spread

The Texans ride a nine-game winning streak into this contest, after dispatching of Cleveland last week 29-13. Houston hit the board on four of its first five possessions of the game, led 23-0 at the half and cruise-controlled from there, on its way toward the victory and the cover as a five-point favorite.

On the day, the Texans out-rushed the Browns 187-31, dominated time of possession by a 38/22 split and won the turnover battle 4-0, creating a plus-16 point differential.

So Houston, on the rise on the Super Bowl 53 odds, has now out-gained four of its last six opponents, and out-rushed each of its last six foes. It's also 5-1 ATS over that span.

At 9-3 overall, the Texans trail New England by just a tie-breaker in the battle for the No. 2 spot in the AFC playoff standings.


Smart betting pick

Houston won this matchup 37-34 in overtime back in Week 4, and this one should be close, too. In fact, eight of the last nine meetings in this series have been decided by one score or less. Smart money here takes the Colts and the points.


NFL betting trends

The Colts are 25-8 SU in their last 33 games vs the Texans.

The Colts are 4-1 SU and 4-0-1 ATS in their last five games on the road vs the Texans.

The Texans are 3-9 ATS in their last 12 games in the early afternoon.


All NFL odds and betting trends according to Bleacher Report's official odds partner, OddsShark. Check out OddsShark on Twitter and Instagram or head to YouTube for more betting picks and analysis on this week's top games. You can also download the free odds tracker app.