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Colts vs. Texans: Staff picks and predictions for Week 18

The Indianapolis Colts (9-7) and Houston Texans (9-7) are set to battle for a playoff spot Saturday night at Lucas Oil Stadium.

The sportsbooks have the Colts sitting as slight home underdogs while the experts around the league leaning heavily toward the Texans taking a road victory.

Here’s how the Colts Wire staff sees this Week 18 matchup shaking out:

Kevin Hickey: Colts 27, Texans 26

AP Photo/Mark Zaleski
AP Photo/Mark Zaleski

This game could not be more 50/50. The last time these two teams played came in Week 2 when the Colts won 31-20 on the road. They had Anthony Richardson for the start of that game, and he scored two quick touchdowns before leaving due to a concussion.

Both teams line up pretty well against each other. The Texans will be missing key piece to their defensive line as Jonathan Greenard (ankle) was ruled out. The Colts offensive line is banged up as well, but they should have the starting unit on the field, giving them a slight edge in the trenches.

The Texans will be able to run the ball with Devin Singletary, and C.J. Stroud has proven to be an efficient passer against zone coverage.

This game could go either way. Both teams are well-coached and have fought through adversity this season. I’ll take the Colts to squeak out a win at home to go to the playoffs.

Follow Kevin on Twitter (@KevinHickey11)

Cody Manning: Colts 27, Texans 24

AP Photo/Mark Zaleski
AP Photo/Mark Zaleski

I usually like to have some fun with my game prediction and come up with a creative way on how the Indianapolis Colts will win or lose a game but I’ll get a little serious with a playoff spot on the line.

I think this game comes down to a few things. A couple things are: which Gardner Minshew shows up and can the Indy defensive front affect C.J. Stroud with consistent pressure?

The last thing which I believe favors Indianapolis. Their roster brings more experience with in games like this and that helps them find a way to win in the fourth quarter.

Follow Cody on Twitter (@CodyTalksNFL)

Meghan Hall: Colts 28, Texans 25

AP Photo/Zach Bolinger
AP Photo/Zach Bolinger

With a playoff birth on the line, what will Shane Steichen and the Colts do? Before the season, if you told every player in that locker room and Steichen they would arrive here, I think they take it. This is an incredible opportunity to put a stamp on Steichen’s legacy and the resiliency of the Colts given all the storylines of the offseason and the injuries. I think they rise to the occasion today and snag a huge victory with a lights out performance from Gardner Minshew and a game-sealing effort from the defense. The time to be better is now. The Colts need to capitalize on it.

Follow Meghan on Twitter (@ItsMeghanLHall)

Cody Felger: Colts 27, Texans 24

Jeremy Brevard-USA TODAY Sports
Jeremy Brevard-USA TODAY Sports

Houston has been immediate darlings all week, but I simply think that outside of quarterback, Indy is a better team. Stroud will keep them in it, but I believe the Colts dominate the line of scrimmage on both sides of the ball on the way to their first playoff birth since 2020.

Follow Cody on Twitter (@CPFelger55)

Season Standings

Andy Lyons/Getty Images
Andy Lyons/Getty Images

Writer

SU

ATS

Kevin Hickey

11-5

11-5

Cody Manning

11-5

9-7

Meghan Hall

11-5

10-6

Cody Felger

9-5

9-5

 

Story originally appeared on Colts Wire