Colts vs. Texans start time, betting odds, final injury report with a playoff berth on the line

The Indianapolis Colts have a simple formula for making the AFC playoffs: Beat the Houston Texans in NFL Week 18 action.

The Colts (9-7) beat the Las Vegas Raiders 23-20 last week as Gardner Minshew had two 50-yard-plus completions, Jonathan Taylor rushed for 96 yards and a touchdown, and a patchwork defensive backfield largely kept Las Vegas out of the end zone. The Colts have alternated wins and losses the past five weeks.

The Texans (9-7) returned to form with the return of rookie quarterback C.J. Stroud against the struggling Tennessee Titans. Houston's past two wins are against the Titans and they have alternated wins and loss the past seven weeks.

C.J. Stroud may win NFL Rookie of the Year

The No. 2 overall 2023 NFL Draft pick has been one of the more efficient quarterbacks in the league, completing 63.2% of his passes for 3,844 yards, 21 touchdowns and just 5 interceptions. He recently missed parts of three games with a concussion, and Houston went 1-2 in those games. Stroud returned last week, leading a blowout win over the Tennessee Titans (75% completions, 213 passing yards, 1 TD).

Colts storylines vs. Texans

∎ Both teams rely on minimizing turnovers. Houston commits the fewest in the league (less than 1 per game) and is No. 4 in turnover margin. The Colts are 11th in turnover margin.

∎ The Texans are 10th in the NFL in total offense, gaining 344.6 yards per game. The Colts allow 352.6 yards (24th).

∎ Houston struggles on 4th-down plays, converting 40% (31st), though the Colts allow conversions on 68% of 4th-down plays (30th).

∎ Houston is strong defensively against the run (3.3 yards per carry, 2nd; 88.5 yards per game, 3rd) but allows opponents 68.2% completions (30th). The Colts complete 62.2% of their throws (26th).

∎ The Colts beat the Texans in Houston 31-20 in Week 2. The Colts ran to a 28-10 halftime lead sparked by two Anthony Richardson rushing touchdowns. He suffered an injury on the second TD run, and Minshew filled in, passing for a touchdown to Kylen Granson.

NFL Week 18 picks, predictions: Colts vs. Texans with AFC playoff berth on the line

AFC playoff standings

Seeds, records through Week 17, and Week 18 schedule

Seed, team (record)

Week 18 opponent, start time

1. Ravens (13-3)

vs. Steelers, 4:30 p.m. Sat.

2. Dolphins (11-5)

vs. Bills, 8:20 p.m. Sun.

3, Chiefs (10-6)

at Chargers, 4:25 p.m. Sun.

4, Jaguars (9-7)

at Titans, 1 p.m. Sun.

5, Browns (11-5)

at Bengals, 1 p.m. Sun.

6, Bills (10-6)

at Dolphins, 8:20 p.m. Sun.

7, Colts (9-7)

vs. Texans, 8:15 p.m. Sat.

8, Texans (9-7)

at Colts, 8:15 p.m. Sat.

9, Steelers (9-7)

at Ravens, 4:30 p.m. Sat.

Colts start time vs. Texans in NFL Week 18

8:15 p.m. ET Saturday, Jan. 6, 2024, at Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis.

What channel is Colts vs. Texans on?

TV: ABC/ESPN, with Joe Buck (play-by-play), Troy Aikman (analysis) and Lisa Salters (sideline reporting)

Radio: 93.5, 97.1, 107.5 FM in Indianapolis, with Matt Taylor (play-by-play), Rick Venturi (analysis), Larra Overton (sideline reporting)

Streaming: SiriusXM Channels 225 and 813, ESPN+FuboParamount+SlingDishAmazonNFL+

Who is favored to win, Colts or Texans?

via BetMGM

Favorite: Texans by 1 point (Colts are 9-7 against the spread, but they failed to cover in beating the Raiders in Week 17; the Texans are 8-9 ATS)

Over/under: 47.5 total points (11 Colts games have gone over, 5 under. Last week's game against the Raiders went over on Las Vegas' last-minute touchdown; 6 Texans games have gone over and 11 under)

Moneyline: Texans -120, Colts +100

ESPN's matchup predictor gives the Colts a 51.6% chance of winning.

Colts final injury report

Colts who are questionable: C Ryan Kelly (ankle, limited Thursday), CB Chris Lammons (ankle, did not practice Thursday), G Quenton Nelson (ankle, limited Thursday), RB Zack Moss (arm), Kenny Moore II (back), T Braden Smith (knee); expected to play: DT Taven Bryan (calf), DE Isaiah Land (hip), DE Tyquan Lewis (back), LB Cam McGrone (illness).

Texans final injury report

Texans who are out: WR Noah Brown (hip), DE Jonathan Greenard (ankle); questionable: WR Robert Woods (hip, did not practice Friday), DT Maliek Collins (hip), FB Andrew Beck (calf), DE Will Anderson Jr. (ankle), DT Sheldon Rankins (ankle), T Laremy Tunsil (groin).

Colts players to watch

Gardner Minshew (62.7% completions, 3,164 yards, 15 TDs, 9 INTs); Zack Moss (764 rushing yards, 4.3 per carry, 5 TDs); Jonathan Taylor (553 rushing yards, 4.0 per carry, 6 TDs); Michael Pittman Jr. (104 catches, 10.7 yards per, 4 TDs); Josh Downs (65 catches, 11.1 yards per, 2 TDs); Zaire Franklin (170 tackles); Kenny Moore II (91 tackles, 8 for loss, 3 INTs)

Texans players to watch

C.J. Stroud (63.2% completions, 3,844 yards, 21 TDs, 5 INTs); Devin Singletary (835 rushing yards, 4.3 per carry, 3 TDs; 29 catches); Dameon Pierce (416 rushing yards, 2.9 per carry, 2 TDs); Nico Collins (71 catches, 15.5 yards per, 7 TDs); Dalton Schultz (54 catches, 11.0 yards per, 5 TDs); Blake Cashman (93 tackles, 15 sacks); Christian Harris (89 tackles, 7 passes defended); Ka'imi Fairbairn (26-of-27 FGs, long of 54 yards)

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This article originally appeared on Indianapolis Star: Colts vs. Texans in NFL Week 18 betting odds, injuries, TV, playoffs