No team that will be playing at home on Wild-Card Weekend has gotten less love than the Houston Texans.

The AFC South champions entered the 2019 NFL playoffs as three-point favorites, but the betting line has since dropped to a point, per OddsShark. Most of the public has sided with the Colts, even though they finished a game behind the Texans in the division.

Indianapolis is among the postseason's hottest teams, but the same could be said for Houston. After getting off to a 0-3 start, the Texans ended the year with 11 wins in 14 games. Houston had the same record as the New England Patriots, who have a first-round bye as the AFC’s No.2 seed.

Here are three reasons why the Texans will beat the Colts in their wild-card game Saturday afternoon:

Houston’s Defensive Front

The biggest reason for the Colts’ success has been their ability to protect Andrew Luck. Indianapolis ended the season with nine wins in 10 games, and the quarterback wasn’t sacked at all in five of those victories. Luck was sacked exactly once in three other wins.

The Texans were one of only two teams that recorded multiple sacks on Luck during that stretch. When the division rivals met back in Week 4, Houston took the quarterback down four times. J.J. Watt returned to an elite level this season with 16 sacks, and Jadeveon Clowney can still get to the quarterback. Luck won’t be as comfortable in the pocket as he usually is, and that could lead to some game-changing mistakes.


There’s no doubt that Luck was among the NFL’s best quarterbacks in 2018, but he was still second in the league with 15 interceptions. Deshaun Watson was only picked off nine times in 2018, and his ability to protect the ball gives Houston an advantage.

In addition to Luck’s penchant for throwing interceptions, the Colts finished in the top half of the league in fumbles. Only eight teams lost more fumbles than the Texans, who ranked second in the NFL with a plus-13 turnover margin. Indianapolis had a minus-five turnover margin in their six losses.

Home-Field Advantage

Luck threw 10 interceptions on the road, where he was much less effective in 2018. The quarterback had an 88.4 passer rating away from Indianapolis compared to a 109.7 passer rating at home. In none of Luck’s four career road playoff games has he ever thrown more touchdowns than interceptions.

Watson completed 70.4 percent of his passes with a 105.4 passer rating at home. The Texans went 6-2 at home, finishing the season with just one loss in their last seven games at NRG Stadium. The Colts were 4-4 on the road, and they were even shut out in a visit to Jacksonville in December. Home-field advantage seems to mean even more in the playoffs, considering no team has even won one road game on their way to making the Super Bowl in six years.