The first two-thirds of the 2019 NFL season hasn't even been completed, but the upcoming “Thursday Night Football” matchup might ultimately decide the AFC South championship. The Houston Texans and Indianapolis Colts will kick off the Week 12 schedule with first place in the division on the line.

The Texans and Colts are tied atop the AFC South with a 6-4 record. Indianapolis owns the tiebreaker after beating Houston at home in Week 7. Sweeping the season series with the Texans would put the Colts at 4-0 in the division and firmly in the driver’s seat to win the AFC South.

Houston remains the odds-on favorite to finish the season in first place. The Texans are 3.5-point home favorites over the Colts, according to the early betting line at OddsShark. Thursday’s total is 45.5.

The point spread moved in Indianapolis’ direction following Sunday’s games. Houston opened as a five-point favorite before getting blown out by the Baltimore Ravens 41-7 in Week 11. Indianapolis easily took care of business against the Jacksonville Jaguars with a 33-13 victory.

Indianapolis’ 30-23 win over Houston on Oct. 20 gave the Colts a three-game winning streak over the Texans. Indianapolis won 21-7 in Houston on 2019 Wild-Card Weekend. Jacoby Brissett went 2-0 against the Texans in 2017 when Andrew Luck was hurt.

Deshaun Watson didn’t play in either of those contests. Houston’s quarterback wasn’t very productive in last year’s playoffs when he threw for 235 yards and a 69.7 passer rating against the Colts. It took Watson nearly 53 minutes to finally lead the Texans on their first and only touchdown drive against the Ravens.

Baltimore made Houston’s defense look awful. The Ravens have done that to just about all of their opponents this season, leading the league in scoring with Lamar Jackson playing like the NFL MVP.

The Texans don’t have a good defense, especially with J.J. Watt done for the season. Only five teams have allowed more yards per play than Houston.

Brissett had his way with the Texans last month, going 26-39 for 326 yards, four touchdown passes and no interceptions. The Colts’ quarterback outplayed Watson, putting up his best numbers of the season.

Don’t expect Indianapolis to have the quarterback advantage for a second time against Houston.

Deshaun Watson Houston Texans
Deshaun Watson #4 of the Houston Texans runs with the ball in the third quarter during the game against the Indianapolis Colts at Lucas Oil Stadium on September 30, 2018 in Indianapolis, Indiana. Bobby Ellis/Getty Images

If you eliminate the Colts’ first meeting with the Texans, Brissett has thrown just one touchdown pass since the start of October. He’s posted a passer rating south of 86.0 in four of the last five games in which he’s had more than five attempts.

The Colts are 22nd in yards per play. Indianapolis and the Carolina Panthers are Houston’s only opponents that rank worse than 13th in yards per play. The Texans held the Panthers to 16 points in Week 4.

Marlon Mack won’t play for Indianapolis because of a fractured hand. Houston has allowed one 100-yard rusher this season.

The Ravens sacked Watson six times. He hadn’t been sacked more than three times in five straight games.

Watson was a fringe MVP candidate before Week 11. He’s fourth in the NFL in completion percentage. Only three defenses have allowed a higher completion percentage than the Colts.

Houston came up short in Indianapolis in large part because they were forced to settle for three first-half field goals. That’s unlikely to happen again Thursday night. The Texans are sixth in red-zone touchdown percentage.

The Texans have a real chance to control the AFC South from Week 12 through the rest of the season.

Prediction: Houston over Indianapolis, 27-21