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

The Houston Texans (9-3) are the hottest team in the NFL, having won nine straight games after an 0-3 start. Their last significant obstacle to an AFC South division title and possible playoff bye is the Indianapolis Colts (6-6).

Oddsmakers expect a competitive game between two bitter rivals making playoff pushes. The Texans are just 4.5-point home favorites over the Colts, according to OddsShark. The first meeting between these two teams in September resulted in a thrilling 37-34 overtime victory for Houston.

Colts quarterback and Comeback Player of the Year shoo-in Andrew Luck broke free of a shaky start to the season by exploding for 464 yards and four touchdowns in that game. Texans' second-year quarterback Deshaun Watson threw for 375 yards, two touchdowns and one interception in the second game of a huge winning streak.

The Colts put together an impressive run of their own, winning five games in a row before a letdown performance against the lowly Jacksonville Jaguars last weekend.

The key matchup in this game will be Houston’s 3rd-ranked defense and Indianapolis’s 8th-ranked offense. It will be strength against strength, as the Colts’ vastly improved offensive line will take on the Texans’ talented pass rush. Indianapolis has given up the second-fewest sacks this season, while Houston’s defense is tied for 10th in sacks.

However, these teams’ weaknesses are not all that weak. The Texans’ offense and the Colts’ defense both rank slightly above league average in most categories.

One deciding factor could be injuries. The Texans lost center Zach Fulton and cornerback Johnathan Joseph to injuries against the Cleveland Browns last weekend and both are questionable for Sunday. The Colts have their roster more intact, with only defensive tackle Hassan Ridgeway and safety Mike Mitchell listed as questionable.

Prediction: The Texans are a good team and will win the AFC South, but they have had several close calls against mediocre teams during this winning streak. Logic dictates the home team wins an otherwise evenly matched game, but the Colts need to keep winning to make the playoffs. A big game from Andrew Luck leads to a road upset.

Colts over Texans, 27-23