I'm thinking that once people get over their hang-over with the Pit loss MN or their celebrating the SF win...they are going to figure out the following and bet this line up. Maybe I'm wrong, maybe there will be support for the Colts, but consider the following:
The backdrop for this game:
NE 11-3 1st seed
Hou 10-4 8-2 conf 2nd seed
Balt 10-4 7-3 conf
Pit 10-4 8-3 conf
Balt is ahead of Pit in their division because of the div record.
However, for the 2nd seed in the AFC playoffs, Hou is ahead of both of them due to the better conf record.
Hou has everything to play for with 2 games left to earn #2 seed!
SF had a let down @ Ari after clinching their division. A real stinker game yet they came back with a vengeance and beat Pit at home.
Hou had a let down vs Car after clinching their division, a real stinker game too - embarrassing really - seemingly blowing their chance to maintain their lead for 2nd seed. Now, thanks to Balt and Pit both losing, they have a reprieve and another chance to take care of business. I expect they are collectively and absolutely thrilled for this opportunity.
Earning a bye in the wild card round and home field advantage for the next round is a HUGE deal. Having to host a wild card game in the first round is not something that will help their chances to go deeper into the playoffs at all.That extra week rest and facing the winner of the wild card round is BIG motivation. The coaches know it, the players know it, they will fight for it. This time of year, winning in the NFL is all about Playoff Motivation scenarios unless there are over-riding considerations. I don't see any here....
I lean to the home team in Prime Time match ups unless I have very good reason not to. This is one of those games....
I expect Hou to atone for their horrible showing last Sun and tromp on the Colts, much like the Niners did to Pit. Colts just got the monkey off their backs and beat Ten. They are no longer the same win-less desperado they were last week. Hou is the much better team than Indy (it's a mismatch) this season and they will want to show the world on Prime Time that they deserve to be where they are and show they are a force to be reckoned with going forward. Also, heading into the playoffs on a winning note is a good thing IMO. They need to show and prove to themselves and everyone else that last week was an aberration. They did pound Indy 34-7 in week one and I think the -5.5 I just got on one of my online books is a cheap price here all considered. My other book is showing -6. Maybe I will find that I jumped the gun and the line comes down, but I'm fine with it as I expect them to win by 7 or more anyway.
You might argue that Ind will want to show something too on Prime Time... I heard that same argument for TB for their last game hosting Dal and that's not how it turned out. I didn't buy it for that game, I won't buy it here either. I expect a similar result here as what was seen in Dal @ TB.
Hou: PF/PA 24.5/16.9; Indy: 15.1/28.2
Hou 7-2 (all ATS) vs conf opponents, 3-0 vs division, 6-2 as a fav, 5-2 road, 1-0 road fav 3.5-7pts.
Indy 4-6 conf, 1-3 div, 5-8 dog
winner vs loser
Playoff team vs crap team.
I just hit my 6th straight Prime Time game: NYG @ Dal, SL @ Sea, Jack @ Atl, Dal @ TB, Balt @ SD, Pit @ SF and taking my shot at #7. Maybe here is where I lose one now but I don't think so....
I'll risk 1 unit so it's not the end of the world if I figured this all wrong.
Your comments, opinions and ideas are very welcome here.