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DraftKings Sportsbook has Colts as 7-point favorites at Houston

Indianapolis Colts v Houston Texans Photo by Cooper Neill/Getty Images

DraftKings Sportsbook has the Colts as 7-point favorites on the road against the Houston Texans for the 2022 regular season opener. This is a tighter spread than earlier in the week as All-Pro linebacker Shaquille Leonard has been ruled out for the game.

The implications for both teams will matter much sooner than in typical seasons because the NFL schedule-makers loaded the front of the schedule with most of the AFC South’s divisional games. Neither team will want to start in a hole. The Colts in particular, who have hopes not just to win the AFC South but make some noise in the playoffs, won’t want to drop what should be viewed as a winnable early-season contest.

Perhaps even more important, team owner Jim Irsay will want to quickly get the taste of his franchise’s embarrassing loss to the Jaguars out of his mouth. The team hasn’t won a season opener or won in Jacksonville since 2014 and you can rest assured that Irsay has let his front office and head coach know that these games matter to him.

Veteran free agent wide receiver T.Y. Hilton has absolutely torched the Texans at NRG Stadium in his career but will be watching this one from home. Can Michael Pittman Jr. pair up with Matt Ryan to start a new streak of Colts wide receiver dominance in Houston? Will that even matter if Jonathan Taylor picks up where he left off a season ago?

We’re about to find out.