In the first of only two games on Thanksgiving, the Houston Texans (3-7) will be traveling to the Motor City to take on the Detroit Lions (4-6). This is the first time that the Texans are playing on the Thanksgiving as they look to put together their first win streak this season.
After losing to the Cleveland Browns by three points on the road in Week 10, the Texans defeated the New England Patriots 27-20 at home. Star quarterback Deshaun Watson was 28-of-37 for 344 yards and two touchdowns. He also was the team’s leading rusher with 36 yards and a touchdown on the ground.
Even though Watson and the offense was playing well, the Texans’ defense had its up and down moments. For starters, they allowed Newton to throw for a season-high 365 yards and a touchdown. His lone touchdown pass went to wide receiver Damiere Byrd, who had six receptions (seven targets) for 132 yards. But they did a much better job stopping the run, holding Damien Harris to only 43 yards on 11 carries and a touchdown. As a team, the Patriots only ran for 86 yards.
As for the Lions, they got shutout 20-0 by the Carolina Panthers last week on the road. In that game, quarterback Matthew Stafford and entire offense did not play well at all. Stafford was 18-of-33 yards for 178 yards and sacked five times. Also, Adrian Peterson, who filled in for the injured D’Andre Swift, only had 18 rushing yards on seven carries.
Defensively, the Lions allowed the Panthers to run for 118 yards without Christian McCaffrey and backup quarterback P.J. Walker to throw for 258 yards, a touchdown, and two interceptions in his NFL debut.
So where are sports bettors going as we get closer to game time? Let’s take a look. All odds and info were provided by DraftKings Sportsbook.
The Texans are coming into Thursday’s matinee matchup as a 3-point favorite, with a significant amount of the bets leaning towards them. Currently, 73% of the bets are on Houston to cover along with 68% of the handle.
Is the public right? Yes, the Detroit Lions are bad football team, who should’ve lost to Washington and the Atlanta Falcons. The Lions’ defense is giving up 270.9 passing yards per game, which is the perfect opportunity for a huge game from either Texans wide receiver Brandin Cooks or Will Fuller V. Detroit is 6-14 against the spread in its last 20 games, but 6-3 in its last nine games played on a Thursday.
Meanwhile, the Texans are playing inspired football since they fired head coach Bill O’Brien earlier this season. Now granted, their defense still has issues as they give up a ton of big plays, but they have Watson, who is playing phenomenal football this season.
The point total for this Thanksgiving contest is set at 51.5. The majority of the public believes the over will hit, with 59% of the bets and 68% of handle.
Is the public right? Not quite as the Texans’ defense is only giving up 22.6 points in their last three road games. On the other sideline, the Lions’ offense is only scoring 26.6 points in their last home games. If you do the math with those two averages, you get 49.2 points, putting us at the under. Could we see an offensive shootout break out? Yes, without a question, especially with Watson and Stafford slinging it around the football.
The Texans’ moneyline odds are set at -162, with the Lions at +143. 70% of bets are with the favorite Houston plus 74% of the handle.
Is the public right? Yes. Even though the Texans did not play well to start the season, they have picked it up without roaming the sidelines. And not to mention, the Lions have multiple players on offense dealing with injuries. Let’s just say Stafford doesn’t have Swift again or tight end T.J. Hockenson. Those two players are significant losses and could determine the outcome of the game.
If you or someone you know has a gambling problem, crisis counseling and referral services can be accessed by calling 1-800-GAMBLER (1-800-426-2537) (IL). Gambling problem? Call 1-800-GAMBLER (NJ/MI/PA/WV), 1-800-9-WITH-IT (IN), 1-800-522-4700 (CO/NH), 1-800-BETS-OFF (IA) or Call or Text the TN REDLINE: 800-889-9789. 21+ (18+ NH). NJ/PA/WV/IA/IN/CO/IL/TN/MI only. Eligibility restrictions apply. See draftkings.com/sportsbook for full terms and conditions.