Houston Texans at Detroit Lions Odds
The Houston Texans (9-1, 4-0 away) travel to face the Detroit Lions (4-6, 2-2 home) on Thanksgiving. This is the first game of a tripleheader this Thursday with kickoff set for 12:30 EST. Oddsmakers have installed Houston as a 3-point favorite at Detroit with a total set of 49 points.
Why Houston Covers
The Texans have been one of the top teams in the league this season. They have looked as impressive as anyone en route to their 9-1 start. Getting them as only a field goal favorite against anyone is certainly an enticing wager.
The Lions had a chance to get back in the playoff hunt if they were to beat the Green Bay Packers last Sunday. Instead, they gave the game away, blowing a 20-14 lead late to fall to 4-6 on the season. They now realize their playoff hopes are slim to none, and they could suffer a hangover from that defeat.
Houston struggled with Jacksonville last week, needing overtime to dismantle the Jaguars 43-37. It was probably taking them too lightly and it likely wasn’t 100% focused after having already beaten the Jaguars by 20 points in the first meeting. If the Texans would have blown them out, this line likely would be more than 3.
The Texans have played arguably their best football on the road this season. They are 4-0 straight up and 3-1 against the spread away from home, outscoring opponents 23.5 to 13.7, or by an average of 9.8 points per game. The Lions are just 2-2 straight up and 1-3 against the spread at home this year.
Houston is 8-0 against the spread in games where the line is +3 to -3 over the last 2 seasons. The Texans are 8-1 against the spread after scoring 30 points or more last game over the last 2 seasons. The Lions are 0-8 against the spread when playing against a team with a winning record in the second half of the season over the last 2 seasons.
Why Detroit Covers
The Lions really should have won that game last week against the Packers as they clearly outplayed them. They outgained the Packers 362-314, but gave the game away by committing four turnovers. This team has certainly shown what it is capable of this season by nearly beating many good teams.
There’s no question that Detroit is better than its record would indicate. All six of its losses have come by 10 points or less, including five to 8 points or fewer. The Lions rank 2nd in the league in total offense at 401.7 yards per game, and 10th in total defense at 328.2 yards per game.
As you can see, Detroit is outgaining opponents by an average of 73.5 yards per game, which is a number more indicative of a team with one of the best records in the league rather than one that is 4-6. Turnovers and penalties have really hurt this team, but those things tend to even themselves out as the season goes on.
After giving up 458 total yards to the Jaguars last week, the Texans are clearly vulnerable defensively. Chad Henne came off the bench to throw for 354 yards and four touchdowns for Jacksonville, so Matthew Stafford could be in for a huge game for Detroit.
The Lions are 36-20 against the spread versus good rushing defenses – allowing