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Texans And Lions Add To Betting Trends Ahead Of Early Thanksgiving Battle

After a hideous Week 11 showing, can Detroit bounce back against Houston?

Victor Araiza, Flickr

Quick-Hitters

  • The banged up Detroit Lions were shutout against the Carolina Panthers last week. This was the first time in four contests that the Lions hit the under with numerous offensive weapons sidelined.

  • The Houston Texans failed to cover in seven of their first eight games. Since, they've covered in two-straight. They've even won two of their last three.

  • The Lions have failed to cover in three of their last four games.

  • The Texans (-134) are favored to score first on Thanksgiving, per DraftKings Sportsbook.

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Numerous Detroit Trends

The Detroit Lions may have reached a low point in their season last week, losing to the Carolina Panthers without Teddy Bridgewater 20-0. Oddly enough, it came one week after Detroit secured a much-needed win over the Washington Football Team. As it stands, the Lions have lost three of their last four games and are 4-6 on the season. They're 2.0-games out of a playoff spot, so it’s now or never for Matt Patricia, who is likely coaching for his job between now and the end of the season.

In fairness, the Lions can use injuries as an excuse for their poor offensive performance against the Panthers. Kenny Golladay, Danny Amendola, and D’Andre Swift all missed the game due to injury. However, missing those players isn’t a good enough excuse for amassing just 185 total yards against Carolina. It surely doesn’t explain why the Lions only accrued 40 rushing yards and allowed Matthew Stafford to be sacked five times. It’s unlikely that Golladay, Amendola, and Swift will play on Thursday because of a short week, meaning it’ll be up to Detroit’s offensive line to perform better and give Stafford a fighting chance to be productive.

The Detroit defense faced a Carolina offense that was without their starting quarterback and Christian McCaffrey, so allowing 20 points and 374 yards against a watered-down attack isn’t all that impressive. More importantly, the Lions remain among the bottom-five in the NFL in points allowed and have conceded 30.5 points over their last four games.

It's no wonder that the over has hit in three of the last four Lions' games. The under hit largely because of Detroit's lack of weapons. On top of that, they've failed to cover in three of their last four.

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The Suddenly Lucrative Texans

The Houston Texans haven’t had much to celebrate in 2020, but they’ll feel good about going to Detroit on a short week after knocking off the New England Patriots last week. Houston was out-gained by New England, but the Texans found a way to outlast Bill Belichick’s team. It was Houston’s second win in three games, and it was the team’s first win of the season against a squad other than the Jacksonville Jaguars. The Texans are just 3-7 on the season and all but out of the playoff picture.

The Houston offense continues to be the silver lining in a bad season. Deshaun Watson is playing like a Pro Bowler, which you can’t often say for the quarterback of a 3-7 team. He’s thrown for at least 300 yards in five of his last seven games. Perhaps more importantly, Watson has thrown 11 touchdowns and no interceptions over his last five games. The caveat is that Houston’s rushing attack is going nowhere, especially with David Johnson on the IR. Watson was Houston’s leading rusher in the win against the Patriots, which isn’t a promising sign.

After failing to cover in seven of their first eight games, Houston has now covered in two-straight. They've given over/under supporters plenty of infrequency (5-5), but this new ATS trend is one to keep an eye on moving forward.

Game Line

Both the Lions and Texans will be in a position to create some offensive fireworks on Thanksgiving. Even after Detroit was shutout last week, Stafford is capable of doing damage against Houston if their offensive line can do a better job. The chances are good that Watson will lead the Houston offense into the end zone at least a couple of times, so the pressure will be on Stafford and the Detroit offense to keep up.

Knowing how Detroit performed against Carolina, the 2.5-point spread against Houston is simply due to record. This ATS line feels like it should be a bit more drastic. The Texans (-134) are favored to score first on Thanksgiving, per DraftKings Sportsbook.

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