Week 12 in the NFL will kick off on Thanksgiving Day with a game at Ford Field between the Houston Texans and the Detroit Lions. The Texans are coming off a tough win over the New England Patriots, while the Lions are coming off their worst performance of the season in a shutout loss to the Carolina Panthers.
Houston Texans Betting Preview: Find a Way to Run the Football
The Houston Texans come into play with a record of 3-7, four games behind the Indianapolis Colts and Tennessee Titans in the AFC South. The Texans have won two of their last three games, including a 27-20 victory over the New England Patriots Sunday in Houston.
Quarterback Deshaun Watson was terrific, completing 28 of 37 passes for 344 yards and two touchdowns. He also carried the ball six times for 36 yards and a score. The Texans led 21-10 at halftime and held off a Patriots rally in the second half.
Houston’s efficiency on offense was the difference in the game, as New England outgained them by 36 yards. The Texans will need to establish the running game Thursday somehow against Detroit, as the Lions are the worst team in the league in stopping the run.
On the season, the Texans’ offense is led by Watson. He has completed 69% of his passes for 2,883 yards and 20 touchdowns. He has been intercepted five times on the season. The running game for Houston has been abysmal this season.
They traded for running back David Johnson, but he is now on IR, and when he was healthy, he averaged just 51 yards per game. Watson is the second-leading rusher on the team, but Duke Johnson will have to step up.
Watson’s favorite target in the passing game has been wide receiver Will Fuller V. He has caught 47 passes for 708 yards and six touchdowns.
Detroit Lions Betting Preview: Get Back in the Win Column
The Detroit Lions come into play with a record of 4-6, three games behind the Green Bay Packers in the NFC North. The Lions have lost three of their last four games and now sit in last place in the division due to their loss to Minnesota two weeks ago.
On Sunday, the Lions had their worst performance of the season in a 20-0 loss to the Carolina Panthers without starting quarterback Teddy Bridgewater and running back Christian McCaffrey. The Lions’ offense was listless in the game, gaining just 185 yards of total offense.
Without running back DeAndre Swift, the Lions were able to gain just 40 yards on the ground. Quarterback Matthew Stafford had a rough day at the office, completing 18 of 33 passes for just 178 yards. He was sacked five times, and his rhythm was disrupted all day.
Stafford has completed 63% of his passes for 2,581 yards and 17 touchdowns to go along with seven interceptions on the season. One glaring stat, however, is the fact that Stafford has been sacked 27 times this season.
The offensive line has to improve for Detroit to have any sustained success. Running backs Swift and Adrian Peterson have done the majority of the work in the running game.
Peterson has carried the ball 104 times for 389 yards and two touchdowns, while Swift has carried the ball 70 times for 331 yards and four touchdowns. Wide receiver Marvin Jones Jr. leads the team in receiving yards with 455 and is tied with tight end T.J. Hockenson for the team lead with five receiving touchdowns.
Texans at Lions Betting Odds & Lines
MyBookie has the Texans favored by three points. The key to winning this game is which team will be able to run the ball effectively. Both run defenses are not great, but both teams’ running games are not great either.
Free Betting Pick
Spooky Express Free Pick: Detroit +3