We love Thanksgiving NFL football betting, part I: Houston Texans -3½ at Detroit

Football betting makes Thanksgiving feel like a holiday, you know…?  In NFLbets’ opinion, Thanksgiving is the second-greatest betting day of the year: Three games, at least six bets to make, four days to analyze, and best of all we tend to do better on this day than on the Super Bowl.

We love this day of football so much, we’re running a trilogy of pieces, beginning chronologically with the Turkey Day opener…

Houston Texans -3½ at Detroit Lions, over/under 51 points

Houston, under the guidance of Romeo Crennel(!) are 3-3 SU/ATS, including a 2-1 SU/ATS mini-run with the sole SU loss coming by just 3 points at Cleveland and the weather in week 10.

Excepting the Cleveland game, the Texans are scoring 28.0 points per game in the Crennel Period as the Texans offense finally appears to be rounding into shape after a number of questionable transactions in the offseason.

Maybe NFLbets should make that “the Texans passing game finally appears to be rounding into shape...” Even the most ardent Texans backer has got to admit that, at 71.1 total yards per game, David Johnson represents the short end of the stick in that deal.

But Crennel & Co. probably aren’t thinking about the run game for this game; they’re giving thanks that the Lions currently rank 24th in DVOA, not quite as bad as the 30th- and 31st-ranked Jacksonville Jaguars and New England Patriots, against whom Deshaun Watson has averaged 322.66 yards per game and his team is 3-0 SU/2-1 ATS, but still.

Conventional wisdom believes that Matt Patricia may be coaching for his job this week, after his team was goosed egged by the Carolina Panthers on Sunday. Recent trending would favor the Lions here based solely on that L, as the last 20 shutout victims have gone 14-5-1 ATS in the subsequent game; the growing point spread further handicapping Houston with its pitiful no. 29-DVOA ranked defense speaks well for betting on Detroit.

The bad news for the Lions offense begins with WR Kenny Golladay and RB D’Andre Swift out and continues with QB Matthew Stafford’s trending downward throughout 2020. Just twice in 2020 has he passed for over 300 years (taking him 36 and 42 attempts to do so) and twice has thrown for more TDs than taken sacks in a game.

This line may feel too easy and perhaps Adrian Peterson can find his inner untacklable self again, but in a contest of spotty defenses and a spread of around a field goal, NFLbets goes with the better passing game. Take the Houston Texans -3½ at Detroit and take the over on an O/U of 51 points.

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