For NFL bettors, the best thing that might be said about this week’s Thursday Night Football game is its potential for cross-sport parlay betting, with the team’s home cities also hosting the World Series teams. But while the baseball world gets to watch two pennant winners, over in football, we’re left with the league’s top team against, well, not close to the league’s top team, namely:
Philadelphia Eagles -13½ at Houston Texans, over/under 45½ points
The book on the Texans, currently at 1-5-1 SU/3-3-1 ATS, simply put, isn’t very good: Statistically, Houston ranks 31st in total offense, 30th in total defense and have kicked off as underdogs in every game. Worse yet, the Tennessee Titans are the only team the Texans have played thus far in 2022 with a winning record; this rather tempers a rare positive to note about this team, i.e. that they’ve only lost by double figures twice this season and only once by more than 10 points.
Contrasting in just about every parameter are the Eagles at no. 3 in overall offense and no. 4 in defense; most impressively, with 16 turnovers generated and just 2 produced by the offense, Philadelphia is tops in both of these statistical categories. The Eagles have played every game in 2022 as a favorite and are 7-0 SU/5-2 ATS.
In this particular Thursday Night Football game, the general public is tending to the chalk: The Eagles are accounting for 74% of pointspread bets and 58% of the handle. The over is even more extreme, with 59% of bets making up a whopping 86% of the handle. NFLbets is very tempted to fade the public on the former and run with ’em on the latter.
So what reasoning, if any, allows the NFL bettor to cover Houston plus the points?
Completely pragmatically speaking, 13½ is a lot of points to be getting. Since 2013, underdogs of such ‘’spreads are a predictable-enough 11-84 SU, but an up-to-spec 49-45-1 ATS. Such big underdogs at home in the same timespan are a more realistic 8-9-1 ATS. We’ve only seen one comparable point spread thus far in ’22: In week 5, when the Pittsburgh Steelers got 14 at Buffalo and was convincingly smoked, 38-3.
Not exactly a major testament to the 2-touchdown underdog, but here’s the stat that really shies NFLbets away from the Eagles: Just 36 of 123 games – or about 29.25% of the time – have been decided by more than 13 points in 2022; with three games this week going off with this sort of ’spread and only Kansas City the only such favorite playing at home, sheer odds put the probability of a Houston backdoor cover in this game even lower.
Furthermore, blowouts on Thursday Night Football are just about as common, with 58 of the past 162 TNF games decided by more than 13 points.
So in a WTF season of NFL football, we’re ready to WTF again. Take the Houston Texans +13½ vs Philadelphia.
– written by Os Davis