Thursday, November 26, 2020, Ford Field, Detroit, Michigan, 12:30 p.m. ET
Texans at Lions Betting Preview: Texans (-3/-105), Lions (+3/-115)
The Texans (3-7) should be brimming with confidence after outplaying the New England Patriots last Sunday in a 27-20 victory. Houston is 3-3 since Romeo Crennel replaced fired coach Bill O’Brien, and the Texans have suddenly become stingy on defense, allowing a total of 30 points over the past two games. Houston even held the Patriots to 86 rushing yards as the NFL’s worst run defense (159.3 yards per game) exhibited a sharp turnaround in the impressive triumph.
Quarterback Deshaun Watson threw for 344 yards for his fifth 300-yard outing in the past seven games, and he has 20 touchdown passes against just five interceptions this year. It is impossible for Will Fuller V to make people forget departed star wideout DeAndre Hopkins, but Fuller does have four 100-yard outings while making 47 catches for 708 yards and six TDs. The Texans are having trouble getting pressure on quarterbacks — defensive end J.J. Watt has a team-best four sacks — and have intercepted an NFL-low two passes.
Standout left tackle Laremy Tunsil (illness) available for practice on Tuesday and has a chance to play after sitting out against New England. Receiver Randall Cobb (toe) appears in jeopardy of missing the game.
The Lions (4-6) are in their familiar role on the Thanksgiving Day stage and are hoping to move on from a turkey performance last weekend in a 20-0 road loss to the Carolina Panthers. Detroit had just 185 total yards against a team that had lost five straight games. The Lions also were blanked for the first time since 2009 — and the initial time with Matthew Stafford as the starter. Stafford is battling a sore thumb on his throwing hand, but he has thrown 17 touchdown passes on Thanksgiving, one behind the record held by former Dallas Cowboys quarterback Tony Romo.
Detroit’s running game was non-existent with just 40 yards and a long gain of 8 against the Panthers as rookie D’Andre Swift (concussion) was badly missed. Swift was a limited practice participant on Tuesday, and the Lions badly need his production — he had 246 scrimmage yards (145 rushing, 101 receiving) in the previous two games. Detroit has just 14 sacks, and six have come from defensive end Romeo Okwara, who is closing in on his career high of 7.5 set in 2018.
The short week could make it tough for receivers Kenny Golladay and Danny Amendola to return from their hip injuries. Golladay has missed the past three games, and Amendola sat out against the Panthers.
Texans at Lions Betting Pick for Week 12
Stafford was disappointed to be part of his first shutout as a starting quarterback and his thumb soreness should be dissipating. But getting Swift back would be the bigger plus as future Hall of Fame running back Adrian Peterson (3.7 average per carry) is slowing down.
Hard to tell if the Texans’ run defense can follow up a stellar showing or if it will revert back to form. Watson is playing well, but you also have to expect the Lions to be highly motivated for their annual Thanksgiving affair.
Texans at Lions Betting Pick: Lions 30, Texans 24
Texans at Lions Best Bet for Week 12
Stafford said “putting up no points is unacceptable and we know that,” so let’s figure that Detroit will find the end zone a few times. Houston gave up 30 or more points in five of its first seven games, so this could easily become a high-scoring affair.
Texans at Lions Best Bet: OVER 51.5 total points (-112)