Happy Thanksgiving to our American readers and anyone else who chooses to celebrate, and Thanksgiving wouldn’t be Thanksgiving without the Detroit Lions hosting a ball game! The yearly tradition brings the Houston Texans to Ford Field looking to build on their win over New England in week 11 whilst the Lions are thankful for a short week as they look to move on from the 20-0 defeat they suffered at the hands of the Carolina Panthers on Sunday.
That twenty to nothing loss is made even worse when you consider the Lions were up against a backup QB leading a team who had only 3 wins coming into the game and had lost 5 in a row before shutting out this anaemic Detroit offense. Detroit were without two of their three best offensive playmakers last week as Kenny Golladay and D’Andre Swift missed the game through injury and although the former looks to be a game time decision today the latter, their number one receiver, is again missing. The potential return of rookie D’Andre Swift would be a huge boost as the Texans side they’re up against today is the leagues worst at stopping the run and before his injury Swift was taking control of this Detroit backfield with double figure carries in his last two games and a season high 16 in Detroit’s game with Washington, in his absence Adrian Peterson and Kerryon Johnson split the load pretty evenly (Peterson outcarried Johnson 7 to 6) but neither managed double figures, neither managed 20 yards on the ground and neither even 3 yards per carry average. (the standard is 4 yards) With or without Swift the run game needs to and should improve against the Texans and the smart play would be to lean on the run game here.
Deshaun Watson willed his Texans side to a win in their matchup with the Patriots on Sunday throwing for 344 yards and 2 TD’s as well as running in for another score on his way to the AFC Offensive Player of the Week award. The Texans are a three win team but have much more talent than their record would suggest, sure Watson is one of the best QB’s in football but they also have one of the better if somewhat underrated WR cores in the NFL as well as pass rush led by JJ Watt who are more than capable of getting to the passer but an area of the game that has hindered them all season is the ground game which they have proven incapable of not only running the ball effectively but also an inability to stop anyone else running the football on them, luckily for the Texans is the Lions seem to have the same inabilities with both sides ranking in the bottom 4 in the NFL in rushing yards gained and rushing yards allowed categories.
I think the Texans are the better side here and should get the win. As we’ve mentioned both sides get run on but equally both struggle to run the ball, but with the probable return of the aforementioned D’Andre Swift, a man who has scored TD’s on the ground and through the air this year with 6 to his name we like him to find himself in the endzone if he’s able to suit up but with his availability not guaranteed it’s a little too risky for our best bet, instead for that we’re trusting Deshaun Watson to get it done once again through the air as we’ve requested Watson to throw for 2 or more TD’s (something he’s done in 7 of his last 8 games) and for the Texans to win the game.
PREDICTION: TEXANS 24 – 20 LIONS
BEST BET: Deshaun Watson to throw for 2+ TD’s and the Texans to win the game – 11/10 with SkyBet (RequestABet) 1 point bet.