Lions Face An Uphill Battle On Thanksgiving Against Struggling Texans

Posted By Drew Ellis on November 23, 2020 - Last Updated on November 26, 2020

It’s Thanksgiving week, which means the Detroit Lions will be featured on national television this Thursday. And this time it’s the Texans vs. Lions.

After its worst showing of the season, will the Lions be able to bounce back on a short week? They are set to host a struggling Houston Texans team on Thursday at 12:30 p.m. ET on CBS.

Despite having one more victory, the Lions find themselves as the underdog for Thursday’s clash.

Texans vs. Lions odds: Houston holds the edge

The Texans (3-7, 1-4 away) are heading to Detroit to face the Lions (4-6, 1-3 home), but Houston is the favorite according to oddsmakers.

All are seeing the Texans as a slight favorite, with the Texans largely viewed as a 2.5-point road favorite. (Odds last updated at noon ET on Thursday, Nov. 26.)

Texans at Lions Week 11 oddsBetMGMDraftKingsFanDuelPointsBetWilliam Hill
Point spread
(-110 juice unless noted)
HOU -3 -115
DET +3 -106
HOU -3 -105
DET +3 -115
HOU -3
DET +3
HOU -3
DET +3
HOU -3
DET +3
MoneylineHOU -176
DET +145
HOU -155
DET +135
HOU -164
DET +138
HOU -165
DET +140
HOU -160
DET +140
Total points
(-110 juice unless noted)
O 51.5 -106
U 51.5 -115
O 51.5
U 51.5
O 52
U 52
O 52
U 52
O 52
U 52

On the moneyline, the Texans are getting -130 odds from most sportsbooks, while the Lions are listed at +110 for the most past.

The over/under is listed at 50.5 or 51 points depending on the sportsbook.

By Tuesday morning, DraftKings Sportsbook had moved the line all the way up to 3 points. That’s a key number for NFL betting, as 3 points is the most common margin of victory in the league.

On Wednesday, all five sportsbooks we’re tracking had moved the line up to 3.

FYI: NFL betting options limited during the shutdown

Making a wager on Thursday’s game is a little more challenging for Michigan sports bettors right now due to the current pandemic order that lasts until at least Dec. 8.

The order closed Greektown Casino, MGM Grand Detroit, and MotorCity Casino in Detroit, and many tribal casinos decided to do the same.

Bay Mills opted to close its doors last week, while Kewadin Casinos closed all five of their casino locations in Christmas, Hessel, Manistique, Sault Ste. Marie, and St. Ignace.

Aside from the closed casinos, many others that are staying open have opted for stricter safety guidelines due to the growing number of COVID-19 cases.

That being said, here is where you can bet on the NFL in Michigan as of Nov. 23:

  • Turtle Creek (William Hill)
  • Leelanau Sands Casino (William Hill)
  • Four Winds in Dowagiac, Hartford, New Buffalo (Kambi)
  • Gun Lake Casino (Parx)
  • FireKeepers Casino (Sci Games)
  • Island Resort & Casino (BetAmerica)
  • Odawa Casino in Petoskey, Mackinaw City (Fox Bet)

Online betting in Michigan is still a work in progress, with current projections set for mid-to-late December. Get all the updates here.

Texans on a hot streak against Detroit

OK, back to the Thanksgiving game of Texans vs. Lions. These two franchises have met just four times in their histories.

The Lions were able to grab the first meeting in 2004, 28-16, but the Texans have won the last three since then.

Included in those three wins was a Thanksgiving Day victory in 2012, 34-31 in overtime. The Lions have managed to cover the spread in two of those three losses.

It should come as no surprise then that public betting is siding with the Texans for this game. Houston is getting 71% of the wagers as the favorite against Detroit.

Lions show no fight in epic loss at Carolina

The Detroit Lions have put up some bad performances over the years, but Sunday’s has to be one of their worst.

Detroit suffered a 20-0 loss at Carolina when the Panthers were without starting QB Teddy Bridgewater and star running back Christian McCaffrey.

The Lions allowed XFL standout P.J. Walker to throw for 258 yards and a touchdown on them.

This latest loss has really put Matt Patricia on the hot seat, as he is now 13-28-1 in his time in Detroit.

Sunday marked the first time that Matthew Stafford was shut out in his pro career, too. The Lions amassed just 185 total yards as an offense.

Stafford himself was only 18 of 33 passing for 178 yards. He was dealing with a torn ligament on his thumb, which limited the number of downfield throws the team made.

Detroit had no running game with D’Andre Swift unable to play due to concussion protocol. The Lions had 40 rushing yards on 17 carries.

Detroit is hopeful that both Swift and leading receiver Kenny Golladay (hip) will be able to suit up on Thursday after missing Sunday’s contest.

Can Detroit overcome Houston’s passing attack?

The Houston Texans had their best win of the 2020 NFL Season on Sunday, holding off the New England Patriots for a 27-20 victory. The win is their second in three games and the first against anyone other than the Jacksonville Jaguars.

The Texans have shown some more life since firing coach Bill O’Brien after an 0-4 start.

Sunday’s contest was an offensive showcase, with the two teams combining for 834 yards.

Deshaun Watson had one of his better games this year, throwing for 344 yards and two touchdowns on 28 of 37 passing. He was also Houston’s leading rusher with 36 yards and a TD.

Detroit will be challenged by Houston’s passing attack, which ranks eighth in the NFL at 274.3 yards per game. However, even the Lions poor run defense is capable of stopping Houston on the ground.

The Texans rank 31st in the NFL in rushing at just 84.6 yards per game. Leading rusher David Johnson has been out the last two weeks due to a concussion. He was put on IR after Week 9.

While JJ Watt is having a quiet season, he did have four pass deflections in Sunday’s win and showed he can still be impactful.

Watt leads a Houston defense that ranks 31st in the NFL, allowing 27.2 points and 411.7 yards per game. Their run defense is actually worse than Detroit’s. The Texans give up a league-worst 159.3 yards per game on the ground. If Swift is able to go, it could be a big day for the rookie.

We shall see what this Texans vs. Lions game has in-store on Thanksgiving Day.

Photo by AP Photo/Brian Westerholt
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Drew Ellis

Drew Ellis has lived in Michigan his whole life, and has been writing professionally for the last 21 years. Ellis has covered anything from youth baseball in mid-Michigan, a top-25 college football program, and pro sports in the Detroit area. Always keeping busy, Ellis also has over 10 years of experience in covering sports betting, handling all major sports.

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