Thanksgiving Day NFL Betting Picks: Against the Spread
Week 11 Recap: The Browns cashed for us as a 3-point home favorite over the Eagles and Washington did the same as 1-point home chalk over the Bengals. My lone loss was the Jaguars, who outside of the first quarter, didn’t come close to competing with a juggernaut Steelers team still unbeaten on the season. I thought Pittsburgh would suffer a similar letdown in Jacksonville that it did a few weeks back in Dallas, which is why I grabbed the 10.5 points with the Jags. A 3-0 sweep continues to elude me and my ATS record this NFL season is now 16-15-2 at 4for4.com.
With the Ravens-Steelers matchup moved to Sunday, I only have one Thanksgiving Day selection, but I’ll return on Friday with my normal card for the weekend. While 2020 has been the most challenging year of most of our lives, I hope every reader can find some joy and comfort while having a Happy Thanksgiving.
121 Houston Texans at 122 Detroit Lions
- Spread: Texans -3
- O/U: 51
- Time: 12:30 p.m. ET, Thursday, November 26, 2020
I don’t trust the Texans in a road favorite role but every time I refresh the Lions’ injury list, a new name is seemingly added. Running back D'Andre Swift (concussion) is questionable, while tight end T.J. Hockenson (toe) was limited in practice on Monday and Tuesday. Hockenson should play, but his snaps have been dialed back the past two weeks as he deals with that toe injury. Meanwhile, both Kenny Golladay (hip) and fellow receiver Danny Amendola (hip) are out for Thursday’s game.
Those injuries, coupled with quarterback Matthew Stafford’s thumb injury, gives me zero confidence in Detroit. Stafford completed just 18-of-33 passes for 178 yards in last week’s loss to the Panthers. The Lions were shut out in that game and Stafford averaged just 5.4 yards per attempt. Carolina also pressured the Detroit signal-caller on 28.2% of his dropbacks, despite averaging just 20.0% pressure per drop back on the season. That 20.0% is worse than Houston’s 21.0% mark, so if the Lions couldn’t protect Stafford last week, it stands to reason they won’t keep J.J. Watt out of his face today.
While the unit was on the field too long because their offense couldn’t move the chains, the Lions defense also struggled to contain Phillip Walker, who completed 24-of-34 passes for 258 yards with a touchdown and two interceptions. Both of Walker’s interceptions came in the red zone, so the damage could have been much worse. With Deshaun Watson accounting for 88 percent of the Texans’ offensive yardage this season and coming off a game in which he threw for 344 yards and three touchdowns against the Patriots, the Houston signal-caller should have a day at Ford Field.
Sometimes there are trap games that you have to worry about and other times you just can’t overthink a matchup. This one falls in the latter category for me: Give me the Texans.
THANKSGIVING DAY NFL ATS PICK: HOUSTON Texans -3
2020 NFL Week-by-Week ATS Records
- Week 1: 1-2
- Week 2: 2-2
- Week 3: 1-2
- Week 4: 0-2-1
- Week 5: 2-1
- Week 6: 2-1
- Week 7: 2-0-1
- Week 8: 1-2
- Week 9: 2-1
- Week 10: 1-2
- Week 11: 2-1
Season ATS Record: 16-15-2 (52%)