Detroit Lions (4-3) at Houston Texans (4-3)
The Texans are 4-3, but their 4 wins have come by a combined 26 points, while their 3 losses have come by a combined 63 points, giving them a -37 point differential, which is 6th worst in the NFL. They rank just 26th in first down percentage differential, thanks to an offense that has scored just 9 offensive touchdowns on 81 drives in 7 games this season. However, they were exposed nationally last week on Monday Night Football in a 27-9 loss in Denver, so they’re no longer overrated. This line has shifted from 3 in favor of the Texans on the early line last week to 2.5 this week, a significant half point swing considering about 1 in 6 games are decided by exactly a field goal. Despite that, the public is still all over the Lions.
The Lions aren’t much better than the Texans, entering the 20th in first down percentage. This line is about where it should be, especially with the Lions missing top cornerback Darius Slay. That being said, I’m still taking the Lions because the Texans are in a bad spot, as small home favorites before a bye. Teams in this spot historically tend not to cover, as home favorites of 1 to 5.5 are just 38-63 ATS before a bye since 2002. Detroit is the pick, but I would need to get the full field goal to put any money on them.
Houston Texans 20 Detroit Lions 19
Pick against the spread: Detroit +2.5