Detroit Lions (4-3 SU, 3-3-1 ATS) vs. Houston Texans (4-3 SU, 3-3-1 ATS)
NFL Week 8
Date/Time: Sunday, October 30, 2016 at 1:00PM EST
Where: NRG Stadium
TV: FOX, DTV: 710
by Chad Holloway, Expert Football Handicapper, Predictem.com
Point Spread: DET +2.5/HO +2.5
Over/Under Total: 45
Dont look now, but the Detroit Lions have won four in a row while the Houston Texans sit atop the AFC South. This week, the two teams will meet in Houston for a rare inter-conference battle. Neither team can afford to give up ground in their respective roads to the Playoffs, so there is actually a lot on the line Sunday.
The Texans have won the last two games between the two teams dating back to 2008. Of course a lot has changed in the last eight years. For instance, the Texans have recently added running back Lamar Miller, who has been playing through an injury, and also quarterback Brock Osweiler, who has come under criticism as of late.
Osweiler, who came over from Denver in the offseason after signing a $72 million deal, is the 20th-ranked QB in the league going 156 of 268 for 1,533 yards, eight touchdowns, and eight interceptions good for a 71.9 rating. Fans expect better. Overall, the Texans passing game ranks a lowly 30th averaging just 204.3 total yards per game (YPG).
On the ground, the Texans rank 12th averaging 115.3 YPG, while their overall offense is 29th averaging 319.6 total YPG and 16.7 points per game (PPG). Defensively, the Texans rank eighth holding opponents to an average of 320.1 total YPG (184.7 passing YPG & 135.4 rushing YPG) and 22 PPG.
As for the Lions, their offense averages 348.6 total YPG and 24.3 PPG, which puts them 18th in the NFL. Their passing game is 12th averaging 259.1 YPG, while their rushing game is 24th with an average of 89.4 YPG. Defensively, the Lions are 25th allowing an average of 385 total YPG (273 Passing YPG & 112 rushing YPG) and 24.3 PPG.
As usual, the Lions have been getting the job done through the air. QB Matt Stafford is having a solid year going 164 of 241 for 1,914 yards, 15 touchdowns, and just four interceptions. Whats more, he has three solid weapons to work with in Marvin Jones (33 receptions for 623 yards and four touchdowns), Golden Tate (31 receptions for 392 yards and a touchdown), and Anquan Boldin (32 receptions for 272 yards and four touchdowns). Boldin is proving himself one of the best free agent signings of the year.
Chad Holloway’s Pick to Cover the Point Spread: The Texans have some offensive line woes, which are a big reason Osweiler is spinning his wheels. To succeed, the O-line needs to protect their quarterback and open up Miller and the ground game. Unfortunately, I dont think thatll happen. Instead, I foresee the Lions riding their momentum and applying the pressure through the air. Theyll try to turn it into a shootout, and if they do the Texans wont be able to keep pace. I like the Lions to win this game outright while the two teams combining to cover the over.