Houston Texans at Philadelphia Eagles, Lincoln Financial Field, Philadelphia, PA
Thursday, December 2, 2010, 8:20 pm EST, TV: NFL
Opening Line: Eagles -7
Current Line: Eagles -9
Opening Total: 50.5
Current Total: 50.5
Money Line: Eagles -400 / Texans +325
The Houston Texans (5-6) showed some fight – literally – in a 20-0 win over Tennessee last week and hope to bring that same type of attitude into this Thursday Night Football matchup against the Philadelphia Eagles (7-4). Houston wide receiver Andre Johnson got into a fight with Tennessee cornerback Cortland Finnegan last Sunday but was simply fined $25,000 and awarded a game ball by head coach Gary Kubiak. Johnson finally showed the emotion the team has been lacking for most of this season and will need heading into this game at Philadelphia (-9).
The Texans were not overly impressive on offense but they did what they needed to do and played their best defensive game of the year against the Titans, posting their first shutout since 2004. Running back Arian Foster rushed for 143 yards on 30 carries and added nine catches for 75 yards while Johnson also finished with nine catches and totaled 56 yards with a touchdown. Tennessee’s Chris Johnson was held to a career-low five yards on seven carries.
It also helped that Houston was facing rookie quarterback Rusty Smith, who threw for just 138 yards and tossed three interceptions in his first career start. Unlike Smith, Philadelphia’s Michael Vick will present a number of problems for the NFL’s second-worst pass defense, which is still giving up 286.2 yards per game through the air.
Despite throwing his first pick of the season, Vick remains the league’s top-rated passer after his second 300-yard passing game this year. He completed 29 of 44 passes for 333 yards with two touchdowns in a 31-26 loss at Chicago last week but was sacked four times for 40 yards and fumbled four times.
The Texans have done a decent job against the run this season, holding opponents to 100.2 yards per game on the ground. They will need to deal with Philly running back LeSean McCoy in addition to Vick, as the duo has become a dangerous tandem. McCoy is averaging 5.0 yards per carry and leads all running backs with 59 catches.
The Eagles surrendered four touchdown passes to Chicago’s Jay Cutler last week and will need All-Pro cornerback Asante Samuel back if they want to contain Houston’s Johnson. Samuel missed the game against the Bears with a knee injury, and his absence was felt by a weakened secondary.
Philadelphia is giving up 23.4 points per game this season with the OVER cashing in six of the team’s last seven games. The Eagles are 2-3 against the spread at home while the Texans are 3-2 ATS on the road. Four of Houston’s five road games have gone OVER the total.
Now that you have read this Thursday Night Football betting preview featuring the Eagles & Texans, check out the NFL odds on this and all the games to compare the best lines at multiple sportsbooks.