Thursday Night Football Betting: Is a Two-Touchdown Spread Too Much?

This is a matchup of two teams heading in opposite directions.

Our nERD-based rankings have the Philadelphia Eagles as the league's second-best team while the Houston Texans rank as the league's worst squad.

Let's see if we can unlock some interesting betting angles.

Game Preview and Key Matchups

The quarterback position is a pretty important one, and these two passers have shown themselves to be operating at two totally different levels in 2022.

In terms of Passing Net Expected Points (NEP) per drop back, Jalen Hurts clocks in at 0.26 Passing NEP per drop back, good for fourth-best in the league. On the flip side, Davis Mills ranks as the league's third-worst signal-caller.

Ranked third in both rushing and passing, the Eagles are a prolific offense. Miles Sanders is the featured runner, logging 114 carries for 563 yards and 5 scores. Among the 46 runners with 50-plus carries, Sanders clocks in 10th-best at 0.14 Rushing NEP per rush. Hurts has also logged 303 rushing yards and 6 scores.

Dameon Pierce has been the bell-cow for the Texans of late. He has rushed for 80-plus yards four times over the last five weeks. He's also made multiple catches in every game in that span. The top two receivers for the Texans -- Brandin Cooks and Nico Collins -- have been ruled out, so Pierce figures to be heavily involved.

Philly has a big edge on defense, as well. The Eagles rank as the league's 7th-best D, per our schedule-adjusted numbers, while the Texans' defense rates out 30th. It all adds up to Houston being a 14.0-point home 'dog.

Bets to Consider

It's rare to see a two-touchdown road favorite, and the Eagles are obviously the better side. With that said, 14 points is a lot -- a little too much, according to our algorithm.

We project a 28.3-19.1 win for the Eagles. We have the Texans covering the 14.0 points at a rate of 62.3%.

We also have a lean on the total as we project the over to cash 54.7% of the time.

One player prop I am into is the over on Dameon Pierce's rushing yards at a line of 66.5 (-110). The run D looks like the Eagles' biggest weakness, ranking fifth-worst by our metrics. Last week the Pittsburgh Steelers gashed Philly for 144 rushing yards despite getting blown out. With Cooks and Collins sidelined, Pierce is by far the Texans' best weapon and should see gobs of volume. We project him for 80.2 rushing yards.

Historic Betting Trends

-- Philadelphia is 1-4 ATS in their last five games.
-- The Texans have covered in three of the past four games in which they've been a double-digit 'dog.
-- In the past six games in which Houston has been a double-digit underdog, the over has hit five times.