Detroit Lions a Home Underdog in Traditional Thanksgiving Game


The Detroit Lions suffered a serious blow to their the playoff chances in Week 11 and  now face a seemingly make-or-break battle against the Houston Texans, perhaps the best team in the AFC, as a home underdog in the first game of Thanksgiving day.

The Week 12 NFL odds have Houston (9-1) listed as a 3-point favorite over Detroit (4-6). The over/under is 49.5 points.

The Lions have dropped their last two games, including a 24-20 decision at home against the division-rival Green Bay Packers on Sunday,. The losses have left Detroit in last-place in the NFC North and out of the playoff picture. On the flip side, Houston ran its winning streak to four games by narrowly escaping against the Jacksonville Jaguars, 43-37, as a 15-point home favorite. The Texans boast the best record in the AFC.

Detroit features the NFL's top-rated passing attack with 301.4 yards a game, but it struggled in the Lions Week 11 loss to the Packers. Quarterback Matthew Stafford, who was hurt by a slew of dropped passes against Green Bay, finished a pedestrian 17 of 39 for 266 yards. 

While the aerial attack has slipped in recent weeks, Detroit has been boosted by the emergence of Mikel Leshoure at running back. He continued to provide the Lions' offense with balance by running for for 84 yards on 19 carries with a touchdown against Green Bay Sunday.

Detroit has been one of the more disappointing teams of 2012 following last year's playoff run. They will likely need to win each of their final six games for any chance of making the postseason this year. That could prove difficult as turmoil has hit the Lions locker room. Head coach Jim Schwartz announced Monday that wide receiver Titus Young would not play Thursday because of “bad behavior” against the Packers.

Young was benched the final three plays of the Green Bay game and then got in a sideline confrontation with coaches. Schwartz said no player is above the team when announcing the benching.

Things certainly aren't looking good in Detroit, which was among the trendy NFL picks to reach the Super Bowl in the preseason, and they now face what may be the best team in the NFL. Look for the Texans to pull away and cover the 3-point spread.

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