TNF Eagles vs Texans Betting Preview: Can Philly Stay Undefeated?

On Paper, Eagles Should Crush Texans

This week’s Thursday Night Football game is one of the more lopsided matchups of the 2022 NFL season so far as the undefeated Philadelphia Eagles — flying high after a thorough beatdown of the Pittsburgh Steelers on Sunday — visit the Houston Texans, who have lost two straight thanks to a hard-fought defeat at the hands of the division rival Tennessee Titans four days ago. This Eagles vs Texans betting preview expects Philadelphia to keep rolling even in a short week as the Eagles try to add more cushion to their NFC East lead.

The Eagles are two-touchdown road favorites for a reason based on the NFL Week 9 point spreads. Philadelphia has been the NFL’s best team through nearly half the season and has both a top-five offense and top-five defense. Jalen Hurts is playing at a elite level — both through the air and on the ground — while Miles Sanders and A.J. Brown have been producing non-stop.

The same can’t be said for the Texans, who have one of the league’s worst offenses and (in terms of yardage) one of the worst defenses as well. Davis Mills hasn’t been terrible under center and Dameon Pierce looks like an Offensive Rookie of the Year candidate, but things are still grim across the board for Lovie Smith’s group.

Game Information

Game: Philadelphia Eagles (7-0) at Houston Texans (1-5-1)
Location: NRG Stadium, Houston, Texas
Day/Time:
Streaming: Live Stream Sports

Houston Just Doesn’t Score

Philly has major advantages all over the place in this matchup but, as this Eagles vs Texans betting preview will show, the biggest edge might be on defense. The Eagles are fourth in the NFL in scoring defense, third in yardage defense and first (easily) in turnover ratio with 16 turnovers forced (and just two committed). Conversely, Houston has among the least-productive offenses in the league both in the passing game and the running game. That’s not a recipe for success for the Texans.

Houston has eclipsed 400 yards of total offense just once this season and is coming off a dreadful showing against the Titans last Sunday in which the Texans posted just 10 points and 161 yards. Tennessee’s top-notch rushing defense shut down Dameon Pierce (15 carries for 35 yards), which forced Davis Mills to drop back more than Houston would like him to. While the Eagles’ run defense isn’t as good as that of the Titans’ (opposing rushers are averaging over five yards per carry against Philly) it’s not going to be easy for the Texans to establish the run if they face an early deficit or commit quick turnovers.

Pierce should get his yards but the Eagles’ strong front seven has the ability to keep him contained. And, if the Texans can’t get much from Pierce, it’s unlikely they’ll be able to push across much on that end of the field.

Tough to Stop Hurts

Maybe the biggest reason for the Eagles’ dominance this season? Jalen Hurts. After an up-and-down sophomore season, the Alabama product has been essentially unstoppable in his third year. The offseason acquisition of A.J. Brown certainly has given him the possession-type receiver that the Eagles were solely missing a year ago, but Hurts deserves a lot of credit for improving his decision-making (just two interceptions) on passes and for using his legs more, even if his yards per rush has dropped slightly.

The NFL odds love how Hurts has played in 2022 and it’s hard to disagree. He’s playing a much more controlled style that shows a lot of growth. It also helps that he seems to be a more accurate passer, as he’s completing 67% of his passes after being at just 61.3% in 2021. He has gotten better in basically every aspect of his game and has demonstrated a willingness to adapt what he does to his opponent every week. Against the Steelers, he threw for 285 yards and ran just two times after rushing nine or more times in each of his first six games. That makes him even less predictable and harder to stop.

The Stingley-Brown Matchup Should be Fun

If the Texans are going to pull off the huge upset, they’ll need a big game from their star rookie cornerback: Derek Stingley Jr. Houston took him with the No. 3 overall pick… just ahead of fellow cornerback Sauce Gardner and he has been just about as good as expected. But, he’ll have a huge test ahead of him on Thursday as he’ll likely be matched up with A.J. Brown early and often.

Stingley-Brown is the best matchup featured in the Eagles vs Texans betting preview and it should play a huge role in whether Houston can slow down the Eagles’ offense. Brown (659 yards) has been, by far, the Eagles’ most prolific receiver and while Dallas Goedert (421 yards) and DeVonta Smith (420) have both been really good, there’s a huge drop-off after those three. So, Stingley holding Brown in check probably provides Houston its best chance at doing the unthinkable on Thursday.

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