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Thursday Night Football props predictions: Bet on Hurts to find end zone vs. Houston

Eagles’ QB should snap rushing TD dry spell against awful Texans run defense

Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Jalen Hurts has a team-high six rushing touchdowns this season, but none in the last two games. Can he end that drought Thursday night against the Houston Texans? (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)
Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Jalen Hurts has a team-high six rushing touchdowns this season, but none in the last two games. Can he end that drought Thursday night against the Houston Texans? (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)Read moreChristian Petersen / Getty Images

If oddsmakers are accurate in their assessment of the Thursday Night Football matchup that kicks off Week 9, we’re headed for a contest with less drama than an episode of The Masked Singer.

Fresh off Sunday’s 22-point thrashing of Pittsburgh at home, the visiting Eagles (7-0) fly into Houston as a colossal two-touchdown favorite against the Texans (1-5-1).

Not interested in laying 14 points with Philadelphia, which prior to last week hadn’t won a game by that wide of a margin since late September? Also not interested in taking 14 points with Houston, which is less than two weeks removed from a 38-20 loss to the two-win Raiders?

Well, here’s some good news: The same oddsmakers who set the big pointspread for Eagles vs. Texans also posted a boatload of player, team and game props. Good to have options, right?

Here are our four favorite Thursday Night Football Eagles vs. Texans prop wagers.

Note: Odds updated as of 2 a.m. ET on Nov. 3.

Eagles vs. Texans props: Jalen Hurts to score anytime touchdown

  1. Odds: -114 (at Caesars Sportsbook)

Quick disclaimer on this prop: It only applies to rushing touchdowns. If Hurts throws four passing TDs but never crosses the goal line using his legs, this wager is a loser.

As for why we think this is a good bet: Houston has the NFL’s worst rushing defense, giving up a whopping 186 yards per game on the ground — 30 more than the next-worst team (Chicago). The Texans are also one of seven teams that have allowed double-digit rushing touchdowns (10).

Just how porous is Houston’s rush defense? Last week, Titans running back Derrick Henry rambled for 219 yards and plunged into the end zone twice — even though his rookie quarterback threw a total of 10 passes!

So the Eagles are scoring on the ground Thursday night, probably multiple times. No reason to think Hurts won’t deliver one of those. The Eagles’ multidimensional quarterback has a team-high six rushing scores, but none in the last two games. Look for that drought to end, as it’s been 13 regular season contests since Hurts has failed to record a rushing TD in three straight weeks.

Lay the short price at Caesars Sportsbook.

» READ MORE: Eagles vs. Texans odds, predictions: Bet on Philly to have big halftime lead in TNF

Eagles vs. Texans props: Davis Mills total passing yards

  1. Odds: 217.5 yards, Over -120/Under -110 (at BetMGM)

  2. Prediction: Over

It’s difficult to imagine a scenario in which the Texans’ quarterback isn’t forced to put the ball in the air a lot Thursday night — especially in the second half, presuming Philadelphia has a big a lead.

Overall, it’s been a disappointing second season under center for Mills. In fairness, though, the Stanford product doesn’t have a lot to work with. That said, there have been a few bright spots, though the two brightest came in Houston’s two biggest blowout defeats.

In Week 4, Mills threw for 246 yards and two touchdowns in a 34-24 home loss to the Chargers. Then two weeks later, he went for a season-high 302 yards and two scores in a 38-20 loss to the Raiders in Las Vegas.

Mills also posted 240- and 245-yard passing efforts against the Colts and Bears. So he’s beaten this prop in four of seven games (including two of three at home).

The Eagles’ pass defense still is among the NFL’s best (183.4 yards per game allowed, which ranks fourth). In fact, only one quarterback has thrown for more than 221 yards against Philadelphia this season (Kyler Murray had 250).

But this Eagles vs. Texans prop bet is more of a situational play than anything. We expect the Eagles to jump out to a big lead. If we’re right, Mills will have no choice but to chuck it down the field. Here’s betting that when that happens, he connects more than he misses.

» READ MORE: Philadelphia Eagles odds: Unbeaten squad flying high in futures markets

Eagles vs. Texans props: A.J. Brown total receiving yards

  1. Odds: 69.5 yards, Over -115/Under -115 (at BetMGM)

  2. Prediction: Under

Philadelphia’s No. 1 wide receiver is coming off a monster game against the Steelers, hauling in six of Hurts’ passes for 156 yards and three TDs. The latter two numbers were season highs for Brown, with the receiving total inching past his 155-yard effort in Week 1 at Detroit.

Despite last Sunday’s performance, though, Brown has been hit-and-miss in the receiving yards department. He has four games with 85-plus receiving yards and three with 69 or less.

The former Tennessee Titan does have history against Houston, averaging six receptions, 93.8 yards and one TD in six career games. Again, though, the bulk of that production came in three games. In two meetings last year, Brown collected 48 and 68 receiving yards.

And while the Texans’ run defense is beyond atrocious, its secondary — led by rookie cornerback Derek Stingley Jr. — is decent enough. Opposing QBs are completing a modest 60% of their passes for less than 220 yards per outing.

Brown will get plenty of looks, no doubt. But those looks are likely to come early in the game. If Houston’s secondary holds up and rotates coverage toward Hurts’ primary target (as it should), we envision most of Brown’s catches coming in tight spaces with little room to break free.

Play Brown’s receiving yards prop Under the total at BetMGM.

Eagles vs. Texans props: Total touchdowns scored (both teams) in 1st half

  1. Odds: 2.5, Over -105/Under -120 (at BetMGM)

  2. Prediction: Over

This number seems fair, given that BetMGM has the first-half points total pegged at 22.5. If that proves to be close to accurate, we’re looking at three touchdowns or two touchdowns and two field goals.

If you checked out our Eagles vs. Texans betting preview, our recommendation on this prop shouldn’t surprise you. Philadelphia’s offense has been spectacular in the first half all season, producing an average of exactly three touchdowns (21 points) per contest.

In fact, the Eagles have crossed the goal line in the first half precisely three times all by themselves in five of seven games. And the only two times they didn’t, they found the end zone twice and their opponent did so once.

That’s right: There have been at least three first-half TDs scored in every Philly game to this point.

The Texans? That’s a different story. Houston and their opponents have combined for more than two first-half TDs just twice in seven games (and not at all the last three weeks).

Still, there’s every reason to believe the Eagles can handle this all on their own. At minimum, two first-half TDs by Philadelphia seems like the floor — meaning Mills and the Texans would have to get us one.

Either way, we like our odds, so play Over 2.5 total first-half touchdowns at BetMGM.

» READ MORE: Full sports betting coverage from The Philadelphia Inquirer

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