The NFL betting calendar turns to Week 8 with the Texans vs. Dolphins in a Thursday night matchup. For this game and every other primetime contest, we’ll break down the sports betting odds and recommend where to place your bets at DraftKings Sportsbook, 888 Sportsbook, and FanDuel Sportsbook.
Keep an eye on injury news right up until kick off since things can change quickly in the NFL. Any player listed as questionable may see limited action or not suit up at all if they don’t respond well in warm-ups.
Week 8 Thursday Night Football Betting
Miami Dolphins at Houston Texans NJ Odds
These teams are both 4-3 but are moving in opposite directions. Houston’s won four straight, and Miami’s dropped three of four.
The Dolphins are banged up with Ryan Tannehill (shoulder), Kenny Stills (groin), and Albert Wilson (hip) all ruled out on the short week.
Brock Osweiler has stepped in nicely. He’s completed 67.5% of his passes with 6 TD and 2 INT over two starts in relief of Tannehill, but the immobile QB could be a sitting duck in this matchup.
Miami ranked 29th in adjusted sack rate through Week 7 (15 sacks allowed), and Houston’s pass rush has come alive lately. The Texans have 19 sacks on the year. Headliner J.J. Watt has recorded seven of those over his last five appearances.
The Dolphins offense ranks 27th in YPG (329), 26th in yards per drive and 27th in drive success rate (DSR). Allowing just 12 PPG over their last three wins, the Texans have allowed the sixth-lowest DSR.
Even worse for Miami are the specifics of this matchup. The run-heavy Dolphins average just 222.3 passing YPG and face a Texans team that leads the league in DVOA rush defense, allowing just 92.1 rushing YPG.
Kenyan Drake continues to lose work to veteran Frank Gore but could have more of a role if the Dolphins fall behind early. This is a better spot than usual for Drake because Miami HC Adam Gase will likely try to trick the Texans with misdirection and creative formations. The Dolphins have depended on the big play all season to produce. Along with Drake, Jakeem Grant is Miami’s best bet to break a long gain or two.
DeVante Parker is a true longshot to consider in NFL DFS contests on DraftKings and FanDuel despite the fact that he’s played just 40 snaps all season while battling a quad injury. Parker’s agent has been public in his criticism of Gase and the Dolphins, but showcasing the talented WR in a primetime game could boost his trade value.
Danny Amendola is a relatively safe bet to see 8-10 targets underneath, but he’s averaging just 9.5 yards per reception this year.
This isn’t a slam dunk for the Texans’ offense either. Houston appeared to solve its offensive line issues by limiting Jacksonville’s elite pass rush to one sack and rushing for 141 yards last Sunday.
But Deshaun Watson still has a propensity for holding the ball too long. He’s fumbled seven times and thrown seven picks while taking a notable 26 sacks this season.
Top Dolphins CB Xavien Howard has been great all year and has a chance to contain DeAndre Hopkins on the outside.
With Keke Coutee (hamstring) ruled out, the Texans could look to feature Will Fuller in the passing game. He’s a highly recommended DFS play against a team that’s most vulnerable in the slot and on quick screens.
Of course, this game sets up beautifully as a revenge spot for former Dolphin Lamar Miller. Coming off his best game of the season by far, he faces a defense that’s been gashed for 172.5 rushing YPG over their last four games. The Dolphins also rank 26th in DVOA pass defense against opposing RBs.
Miami’s pass defense has been a mixed bag in allowing the 10th-most YPG (268.6) but playing very well in the red zone. The Texans have the second-lowest red zone TD rate in the league.
The pace of play in this one is a huge question mark.
Miami ranks 31st in pace and still ranks 29th when trailing by seven-plus points. Houston plays at the fifth-fastest pace and maintains a good pace (10th fastest) when leading by seven-plus points.
Since neither rush offense is explosive, this could be a relatively short game. A couple of ill-timed turnovers of red-zone failures by the Texans could prevent it from going Under (44) the point total.
Houston (-295) is heavily favored on the money line, but covering the spread is a different story. The Texans are 2-9-1 against the spread over their last 12 games going back to last season and 0-4-1 at home during that span.
Yet Miami’s offense is one of the worst in the league and can’t be trusted. Under Gase, the Dolphins have lost twice on Thursday by a combined margin of 62-7.
Houston’s strengths on both sides of the ball seem geared toward Miami’s weaknesses, and a double-digit win is not out of the question.
Taking the Texans (-7.5) requires a bit of a leap of faith but is worth the gamble if you’re confident in their momentum and the matchup. The safest bet seems to be Under 44. The Miami offense is in shambles and their defense could be just good enough to slow the Texans from running away with this one.