Sunday, October 25, 2020, NRG Stadium, Houston, Texas, 1 p.m. ET
Packers at Texans Betting Preview: Packers (-3.5/-104), Texans (+3.5/-118)
Green Bay Packers
The Packers (4-1), battered and bruised after being clobbered 38-10 by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers last Sunday, will be seeking to rebound. Having the floundering Texans as the opponent doesn’t hurt, but the residue of the Tampa Bay beat-down will linger until Green Bay starts rolling again.
The offensive line will be under the microscope after struggling to give quarterback Aaron Rodgers a reasonable amount of time to throw against the Buccaneers.
The Packers allowed five sacks — four while Rodgers was in the game — and the continuous pressure took Rodgers off his game and he completed just 16 of 35 passes for 160 yards, two interceptions and an anemic 35.4 passer rating. Rodgers tossed 13 TD passes without being intercepted over the first four games, twice topping 300 passing yards.
The defense also will be looking for a bounce-back performance after allowing 113 rushing yards to Ronald Jones II and giving up 21 first downs. Pass rusher Za’Darius Smith has been strong with five sacks but had just one tackle (an assisted one) against the Buccaneers.
Smith (ankle) was a limited practice participant on Wednesday, but the bigger concern is two-time Pro Bowl tackle David Bakhtiari (chest), who departed the Tampa Bay game in the opening quarter and is in danger of missing the Houston contest.
It has been a nightmare season for the Texans (1-5), who fired coach/general manager Bill O’Brien after an 0-4 start and missed a chance at back-to-back wins last Sunday due to a questionable strategic decision by interim coach Romeo Crennel.
The Texans could have kicked an extra point to go up by eight with just 1:50 remaining against the Tennessee Titans, but Crennel rolled the dice and went for two points in an attempt to make it a two-score game. The conversion failed, and the Titans rallied to force overtime — with a point-after instead of a two-point conversion — and eventually won 42-36.
The Texans have been horrific on defense, ranking 26th in scoring defense (30.3 points per game), 30th in total defense (423 yards per game) and last in rushing defense (177.5 yards per game).
Houston allowed Tennessee’s Derrick Henry to rush for 212 yards — including a 94-yard touchdown run — and gave up 263 overall on the ground. Quarterback Deshaun Watson (1,786 yards, 13 touchdowns, five interceptions) has thrown for 300 or more yards in three consecutive games and tossed a season-best four touchdown passes against the Titans.
Will Fuller V is stepping up as a receiver. He has caught a TD pass in four straight games and had a season-best 123 yards against Tennessee. Left tackle Laremy Tunsil (shoulder) was a limited practice participant on Wednesday but has shown an ability to fight through injuries in the past. He figures to be in the trenches on game day.
Packers at Texans Betting Pick for Week 7
Green Bay has heavy incentive to bounce back after the dreadful showing against Tampa Bay. Rodgers will look to get back on his game while running back Aaron Jones (389 rushing yards, five touchdowns) could do major damage on the ground against the woeful Houston run defense.
Watson is on a roll but he’s not a one-man team, and the Texans are now finding themselves needing to score a lot to make up for the shoddy defense. It is hard to see star defensive end J.J. Watt and his teammates being able to slow down the Packers.
Packers at Texans Betting Pick:
Packers 33, Texans 20
Packers at Texans Best Bet for Week 7
Green Bay should top 30 points against the shaky Houston defense, so it comes down to red-zone performance.
If the Packers settle for field goals instead of touchdowns on a few occasions and the Texans do the same, the under appears the way to go with the total set so high.
Packers at Texans Best Bet: UNDER 56 total points (-100)