The defending Super Bowl champion Tampa Bay Buccaneers could be forgiven for not caring much about their preseason finale on Saturday at the terrible Houston Texans as the Bucs have their eyes on the season-opening Kickoff Game. Tampa is favored vs. Houston, though, on the NFL odds.
How to Bet Bucs at Texans NFL Odds & TV Info
- When: Saturday, 8 PM ET
- Where: NRG Stadium
- TV: None nationally live
- Radio: http://www.siriusxm.com/nfl
- Stream Option: http://www.nfl.com/nflnetwork/main/network/watch
- Opening NFL Lines: Bucs -4 (total 36.5)
Why Bet on Tampa Bay?
The Bucs are 0-2 this preseason, losing both at home: 19-14 to Cincinnati in Week 1 and 34-3 to Tennessee in Week 2. Tom Brady and most starters sat vs. the Titans and rookie QB Kyle Trask completed 13-of-26 passes for 131 yards and two interceptions. One of Trask’s interceptions came from a Codey McElroy drop. Trask also struggled in the Bucs’ first preseason game, completing 4-of-15 attempts for 35 yards.
Blaine Gabbert started vs. the Titans and went 3-for-6 for 33 yards. He also fumbled once but recovered. Coach Bruce Arians has been pleased with the projected No. 2 quarterback’s recent work. “I think Blaine has been really, really good. He had great practices against [the Titans]. If we catch the ball for him, he’s going to take us right down the field and score again. So I’ve got all the confidence in the world.”
It’s not clear if Brady will play in this game, and if he does it will be very briefly so it will be mostly Trask with some Gabbert again. One Bucs starter who won’t play is kicker Ryan Succop as he was placed on the COVID list this week. Succop, who is vaccinated, attended an indoor dinner with some Titans players during joint practice. Titans coach Mike Vrabel tested positive. The only other kicker on the Tampa roster right now is Jose Borregales.
Because Succop tested positive, Arians is implementing his own rules outside the NFL’s COVID-19 protocols. In advance of their first road game this year in Houston, Arians said players won’t be allowed to leave the team hotel or have family visit the hotel on road trips, even if vaccinated.
Third-round rookie offensive lineman Robert Hainsey, who has been nursing an injury, will be in the lineup Saturday night. Hainsey played right tackle at Notre Dame, but also impressed the Bucs’ decision-makers with his versatility by playing at both guard and center during Senior Bowl week. Hainsey has spent most of his time in training camp lining up at center behind veteran Ryan Jensen.
Why Bet on Houston?The Texans are 2-0 this preseason, winning 26-7 Week 1 in Green Bay and 20-14 Week 2 in Dallas. Starting QB Tyrod Taylor completed two passes on five attempts for 10 yards before leaving. Rookie third-round pick Davis Mills struggled in the first half, when the Texans had just 77 yards and went 0 for 6 on third down. The Texans failed on all nine third-down attempts with Taylor and Mills.
Houston’s best defensive player vs. Dallas was end Charles Omenihu, who recorded two sacks and recovered a fumble. Omenihu was in position on the Cowboys’ first series, falling on a fumble created by Jacob Martin which led to Houston’s only offensive touchdown. He later beat a tight end off the edge for a sack, then logged another after a stunt for inside rush. Omenihu has been playing end on early downs, then moving inside on obvious passing downs to get quicker bodies on the edge.
Omenihu has a chance to take over the main edge rusher spot vacated by future Hall of Famer J.J. Watt after he left this offseason to join the Arizona Cardinals following the Texans granting Watt his release. In ’20 Omenihu played in 15 games and he totaled 17 tackles, with 11 of those being solo. He also had four sacks and two passes defensed.
Good-looking rookie wideout Nico Collins (muscle pull) returned to practice on Tuesday. Collins, who missed Week 2 of the preseason with the minor injury, had just one target in his 32 snaps against the Packers in Week 1. Chris Conley is his main competition at outside receiver.
Texans starting left tackle Laremy Tunsil was back at practice this week. Tunsil missed all of last week, including the preseason game vs. Dallas, due to testing positive for COVID-19. Tunsil remains on the Texans’ COVID-19 reserve, though coach David Culley said he has been in team meetings.
- Buccaneers are 5-1 ATS in their last 6 games overall.
- Buccaneers are 1-9-1 ATS in their last 11 Saturday games.
- Texans are 4-1 ATS in their last 5 games as an underdog.
- Home team is 3-1-1 ATS in their last 5 meetings.
- Texans 23, Bucs 20
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