For very different reasons, neither Houston Texans star quarterback Deshaun Watson nor Packers three-time NFL MVP Aaron Rodgers will take the field Saturday when the Texans visit the Packers to kick off the preseason for both. Green Bay is favored on the NFL odds.
How to Bet Texans at Packers NFL Odds & TV Info
- When: Saturday, 8 PM ET
- Where: Lambeau Field
- TV: None nationally
- Radio: http://www.siriusxm.com/nfl
- Stream Option: http://www.nfl.com/nflnetwork/main/network/watch
- Opening NFL Lines: Packers -3 (total 33.5)
Why Bet on Houston?
Of course, one of the big storylines in the NFL this offseason has been first the trade demands of Texans quarterback Deshaun Watson, who led the league in passing yards last year, and then all the sexual assault allegations and lawsuits filed against him – the NFL and Houston Police are still investigating some of those.
For some reason, the NFL has not put Watson on the Commissioner’s Exempt List, so Watson is with the Texans in camp but it would be a major upset if he’s not put on that exempt list at some point and probably never plays for Houston again. Had Watson not shown up for training camp, he would have been fined $50,000 for each day of training camp he missed.
Watson is “unlikely to play” in the Texans’ preseason opener against the Packers “based on the limited reps he’s had in practice,” new coach David Culley said this week.
The Texans have three other quarterbacks on their roster: Tyrod Taylor, 2021 third-round pick Davis Mills and Jeff Driskel. Taylor is likely going to be the Week 1 starter and probably plays a bit here with Mills and Driskel getting most of the snaps. Mills has turned the ball over on most days during sessions and looks slow to process the more competitive periods of practice.
“I think that group as a whole has made progress,” GM Nick Caserio said of his QBs. “Some days a better than others. Offense maybe has a good day, maybe the defense has a good day. Again, it’s not about who is better one day or the other. What you’re looking for is consistent improvement from your team both individually and collectively, and, again, this will be a good test for us this week to see how players handle the situation.”
One place where Houston is deep is at running back with veterans David Johnson, Phillip Lindsay and Mark Ingram. Another veteran, Rex Burkhead, has also worked out some at receiver. All four running backs that all have a track record of catching the ball out of the backfield, so having one of them practice with wide receivers might be a way to keep all four on the opening-week roster.
A receiver who has shined thus far is third-round rookie Nico Collins. At 6-foot-4, Collins could give Houston the kind of red zone threat they lacked in 2020. Collins impressed at his pro day, registering a 89th percentile speed score, a 77th percentile burst score, and a 94th percentile catch radius. He could end up as the starter opposite Brandin Cooks.
Why Bet on Green Bay?Of course, we all know what the Aaron Rodgers saga was during the offseason but he will play for the Packers this season – although he and the team agreed that the Packers would trade him next offseason if Rodgers wished.
At this point in his career, Rodgers doesn’t need any preseason snaps and risk injury so he will not play here or likely at all in the exhibition slate. Rodgers’ last preseason action came in 2018, when he played one series that included seven plays. He hasn’t played more than three series in a single preseason since 2015.
Thus, backup Jordan Love, who could be the team’s future at QB, will start this game. It will be his first game action since Jan. 25, 2020, in the Senior Bowl. The Packers’ 2020 first-round pick did not play as a rookie and never even suited up. He was inactive for all 16 regular-season games plus both playoff games last season. Love’s preseason will be a good indicator on how far along he is in his development, specifically since Rodgers could find his way out of Green Bay after this season.
“I’m super excited,” Love said. “This is the moment I’ve been preparing for ever since last year. It’s almost like I’ve been training a year just for this first preseason game. I’m super excited to get out there and get back to playing ball.”
Green Bay made a trade this offseason with Houston in bringing back receiver Randall Cobb – because Rodgers wanted him back. The Texans got one of their worst contracts off the books, freeing up Cobb’s $10.4 million cap hit by only having to pay $3 million this year. In exchange, they also received a sixth-round pick.
It is the second time that the Packers have opened the preseason against the Texans, having previously beat them at Lambeau Field, 28-26, in 2019. Green Bay has posted a .500 or better record in the preseason each of the last six preseasons (2014-19). The Packers have won nine consecutive preseason home games, with their last loss coming in 2015.
- Texans are 4-1 ATS in their last 5 games as an underdog.
- Under is 5-1 in Texans last 6 games as an underdog.
- Over is 4-0 in Packers last 4 games overall.
- Over is 4-0 in Packers last 4 games as a favorite.
- Under is 4-1 in the last 5 meetings.
- Packers 24, Texans 17
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