The Green Bay Packers certainly look like the right NFL pick for Sunday’s game against the Houston Texans. But is this a trap game?
Green Bay Packers vs. Houston Texans
Sunday 25th October 2020 (1:00 p.m. ET, FOX) at NRG Stadium
Aha, we knew it – Aaron Rodgers is washed up. Rodgers and his Green Bay Packers got discount double-checked by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers last Sunday, losing 38-10 as 3-point road faves; the two-time MVP threw two interceptions, including a pick-six, and ate four sacks for his troubles.
Stick the fork in him, he’s done. That’s what the lamestream sports media would have you believe. In the reality-based world, the Buccaneers have the top-performing defense in the NFL, while this Sunday’s opponents, the Houston Texans most certainly do not. We’re doing the Lambeau Leap here at the ranch; the Packers are still available at –3 on Bovada’s NFL odds board as we go to press, after moving to –3.5 just about everywhere else, so let’s get that Velveeta while it’s hot.
Actually, if we wanted to get really meta, “having” the league’s best defense doesn’t make sense, either. But you will find the Bucs at No. 1 on the Football Outsiders defensive efficiency charts through Week 6, including No. 1 against the pass. The Texans? Look down... way down... there they are at No. 27 overall (No. 20 pass, No. 28 rush).
Mr. Rodgers should put up better numbers this week against what’s left of the Texans. That’s “should” as in probability, not morals. Stupid word police. Now that we’ve established our old-school handicapping hypothesis that Green Bay (4-1 SU and ATS) might have some bounce-back betting value for our Week 7 NFL picks, let’s see what the computers think. FiveThirtyEight project the Packers as 4-point road faves; Jeff Sagarin’s eigenvector whatsit has them at –9.09, up from –4.87 using his Rating numbers. However you squeeze it, there’s enough room between three and four points for at least a recreational bet.
This is supposed to be where I tell you to watch out, it’s a trap. The Texans (1-5 SU and ATS) only just fired head coach Bill O’Brien on October 5, and while O’Brien had built a decent curriculum vitae (for his coaching, not his GMing) before getting the axe, word on the street is his players had had quite enough. So they’re obviously going to play better for their interim head coach... [checks notes] Romeo Crennel. Oh dear.
Crennel is one of several former Bill Belichick assistant coaches who have struggled in the top job, going a combined 28-53 in previous tours of duty with the Cleveland Browns and Kansas City Chiefs. However, the Texans did beat the Jacksonville Jaguars (+6.5 away) 30-14 in Crennel’s debut, then gave the Tennessee Titans (–4 at home) all they could handle before losing42-36 in overtime. Maybe this Texans team isn’t too far from redemption after all. Size your bets accordingly, and may the sphere be with you.