Sunday Night Football Picks: Green Bay Packers vs. Houston Texans

Green Bay Packers at Houston Texans
Sunday, 10/14/12, 8:20 PM EST, TV:  NBC
Opening Point Spread:  Houston -4
Current Betting Line:  Houston -3
Opening Total:  48
Current Total:  47.5
Odds Courtesy of Bookmaker

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The Green Bay Packers will try to get back to .500 against the Houston Texans on NBC’s Sunday Night Football

Green Bay travels to Houston for the first time since 2004 to take on the undefeated Houston Texans inside Reliant Stadium, as the team looks to bounce back from a disappointing 30-27 loss to the Indianapolis Colts as 6.5-point road favorites in Week 5.  The Packers have alternated wins and losses in their first five games of the 2012 NFL campaign, as they get set to dress up as underdogs for the first time.  Including the playoffs, the franchise is 10-3 in its last 13 games away from Lambeau Field.  Green Bay is 3-1 ATS as a road underdog of seven or fewer points the last two-plus seasons.

The Packers have compiled a dominating 18-5 all-time record when playing on Sunday night, while also going 9-4 in their last 13 prime-time games.  Green Bay will lean heavily on quarterback Aaron Rodgers in a hostile environment, as he ranks second in the league with a 99.4 passer rating on the road since 2008.  Last year’s MVP was even better than that away from home a year ago, finishing with 21 touchdowns and just two interceptions.

Houston seems poised to walk away with the AFC North Division due to its perfect 5-0 start, coming off a 23-17 victory over the New York Jets in last week’s Monday Night Football affair.  The Texans did suffer a major loss in that contest, as linebacker Brian Cushing is lost for the year with a season-ending injury.  “A big blow for our team,” stated Texans head coach Gary Kubiak this week.  There’s no doubt the defense is capable of moving past that particular setback, ranking third in the league in allowing just 275.6 yards per game.  Houston is 0-2 ATS after playing on Monday night, with both of those games going OVER the total.

The Texans will get pressure on Rodgers in this matchup, as defensive end J.J. Watt ranks second in the NFL and leads the AFC with 7.5 sacks.  Look for defensive coordinator Wade Phillips to dial up the pressure, especially with Rodgers being sacked 21 times this season.  On the other side of the ball, Houston wide receiver Andre Johnson needs to start producing, catching just nine passes for 164 yards in the last four games.

Sports bettors will likely back the Packers due to their 6-1 ATS mark following a straight-up loss, while the Texans are 1-6 ATS in Week 6.

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