Brian Cushing is not the best-known player on the Houston Texans, but he might be the most important.
With the MLB lost to a knee injury, can the Texans hold its defense together, especially in a week when they face a motivated Aaron Rodgers?
The Texans will try to remain undefeated this Sunday night when they host the Packers at Reliant Stadium. Houston was a 5-point favorite but that number had been bet down to -3 as of Friday.
"This is one of our top three best bets of the week and we see the Packers winning outright," said Jack Randall, tipping his hand as to which way fellow capper Mike Pickett is betting this week.
Houston improved to 5-0 SU with its win over the New York Jets Monday night, but the win wasn't all good news. The Texans failed to cover the spread for the first time this season (falling to 4-1 ATS), and more importantly, they lost their Cushing with a torn ACL injury.
Up 21-3 at the half last week against the lowly Indianapolis Colts, all seemed well for the Green Bay Packers. But the Colts surged in the second half and Green Bay managed only six points as Indianapolis completed the 30-27 upset. With the loss, the Packers fell to 2-3 SU and 1-4 ATS.
With Minnesota and Chicago both off to 4-1 SU starts, Green Bay can't afford to keep falling behind. The usually stellar Packers offense is averaging only 22.4 points per game this season.
After going 18-1 SU over their previous 19 games, Green Bay is just 2-4 SU and 1-5 ATS over its last six games. Houston is 16-7 SU and 17-6 ATS over its last 23 games.
Despite the recent form of these two teams clearly pointing to Houston, this feels like a spot for a Green Bay upset. Houston is running away with the AFC South and is the only undefeated team in the AFC, while Green Bay is falling behind in the NFC North and in the extremely crowded playoff picture.
The Packers are too good, and have too many proven leaders, to fall to 2-4 SU on the season. Houston has absolutely been the better team to this point in the season, but the Packers should be the hungrier team Sunday and are capable of finding a way to win.
PICK: Green Bay +3.5 (courtesy of PickShark.com)