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Bucs-Texans: Predictions, odds, how to watch Saturday’s game in Tampa

Our picks for the Tampa Bay-Houston game at Raymond James Stadium.
Houston's Deshaun Watson, left, and Tampa Bay's Jameis Winston, right, meet for the first time as pros Saturday when the Texans come to Raymond James Stadium for a 1 p.m. game against the Bucs.  Both led their collegiate teams to national championships, Watson at Clemson and Winston at Florida State.
Houston's Deshaun Watson, left, and Tampa Bay's Jameis Winston, right, meet for the first time as pros Saturday when the Texans come to Raymond James Stadium for a 1 p.m. game against the Bucs. Both led their collegiate teams to national championships, Watson at Clemson and Winston at Florida State.
Published Dec. 20, 2019

Here’s what you need to know about the Bucs’ rare Saturday game against the Texans at Raymond James Stadium.:

Bucs-Texans TV, streaming options, odds, etc.

Time: 1 p.m. ET Saturday

Place: Raymond James Stadium, Tampa

TV: WMOR (Tampa Bay), NFL Network

Tickets: | Stubhub | Seatgeek


Streaming: NFL app (locally or with a Verizon subscription); NFL Game Pass (audio only); NFL Sunday Ticket (with a Sunday Ticket subscription).

Radio: 97.9 FM in Tampa Bay (Bucs radio affiliates can be found here).

Officiating assignment:

Odds: T

Related: MORE BUCS: The latest on the Buccaneers


A step back

John Romano, columnist, @romano_tbtimes: A revamped pass defense, a hot quarterback, a four-game winning streak? Was it all a mirage? If the Bucs don’t show up against Houston today, that’s exactly what it will look like. Tampa Bay’s late-season turnaround will be attributed to a string of weak-to-mediocre opponents. Chances are pretty good the Bucs will put a lot of points on the board, but the question is whether they can slow down Deshaun Watson and Houston’s potent running game. For the first time in a month, the defense will take step back. Texans 34-30.

Losing Evans and Godwin is too much

Rick Stroud, Bucs beat writer, @NFLStroud: Losing Mike Evans and Chris Godwin will just be too much to overcome since they represent about half of the passing offense. Breshad Perriman is coming off a three-TD game but will now have to do it while drawing double-teams. The Bucs defense has been playing with confidence, but it will have trouble containing Watson, who extends plays and can pick up first downs with his feet. Texans 34-27.

Still looking for a big win

Eduardo A. Encina, Bucs/Pro sports enterprise writer, @EddieintheYard: Not to take the air out of the pirate ship’s sails, but the Bucs haven’t beaten a great team during their four-game winning streak. A win over a Texans team battling to win the AFC South would give their their best victory of the season. But the Bucs have struggled against mobile quarterback, and Deshaun Watson fits that mold. Houston receiver DeAndre Hopkins can give defenses nightmares. Hope that Bucs don’t fall behind early, because Jameis Winston won’t have his two favorite targets in Mike Evans and Chris Godwin. Texans 31-24

Keep Winston in your fantasy lineup (and bet the over)

Thomas Bassinger, sports data reporter, @tometrics: This is a favorable matchup for Jameis Winston, even without Mike Evans and Chris Godwin (who account for 44 percent of the Bucs’ total yardage) in the lineup. The Texans rank 26th in Football Outsiders’ pass defense ratings and 29th in interception rate. Winston doesn’t need to push the ball down the field, however. Houston’s actually better at defending deep passes than short passes. It has allowed opposing running backs to catch 93 passes (most in the NFL), gain 791 receiving yards (third most) and eight touchdowns (most). That said, Tampa Bay typically doesn’t feature its running backs in its passing attack. Its running back target rate of 18 percent ranks 21st. Heck, Vita Vea has just as many touchdown receptions (one) as Ronald Jones, Peyton Barber, Dare Ogunbowale and T.J. Logan combined. Las Vegas has set the point total line at 49.5. The Bucs and their opponents have gone over in 11 of 14 games. Texans 31-27

Ripe for a letdown

Mike Sherman, deputy editor | sports, @mikesherman: The Texans can lose this game and still win the AFC South at home next week against the Titans. This game feels ripe for a letdown from a team with a two-touchdown home loss to Denver in its recent past. Bucs 31-30.


Is this the Bucs’ chance for a signature win? (Rick Stroud)

What the Bucs should do with Jameis Winston (Rick Stroud)

Who are these guys Jameis Winston will be throwing to? (Eduardo A. Encina)

Like it or not, the Bucs re-signing Jameis Winston makes the most sense (John Romano)


  1. Georgia quarterback Jake Fromm (11) passes in the first half of the Sugar Bowl NCAA college football game against Baylor in New Orleans, Wednesday, Jan. 1, 2020. (AP Photo/Bill Feig)
  2. LSU linebacker K'Lavon Chaisson walks on the field during the second half of an NCAA college football game against Texas, Saturday, Sept. 7, 2019, in Austin, Texas.
  3. NFC quarterback Drew Brees of the New Orleans Saints looks to pass, during the first half of the Pro Bowl on Jan. 26 in Orlando.
  4. Saints quarterback Drew Brees (9) passes in the first half of an NFL wild-card playoff game against the Vikings on Jan. 5 in New Orleans.
  5. In this Aug. 8, 2015, file photo former owner of the San Francisco 49ers Edward DeBartolo, Jr., is interviewed before the Pro Football Hall of Fame ceremony at Tom Benson Hall of Fame Stadium in Canton, Ohio. President Donald Trump pardoned DeBartolo, who was convicted in gambling fraud scandal. (AP Photo/Gene J. Puskar, File)
  6. Teddy Bridgewater could be on the market if Drew Brees returns to New Orleans, and Bucs head coach Bruce Arians likes Bridgewater.
  7. Tampa Bay Buccaneers head coach Bruce Arians shakes hands with quarterback Jameis Winston (3) after his touchdown pass against the Indianapolis Colts on Dec. 8 in Tampa.
  8. Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback Jameis Winston (3) is seen during warmups just prior to taking on Houston Texans Saturday, Dec. 21, 2019 in St. Petersburg.
  9. The Bucs posted a video Tuesday that teases changes to the team's uniforms.
  10. FILE - In this Sept. 17, 2017, file photo, New Orleans Saints owner Tom Benson sits on the sideline with his wife, Gayle Benson, before an NFL football game in New Orleans. An Associated Press review of public tax documents found that the Bensons' foundation has given at least $62 million to the Archdiocese of New Orleans and other Catholic causes over the past dozen years, including gifts to schools, universities, charities and individual parishes. (AP Photo/Bill Feig, File)
  11. Cardinals rookie David Johnson manages only 35 yards on 15 carries in Saturday’s game vs. the Packers.
  12. Whether Quinton Flowers (9) lines up at quarterback, running back or wide receiver this season for the Tampa Bay Vipers, the XFL's double-pass rule will allow him to use his arm as a weapon.