After two seasons coaching Leonessa in Italy, the former Wales forwards coach is now in charge at Edinburgh and has seen both Wales and Italy at Murrayfield this season.
"It's not so much that Scotland were bad but Italy were very fortunate and if you give them an opportunity they will keep working hard," said Howells. "It is a huge result in Italy at the moment; I am getting people ringing me and saying rugby is bigger than soccer in Italy.
"Soccer is getting some bad publicity with what is going on and the people out there now are looking forward to having something to hang their hats on. Having beaten Scotland to win away from home in the RBS Six Nations for the first time means rugby has a huge opportunity at the moment.
"They targeted Wales and Scotland as the two games they could win at the start of the campaign. They have got the first win and now they feel they can get the second.
"They have got a rush defence and there are areas there you can exploit. Wales need to compete up front, hold the scrum, but line-outs are an opportunity and they need to prevent driving line-outs.
"If Wales can get early scores, prevent the Italians having a sniff of the game, then it could be very easy for them. They did that two years ago and the Italians just folded.
"I think Wales made a huge stride against France, the boys will be far more confident. I think Wales will win in Rome; I always hope Wales will win. The key player will be Andrea Scanavacca at No.10 for Italy, if we can get the big players running at him he is not the best defender but he will kick goals.
"If we can hold them up front then Alix Popham and Ryan Jones become big players, along with the front row. Then hopefully we can get the ball to Shane Williams who can always cause problems, but with their rush defence the problem will be getting the ball to Williams."