Chiefs Texans Wildcard

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NFL Wild Card

Pick with Analysis


The first Wild Card Game of the weekend is an AFC matchup that features the 11-5 Chiefs visiting the 9-7 Texans. The visiting Chiefs are road favorites with a price of 3 -130 at 5 dimes sportsbook. The total is 40.

When we handicap a Game with a line of -3, we’re handicapping a straight up winner. If you think the Chiefs win, you lay the -3. If you think the Texans win straight up, you take the +3. If it’s too close to call, you pass. Bottom line, you don’t play the Texans because you think they’ll only lose by 1 or 2 points. Could happen. But that’s obviously a ridiculous approach.

So, who’s the straight up winner here? We think it’s the Chiefs. In fact, of all the playoff teams this year, the Chiefs have some of the most favorable numbers. Indicators if you will, that suggest they could go deep into the playoffs.

If you have followed us for any length of time, you know that yards per point numbers are Our favorite stat because it tells so much about a team on both sides of the ball. The higher the number on defense, the better the defense is. The lower the number on offense, the better the offense is. The Chiefs defensive number is 18.4, which is good for #2 overall in the NFL this year. Their offensive number is 13.1, good for #3. In fact, the Chiefs are the only playoff team this year that is top 3 in the NFL on BOTH sides of the ball, using the ypp stat.

We can take those numbers a step further and break them down by home and away. The Chiefs number on the road on offense is 11.4 (#1 in the NFL) and defense 17.9 while the Texans numbers are 17.4 and 18. By the way, the Texans full season numbers, home and away combined are 16.4 on offense and 15.8 on defense.

These numbers show how far an offense has to travel to Scoreone point. So, the Chiefs Scoreone point every 11.4 yards on the road while the Texans Scoreone point for every 17.4 yards at home. Both teams give up one point on defense for roughly every 18 yards given up.

Generally speaking, an offense is pretty good with a ypp number of 13.5 or higher while a defense if pretty good with a number of 16 or higher.

The number to worry about here if you’re a Texans backer, is their offensive number. Whether it’s the whole season combined number of 16.4 or the home only number of 17.4, they are both bad numbers and show the inability of Houston to convert yards into points, especially at home, while the Chiefs are very good on both sides of the ball, both home and away. The best in the NFL, as mentioned above, on the road offensively with an 11.4 .

How important are these numbers? Well, the eventual Super Bowl winner will likely have numbers in the top 10 on both sides of the ball. 5 of the last 6 Super Bowl winners were top 5 on at least one side of the ball and no worse than 11th on the other side. Only the Giants a few years ago, had dismal numbers, ranking 18th on offense and 21st on defense. They got on a roll. It can happen. Not likely though. We mention that because the Texans rank 21st on offense and 16th on defense.

You’ll find these results hold true going all the way back to Super Bowl 1. You won’t find many successful playoff teams with numbers like the Texans. We’re simply playing the percentages here. The percentages suggest the Chiefs will win this Game. The percentages also suggest that if they do in fact win, they’ll also cover. Chiefs -3 -130

*** Also note – Our model suggest that under 40 may be worth a look. When using only the last 7 Games worth of data, it predicts a totl of 31 points scored.

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