Houston Texans vs. Kansas City Chiefs – Week 1 NFL Pick – 9/10/20

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Houston Texans (0-0 0-0 ATS) at Houston Texans (0-0 0-0 ATS)

The Houston Texans open this season where last season’s ended, in Kansas City, taking on the defending Super Bowl champion Chiefs. The champs are a big 9.5-point home favorite in this AFC matchup with a total sitting at 54.5 at betonline.

The Texans got the better of the Chiefs last year in the regular season before giving up a big lead at KC in losing to them 51`-31 in the playoffs.

All eyes will be on the two young star QB’s in KC’s Patrick Mahomes and Houston’s DeShaun Watson, who both signed massive contract extensions in the off-season.

Last season the Texans were 8-9-1 ATS with an O/U record of 8-10 and the Chiefs were a legit 13-5-1 ATS with an O/U record of 10-9.

The road team has covered the spread in nine of the last 12 games between these teams.

Watson May Have More Pressure this Season

Watson had a solid 2019 passing for 3,852 yards with 26 TD and 12 INT and also rushed for 413 yards. However, his big gun target is gone with the Texans making a head-scratching trade sending star WR DeAndre Hopkins to Arizona for oft-injured RB David Johnson, who only rushed for 345 yards last season.

Watson still has a couple of solid WR’s in the duo of Will Fuller V and Kenny Stills, who each had at least 561 receiving yards last season, but the run game is a major concern.

Johnson has had injury concerns in his career, has not averaged more than 3.6 yards per carry in his last three seasons, and has not rushed for over 1,000 yards since 2016. He and Duke Johnson  (410 rushing yards last season) will man the backfield and in this season opener have to get it done.

The weakness of the Chiefs’ defense is their run D, but can Johnson & Johnson take advantage of that? They need to not only to run the ball well to move the chains but to also help keep Mahomes off the field.

Back to Repeat

The Chiefs not only won it all last season but are loaded on offense and most sportsbooks have them favored to win the Super Bowl this season.

Mahomes has no lack of weapons at his disposal with the WR duo of Tyreek Hill and Sammy Watkins and, arguably, the best tight end in the game in Travis Kelse.

Last season Mahomes passed for over 4,000 yards with a solid TD to INT ratio of 26:5. He signed the biggest contract in NFL history in the off-season and while he has a ring and a Super Bowl MVP there is pressure to live up to his massive $450 million deal.

KC does have some issues on offense with Damien Williams, who was solid late last season and in the playoffs, but he opted out of the season. Still, KC may have struck gold in the draft with second-round pick Clyde Edwards-Helaire, who will likely split time with Darrel Williams (141 rushing yards last season).

Houston’s defense had issues against the run and the pass last season and only ranked 19th in allowing an average of 24.1 ppg. It would help if J.J. Watt could stay healthy and his pass rush will be key in this game facing Mahomes.

Jason’s Prediction

The Texans have failed to cover the spread in eight of their last 10 Thursday games. On the other side of the coin, the Chiefs are 6-0-1 ATS in their last seven home games and 9-1-1 ATS in their last 11 games overall.

Man, not an easy call in this opening game. The Chiefs are loaded but they are giving nearly 10 points to a Houston team that has their own star QB. Houston blew a 24-0 lead in their loss to the Chiefs last season and while I don’t see them blowing out of the gates in this game I see them putting up a fight. Watson will have a good game and while I think the Chiefs will win the Texans will cover getting 9.5 points.

PICK: Texans +9.5

Bettorsworld’s Pick

We have to agree with Jason on this one. The Texans know they can play with the Chiefs. They beat them once in KC last year and had them on the ropes in the playoffs before the walls caved in and destiny took over.

We are seeing a couple of 10’s pop up on the board and double digits in an NFL game between two playoff teams in week 1 is a bit much.

Also note that this game opened -10.5 and was bet down to -9 DESPITE more action coming in on the Chiefs. That can usually be attributed to sharp, respected action coming in on the side of the move.

Texans +10

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