Houston Texans vs. Kansas City Chiefs – Divisional Playoffs NFL Betting Analysis
Houston Texans (11-6 8-8-1 ATS) at Kansas City Chiefs (12-4 10-5-1 ATS)
While the Texans beat the Chiefs in Kansas City early this season they are still 10-point betting underdogs in this AFC playoff matchup where the winner will advance to the conference title game. The total for this game sits at 51.
As of Thursday, the spread for this game has not changed since opening while the total has gone from 49 to 51.
The Texans beat the Buffalo Bills 22-19 in OT last week in the Wild Card, but they gave up 425 total yards to a Bills’ team that only ranks 24th in the league in overall offense.
The Chiefs had a bye last week and they won their last six games in the regular season. In that span, their defense was legit only giving up an average of 11.5 ppg.
Earlier in the season in Kansas City, the Chiefs lost to the Texans 31-24 where their defense gave up 472 yards and they nearly gave up 200 rushing yards.
On the season the Chiefs are 5-3 at home and the Texans are 5-3 on the road.
The road team is 6-1 ATS in the last seven games between these teams.
Houston Comes Through Late
In the 22-19 OT win over the Bills last week the Texans outscored them 11-3 in the 4th quarter. They were outgained 425 yards to 360 yards and they gave up 172 yards on the ground.
Deshawn Watson passed for 247 yards with a TD and no picks but was sacked seven times and the offensive line needs to protect him in this game. Watson also led the Texans with 55 yards and Carlos Hyde rushed for 48 yards only averaging a paltry three yards per carry.
Hyde rushed for 116 yards in the earlier win over the Chiefs and after rushing for over 1,000 yards on the season he has to help Watson out in this game.
DeAndre Hopkins had 90 receiving yards in the win over Buffalo and he is the main weapon the Chiefs have to contain in the passing game.
KC played legit D at the end of the season and while ranking 8th on the season in pass defense they only rank 26th in the league in run defense. If the Chiefs can play well against the run, which they did not do in the loss to Houston earlier this season, they should be in good shape.
Can Texans Keep Mahomes and Company in Check?
The Chiefs have Patrick Mahomes (4,031 yards 26 TD 5 TD), who had a big season and is a dual-threat QB that looks to get his team to the AFC title game for the 2nd straight season. He has no lack of weapons such as Travis Kelse (1,229 yards 5 TD) and receiver Tyreek Hill (860 yards 7 TD).
KC did not kill it on the ground on the season, but Damian Williams rushed for nearly 500 yards to lead the team and he rushed for 124 yards in the last game of the season.
Williams only had one carry in the first game against the Texans but became the features back for the Chiefs in the 2nd half of the season. Mahomes is the big-play guy but Williams will get his touches, especially since Houston’s run D was less than stellar in the Bills’ game.
Yeah, J.J. Watt is back in the fold for the Texans’ D but overall they only rank 25th in the league in run defense and 29th in pass defense.
While Houston is 5-2-1 ATS in their last seven games on the road KC is 5-0-1 ATS in their last six games.
The Chiefs will get big games from both sides of the ball in this playoff contest. Mahomes will play well and the KC defense will keep Hyde and company from racking up the rushing yards, unlike the early season loss to the Texans. Kansas City will light up the scoreboard and play good defense and because of that will easily win and cover even giving 10 points.
PICK: Chiefs -10
Another spot where we agree with Jason. We look for Mahomes and the Chiefs to take the logical next step. Last year it was the AFC Championship with a loss. Anything less than a Super Bowl appearance this year would be a failure.
Our Model likes KC by 12, 16 and 20 points using data from the entire season, last 7 games and last 4 games. SO, an across the board sweep for the model and we agree.
2* Key Release – Chiefs -9.5