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Chiefs swung from huge favorites to sizable underdogs to huge favorites on Sunday

Kansas City had a comeback for the ages in the Divisional round. We break down the wild swings for the Chiefs and Texans.

Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes celebrates during the fourth quarter against the Houston Texans in a AFC Divisional Round playoff football game at Arrowhead Stadium. Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

The Kansas City Chiefs won a stunning game on Sunday in beating the Houston Texans 51-31 in the Divisional round. We’ve seen teams blow huge leads before, but rarely have we seen teams blow a huge lead and in the end get blown out in defeat.

Entering the game, the Chiefs were a monstrous favorite, laying ten points and sitting -476 on the money line (bet $476 to win $100). However, things went south in a hurry for the Chiefs and by the end of the first quarter, the Chiefs were suddenly a +265 underdog (bet $100 to win $265).

The Texans marched down the field on their opening drive, moving 75 yards in six plays. DeShaun Watson found Kenny Stills wide open thanks to a busted coverage and the receiver went 54 yards to pay dirt and a 7-0 lead. The Texans defense then forced a three and out, and proceeded to block the Chiefs punt. Lonnie Johnson Jr. recovered the live ball for the score and a 14-0 lead. The Texans were now +102 on the live money line and the Chiefs were -127.

The Chiefs punted on their next possession and the Texans followed with a punt of their own. Except, the Chiefs sent Tyreek Hill back deep for the return and he muffed it. Keion Crossen recovered the punt at the Chiefs six yard line to set up 1st and goal. Two plays later, Watson found Darren Fells to give the Texans a 21-0 lead. Kansas City went three and out and at the end of the first quarter, the Texans had the ball near midfield up 21-0. The Texans were now -357 on the live money line and the Chiefs were +265.

The Texans drove 38 yards on nine plays, but stalled out at the Chiefs 13-yard line. On 4th and 1 they looked like they were preparing to go for it. They called a timeout and then head coach Bill O’Brien sent out the field goal unit to give them a 24-0 lead. After the game, O’Brien said he initially thought it was a first down and had sent out a first down play. When he realized it was 4th and 1, he decided he did not have a play that made sense there and so he opted to take the three points.

Kansas City responded in a big way. Mecole Hardman returned the ensuing kickoff 58 yards to set up the Chiefs at the Texans 42. Patrick Mahomes found Travis Kelce for a 25-yard gain and then connected with Damien Williams on a short pass that the running back turned into a 17-yard touchdown to cut the Texans lead to 24-7. The Texans were now -175 on the live money line and the Chiefs were +140.

Just as things went south for the Chiefs to start the game, they went bad for the Texans in a hurry in the second quarter. Houston went three and out on the next play, and then elected to run a fake punt. Justin Reid appeared to give away the intent of the play and was stopped two yards short of the sticks. Kansas City took over at the Texans 33 and a pass interference penalty and five yard pass to Travis Kelce had the Chiefs in the end zone in the span of 23 seconds.

The Texans then fumbled the ensuing kickoff and Darwin Thompson returned it to Houston’s six-yard line. Three plays later, Mahomes found Kelce for another touchdown and it was suddenly 24-21. The Chiefs were favorites once again sitting at -294 on the live money line, while the Texans were +325.

The Chiefs were not finished in the second quarter. Houston moved 29 yards on three plays, but then went three and out and punted at the Chiefs 48 with 2:56 to go. Kansas City responded with an eight-play 90-yard drive in two minutes and three seconds. Mahomes found Kelce for a third touchdown and suddenly Kansas City’s comeback was complete and they led 28-24. The Chiefs were now -769 on the live money line and the Texans were +440.

Kansas City rolled the rest of the way and Houston never could quite get back into it. By the end of the third quarter, the Chiefs led 41-31 and were -10000 to win the game. Even with a whole quarter left, it was obvious Houston was not going to be able to stop KC’s offense.

The question now is whether or not Tennessee can do any better. Houston’s pass defense was a liability all season, but the Titans haven’t exactly been world-beaters. The Texans ranked 26th in pass defense efficiency this season while the Titans ranked 21st.

The two teams played in Week 10, in what was Mahomes’ return from his dislocated knee. Mahomes threw for 446 yards and three touchdowns, which was his highest yardage total of the season. He looked about as healthy as could be expected, but as has been the case for defenses the second half of the season, Derrick Henry was unstoppable — rushing for 188 yards and two touchdowns. The Chiefs defense has improved in recent weeks, but Henry has been playing otherworldly football. It makes for a fascinating dichotomy between an explosive passing attack and an explosive rushing attack.

The Chiefs opened at DraftKings Sportsbook as a 7.5-point favorite. The Chiefs are -335 on the money line while the Titans are +280.

Chiefs-Texans money line movement

Time Texans ML odds Chiefs ML odds Score
Time Texans ML odds Chiefs ML odds Score
Pre-Game +400 -476 N/A
3:24 p.m. +102 -127 Texans lead 14-0
End of 1Q -357 +265 Texans lead 21-0
4:10 p.m. -175 +140 Texans lead 24-7
4:25 p.m. +325 -294 Texans lead 24-21
4:45 p.m. +440 -769 Chiefs lead 28-24
Halftime +430 -667 Chiefs lead 28-24
5:12 p.m. +850 -2000 Chiefs lead 34-24
End of 3Q +1700 -10000 Chiefs lead 41-31

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