After squeaking past the Bills during Wild Card Weekend, the schedule doesn’t get much easier for Deshaun Watson and company. Just like the other AFC game being played in the Divisional round between the Titans and Ravens, the road teams are huge underdogs with the Texans at +9.5. The Texans were underdogs nine times this season but had immense success against the spread in that situation with a 6-3 record. If they’re looking to defy the odds, they’ll have to dethrone a Chiefs team that was a league-best 8-4-1 ATS when favored.
One aspect for the Chiefs I think goes vastly overlooked is how good their secondary is. In terms of yardage allowed to opposing wide receivers, they were one of the lowest in the league with an average of 122 per game. Over the course of the final four games of the year, they only allowed two touchdowns to opposing receivers and an average of 11.1 YPR. The Texans could have a really tough time getting the ball downfield through the air in this matchup, even if the reports of Will Fuller being active are true. On offense, the Chiefs averaged 28 points per game with Patrick Mahomes under center and should have no pushback against a very, very poor Texans defense.
As for the Texans, it’s hard to carve out a path to victory for them against this Chiefs team. They’re the biggest underdogs on the four-game card and rightfully so. Against a tough Bills defense, they managed 22 points and if it wasn’t for a late-game Bills implosion, may not even be here in the Divisional Round. Having Fuller back would bring a different dynamic to this offense and open up DeAndre Hopkins more but even then, the Chiefs secondary, as mentioned, has been very good. The Texans did win in their only regular-season matchup by a score of 31-24, thank in large part to Watson on the ground as he rushed in two touchdowns. His legs will be one of the most vital weapons in this game against a Chiefs team you can very much run against. Allowing an average of 108 rushing yards per game, the Texans will strongly have to consider slowing this game down and going with a ground attack to keep this game close. Otherwise, we could be seeing the Chiefs easily move on.
Texans at Chiefs
Point Spread: Texans +9.5
Total Points: 50
Money Line: Chiefs -435; Texans +360
Overall: Texans 11-6; Chiefs 12-4
ATS: Texans 8-8-1; Chiefs 11-5
O/U: Texans 7-10; Chiefs 8-8
Players to watch: LB Jacob Martin (illness), S Jahleel Addae (knee), TE Jordan Akins (hamstring), CB Keion Crossen (hamstring), WR Will Fuller (groin), CB Johnathan Joseph (hamstring), S A.J. Moore (hip), WR Kenny Stills (knee), DE J.J. Watt (shoulder), T Chris Clark (concussion)
Players to watch: CB Morris Claiborne (not injury related, shoulder), TE Travis Kelce (knee), DE Tanoh Kpassagnon (neck), C Austin Reiter (wrist), G Andrew Wylie (ankle)
- The Chiefs have won each of their last 10 day games at Arrowhead Stadium following a win.
- The Chiefs have covered the spread in each of their last six games.
- Each of the Texans’ last five games following an overtime win have gone UNDER the total points line.
- Tyreek Hill has scored the first touchdown in three of the Chiefs’ last five day games at Arrowhead Stadium.
- Travis Kelce has scored a touchdown in four of the Chiefs’ last five games following a home win.
- Carlos Hyde has scored a touchdown in each of the Texans’ last three road games.
- DeAndre Hopkins has scored at least one touchdown in four of the Texans’ last six games against the Chiefs.
- Tyreek Hill has scored at least one touchdown in three of the Chiefs’ last four day games against AFC South opponents.
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