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Pick against the spread Chiefs vs. Texans NFL kickoff

The Chiefs are set to defend their title against the Houston Texans on Thursday night. Will they be able to cover the spread?

Quarterback Deshaun Watson #4 of the Houston Texans calls out a play from the line of scrimmage in the first half during the AFC Divisional playoff game against the Kansas City Chiefs at Arrowhead Stadium on January 12, 2020 in Kansas City, Missouri. Photo by Peter G. Aiken/Getty Images

Opening kick off of the NFL season is just hours away and we have a banger with the Houston Texans taking on the Super Bowl champion Kansas City Chiefs. This is a rematch of the playoff matchup last season where the Texans got out to a 24-0 lead in the first quarter only to lose 51-31.

But, it’s a new season and the Texans will look for some revenge after that gut-wrenching loss. They will come into this game with a new look offense, as they traded away their star receiver, DeAndre Hopkins, for reasons beyond comprehension. They received running back David Johnson and picks for the receiver and then added Randall Cobb and Brandin Cooks to soak up Hopkins’ targets.

The Chiefs did their best to keep their championship team together and they ended up with strong continuity between the two rosters. There biggest loss was running back Damien Williams opting out of the season due to Covid-19 concerns but they replaced him with rookie Clyde Edwards-Helaire. The rookie running back should be an upgrade on Willians though.

DraftKings Sportsbook odds

Texans: +9, +330
Chiefs: -9, -420
Total: 54.5

A nine-point spread against DeShaun Watson feels slightly crazy, but we do have to take into account a whole new group of offensive skill players in 2020. The Texans, like every other team in this league, had little time to get ready for the season. The difference between the Chiefs and Texans in this regard, is that the Chiefs don’t have to get three new offensive skill players ready for the season during a pandemic.

Last season the Texans finished 26th vs. pass, 22nd vs. rush in DVOA and they have a new defensive coordinator this year. They’ll get J.J. Watt back, but lost D.J. Reader in free agency, giving them plenty of holes on the defensive line which ranked 29th in adjusted sack rate last season.

We also have no idea if David Johnson is even an upgrade on Carlos Hyde after his two down seasons and Brandin Cooks missed Tuesday’s practice with a quad injury. In the end, it will again come down to Watson playing Superman to give them a chance to keep this game close.

Pick

I hate giving up nine-points in Week 1, but the Chiefs should be ready to roll while the Texans should be worse than the team that lost by 20 after getting up 24 last season.

Chiefs -9

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