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Public backing the Chiefs, but sizable percentage think Texans can keep if close

The Chiefs are big favorites against the Texans to open the season. We break down how the public views this Week 1 contest.

Houston Texans quarterback Deshaun Watson and Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes shake hands after the game at Arrowhead Stadium. Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports

The Kansas City Chiefs and Houston Texans kick off Thursday evening to open the 2020 NFL season. The Super Bowl champ generally opens their title defense at home on national television to start the season, and this should be a fun one. The teams squared off in the Divisional round of the 2020 NFL playoffs, and it was a wild one. The Chiefs stormed back from a 24-0 deficit to win 51-31 en route to their eventual Super Bowl victory.

They’ll open the 2020 regular season with some notable similarities to last year, but also some big changes. The big news for both teams was getting their quarterbacks signed to long-term deals. Patrick Mahomes and Deshaun Watson signed long-term extensions that will push the quarterback further along, and both will be looked upon to lead their team to Lombardi glory.

However, both will be missing some key pieces this season. Chiefs running back Damien Williams opted out of the season under the Covid-19 protocol, which means rookie Clyde Edwards-Helaire will take over the starting role. Meanwhile, the Texans traded away wide receiver DeAndre Hopkins and did not re-sign running back Carlos Hyde this offseason. They added David Johnson in the Nuk trade, acquired Brandin Cooks via trade, and signed Randall Cobb this offseason.

The Chiefs enter Thursday’s game currently as 9.5 point favorites. The line has moved around throughout the week, at anywhere from 8 to the current 9.5. On Tuesday, we submitted a question to our 32 team sites and their communities asking who would cover in Thursday’s game. At that point, the line was at Chiefs -9.

The question specifically was, “The Chiefs are a 9-point favorite vs. the Texans. What will be the result?” and the answers included:

  • Chiefs win by more than 9
  • Chiefs win by 9 or less
  • Texans win outright

After 24 hours of voting, we have some notable results. Only 8 percent of voters think the Texans will win the game outright. That’s not entirely surprising given the size of the spread and the differences between the two teams.

The 92 percent who think the Chiefs will win is made up of 51 percent who think the Chiefs will cover and 41 percent who think the Chiefs will win but not cover. 9 points is a lot for a team to be laying in any game, but when you have Deshaun Watson on the other side, it’s not surprising a sizable percentage of people expect a close game.

Our own Chet Gresham is laying the points tonight with the Chiefs, and I certainly don’t blame him. I would not be surprised if Houston was unable to keep pace with KC. However, I‘m inclined to take the points because a) 9 is a lot to lay against a previous year playoff team and b) I’m not laying that much against Deshaun Watson, even without DeAndre Hopkins on the roster. I’m siding with the 41 percent!

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