Thursday’s matchup between the Kansas City Chiefs and Houston Texans will kick off the 2020 NFL season at 8:20 p.m. ET. The two offensive powerhouses have had exciting battles in the past, and this game could end up being a shootout starring Patrick Mahomes and Deshaun Watson. I’ll go over the public’s betting splits for the season opener and pick out some of the more desirable bets available on DraftKings Sportsbook below.
First touchdown: Clyde Edwards-Helaire (+550)
Edwards-Helaire is expected to be one of the most successful rookie running backs in the NFL this year because of how well his skill set fits the Chiefs’ offense. He rushed for 1,414 yards and 16 scores in his final season at LSU while also hauling in 55 passes for 453 yards and a score. Few teams can stretch the field like Kansas City, and Edwards-Helaire dominated on the team with the best passing attack in college football last year.
Edwards-Helaire has tremendous vision good for running inside and outside of the tackles and could carve up the Texans’ porous defense as it struggles to contain the likes of Tyreek Hill and Travis Kelce. I like his odds to help the Chiefs strike first if they get the first possession, and the public does too. Edwards-Helaire lead all players with 33 percent of the handle on first touchdown bets and is trailed by Kelce (+650), who accounts for 29 percent of the handle.
Patrick Mahomes passing yards: Over 305.5 (-124)
Mahomes eclipsed 300 passing yards in seven of the 14 regular season games he appeared in last year and averaged just under 300 passing yards per game against the Texans. He threw for 273 yards in a loss against the Texans in his first game back from a knee injury he suffered against the Denver Broncos and rebounded to tally 388 passing yards against them in the postseason. The Chiefs got better on offense and the Texans appear are the same, if not worse, on the defensive end. I think we could be in for a monster performance from Mahomes.
Total points: Over 54 (-107)
These two teams combined for 55 points in their first meeting last year and 82 points in their second meeting. I think there’s a good chance this trend this trend of high-scoring games will continue, as both teams have showcased significant weaknesses on defense. The Texans were below average against the pass and the run while the Chiefs were a bottom five team against the run. While the Chiefs will likely carry the bulk of the scoring load, Watson’s mobility and knack for making off schedule plays should make this one interesting. The public has placed 62 percent of point total bets on the over.
Deshaun Watson player prop: Touchdown scorer (+210)
Most assume that Watson will throw for a score at the very least, but he’ll have to use his legs to reach the end zone in order to hit on this prop bet. He rushed for three scores in his two games against Houston last year on 16 attempts. Only the Buffalo Bills’ Josh Allen could top his seven regular season rushing touchdowns in 2019. Watson could be forced to use his legs more without his go-to guy DeAndre Hopkins in the picture, and he’s proven that he can be successful as a scrambler.
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