Chiefs-Texans Betting Preview
After what feels like the longest offseason in NFL history, Thursday Night Football is here to kick off an unimpeded road to Super Bowl 55. The defending champion Kansas City Chiefs host the Houston Texans in a battle of two of the most dynamic young quarterbacks in the game. Let’s dive in with some of the more intriguing lines, props, and best bets. As always, all odds are brought to you by our friends at FanDuel.
There is no better place to start than looking at the props comparison between Patrick Mahomes and DeShaun Watson. Watson holds the edge over Mahomes in the touchdown scored prop bet at +220 compared to +320 for Mahomes. Don’t forget; this prop only counts on receiving or rushing touchdowns.
Both quarterbacks can make plays with their legs, but Watson has three rushing touchdowns while Mahomes has yet to reach the end zone in head-to-head play. The Texans pivot nearly doubled Mahomes’ rushing yards in 2019 and outscored him seven to two. Watson may be forced to scramble even more this season since the Texans inexplicably traded all-universe wideout DeAndre Hopkins to Arizona for oft-injured running back David Johnson.
Along with the Chiefs quarterback, KC has brought back 17-of-21 starters from its Super Bowl squad and added a few potential game-breakers. The man at the top of that list is undoubtedly rookie running back Clyde Edwards-Helaire.
The 21-year-old is coming off a national championship with LSU and was the first running back taken in the draft. He rushed for over 1,400 yards and scored 17 touchdowns in his final college season, 16 of them on the ground. When Damien Williams opted out of the season, the backfield immediately became less crowded. Expect head coach Andy Reid to have Edwards-Helaire fully engaged in one of the most creative offenses in the league right off the hop.
Even though the Chiefs have a ton of weapons, the rookie back could find the end zone at least once (-125). Two touchdowns at +480 seem doable, and if you want to take a +2400 flyer for three touchdowns, stranger things have happened.
KC dropped 51 on Houston the last time they met in that wild January playoff game. The Texans put up 31 in the loss, so don’t count out their offense just yet and take a good look at the over (54.5/-105)
Kansas City is a big favorite in this one at -9.5 and -430 on the moneyline. Undoubtedly a popular survivor pool pick, but larger spreads can be tricky and make you a little wary of betting the favorite. While there isn’t much value on the moneyline, the Chiefs have shown they can score big points and cover big spreads.
In their last four games, when favored by 10 or more, KC easily covered three times and pushed in the final game of the 2019 season against the Chargers. Each of the Chiefs’ last six wins has come by double-digits with an average margin of victory of two touchdowns. Mahomes’ squad is 7-0-1 against the spread in their past eight as a favorite and has covered in nine of their last 11 games with one push.
On the other side, Houston has got to be thinking revenge game after blowing a 24-point lead over the Chiefs in the Divisional Round.
Yes, the aforementioned game where they allowed an astonishing 51 points. Defensive difference-maker, J.J. Watt missed that game, and despite vocal concerns about COVID-19, he will suit up on Thursday.
The Super Bowl champs always have a target on their back, but the Texans have another level of motivation for this game. If this line jumps above 10, the underdog is worth a solid look.