Houston Texans at Kansas City Chiefs
Kickoff: 12:05 p.m. PT
Not many teams are capable of keeping up with the high-powered Chiefs on the scoreboard.
Houston, on the other hand, is not “many teams.” In fact, they were responsible for one of Kansas City’s four defeats this season, which was also one of the rare losses suffered with a healthy Patrick Mahomes lined up behind center.
The Chiefs only lost two games with Mahomes energized at full strength and there was a common theme among both of them: It took the opposition topping 30 points to narrowly pull out the W. In other words, no matter the scenario that plays out for this contest, it is likely there will be a healthy amount of scoring going on.
That can be ensured from KC’s usual efficiency at home. Since Mahomes took over the starting job going into last season, the Chiefs are averaging more than 30 points per game in his 16 career starts at Arrowhead Stadium. Mahomes and Co. tallied at least 24 points in all but two of those outings, meaning the floor is favorably high for an over/under of 50.5.
The Texans defense got a boost last week with J.J. Watt’s return in the Wild Card round but at the end of the day, it’s still a unit that surrendered more total yards than all but four NFL teams this season (those four were last-place teams, too). Furthermore, Houston finished tied with the sixth-fewest sacks in the league.
Harboring all of that in mind, how do the Chiefs go below their floor (24 points) in this matchup at home? And certainly don’t look for the AFC’s No. 2 seed to triumph in a low-scoring contest.
That’s because the Texans tend to always bring it on the offensive side of the ball. At least when Will Fuller is active and the group at full strength, something that will, fortunately, be the case after the talented wide-out missed the last few weeks with a groin injury.
This is very significant and cannot be stressed enough because with Fuller out there, quarterback Deshaun Watson has a passer rating that is nearly 15 full points (!) higher compared to when he’s not in the lineup, according to ESPN’s Bill Barnwell. His passing numbers in every facet are superior when he has Fuller.
And so it is on that, Watson’s impressive track record when he has his full assortment of weapons on deck, not to mention his overall makeup that has him perfectly suited for a postseason setting, that can make over backers comfortable in leaning on Houston to at least keep up. The end result figures to be enough. Play: OVER 50.5 (-110)
Last Week: Vikings-Saints Over 49 (loss)
2019-20 NFL Over/Under Betting Record*: 11-10, -0.8 unit
*Each bet graded as if it were to win 1 unit