If you like NFL playoff contests that feature dynamic quarterback play, then Sunday afternoon’s tilt between the Texans and Chiefs is the game for you. The battle between Patrick Mahomes and Deshaun Watson has the potential to go down as a contest for the ages.
Then again, it also has the possibility of becoming a route in favor of Kansas City. Andy Reid’s team comes into the match-up as 9.5-point favorites against Bill O’Brien’s troops. That’s a massive spread for a playoff game, and one that suggests that the Chiefs will be one step close to the Super Bowl come Sunday evening.
You’re only human if that massive point spread gives you some questions about what bets you should make on Sunday. If you want to make the best-informed wagers possible, you must check out our exclusive Statschecker Site to learn everything you can about both teams. I’ll give you five helpful facts in this piece, but to really devour the information you’ll need to check out the site for yourself.
1. The Chiefs are red hot against the spread
Kansas City’s regular season wasn’t without its share of ups and downs, but this team has played its best football down the stretch. The Chiefs come into this game on the back of a six-game winning streak against the spread.
If they’re going to cover against Houston it will require them to put up a double-digit win. Fortunately, the Chiefs have the offensive firepower required to score tons of points. Mahomes and his skill players will pose a massive challenge for the mediocre Texans defense.
2. The Texans need to run the ball
Watson has the talent to go throw-for-throw with Mahomes, but he doesn’t have the offensive talent surrounding him to make that happen. That’s what makes Carlos Hyde an immensely important player in this game.
Fortunately for Houston, the physical runner has scored a touchdown in his last three road games. Hyde might need to find the end zone more than once to keep the Texans in this game. At the very least, he needs to grind out yards and first downs to keep the Kansas City offense off the field.
3. DeAndre Hopkins likes to play the Chiefs
Hopkins isn’t just the best wide receiver in this game, he also happens to be one of the best players in the entire NFL. The former Clemson star also likes to play against Kansas City. He’s scored at least one touchdown in four of his last six games against the Chiefs.
In fairness, the secondary Hopkins will go up against on Sunday is an improved group compared to what he’s faced in previous match ups. Tyrann Mathieu plays for the other team now. Look for the Honey Badger to do everything he can to stop Hopkins from hurting his team down the seam.
4. The Chiefs are vulnerable at home
Contrary to what you might expect, Kansas City hasn’t been special at home this season. Their 5-3 record at Arrowhead is very average considering all of the high-end talent they have on the roster.
The takeaway here is that Houston shouldn’t fear the idea of playing at Kansas City. The mystique of this road game should evaporate early in the first quarter. Bet this game on the talent instead of concerning yourself with some mystical home field advantage for the Chiefs.
5. Kansas City is money against the spread
The most important fact you need to know about this game is that the Chiefs finished the regular season as the No. 1 ranked team in the NFL against the spread with a mark of 11-5. In other words, you shouldn’t be too intimidated by the large spread in this game.
The sheer explosiveness of the Kansas City offense will make 9.5 points play a lot more like four or five points. Mahomes is going to make big plays against this Houston defense. The only real question is how many Watson will make for the Texans.
The Chiefs will dominate the second half
Houston has the talent to keep this game close early, but eventually, the pressure applied by the Kansas City offense is simply going to overwhelm the Texans. As such, you should feel comfortable backing the Chiefs and laying the 9.5 points. In fact, we wouldn’t oppose the idea of running the number all the way up to 13.5 if you want to try to increase your winnings. The bottom line here is that Kansas City is going to play like a Super Bowl contender and handle the Texans with relative ease.