Houston Texans Kansas City Chiefs Pick

Houston Texans (11-6 SU, 7-9-1 ATS) vs. Kansas City Chiefs (12-4 SU, 10-5-1 ATS)
AFC Divisional Playoffs
Date/Time: Sunday, January 12. 2020 at 3:05PM EST
Where: Arrowhead Stadium, Kansas City, Missouri

By Loot, NFL Football Handicapper, Lootmeister.com

Point Spread: HOU +9.5/KC -9.5 Over/Under Total: 50

The Houston Texans come into Arrowhead on Sunday for an AFC Divisional Playoff showdown against the Kansas City Chiefs. The Chiefs had last week off, the result of winning their last 6 games to finish the season 12-4, overcoming some different issues this season to still thrive at the end. They face an incoming Texans squad that had to pull out all the stops last week in their Wild Card Playoff win over the Bills, when overtime heroics by Deshaun Watson led to a comeback 22-19 win. Who will cover the spread this week in KC?

Granted, the elements will be harsher this time, but it serves Houston well that they have played in this stadium this season, beating the Chiefs, 31-24, in week 6 action. It’s worth noting that this was a different time for both teams, particularly the Chiefs, who were in the midst of a swoon at this point in the season where things weren’t working on either side of the ball. The team we see now is in far better form. Patrick Mahomes is healthier and they’re in a better groove on both sides of the ball. Houston, meanwhile, was in a rhythm at the time, putting together their postseason case. After a heartfelt win last week, they look to repeat what they did the first time. After getting out to a 10-0 lead in week 6, Kansas City went into the tank, with the offense grinding to a halt, while the Houston offense put together 35 first downs. The Texans ran the ball really well behind Carlos Hyde and Watson, while a lot of different aerial targets got involved. On one hand, it was so long ago with a lot of things being different this time around. Still, potential Houston backers can take comfort knowing they thrived in this very setting previously.


We saw the good, bad, and the ugly from the Texans in their come-from-behind win over the Bills on Saturday. In falling behind, 16-0, they showed little fire on offense, with a good Buffalo “D” bottling them up, while their defense made one shudder at the prospects of facing an offense better than Buffalo’s. But in turning it all around, getting some big plays on defense, while seeing Watson step up the way he did late, it’s hard to not admire what they did. It’s a team that exceeds what it is on paper—a middling offense that doesn’t always fire, a leaky defense that doesn’t thrive in any area, and a team that has actually been outscored this season in total. Looking at them that way could come at a cost.

Beyond the numbers and the fact that maybe it wasn’t a great season for Watson, it was huge for him to showcase some postseason magic on Saturday. That escape from the Buffalo pass-rush, followed by the decisive completion to Taywan Jones was electrifying. Truth be told, however, they won’t even be in a position where Watson can make a comeback if they don’t put forth a full 60 minutes of offensive success. Let’s face it, stopping this Ravens offense in this setting and with the stakes so high isn’t going to be easy. This side of the ball is going to need to keep pace.

Getting JJ Watt back was helpful last week and seemed to boost the morale of this Houston defense. But still, they’re not the best. As a composite this season, they’ve given up more points than their offense has scored—unusual for a team that has won a playoff game. Granted, they did pretty well in this stadium the first time, keeping Mahomes relatively in-check, holding the KC ground-game under wraps, and getting two turnovers. But against a now-thriving Chiefs’ offense and coming off a prolonged overtime struggle last week where they carried the team on their shoulders late, can they thrive in this chilly road-setting?

After some ups and downs, including time missed, Mahomes still ended up with over 4000 yards, along with 26 TDs and just five picks. The run-game isn’t that impactful, but between Damien Williams, LeSean McCoy and Mahomes, they can do some good things, with Williams and McCoy able to catch balls. And through the air is where the real damage occurs. Between Travis Kelce, Tyreek Hill, Sammy Watkins, Mecole Hardman, and others, it’s a lot to throw at this Texans’ defense. They hope to do a lot better and establish some longer drives after their first game, where Houston had a 2-to-1 time-of-possession edge.

It might be tougher here against an offense that already did some good things before, but the Chiefs’ defense has showed its fangs coming down the stretch run of the season. In the last six weeks, they have allowed a total of 70 points. Their secondary has really tightened up over the course of the season. Five players have multiple interceptions on this unit. We saw the pass-rush component ratchet up a notch later in the season, with Chris Jones and Frank Clark turning it loose. All told, they’re pretty disruptive. A run defense that is improved will still have to prevent the Texans from controlling the tempo of the game with their ground-game, as they did in their first matchup.

It’s possible to take a few different stances in this one. This could be a tough spot where the Texans just hit a wall. There is also a lot to suggest they can at least be competitive in this spot. The Chiefs have been looking good and are on a roll, without quite equaling the level of dominance we were seeing this time last season. I still see what worked against Buffalo resonating worse here, with Houston not able to keep a lid on the Chiefs’ offense, with Kansas City winning handily. I’ll take the Chiefs.

Loot’s Prediction to Cover the Point Spread: I’m betting on the Kansas City Chiefs minus 9.5 points. Bet the Texans vs. Chiefs game for FREE by taking advantage of a massive 100% sign-up bonus on your first deposit of $100 to $500 at GTBets!

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