Texans vs Chiefs live NFL Divisional Round betting picks and predictions: QBs to lead the way in Kansas City
We’ve got a duel between two of the top young quarterbacks in the NFL as Patrick Mahomes and the Kansas City Chiefs host Deshaun Watson and the Houston Texans on Sunday at 3:05 p.m. ET.
This line opened as low as 7.5 with a total of 49 at some books before surging to 10 with a total of 51.
The Chiefs will look to advance to the AFC Conference Final for the second year in a row after a 12-4 regular season. They ended the year on a strong note going 6-0 straight up and 5-0-1 ATS over their final six games.
The Texans are coming off a gritty come-from-behind win over the Bills in the Wild Card game. Houston finished the regular season with a 10-6 record which included a 31-24 upset win against the Chiefs at Arrowhead Stadium in Week 6.
From the kickoff to the final snap we break down the odds with our best bets and predictions for this AFC playoff battle.
Houston may have pulled off the win in October, but even in that defeat a hobbled Patrick Mahomes got off to a fast start, throwing for two touchdowns and building a 17-3 lead before the end of the first quarter.
The Chiefs star signal-caller is known for his quick starts, completing 67.9 percent of his passes for an average of 83 passing yards per game in the opening quarter, and tossing eight TDs during that frame in 14 games this season.
The terrible Texans secondary allowed 33 passing touchdowns during the regular season, including nine in the first quarter. We like Mahomes and company to score the first points of the game via a touchdown.
PICK: First Score Method – Kansas City touchdown (+145)
We mentioned that Kansas City’s offense gets going early but their defense isn’t too shabby at the beginning of games either. The Chiefs offense ranks third in the NFL with 16.7 first-half points per game while their defense ranks sixth by holding opponents to 9.2 ppg before halftime.
Houston came out flat against the Bills last week and has a bad habit of starting slow, sitting 26th in the league in first-half scoring with 9.5 ppg. The Texans defense surrenders 11.8 ppg in the first 30 minutes and that number has gone up to 14.7 ppg over their last three contests.
Take K.C. on the first half spread.
PICK: First Half Kansas City -5.5
Seahawks vs Packers NFL Divisional Round betting picks and predictions: Pack won’t have answer for Wilson
The Chiefs began the season with a running back by committee situation but Damien Williams emerged as their lead back towards the end of the year. In his last four full games he played more than 70 percent of the snaps on three occasions, and the one time he went below that mark was his first game back from a rib injury (and he still got more than half the snaps in that game).
He’s coming off a big performance in the Chiefs season finale, carrying the ball 12 times for 124 yards and catching four passes on seven targets for another 30 yards.
The Texans are among the worst teams in the league at defending against running backs in the passing game. They allow an average of 6.2 receptions and 54.9 receiving yards per game to the position and Chiefs coach Andy Reid knows to utilize RBs in the passing game.