Kansas City hosts Houston in the second AFC Divisional duel at 3:05 p.m. ET on Sunday, Jan 12, 2020, at Arrowhead Stadium in Kansas City, MO. The Chiefs are fresh off a playoff bye while the Texans defeated Buffalo during the Wild Card round last week. Will Kansas City win and cover as a huge home favorite or will Houston upset the Chiefs and advance to its franchise first AFC Championship game?
Spread: Chiefs -9.5 (-110) | Texans +9.5 (-110)
Moneyline: Chiefs (-440) | Texans (+360)
Game Total: OVER 51 (-110) | UNDER 51 (-110)
Houston Texans’ Recent Form
Houston rallied to post a 22-19 OT win at home against Buffalo during AFC Wild Card playoff action last week. The Texans fell behind 16-0 before the offense started to break through the Bills defense early in the third quarter. Deshaun Watson got Houston on the board with a 20-yard TD run and a two-point conversion. Ka'imi Fairbairn then kicked a 41-yard field goal before Carlos Hyde caught a five-yard TD pass.
DeAndre Hopkins completed that score with a two-point conversion to give Houston a 19-16 led. After both teams gave up possession on downs, Buffalo drove 41 yards and tied the game with a 47-yard field goal by Stephen Hauschka with five seconds left on the clock. Both teams punted once in overtime before Fairbairn kicked a 28-yard field goal. The return of J. J. Watt, who played a strong game, bolstered the Houston defense.
· Betting Record: SU 11-6 | ATS 8-8-1 | O/U 7-10
· Offense: 14th, scoring 23.6 points per game
· Defense: 19th, allowing 24.1 points per game
· Turnover Rank: 17th with a +/- 0 differential
Kansas City Chiefs’ Recent Form
Kansas City enjoyed a first-round bye as the Chiefs earned the No. 2 seed in the AFC playoffs. After opening the season with a 4-0 mark, Kansas City went on a 2-4 slide and the Chiefs record fell to 6-4 after a 35-32 loss in Tennessee during Week 10 action. Getting hot at the right time, Patrick Mahomes and Co. closed the regular season on a roll as the Chiefs won six straight by a combined 167-69 count.
Lightly traveled and rested, the Chiefs have been at home since posting a 26-3 Week 16 win over the Bears on Dec. 22 in Chicago. Kansas City secured its bye with a 31-21 Week 17 home win over the Los Angeles Chargers that was coupled with New England losing to Miami. Balanced on offense, the Chiefs defense has improved on a weekly basis and was a big part of the season-ending winning streak.
· Betting Record: SU 12-4 | ATS 10-5-1 | O/U 8-8
· Offense: Fifth, scoring 28.2 points per game
· Defense: Seventh, allowing 19.3 points per game
· Turnover Rank: Seventh with a +8 differential
Fantasy Football Wild Card Weekend Studs and Duds
Comparing the fantasy stud and duds is a helpful betting research tool. The team at Fulltime Fantasy Sports have posted an in-depth look at the Kansas City vs Houston showdown. Also, fantasy drafts revolving around the Divisional playoffs, Conference Championships, plus the Super Bowl, are available in Fulltime Fantasy draft lobby until 3:00 p.m. ET on Saturday, Jan 11, 2020. The contests are six-player leagues and cash prizes are paid to the top two finishers.
Texans vs. Chiefs Recent History – Week 6 Rematch
This is the only Divisional playoff round contest that features a rematch of a 2019 regular season battle. Losing a second straight home game, after falling 19-13 versus Indianapolis, Kansas City lost 31-24 at home to Houston during Week 6 action. That contest had a little bit of everything as the teams posted 781 combined total yards, seven touchdowns, plus five turnovers and two missed field goals.
Houston dominated the time of possession in that contest (39:48 to 20:12) as Texans churned out a season-high 41 rushing attempts. Watson (42/2), Hyde (116/1) and Duke Johnson (34) racked up 192 total rushing yards and three touchdowns. Kansas City gained 53 yards on 11 rushing attempts. This was one that got away from the Chiefs who jumped out to a 17-3 lead heading into the second quarter.
Kansas City was playing terrible on defense when the Texans rolled into town—including being ranked third to last against the run. The Chiefs’ overall defense has stepped up to a higher level since then. Though largely ancient history, Kansas City humbled Houston 30-0 at NRG Stadium during the 2015 Wild Card playoffs. Travis Kelce, DeAndre Hopkins and J.J. Watt are notable names that played in that contest.
Chiefs and Texans: Notable Same Team Opponent Results
Kansas City and Houston played eight same team opponents during the regular season. Against non-playoff teams, the Colts, Broncos, Chargers and Raiders, Kansas City went 6-1 with a loss to Indianapolis while Houston was 4-2 with losses to Denver and Indianapolis. In contests against teams that made the postseason, both teams defeated New England while Houston went 1-1 against Tennessee, who defeated Kansas City.
Against top-rated Baltimore, Kansas City defeated the Ravens 38-28 at Arrowhead Stadium back in Week 3. Patrick Mahomes posted 374 pass yards with three TDs, and Chiefs defense did a good job of containing Lamar Jackson. The Texans were trampled 41-7 on the road in Baltimore during Week 11 action. Jackson tossed four TD passes while the Ravens defense held Deshaun Watson to 169 yards and sacked him six times.
What to Expect When the Texans Have the Ball
After starting slow against Buffalo, Deshaun Watson and DeAndre Hopkins heated up in the third quarter. Hopkins caught 85 of his 90 receiving yards after the Bills jumped out to a 16-0 lead. The Texans dynamic duo will need to be good again here. Provided it doesn’t fall behind early, Houston will also lean heavily on its ground game. The Texans offensive line needs to play better as Watson was sacked seven times and constantly pressured last week.
What to Expect When the Chiefs Have the Ball
Kansas City heads into this contest at its healthiest point of the season. That includes running backs Damien Williams, Darwin Thompson and LeSean McCoy. The Chiefs have not had a potent ground attack but expect that to change in this contest. Having to respect the run game is added pressure on the Texans bottom four-pass defense. The Houston secondary will have its hands full against Mahomes, Kelce, Tyreek Hill, Sammy Watkins and Mecole Hardman.
Kansas City vs. Houston Final Thoughts and Pick
Leaving climate-controlled NRG Stadium, the Texans head into Arrowhead Stadium where the game-time temperature is expected to hover around 25 degrees Fahrenheit without any precipitation. The last time the Texans played a cold-weather game, Houston lost 34-16 in New England during the 2017 Divisional playoffs. While weather affects both teams, Kansas City is much more familiar with playing in freezing temperatures.
Kansas City head coach Andy Reid is 18-3 SU all-time during the regular season following a bye week. Reid prepared the Chiefs well during the playoff bye last year as Kansas City rolled Andrew Luck and the Colts 31-13. That, plus his overall resume, gives bettors an advantage over those who are backing Texans bench boss Bill O’Brien. Lay the points and bet on the Chiefs’ prolific offense along with their surging defense.
Pick: Chiefs -9.5
Playoff Record: 3-1
Season Record: 41-57-2