2020 NFL Kickoff: Texans vs Chiefs predictions
All eyes will be on quarterback Patrick Mahomes as the Kansas City Chiefs look to defend their title and repeat as champions. It won’t be easy. The Chiefs will have a target on their back and sportsbooks have the Chiefs as the prohibitive favorite to win the Super Bowl. The Chiefs have the highest over/under betting total in the league at 11.5. But, it’s a long season.
It all starts in Houston with a matchup against the Texans. The Texans are powered by Deshaun Watson and his goal is simple. Start the year with an upset victory. There are many things to consider before making the Texans vs Chiefs predictions for the kickoff of another season.
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Do you believe in the betting lines?
The Chiefs are one of the most popular teams in the National Football League. After winning the Super Bowl they are also a popular bet again this season. Surprisingly enough that is not the case for the first game of the season. The Chiefs are getting just over 52 percent of the bets coming in on this game. As we get closer to kickoff that number will likely increase. The Chiefs opened as (-9.5) point favorites, but according to trusted sports betting sites, that number can be found as high as (-10). The over/under for this game is between 53.3 and 55 depending on where you look. Sharp bettors are already hitting this game.
[Check out the current betting line for Texans vs Chiefs]
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Texans turning the page
The biggest news coming out of Houston in the offseason is the team parting ways with DeAndre Hopkins. They added David Johnson and Brandin Cooks to try and boost this offense, but it is going to be impossible to replace Hopkins. The Texans finished 16th in DVOA at 0.4% and then traded the best offensive player. That is going to make things very difficult for Bill O’Brien who is obviously on the hot seat.
On defense JJ Watt, when healthy, is a beast. But he can only do so much. If he does not put pressure on the opposing quarterback, the secondary will get torched.
Fantasy football findings
It’s Deshaun Watson or nothing on this squad. Watson 16 game averages are as follows: 4,091 passing yards, 30 passing touchdowns, 519 rushing yards, and six rushing touchdowns. Other players like David Johnson and Brandin Cooks have potential. Cooks is looking to prove people wrong, but he has a long history of injuries. Ultimately Watson is the bell cow for the Texans from a fantasy standpoint.
Chiefs keep getting better
The Chiefs spent the offseason paying all of the prime time players. Now they enter the season happy and focused on the mission at hand. Last year this explosive offense was fun to watch and they were not healthy. Mahomes and Hill were hurting for most of the season and now both are healthy and ready to go.
On defense, a ton of credit needs to be heaped on the defensive coordinator, Steve Spagnuolo, who changed the complete culture of a defense that was the weak link of the team. Now with Tyrann Mathieu and Frank Clark, this defense has an identity and a purpose. They get stronger as the game goes on and during the late part of the year they allowed an average of 16 points per contest. The defense will have to play without Bashaud Breeland who is serving a four-game suspension, but that will allow the rest of the defense to gain valuable in-game experience.
Fantasy football findings
Where do you start? Mahomes? Hill? Kelce? They are all more than viable options, but one player is getting all of the attention and he is a rookie. All eyes will be on rookie Clyde Edwards-Helaire who is getting incredible hype leading up to the season. Damien Williams opted out of the season and everyone is drafting Edwards-Helaire as high as the first round. It will be interesting to see if his performance matches the hype.
Texans vs Chiefs predictions: Over or Under?
The initial instinct for football bettors will be to bet on the over in this game. Both teams have explosive offenses and the Chiefs arguably will have one of the most dominating offenses in NFL history. Early in the year, the defense has the edge over the offense and since the NFL preseason was canceled, it may be more obvious.
The defending champions have started off slow at home (3-9-1 to the under) and 1-6-1 to the under on Thursday night games over the last five seasons. The Texans are notorious for starting the season slowly on the offensive as the under is 11-4-1 in the last 16 games in September for the Texans. Finally, the under is 41-20-1 in Chiefs last 62 games as a home favorite. It will be a scary bet, but this game will be lower scoring than expected.
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Texans vs Chiefs predictions: Who wins?
The Chiefs have a great home-field advantage, but how much will that change this year? The Chiefs did announce that Arrowhead stadium will have a reduced capacity of 22 percent this season. That is great to hear, but the home-field advantage will be watered down at best.
It won’t matter.
The Chiefs are that good. The defense will shut down a Texans offense that is now limited without playmakers. Don’t look for a Super Bowl hangover from the Chiefs. The Super Bowl champions are 13-6-1 ATS in the first game of the season, which makes the Chiefs an appealing bet.
That is just the start of the positive trends that are backing the Chiefs in this spot. The Chiefs are 7-0-1 ATS in their last 8 games as a favorite, 5-0-1 ATS in their last 6 games as a home favorite, and 6-0-1 ATS in their last 7 home games. They are a money-making machine for bettors early in the season. The Chiefs are 10-1 ATS in their last 11 games in September and 4-1 ATS in their last 5 games in Week 1.
The defense of the Chiefs will put up a valiant effort and they win big.