NFL expert Tom Selwyn (@Tom_Selwyn) shares his expert opinion on the best bets available from Sunday evening's play-off match-up in Kansas City.
Houston Texans @ Kansas City Chiefs | Sunday 12th January 2020, 20:05 | Sky Sports
When these two teams met in Kansas City in Week 6 of the regular season, the Texans prevailed 31 to 24. It was the Chiefs’ second loss in a row at home after losing to the Colts the week before and people were starting to ask questions about the credentials of this team. Doubly so when QB Patrick Mahomes went down with a dislocated kneecap the week after.
But, along with Mahomes and his almost super human recovery (still no idea how you even manage to come back in two weeks after that kind of injury), Kansas City roared back and, with a little help, were able to secure the #2 seed.
A lot of the Chiefs resurgence down the stretch has been down to their defence. During weeks 11 – 17, they were the best in the league, allowing just 11.5 points a game and only seven offensive TDs during that span – simply brilliant numbers and I can’t see this Texans repeating the feat and scoring 30+ points against them again.
You can’t deny the talent that Houston has, with QB Deshaun Watson and WR DeAndre Hopkins leading the way, but it can’t be understated how poorly the OL played last week.
The Texans gave up seven sacks and 12 QB hits to Buffalo and, from what I could see, a lot of that didn’t come from blitzing. They just seemed confused a lot of time and that doesn’t bode well against Kansas City, even if Chris Jones doesn’t play. Watson can make magic from nothing, but it’s not something you want him doing on every passing down!
Watson could be forced to drop back a lot in this game if the Texans continue to start as slowly as they have done this season. They’re the 30th ranked team when it comes to points scored in the 1st Quarter, putting up just 2.8 per-game during the regular season and then following that up by blanking in the entire 1st Half last week.
The Chiefs double this with 5.6 points per-game during the 1st and I think they’ll be able to get ahead early this week, so I’ll be backing them to lead after every quarter. I’ve mentioned how well Kansas City’s defence is playing, along with Houston taking a while to get going, but I also like the matchup Mahomes and the Chiefs offense has against the Texans defence.
Houston rank 28th in the league, allowing 388.3 yards per-game and are one place worse in 29th against the pass. Kansas City, as you would expect with a player like Mahomes at QB, are the fifth-most prolific passing team in the league. If they can protect him, I expect Mahomes to carve up Houston’s secondary with Tyreek Hill and Travis Kelce.
Watson and the Texans have been very good at comebacks, but if they start slowly again I don’t see them reeling in the Chiefs.
Houston Texans @ Kansas City Chiefs – Kansas City Chiefs to Lead After Every Quarter (11/10 Bet365)