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An exciting AFC matchup here as Patrick Mahomes and the Kansas City Chiefs host Deshaun Watson and the Houston Texans. Both teams have high hopes for 2019, and the last time these teams got together it was a thrilling shootout. Kansas City won that game 42-34, in one of Watson's first starts. This will be the first meeting between the two members of the 2017 draft class, as Alex Smith was still starting for the Chiefs in that game. Oddsmakers opened the Chiefs as a 5.5 point favorite.
The Texans are battling for position in a wide-open AFC South right now. They're coming off a big 53-32 win over the Falcons on Sunday, which helped them improve to 3-2. They'll have a much more difficult time here on the road against an elite Kansas City team. Watson is obviously capable of putting up huge numbers, but Houston's erratic offensive line will need to keep him upright here.
The Chiefs are coming off one of their toughest losses of the Mahomes era. Kansas City suffered their first defeat of the season on Sunday, losing at home to the Colts on Sunday Night Football in an ugly game. Even as huge favorites, they only mustered 13 points. It'll be very interesting to see how the now 4-1 Chiefs bounce back from that one.
Texans Get Big WinThe Texans have been inconsistent in 2019, and they'll be looking to pick up their biggest win of the season on the road in Kansas City. The Texans are coming off a massive 53-32 win over the Falcons, which was impressive. But while it's easy to get excited any time a team drops 50+ points, I think we need to add some context to the situation.
The Texans picked apart a Falcons defense that is a complete mess right now, and it's a unit that is very close to getting Dan Quinn fired in Atlanta. I'm not sure we should draw anything away from that game, and the Texans looked terrible the week before. In Week 5, they lost to backup Panthers quarterback Kyle Allen, and only scored ten points at home. Deshaun Watson threw for only 160 yards in that game and averaged an abysmal 4.8 yards per attempt. I'm also not a huge fan of this coaching staff, and Bill O'Brien and Romeo Crennel continuously make poor decisions in big moments.
Watson still holds the ball too long at times, and he took six sacks against Carolina. He had a huge game against the Falcons, but I wouldn't automatically bank on him having a similar performance here against a Chiefs secondary that isn't nearly as bad as people think it is. Houston's own secondary has proven to be a liability, and even in their win over the Falcons, they gave up 32 points. They'll now be going on the road after two straight home games and getting their toughest test of the season in Patrick Mahomes.
Chiefs Banged UpThe Chiefs are coming off their worst performance in quite some time. Kansas City picked up their first loss of the 2019 campaign this past week, falling 19-10 at home to the Colts as double-digit favorites. It was an embarrassing loss for them on Sunday Night Football, and they'll have another big game here as they look to bounce back. The Chiefs are pretty banged up right now, and you're going to need to monitor their injury report. Left tackle Eric Fisher is still sidelined, and left guard Andrew Wylie left the loss to the Colts with an ankle injury. If Wylie doesn't play, the Chiefs will be without the left side of their offensive line. Patrick Mahomes also picked up an ankle injury, and while he'll play here, his mobility could be limited.
Patrick Mahomes has us ready to run through a brick wall😤pic.twitter.com/icFwAQSMhP— FanSided (@FanSided) October 7, 2019
The status of receivers Sammy Watkins and Tyreek Hill also bears watching, and the Chiefs could be very shorthanded for this one. While the offense generates most of the discussion for this team, I've actually been pretty impressed by the defense. The defense was a disaster last year, and it's the reason they didn't make the Super Bowl. They completely overhauled the unit this offseason, bringing in new additions like pass-rusher Frank Clark and safety Tyrann Mathieu. The two acquisitions are both paying off, and they've led to a revitalized Chiefs pass defense. They're 11th in the league in both completion percentage allowed and yards per attempt allowed, which is all this team needs considering they have Mahomes under center.
- 5-2 ATS in their last 7 vs. AFC
- 9-3 ATS in their last 12 games after scoring less than 15 points in their previous game
- 5-2 ATS in their last 7 games in October
- 1-6 ATS vs. a team with a winning record
- 3-10-1 ATS in their last 14 games in Week 6
- 3-9 ATS in their last 12 games on grass
The Bottom Line What to bet on this game.
Full-Game Side Bet
This line has come tumbling down, and I think that's a massive overreaction. The Chiefs only put up ten points last week, and there's no way an Andy Reid team doesn't bounce back strongly from that. Even without some of his weapons, Mahomes should have no problem picking apart this weak Houston secondary. We shouldn't be giving the Texans too much credit for their big win over a lifeless Falcons squad, and they're a poorly coached team.
Prediction: Chiefs -4
Full-Game Total Pick
I also like the under a lot here. Kansas City has a cluster of offensive injuries right now, including to Mahomes. They're severely banged up, which should limit their scoring potential. Kansas City's defense has quietly been very solid, especially the pass-defense. Watson isn't going to come into one of the toughest stadiums to play in and suddenly light things up, and this one isn't going to be the shootout that many seem to be expecting just because two big-name quarterbacks are facing off.