In the first NFL playoff game of the season, Kansas City will return to the where its regular season began, Houston, Texas. Kansas City won at Houston 27-20, during the opening week of the regular season. Houston was an one point favorite going into that game.
Six weeks into the season, this playoff match-up seemed very unlikely. The Chiefs began the season 1-5, but currently ride a 10 game winning streak into the playoffs.
Houston, comes in at 9-7, champions of the AFC south after a 2-5 start.
Houston Texas Playoff History
Wild Card playoffs- Houston Texans (H) 19 Cincinnati Bengals (A) 13 – Jan. 5, 2013
Divisional playoffs- New England Patriots (H) 41 Houston Texans (A) 28-Jan. 13, 2013
Wild Card playoffs- Houston Texans (H) 31 Cincinnati Bengals (A) 10 – Jan. 7, 2012
Divisional playoffs- Baltimore Ravens (H) 20 Houston Texans (A) 13 – Jan. 15, 2012
Kansas City Chiefs Recent Playoff History
Wild Card playoffs- Indianapolis Colts (H) 45 Kansas City Chiefs (A) 44- Jan. 4, 2014.
Wild Card playoffs-Baltimore Ravens (A) 31 Kansas City Chiefs (H) 10- Jan. 9, 2011
Expect a defensive struggle, the over/under is currently only 40. The Texans are holding opponents to less than 13 points per game during their last nine games.
The Chiefs defense has also been on fire, allowing less than 13 points per game during their current 10 game winning streak. The Chiefs have won their last four road games during this stretch by at least 14 points.
When looking at two very good defenses like this, and offenses led by Brian Hoyer and Alex Smith, I expect the turnover battle and special teams to make the difference in this game.
The Chiefs rank 2nd in the NFL in turnover margin and have forced 29 turnovers on the season, the Texans rank tied for 10th and have forced 25 turnovers.
Texans are 9-7 against the spread, but only 4-6 as underdogs. Texans are also 7-9 on the over/under. Chiefs are 8-8 against the spread and 7-5 ATS a favorites. Chiefs are 8-7-1 on the over/under. Right now 78% of the public is betting on the Chiefs.
I don’t expect this game to be pretty, but in the end I think the Houston defense will limit big plays by Alex Smith, who must be the best quarterback on the field Saturday for the Chiefs to win. The Kansas City offense has struggled lately, and the past two weeks the Chiefs have also struggled to bury the Raiders and Browns despite getting off to early double digit leads.
Betting on Brian Hoyer isn’t something I’d advise you to do with your mortgage, but Houston has managed to win with four different quarterbacks this season. Behind a creative offensive game plan, I think the stars, J.J Watt and Deandre Hopkins help the TEXANS+4 pull off the first round upset. I am going against the majority on this one, even if Kansas City does pull out the win, I like Houston to cover.
Houston 20 Kansas City 16
**** Bet Sports Strong Rating C ****
A-Bet with confidence
B-Strong lean, but bet with caution
C-Slight lean, enjoy the game but be careful with your money
D-Prediction but not a good feel either way