Texans vs. Chiefs Props: NFL Divisional Round Predictions
Houston Texans at Kansas City Chiefs; Arrowhead Stadium, 3:05 p.m. EST. Jan 12, 2020.
For whatever reason, the Houston Texans love to come out flat in home playoff games. In 2018, the Texans fell behind 21-0 to the Indianapolis Colts and never recovered, managing to score just seven points. This year, they fell behind 16-0 before putting together a solid -- and extremely lucky - comeback against the Bills to eke out a 22-19 overtime win. If the Texans plan on coming out flat this week against the high-flying Chiefs , they should just stay home and save themselves the embarrassment of getting blown away. From a statistical perspective, the Texans do not rate out that well on either side of the ball, as they are 13th in total yards, 15th in passing yards, ninth in rushing yards, 14 th in points and eighth in third-down percentage. Middling numbers at best, but much better than the defense, which ranks 28th in total yards, 29th in passing yards, 25th in rushing yards, 19th in points allowed and 31 st in third-down percentage. We saw how Josh Allen was able to move the football up and down the field with his arm and his legs, so you can only imagine what last year's MVP, Patrick Mahomes, will be able to do.
Speaking of Mahomes and the Chiefs, we know they are out for blood after losing in the AFC Championship Game last year to the Patriots. The biggest test that lies ahead of them is the Ravens, barring they beat the Titans, and we are excited about seeing Mahomes and Jackson go head-to-head. But first, the Chiefs must deal with the Texans. And in order to do so, they'll need to play continue to put up points while playing excellent pass defense. The Chiefs rank among the Top 10 in all offensive categories except rushing, which they sit 23rd. The key to this game will be the Chiefs' third-down conversion percentage (47.5, first overall) against the Texans' third-down defense, which ranks 31st (48.5 percent allowed). If the Texans can't get off the field on third down, the Chiefs are going to hang 40+ on them and this game won't even be close.
So with that said, Vegas has pegged the Chiefs as 9.5-point favorites, with the total sitting at 50.5. This game could be one for the ages with two superstar quarterbacks, so if I had to play anything it would likely be the "over" in this game. However, I've circled three key props that I like much more than the side or total.
For those keeping track at home, I went 2-1 with my Bills/Texans prop bets last week. Should have been 3-0 but the Bills couldn't hold onto a 16-point lead.
Team Total Points - Kansas City Chiefs "Over" 14.5 First Half Points (-105)
We took the Ravens to get over 14.5 first-half points in their game against the Titans, so why not take the next best offensive team in the AFC to follow suit and do the same? The Chiefs are among the best teams in the league on offense, whereas the Texans are terrible on defense (see first paragraph). The Chiefs will do everything in their power to get back to the AFC title game, and that starts with coming out in front of their home crowd and dominating the football game and scoring plenty of points. The Chiefs have scored more than 14.5 first-half points in four of their last five games, and three of those games were against teams with top-tier defenses like the Bears, Broncos, and Patriots. The Texans defense doesn't have a chance to contain Mahomes, Hill, Kelce, and whichever running back Andy Reid decides to trot out there. This is a great line, and we fully expect this prop bet to cash.
Any Time Touchdown Scorers - Tyreek Hill (-150)
You have to think that if the Kansas City Chiefs are to win this game, their best players are going to have to step up and make some big plays. Tyreek Hill is probably the fastest guy left in the playoffs, and he'll likely be covered by Hargreaves or Roby, and those are matchups we like Hill and the Chiefs to exploit. Hill has been relatively quiet on the touchdown front this season, going for just two scores in his last six games and just nine scores overall, but this is the game where he breaks out. The Texans will likely try to double Travis Kelce down the middle of the field, where Buffalo had the most success, so we expect Hill to get free and break a big one for a touchdown.
Longest Reception - Tyreek Hill "Over" 28.5 yards
We believe that the Chiefs are going to dismantle the Texans this week, and they are going to do on the arm strength of Mahomes and on the speed of Hill. Nobody on Houston can cover Hill man-to-man. And with a plethora of other options, the Texans can't afford to double teem the speedy receiver. So, where does that leave us? That leaves us with a massive play from Mahomes to Hill likely for a long touchdown or to set up the team in the red zone. We know Hill hasn't been the same dominant player this year that he was last, but he's a week healthier and he's already had six catches go for more than 30 yards this season.
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