The NFL Playoffs are rolling and the Houston Texans (11-6) are marching into the NFL Divisional Round to face the Kansas City Chiefs (12-4) on Sunday at 3:05 p.m. for a chance to play in the AFC Championship.
Kansas City is in the playoffs for the fifth straight year and is 2-5 in postseason games since Andy Reid took over as coach in 2013. The Chiefs rolled to a 31-13 victory over the Colts in the Divisional Round last season.
Houston lost in the Divisional Round three times since 2012, including twice at New England. The Texans went 4-2-1 against the spread (ATS) on the road and 6-3 ATS when listed as an underdog this season.
Below, we’ll make our picks for moneyline, spread and over/under between the Chiefs and Texans. We’ll also look for the game’s best prop bet at DraftKings Sportsbook and FanDuel Sportsbook. Actionable betting advice on each bet type will be provided as either a “pick” or a “lean”. Picks can be made at any point in the week based on the odds and lines at the time of publishing, matchup advantages or a perceived advantage over the sportsbooks. Leans are reserved in anticipation of the lines shifting toward a more desirable number as a result of public betting action.
While researching for your Texans at Chiefs picks, be sure to check out my Divisional Round Football Preview at TheLines. It breaks down the statistical and betting trends of both teams and highlights the key on-field matchups.
Texans at Chiefs picks: Point Spread
The Texans have played six games this season that were decided by three points or fewer, including their last five wins. The Chiefs have won their last five games by 18.2 PPG and average 25.6 PPG in home starts with Patrick Mahomes under center this season.
Kansas City went 8-4-1 ATS when listed as a favorite this year, but the playoffs have been a different beast for Andy Reid’s teams. His teams are 18-3 following a bye week, but he’s just 20-19 straight up in playoff games.
The sharps seem to expect that trend to end against a Texans defense that’s put up poor numbers all year and gives up the most points per red zone trip (5.63) this season. The Chiefs defense has been miles ahead of where it was last year, and allows the third-fewest points per red zone trip (4.28).
Still, Deshaun Watson‘s intangibles combined with Kansas City’s inability to stop the run should allow the Texans to hang within single digits. Houston’s offensive line led the NFL in power success according to Football Outsiders and the Chiefs ranked 29th in DVOA rush defense. If Bill O’Brien crafts a good game plan (somewhat of a big IF) the Texans should at least be competitive if not replicate their success in Week 6, when they earned a 31-24 win at KC.
The Pick: Texans +10 (FanDuel Sportsbook)
Texans at Chiefs picks: Moneyline
The reward is great, but there is no way we can recommend taking the Texans to win this game on the road. The Chiefs are too talented on both sides of the ball and have too much of an advantage in terms of rest. Patrick Mahomes will be able to move the ball in key spots and the Chiefs kicking game is far superior to that of the Texans, which could decide a close contest.
The Pick: Chiefs -420 (DraftKings Sportsbook)
Texans at Chiefs picks: Over/Under
Kansas City is averaging 25.6 PPG at home with Mahomes under center this season and can be expected to score in the high 20s in this matchup. However, we’re not trusting the Texans to get to 20 points against a streaking Chiefs defense. So far all four playoff games this year have gone Under the assigned point total.
The Lean: UNDER 49 (-110 DraftKings Sportsbook)
Texans at Chiefs Best Prop Bet
The Chiefs should get off to a hot start given their advantage in terms of rest and motivation from the home crowd. Kansas City isn’t necessarily a team to shy away from taking the ball after winning the opening coin toss, and shouldn’t have much trouble executing a creative game plan against a poor Texans secondary. That’s why we’re going with the Chiefs (-4.5) at halftime. FanDuel Sportsbook offers a version of the moneyline where if the Chiefs are up at halftime and win, bettors can cash at -185 odds. That’s a more conservative way to target a good start from the home team.
This article was originally published on Monday. Odds subject to change.