Kansas City Chiefs Odds
With Patrick Mahomes at the controls, the only question about the offense in Kansas City was who would run the ball. No longer is the running back position expected to be viewed as a weakness. The Chiefs invested their first-round pick on Clyde Edwards-Helaire, a versatile runner and receiver likely to bring an instant impact to the super-charged Chiefs’ offense.
With Edwards-Helaire in the fold, Mahomes could become even more unstoppable than the last time the Texans tried. Houston built a 24-0 lead over the Chiefs in a January playoff game at Arrowhead Stadium, but the end result was an historic loss for the Texans. Mahomes and tight end Travis Kelce ripped apart the heart of the Houston defense and with team speed to spare, the Texans’ only hope is to put Mahomes on the ground.
Houston Texans Odds
Big picture for Houston is this game isn’t going to turn the season — unless it results in a lopsided win and dramatic coming-out party for Deshaun Watson and a new-look offense that includes a fleet of fast wide receivers. Pass protection was the Achilles heel for Houston’s offense last season.
The Chiefs give teams fits with their wave of high-motor defensive linemen, covering up a glaring weakness on the back end at cornerback. But for the Texans to expose this flaw, they’ll need a full complement of receivers. Brandin Cooks, acquired via trade from the Los Angeles Rams, is nursing a leg injury and might miss the opener.
But the Texans still have Will Fuller, Randall Cobb and Kenny Stills to work outside against a Kansas City defense with no true No. 1 corner. Breshad Breeland (suspension) won’t play Thursday and safety Tyrann Mathieu could end up playing some cornerback. That might invite a big debut for former Cardinals running back David Johnson, who was added in the trade that sent DeAndre Hopkins to Arizona.
Texans at Chiefs Betting Pick for Week 1
Mahomes can break the pocket and evade pressure, which forces defenses to go with vanilla schemes to limit the damage. Edwards-Helaire makes a splash in his first NFL game and Kansas City rolls before a limited capacity crowd in K.C.
Texans at Chiefs Betting Pick: Texans (+9.5), Chiefs (-9.5)
Chiefs 40, Texans 27
Texans at Chiefs Best Bet
These teams met two time last season — once in the regular season — and Houston put up 31 both times. The Chiefs alone scored 51 points against Houston in January.
As strong as Kansas City’s offense is, the defense won’t keep up with Houston’s underrated outfit and a game that starts like a shootout and ends with Mahomes’ backup Chad Henne taking kneeldowns in victory formation.
Texans at Chiefs Best Bet: OVER 54.5