More Sports Sections: Super Bowl College Football NBA Basketball College Basketball Baseball NHL Hockey Soccer MMA Boxing Nascar Golf Horse Racing

20 Point Football Teasers!

Handicapping

Types of Bets

Other Great Sites

Kansas City Chiefs vs. Houston Texans Point Spread - Pick

Kansas City Chiefs (11-5 SU, 8-8 ATS) vs. Houston Texans (9-7 SU, 9-7 ATS)
AFC Wild Card Playoff Round
Date/Time: Saturday, January 9, 2016 at 4:20PM EST
Where: NRG Stadium, Houston, Texas
TV: ABC
by Scott, NFL Handicapper, Predictem.com

Point Spread: KC -3.5/HOU +3.5
Over/Under Total: 40

The NFL wild card playoffs begin on Saturday, as the Kansas City Chiefs come into NRG Stadium to face the Houston Texans to begin the postseason.

Both teams deserve a lot of credit for turning around their seasons to get here. Houston started off 1-4, while the Chiefs were 1-5 after 6 games. The Chiefs are in the midst of a 10-game win streak, which allowed them to finish the season 11-5. Houston, meanwhile, took the AFC South on the strength of winning 8 of their last 11 games. The Texans finished the regular season on a positive note, beating Jacksonville, 30-6, Kansas City also ended the season well, beating Oakland, 23-17, on Sunday.

On the surface, we see a normal-enough-looking game, but it’s important to gauge the manner in which both teams arrived to this position. The character, strength of coaching, self-belief, and resolve shown to reverse form so drastically is something that will resonate in this game, as neither team will be easily dissuaded. Houston really looked lost at sea. Their QB situation was a mess and nothing was working. Brian Hoyer became the starter, the defense played well, and they managed a 9-7 record—not bad at all. Kansas City’s turnaround was one of the best ever seen in this league. For a 1-5 team to win 10 straight games is truly amazing. What makes it even more surprising is that they did it after losing their best offensive player in Jamaal Charles.

DEPOSIT $100 AND GET $100 FREE AT REALBET

Basing a pick on previous performances can be a dicey undertaking, but these teams did meet in week one, with Kansas City winning 27-20. They built a big 27-6 lead, with the Texans coming on late. But with the different transformations both teams have gone through over the season, it’s iffy whether week one even matters at this point. But Kansas City did match up well with Houston, with a big first half offensive showing. Chiefs’ tight end Travis Kelce caught two TD passes, while Houston’s DeAndre Hopkins also caught a pair of TD scores.

For Houston to make it work with Brian Hoyer behind center with a cast of playmakers on offense that is lacking firepower really speaks volumes to how this team gets the most of what they have. Hoyer is a guy who has been handed off from one team to the next, but showed himself to be a serviceable starter this season. Arian Foster, their most productive offensive player, was lost for the season, leaving the running duties to Jonathan Grimes, Chris Polk, and Alfred Blue—a trio of backs who seldom make a difference. Hoyer works with one of the better young receivers in the game with DeAndre Hopkins, with Cecil Shorts and Nate Washington adding a nice dimension to the aerial attack. Both Shorts and Washington are questionable fr this game and their absence could be critical if neither take the field. The Texans struggled offensively for most of the season, but with over 30 points scored in their last two games, they might be hitting their groove at the right time.

The Texans’ defense is a big part of the reason they are here and will be key if they look to advance. Their pass-defense has been excellent. Guys like Jonathan Joseph, Quintin Demps, and Kareem Jackson have been great this season. Up front, JJ Watt continues to be a difference-maker, bolstered by the help of Whitney Mercillus, as the pair has applied a nasty pass-rush this season. This is the third-ranked defense in the league. And they enter this game with some good momentum, having allowed a combined 12 combined points in their last two games.

It was understandable for those who buried the Chiefs earlier this season. A 1-5 start and the loss of Charles suggested an ominous season. But the coaching of Andy Reid, the steadfast play of QB Alex Smith, and a robust defense helped things get turned around. They don’t excel in the pass, but they do take to the air and they do so efficiently. Smith helped the Chiefs become a top-ten scoring offense this season. Jeremy Maclin was over 1000 yards on the year, while Travis Kelce is one of the more-productive tight ends in the game. But in the absence of Charles, it was key for some backs to step up and Spencer Ware and Chancandrick West have filled in nicely and kept the run-game moving. Even Smith has added some nice production with his legs.

Like Houston, the Chiefs rely on their defense a lot. This Kansas City defense offers nice balance, both good against the run and the pass. They have been in fine form and in their last 12 games, no team has surpassed 22 points and usually it’s a lot less than that. In terms of points allowed, they are the third-ranked team in the league. And they have playmakers, guys who can rush the passer and those who can make a big game-changing play, like rookie Marcus Gilbert, who was tied for the league lead with 8 picks. The defense has intercepted opposing quarterbacks 22 times this season. And when the offense falls flat, this defense can fill the void, as they’ve scored 6 touchdowns this season.

The Chiefs have more heat heading into this game with 10 straight wins. It might serve to blind us from the Texans. In a way, these teams have a lot in common. Houston is more of an aerially-inclined offense, but both teams overcame tough starts to the season after losing their starting running back, while relying on stout defenses to help get them over the hump. Both teams showed a lot of inner-character in getting to this spot.

Kansas City was able to keep running the ball after losing their top guy in Charles, whereas Houston had to opt for more of an aerial approach, with their back-ups not really being up-to-snuff. But I wouldn’t rule out the Chiefs’ passing-game in this matchup, despite Houston being pretty good in that area defensively. In a big game like this with two good defenses, I see the more bankable KC offense helping them get over the hump.

Scott's Pick to Cover the Point Spread: I’m betting on the Kansas City Chiefs minus 3.5 points.

Deposit $200 and get $100 FREE at one of the web's oldest and most trusted online sportsbooks: Bovada.

Additional NFL Football Betting Previews

Additional NFL Week 6 Game Previews

Free Picks

Editor's Picks - Each week our in house pro's tackle the week's card and make predictions on the week's games ATS! Best bets, top plays, premium selections, etc. FREE!

Expert NFL Picks - Free premium plays from the "real" expert football handicappers from around the web. Don't fall for second rate picks from ESPN, the NFL Network, Hank Goldberg or the screaming touts on TV.

Underdog of the Week Pick - We forecast the loudest barking dog of the week. Expect a 60% winning percentage with these plays.

Favorite of the Week Play - We examine "the chalk" and determine the safest bet in which who you should lay the points with. Forecasting winning favorites long term isn't easy, but we've had some pretty good luck with it over the years.

Line Movement Plays - We report all the major line moves from the gridiron and forecast whether it's public money or sharp action causing the move. Who will cover the spread this week? Our line move plays!

NFL Consensus Picks - See what the general public is betting on. We use this info to fade the public to the tune of big profits over the course of the season.

Bookies Picks - Each week, we'll post which side the bookies are on. Please note: These are not OUR picks. We're simply reporting the teams the bookies need to cover the spread in order for them to win. Games receiving equal action on both sides will not be factored into these records.

Office Pool Picks - You asked for it and you got it! Each week, we'll post our predictions to win each game straight up so that you can RULE your pick'em league!

NFL Trends - Don't ever let anybody tell you that the trend is your friend. These picks make great fades which is exactly what we do with them.

NFL Computer Picks - We enter the statistics into the database and the computer crunches the numbers and gives final score predictions. These should be used for entertainment only!

Monday Night Football Picks - The ultimate bailout play. Our MNF picks are golden! Did we mention that their FREE?

2017 NFL Predictions - Jay breaks down each division and gives his picks on which teams he thinks will win the AFC and NFC Conferneces (plus Super Bowl winner prediction).

Super Bowl Picks - Everybody here in the Predictem office takes their best preseason shot at predicting the winner Superbowl 50. Pride is on the line here! Oh, and LOOT too!

Betting

5Dimes - Bet your NFL football picks at -105 odds every day of the week! 15 team parlays! 20 point teasers! Pleasers and huge point buying opportunities as well!

Bovada - Tired of deposit hassles? Bet on football using your credit card at a sportsbook where your Visa CAN and WILL work for deposits! Offers a 50% sign-up bonus up to $250 FREE!

MyBookie - Credit cards work GREAT here! Get a massive 50% bonus up to $1000 in free cash!

Intertops - Watch the game for a bit THEN make a wager! Yes! You can jump in after the action has started using their awesome live betting feature! Get a massive 50% bonus up to $200 in FREE bonus cash! Regarded by many as the most trusted betting site on the web! (Online since 1996!)

Super Bowl Betting - We explain all the different types of wagers you can making including point spread bets, totals, moneylines and prop bets. No need to go to Vegas! You can bet the big game online!

Featured Articles

Statless NFL Handicapping - The quick, easy way and yes, it's effective!

Betting NFL Underdogs - It's the first thing you should consider every Sunday. We explain why.

Choosing an Online Sportsbook - We talk about things to consider before you commit to play at one.

FAQ and MISC

Weekly Fantasy Football - If you drafted a crappy team or the injury bug has bit you and wrecked your season, we've got something really cool to turn you on to that will change the way you play fantasy sports forever!

Famous Football Quotes - From the inspirational to the greatest touchdown calls of all time. We've got them!

Pro Football Hall of Fame - A full list of NFL players who have been inducted into the NFL HOF.

The Spread - Offers free NFL football predictions, matchups, stats including both offensive and defensive and more!

Fantasy Football Sites - Get recommendations on where to find weekly updated player news, depth charts and legit websites that offer the best stat and record tracking for your fantasy football league.