Kansas City Chiefs (4-0 SU, 4-0 ATS, 3-1 O/U) vs. Houston Texans (2-2 SU, 3-1 ATS, 2-2 O/U)
NFL: Sunday, October 8, 2017 at 8:30 p.m. EST
The Line: Kansas City Chiefs -1.5. Total: 46.5.
The Kansas City Chiefs will be hoping to remain undefeated when they visit the Houston Texans at NRG Stadium on Sunday night. Kansas City improved to 4-0 by scraping past the Redskins on Monday night. The Texans have alternated losses and wins so far this season and they most recently clobbered Tennessee this past weekend.
What a cover!
Well, that’s one way to cover the spread! The Chiefs moved to a 4-0 overall and also remained perfect against the spread when they outlasted Washington 29-20 on Monday night. Kansas City, a -6.5 favorite, appeared to be on course for a three-point victory when it charged into field-goal range in the final minute. The visitors ended up spiking the ball with eight seconds left when they could have let the clock run down to, say, something like four seconds when the ensuing field-goal attempt would have been the last play of regulation. Instead, Harrison Butker’s sailed through the uprights with four seconds remaining. Following a kickoff, the Redskins ran a fumblerooski play and–you guessed it–fumbled, after which Justin Houston of the Chiefs returned it for a touchdown. Interestingly, the over/under also swung on that wild final play.
As for how Kansas City got to that point, running back Kareem Hunt (101 yards on 20 carries) and tight end Travis Kelce (seven catches for 111 yards and one touchdown) continued their fine form. Quarterback Alex Smith threw for 293 yards with one score and no interceptions. Butker, whom the Chiefs signed just last week to replace the injured Cairo Santos, booted three field goals in his NFL debut.
Elementary, my dear Watson
Houston quarterback Deshaun Watson is making things look easy despite being a rookie quarterback in the NFL. The first-round draft pick out of Clemson tied the rookie single-game touchdown record with five scores the Texans’ 57-14 victory over Tennessee last weekend, during which he led his team to a franchise-record for points. Watson tossed four touchdown passes and ran for a fifth, finishing 25-of-34 in the passing department for 283 yards with one interception. The 22-year-old is the first rookie to pass for at least four touchdowns and rush for one in a single game since Hall of Famer Fran Tarkenton with the Vikings in 1961. Through four games this season (he took over for Tom Savage midway through the opener), Watson has thrown for 811 yards, has completed 64.9 percent of his attempts, and has seven TDs to four INTs.
“He really can throw the football,” head coach Bill O’Brien said of Watson. “He’s a very accurate passer. He’s got big hands. He can really sling it. He’s a very smart runner. Running is not all about speed. It’s about instincts and understanding how plays are being blocked and understanding the defense that you’re seeing to kind of weave your way through.”
The Kansas City Chiefs are:
- 4-0 ATS in their last four overall
- 13-3 ATS in their last 16 road games
- 4-1 ATS in their last five games against the AFC
The Houston Texans are:
- 1-5 ATS in their last six games following a win
- 1-11 ATS in their last 12 games in Week 5
- 2-5 ATS in their last seven home games against Kansas City
Kansas City is the only undefeated team left in the NFL and that is looking like no fluke. Included in the Chiefs’ record is a road win over New England. Their offense is cooking behind Smith, Hunt, Kelce, and Tyreek Hill. The Chiefs are 4-0 ATS in their last four overall, 13-3 ATS in their last 16 on the road, 4-1 ATS in their last five against the AFC, 4-0 ATS in their last four following a win, and 4-0 ATS in their last four after gaining more than 350 total yards in their previous outing. Houston is 1-5 ATS in its last six following a win, 1-11 ATS in its last 12 Week 5 contests, and 2-5 ATS in its last seven at home against Kansas City. Expect those trends to continue.
Pick: Kansas City Chiefs -1.5
Only one offense in the NFL is averaging more yards per game than Kansas City, and that is none other than Tom Brady and New England. Houston finds itself in the middle of the pack in that statistic (16th), but the Texans are fourth in scoring offense–one spot behind the Chiefs. Watson has been getting better and better and more and more explosive with each game. The over is 5-2 in the Chiefs’ last seven overall, 4-1 in their last five on the road, and 4-0 in their last four after rushing for more than 150 yards in their previous outing. It is also 4-1 in the Texans’ last five against winning opponents, 5-2 in their last seven following a win, and 11-2 in their last 13 October games. Look for this one to go over the total.