Chiefs vs. Texans Total Picks: How to Approach Thursday Night’s Over/Under (Sept. 10)
David Eulitt/Getty Images. Pictured: Travis Kelce
- The Chiefs and Texans kick off the 2020 NFL season on Thursday night (8:20 p.m. ET, NBC).
- Our experts have been hard at work breaking it down and arrived at their two favorite picks on the total for tonight's game.
- Brandon Anderson is eyeing the full game total, while Mike Randle has his sights set on the team total.
The Kansas City Chiefs host the Houston Texans for the NFL’s 2020 season opener on Thursday night.
Sitting between 53 and 54.5 across the market (compare live odds across various legal sportsbooks here), it’s no surprise this is the highest over/under of Week 1: When these teams met in the Divisional Round last postseason, they combined for 82 points. When they met during the 2019 regular season, they combined for 55 points.
So how should you approach this total? Our analysts highlight two ways they’re betting on a high-scoring showdown.
Brandon Anderson: Over 53.5 Points (-115)
Hold onto your hats, I’m about to hit you with some truth: The Kansas City Chiefs score a lot of points.
Yes, it’s true. The defending Super Bowl champs are very good, Patrick Mahomes is great and the Chiefs are favored to repeat for a reason. The offense returns almost entirely intact, and with Mahomes, Tyreek Hill and Travis Kelce in tow, that makes the Chiefs a threat to score literally anytime they touch the ball.
The Texans are plenty dangerous too. Deshaun Watson will have to adjust to life without DeAndre Hopkins, but he’s got new friends in David Johnson, Brandin Cooks, Randall Cobb, and Kenny Stills. That’s a whole lot of speed on both offenses, and you have to believe the defenses will be on their heels on both sides all game.
The Chiefs are going to score points, but they’re going to give up a lot, too. Remember, Kansas City’s and Houston’s Divisional Round matchup featured a 24-0 run, a 34-0 run and then 24 more points after that. They played twice last season, combining for 82 in that playoff game and 55 in the regular season.
Kansas City games featured at least 49 points in 12-of-19 games last season, including playoffs. Go back another season for another year of a fully healthy Mahomes, and Chiefs matchups have featured 49 or more points in 27-of-37 games over the last two years. That puts us within one score of this line in 73% of all Chiefs games over that span.
I’ll count on Mahomes and Watson to finish the job from there while these early-season defenses get up to speed. Bring on the points, and bring on the football.
I’ll play the over to 56.
Mike Randle: Chiefs Over 31.5 Points (-107)
Andy Reid is a master of orchestrating offense, especially early in the season. His Chiefs have posted consecutive Week 1 point totals of 33, 42, 38 and 40 points.
Now the defending Super Bowl champions will open the season at home against a Houston defense that ranked 25th in Football Outsiders’ pass defense DVOA in 2019.
Kansas City returns 10 of its 11 starters to an offense that averaged 28.2 points per game despite losing 2018 league MVP, Mahomes, for two games with a knee injury. Meanwhile, Houston allowed 30 or more points five times last season, and struggled to put pressure on opposing quarterbacks. The Texans ranked just 27th in team sacks (31) and allowed the fourth-most passing yards (4276) of any NFL team.
The Chiefs surpassed this total in three of their first four games in 2019. This game has the highest over/under of Week 1, indicating a potential shootout.
I’m backing Mahomes and Reid in a high-scoring opener for the 2020 season.