The 2015 NFL season is in the books as Wild Card Weekend approaches. Now for many this may be a down time of the year especially for the sports bettor who likes to take advantage of as many NFL Games as possible. For others though this is the time to spend extra time putting in the research to make four solid picks to walk away with some real money.
The action gets started on Saturday January 9th, 2015 at 4:20pm ET at NRG Stadium in Houston, Texas. That is where the 9-7 Texans will welcome the 11-5 Kansas City Chiefs to town. These two teams are very similar in regards to being built around their defense.
For the Texans they are led by All-Pro defensive end J.J. Watt while the Chiefs have a few key players as well including Tamba Hali and Justin Houston. The big difference between these two teams comes on the offensive side of the ball and starts with the quarterback position.
In Kansas City, the Chiefs has been led by Alex Smith who started all 16 games on the year. Along with the same consistency behind center, Smith does one thing really well and that is to protect the ball while avoiding throwing a bunch of interceptions. Entering the playoffs, Smith completed 65 percent of his passes during the regular season for 3,486 yards, 20 touchdown passes to just seven interceptions.
The seven interceptions marks the fifth straight season that Smith avoided reaching double digits. This allows the Chiefs to find ways to put points on the board on nearly every possession. The same can’t be said about the Texans who have four different quarterbacks make starts this season. That list includes Brian Hoyer, Ryan Mallet, T.J. Yates and Brandon Weeden.
Of that group, Hoyer has taking most of the play calling duties this season throwing for 2,606 yards to go with 19 touchdown passes. The positive side of the equation is that group combined threw for only 11 interception while Hoyer only threw seven of those interception.
This Saturday this game will come down to the quarterback position as both teams will look to their defense to make that one big play to turn the momentum of the game around.
Previous Meeting: These two teams met back during week 1 of the regular season as the Chiefs picked up the 27-20 win. In that game the Chiefs picked off Hoyer one time while forcing him to fumble as well. These two turnover were all the team needed to pick up the win.
In the win, Smith completed 22 of 33 passes for 243 yards to go with three touchdowns. Much of the damage came from the tight end position where Travis Kelce finished with six catches for 106 yards and two of those touchdowns. On the other side after the two turnovers, the Texans turned to Mallet late in the fourth quarter as he guided the team on their second touchdown drive of the game but it came to late.
Betting Trends: Despite going on the road to Houston the Chiefs opened up as a three point favorite with the line slowly moving up to 3.5 points. That being said these two teams have been equally good against the spread of late as well as for most of the 2015 NFL season.
Entering their AFC Wildcard matchup this weekend both of these teams have gone 7-3 against the spread over their last ten games. Along with that Texans have gone 5-3 against the spread at home this season while the Chiefs were 5-3 against the spread on the road. Overall the Texans finished the 2015 NFL season 8-8 against the spread while the Chiefs finished at 9-7.
Now looking a little deeper may have you turn your attention to the Texans depending on what type of person you might be. The Chiefs have struggled in the playoffs in the record column and against the spread of late going 0-6 in their last six playoff games. Add in they have struggled going just 1-5 against the spread in January as well as 1-5 in their last six road games against teams with a winning record at home makes the Chiefs a difficult play.
That being said some people like to believe a streak has to be snapped at some point. As far as how they have stacked up against each other the road team has dominated this series going 6-1 against the spread the last seven times they have met while they have gone on to cover the over in four of their last five meetings in Houston.
These two teams clash on Saturday with only one of them having the ability to move on to another weekend of football while the other team packs their lockers up and heads home! Can Andy Reid get his Chiefs past the first round of the playoffs this season?