The Kansas City Chiefs will begin the defense of their NFL championship as comfortable favorites against Houston Texans. The Chiefs also have the added psychological fillip of eliminating the Texans in last year’s divisional playoffs, with the Texans putting up a good fight on offense, but ultimately paying a heavy price for a leaky defense:
Overall, there is a feeling that this could be an emphatic start to the champions’ new season. The moneyline odds for this clash are also live with growing markets in the build-up, giving bettors plenty to ponder in the coming days.
As of September 2, the Chiefs were priced at around -400 for a straight win, while the Texans fluctuated between +310 and +355. As you can see, the Chiefs are the clear favorites as they are the team to beat this year and the Texans look unable to achieve this especially considering that they traded away highly talented receiver DeAndre Hopkins in the offseason.
September 10 heralds the start of the new NFL season. The range of US-legal sportsbooks continues to grow ahead of the season if you’re looking at how to place a bet on the NFL, with the Chiefs always a great option although you’d struggle to get value for money in this market.
The 20-point margin by which the Chiefs vanquished the Texans in their last meeting has made every niche handicap market within this fixture a point of interest. Of course, the Chiefs had two elements in their favor during that victory – namely, a capacity crowd and great momentum – but handicaps still reflect expectations of a similarly easy win.
Indeed, Texans vs Chiefs odds showed the Chiefs entering September facing odds of no greater than -110 against them overturning a 9.5 handicap against the Texans. It implies that anything less than a double-digits margin win must be viewed as a gross underachievement.
The rate accelerates noticeably as the market moves past the -19.5 watershed, but the curve again fails to appreciate just how different it will be for the Chiefs vs the Texans this time around, with the lack of fans creating a potential snag.
At the close of August, the threshold between implied probabilities of 49.99% and 50.01% hovered at around the 54-point mark in the total points market. The majority of bookmakers showed equal probabilities between ‘Over 54.5 points’ and ‘Under 54.5 points’.
Bookmakers with a higher payout (and a larger global presence) tilted towards the latter result as likelier, showing a very slight appreciation for the differential factor at play. Ultimately, the degree of value for money in this particular market will only become significantly clear in the week leading up to kick-off.
For the sake of those who will still be using last year’s form as a guideline in the ‘Over/Under’ total points market, there is a remarkable situation. Both teams saw their regular-season matches yield a total of 763 points, for a per-match average of 47.69 rounded up.
Depending on how reliable a bettor believes last year’s form to be, that adds further value to any bookmakers tilting towards a result of ‘Under 54.5 points’ for this match.
This game is a clear mismatch with anything but a convincing Chiefs victory a major shock, but there is certainly value to be had if you’re willing to scour the markets. The last match between the two is naturally having a major influence and bookmakers are wary in the handicap and over/under markets.