Houston Texans (0-0 SU, 0-0 ATS, 0-0 O/U) vs. Kansas City Chiefs (0-0 SU, 0-0 ATS, 0-0 O/U)
NFL: Thursday, August 9, 2018 at 8:30 p.m. EST
The Line: Kansas City Chiefs -2.5. Total: 34.5.
The Kansas City Chiefs and Houston Texans will be back on the field for preseason action when they square off at Arrowhead Stadium in Kansas City on Thursday night. Houston endured a rough 2017 campaign that went south in a hurry once Deshaun Watson went down with an ACL injury. The Chiefs probably can’t wait to get things started following a disastrous end to last season in the form of a playoff loss to Tennessee.
Watt won’t play
It was against the Chiefs when Texans’ defensive end J.J. Watt suffered a broken leg that ended his 2017 campaign on Oct. 8. Unsurprisingly, Watt won’t be on the field when Houston faces Kansas City in Thursday’s preseason opener for each team. He does, however, hope to see at least some action prior to the real thing.
“At least in one (preseason game) I want to get at least a couple live reps,” Watt said. “It doesn’t need to be a lot. I think that it’s important to at least see some live bullets before you go out there and have some guys flying at you for real.”
Fellow pass-rusher Whitney Mercilus also went down against the Chiefs last season. Recovered from a torn pec, Mercilus is unlikely to see much time in the preseason as a precautionary measure. As for Watson, he is expected to play at least some in each of his team’s four preseason contests.
Alex Smith is out. Patrick Mahomes is in. Chiefs’ fans should get a look at their QB of the present and the future in some brief game action on Thursday. Mahomes went 22-of-35 for 284 yards with no touchdowns and one interception in his only appearance during the 2017 regular season.
“It’s very exciting for the franchise from a long-term perspective,” chairman and CEO Clark Hunt said. “If you can develop your own quarterback who can play at the top of the league and create an opportunity over the course of a decade to win a championship, that’s what we’re hoping Patrick Mahomes does for us.”
Of course, Mahomes won’t have to be the focal point of the offense. That distinction belongs to Kareem Hunt, who racked up 1,327 rushing yards in 2017 and found the endzone 15 times (12 rushing, three receiving). Kansas City is also well-equipped at receiver and tight end, and kicker Harrison Butker has emerged of one of the best youngsters in the game at his position.
The Kansas City Chiefs are:
- 4-1 ATS in their last five overall
- 4-1 ATS in their last five games against the AFC
- 4-1 Under in their last five overall
- 4-1 Under in their last five games against the AFC
The Houston Texans are:
- 0-5 ATS in their last five overall
- 1-4 ATS in their last five road games
- 0-4 ATS in their last four games against the AFC
- 1-7 ATS in their last eight Thursday games