Kansas City Chiefs
(3-1, 3-1 ATS)
(3-2, 3-2 ATS)
The good news for the Chiefs right now is that they are still two games in the loss column up in the AFC West on the field and know that they have a bit of leeway. However, they remember what happened last year to the Denver Broncos, who were three games up in the division with 12 to play and ended up missing out on the playoffs all together. HC Todd Haley’s men played their hearts out last week in a 19-9 loss to the Indianapolis Colts and probably deserved at least a cover of the 7.5 point NFL odds. QB Matt Cassel isn’t being asked to do much this year, and while the team is playing with leads that the defense has gotten for it, the rushing game has been awful to eat up a ton of clock. Backs Jamaal Charles and Thomas Jones might only have two combined TDs this year, but they have combined for 561 yards in just four games. Charles has clearly been the more effective of the two backs, averaging 6.5 yards per carry. Jones is only at 3.9 yards per carry.
The Texans are in their last game before their bye week, and this is quite the crucial one. All four teams in the AFC South are at 3-2 coming into this week, and a loss will certainly leave them behind at least one, if not two teams in the division with the toughest chunk of the schedule still yet to come. RB Arian Foster is coming off of his worst game of the season, but he is still the top back in the league with 564 yards and five scores. QB Matt Schaub was expected to be an MVP candidate this year, but that just hasn’t panned out quite yet. He has 1,233 yards through the air, which is respectable through five games, but he only has seven scores against five picks. The defense for Houston still really doesn’t have any semblance of a secondary quite yet. This unit still ranks dead last in the NFL and had no answers for QB Eli Manning and WR Hakeem Nicks last week. The defense as a whole is “up” to ranking No. 31 in football with 409.2 yards per game in total. However, this has been a unit that has allowed at least 24 points in all five games this year.
The way you beat the Texans is by throwing the pigskin, not running it. Houston has a huge advantage in this department, and there aren’t any options out there in red and gold that can stretch the field. This will probably be the first time this season that the Chiefs are really crushed in a game.
NFL Free Picks: Houston Texans -4.5