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First Game 2020: Houston Texans at KC Chiefs

The first regular-season game in 2020 is taking place on September 10th at Arrowhead Stadium. The Kansas City Chiefs will begin their campaign to win back-to-back championships against the Houston Texans of the AFC South.

Training Camps are Finally Here

We’ll have a little bit better of an idea just how good this adjusted Texans team will be in 2020 after we get to watch some tape. But my initial instinct is that this is a better team than last season.

The Chiefs and Texans start camps three days ahead of the rest of the league. And although it’s still flawed, the league and NFLPA finally settled on a COVID protocol.

As we head into training camps, the players are tested then self-isolate for three days before getting tested again. Players who go back to back on negative tests can enter facilities starting on July 31st. Players will continue daily coronavirus testing for two weeks before scaling back to every two days – as long as the teams stay under a 5% infection rate. Players will also wear contact monitors so the league can isolate those who have been in contact with any player or staff who tests positive.

Are the Texans Improved?

Ok. Most people will point to the fact that DeShaun Watson is out of there, so the Chiefs secondary – and that of other teams on the Texans schedule will have an easier time. But I’m not so sure. Yes, the Texans lost a singular talent to clear some cap space, and they added Brandon Cooks and Randall Cobb. And although there is a lot of jibber-jabber about trading Kenny Stills, having all three of these guys on the field gives Deshaun Watson a ton of options.

When you add David Johnson and the RB corps into the mix, the Texans’ offense should be able to keep defenses honest this season. Defensively, JJ Watt is healthy again. The Texans should be a bit better on that side of the ball in 2020 if Watt stays healthy. But he’s the anchor; if he goes, it will start to fall apart.

All in all, the Texans stand a chance. The biggest factor is going to be the limited time players have had to adjust to the upcoming season due to coronavirus. So with that said, we will probably see a somewhat sloppy game. If the Chiefs make more mistakes than Houston, the Texans will keep it close.

The Betting Odds

Oddsmakers at 5Dimes set the O/U at 55, but it has been bet down to 54.5.  The point spread is still sitting at -10. At 55 points, I liked the UNDER. But now that it has moved to 54.5, that play makes me nervous.

Although double-digit NFL point spreads typically make me nervous, I like the Chiefs in this spot. I don’t see them winning by less than ten. So, in the worst case, we get a push. But this play is precisely what makes me nervous about the OVER/UNDER. I believe both lines are tight. The Texans have a lot of weapons and can quickly put up 20-plus points. If the Chiefs drop 30-plus, suddenly that under is blown. So, I’m laying off the UNDER at 5dimes and taking a small play on -55 over at Pinny. If we are lucky, we won’t see a 34 to 21 Cheifs win. Hopefully, the gameplay is a bit sloppy, and Texans are not able to score all that much.

I feel like the Chiefs win by 13 in this one, so my main play for this game will be on for the KC to cover the number.

However, given all that is happening with the coronavirus, these predictions need to be taken with a grain of salt. Yes. I am going to pull the trigger on these plays, but it’s a roll of the dice because any number of players could test positive during camp and miss the first week or two of football. More likely than anything, it will be position groups that go down. For example, the player that are grouped and working together all day every day. So, keep that in mind before taking early action against the NFL lines.

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