Super Bowl, Straight Ahead: 1-9-2016

NFL Football Playoffs begin with Four Wild-Cards

The NFL regular season has ended, and the first round of the playoffs start this weekend with four Wild-Card games. Two AFC games will be played Saturday when the Texans host the Chiefs, and the Bengals host the Steelers. On Sunday, the NFC teams go when the Vikings host the Seahawks, and the Redskins host the Packers. I always find it ironic when the winner of a division gets to host a playoff game despite their opponent having a better record, as will be the case with the Texans and Chiefs. Houston won their AFC South division with a 9-7 record, and the Kansas City Chiefs had an 11-5 record, but were second to the Broncos in the AFC West. These two teams met on opening day this year, and the Chiefs won that game 27-20 in Houston. After that win, they lost 5 in a row to drop to 1-5 before finishing strong with an 11-5 record.

For this game, KC is a three point favorite. They are -175 with the money line, and Houston is +165. The over/under is a low one at 40 points. Both teams were average against the spread this year. KC was 8-8, and Houston was slightly better at 9-7. KC was 7-5 as the favorite and 5-3 as the away team. Houston was 4-6 as the underdog, and 5-3 as the home team. KC is on a big 10 game winning streak, and Houston has won three in a row and enter the playoffs a hot team themselves. KC definitely has some playoff demons as they have not won a playoff game in 20 years. ESPN gives the Chiefs a 58.2% chance to win this game. I think a 10 game winning streak won’t be snapped by a Houston team with a worse record. KC knows they can win in Houston even though that win was a few months ago. I think they beat the Texans for their first playoff win since ’94, and do so by more than 3 points.