Thursday night on NBC will mark the beginning of the 2020-21 NFL regular season when the Houston Texans travel to Kansas City to get revenge for their loss to them last year during the divisional round of the AFC playoffs.
Historically, a Texans vs. Chiefs matchup would feature NFL betting odds that would indicate a close contest, but that is not the case for this year’s opening game between the two of them.
The Chiefs are favored to win the game by nine points, which is an incredibly large spread for a week one game between two quality opponents.
Are the Houston Texans a quality team? We know that Kansas City has a championship pedigree coming off of a phenomenal 2019-20 season that saw them bring a Lombardi Trophy home for the first time since 1970.
Still under center for Houston is Deshaun Watson, who was rumored to be interested in joining the New England Patriots during the offseason.
For reasons that are still not clear, the Texans traded DeAndre Hopkins, one of the best wide receivers in the game today, to the Arizona Cardinals for a future draft pick and the rights to running back David Johnson.
Johnson has proven in the past that he is a multi-dimensional threat at running back, but he has yet to regain the level of play that he achieved during his first two years in the league.
The trade bolstered the roster of the Cardinals and have them thinking about competing for the playoffs. Houston, on the other hand, seems to be reeling backwards with no clear direction from a personnel standpoint.
If David Johnson comes out week one looking like his old self, then Houston could be in pretty good shape to contend this year, but health is always a question.
Historically, David Johnson has had issues remaining in the lineup due to a variety of injuries, and wide receiver Will Fuller is in a similar boat. To further their troubles, the Texans are also extremely thin at offensive skill positions with no real depth on the bench to come in when needed.
Current NFL playoff betting lines suggest that Houston will miss the postseason in 2020-21.
The Chiefs are coming into the 2020-21 season at full strength. They decided not to resign running back Damien Williams after drafting Clyde Edwards-Helaire out of LSU in the first round of the 2020 NFL Draft.
Edwards-Helaire is expected to immediately pick up where Williams left off with explosive runs and better than average reception skills out of the backfield. KC tends to throw the ball often so Helaire will need to hone his pass blocking if he intends to be on the field on all downs.
Speedy WR Tyreek Hill and Pro Bowl tight end Travis Kelce are still on board, rounding out a hefty offensive unit that is cocked and loaded and ready to put up a record number of points on the board for KC this season.
The Chiefs are favored to repeat as champions this year in the Super Bowl 55 betting odds, and the biggest opponent standing in their way is the Baltimore Ravens who are hungry to defend their shocking playoff loss to the Tennessee Titans last year.
Thursday night’s opening game will provide loads of data on both teams, and is an intriguing matchup to start off the 2020-21 NFL season. Here’s hoping for the completion of the full schedule this year.