The Kansas City Chiefs found a gem when they selected Patrick Mahomes with the 10th overall pick in the 2017 NFL Draft. Two spots later, the Houston Texans chose a stud quarterback of their own, Deshaun Watson. The stars will go head-to-head for the third time when the reigning Super Bowl-champion Chiefs host the Texans on Thursday night in the 2020 NFL Kickoff Game. Kickoff from Arrowhead Stadium is set for 8:20 p.m. ET.

Watson accounted for three touchdowns in each of his first two games against Mahomes, throwing for three and running for three more. Mahomes recorded eight scoring passes in the matchups, including five in the Chiefs’ 51-31 win in the AFC Divisional Round last postseason. Kansas City is a nine-point favorite in the latest Chiefs vs. Texans odds from William Hill after the spread opened at 10, while the over-under for total points scored is 54.5. Before locking in any Texans vs. Chiefs picks, make sure you see the NFL predictions from SportsLine’s proven projection model.

The SportsLine Projection Model, which simulates every NFL game 10,000 times, is up over $7,000 for $100 players on its top-rated NFL picks since its inception five years ago. It also enters the 2020 NFL season on an incredible 96-65 roll on top-rated NFL picks that dates back to the 2017 season.

The model ranked in the Top 10 on NFLPickWatch in three of the past four years on straight-up NFL picks and beat more than 95 percent of CBS Sports office pool players three times during that span. Anyone who has followed it is way up.

Now, the model has set its sights on Chiefs vs. Texans. You can visit SportsLine now to see the picks. Here are the NFL odds from William Hill and trends for Texans vs. Chiefs:

  • Chiefs vs. Texans spread: Kansas City -9
  • Chiefs vs. Texans over-under: 54.5 points
  • Chiefs vs. Texans money line: Kansas City -450, Houston +350
  • KC: Chiefs have won nine straight since losing to Tennessee in Week 10 last season
  • HOU: QB Deshaun Watson has thrown 26 touchdown passes each of the last two years

Why the Chiefs can cover

Mahomes has made it extremely difficult for opposing defenses to stop him from finding the end zone. The Texas Tech product, who celebrates his 25th birthday on Sept. 17, was held without a touchdown pass in only one of his games last season, amassing 36 while throwing just seven interceptions. He twice failed to register a TD toss in 18 overall contests in 2018 but ran for a score in both outings and finished with a total of 53 touchdown passes.

Nearly half of Mahomes’ 26 regular-season TD throws in 2019 were hauled in by wide receiver Tyreek Hill (seven) and tight end Travis Kelce (five). Hill finished with fewer than 1,000 receiving yards for the first time in three years, recording 860 on 58 catches, but missed four games with a clavicle injury. Kelce nearly matched his regular-season total in the playoffs, as he made four TD catches, including three in the second quarter of the Chiefs’ win over the Texans.

Why the Texans can cover

Like Mahomes, Watson has emerged into one of the top quarterbacks in the NFL after only two full seasons as a starter. The Clemson product, who turns 25 on Sept. 14, is a threat with his arm and his legs, as he’s thrown for at least 3,850 yards and run for over 400 in each of the last two campaigns. Watson likely will be counted on more than ever in 2020 since top receiver DeAndre Hopkins was shipped to the Arizona Cardinals in March in one of the most criticized trades in league history.

Watson still will have weapons at his disposal, as the Texans made a pair of additions at wide receiver and hope Will Fuller V can avoid another injury-plagued season after undergoing core muscle surgery in January. Brandin Cooks, who was acquired from the Los Angeles Rams in April, will be expected to fill some of the void created by Hopkins’ departure.

The Texans also brought in veteran Randall Cobb, who made 55 catches for 828 yards and three TDs with the Dallas Cowboys last year after spending the previous eight seasons with the Green Bay Packers.

How to make Chiefs vs. Texans picks

The model is leaning under the total, saying no running back accounts for more than 60 yards, and it also has generated an against-the-spread pick that cashes in over 50 percent of simulations. You can only get the pick at SportsLine.

So who wins Chiefs vs. Texans? And which side of the spread is hitting over 50 percent of the time? Visit SportsLine now to see which side of the Texans vs. Chiefs spread to jump on in the 2020 NFL Kickoff, all from the advanced model that is up more than $7,000 on its top-rated NFL picks, and find out.

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