Week 1 TNF Trends and Picks


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Week 1 TNF Trends and Picks

Examining trends for each team can help you make better-informed gambling and fantasy decisions. It’s never wise to bet a game based on a single trend and it’s also never wise to back off a wager based on a single trend, either. With that said, trends can point you in the right direction by corroborating stats and information you’ve gathered or they can make you reconsider making a bad wager based on flimsy data. I’ve gone game-by-game and compiled the most relevant trends for each team heading into this week’s contests. I’ve included any bets or leans I have for each game at the end of each writeup. Good luck with your wagers!

Thursday Night Football

Houston Texans (11-7, 8-9-1 ATS) at Kansas City Chiefs (15-4, 13-5-1), 8:20 p.m.

  • Implied Team Totals: Texans 23, Chiefs 31.5

  • Spread/Total Movements: None of note.

  • Weather: 60 degrees, overcast, 5-10 mph

  • Texans Injuries to Watch: WR Brandin Cooks (quad, questionable)

  • Chiefs Injuries to Watch: None of note.

Texans Trends

  • The Texans are 2-8 ATS in their last 10 Thursday games.

  • The Texans have played under the total in four of their last five road games.

  • Houston is 11-4-1 toward under totals in their last 16 games in September.

  • These teams combined for 137 totals points over two games last season

  • Deshaun Watson will be playing his first game without DeAndre Hopkins. Watson has averaged 309.7 passing yards per game with eight passing TDs and three rushing TDs in three games against the Chiefs.

  • Will Fuller will take over as Watson’s new #1 WR this season. He dropped three TDs against the Chiefs during the 2019 regular season, but he still had 10/133 receiving on 17 targets in two games against KC last season

  • Brandin Cooks is up in the air for the season opener with a quad injury, and it wouldn’t be surprising if the Texans play it safe with their off-season investment. Cooks is coming off his worst season in the last six years, but he’s a much better fit with Watson compared to Jared Goff. Kenny Stills would be the next man up, and he posted 3/80/1 receiving on six targets in his lone matchup with the Chiefs in the playoffs last year.

  • Randall Cobb turned back time in the Dallas’ offense last year, averaging a career-high 15.1 YPR at 29 years old. He failed to top 11+ YPR in each of his final four seasons in Green Bay.

  • David Johnson gets a terrible first game script for rushing volume as the new Texans RB as a nine-point underdog. The good news is that David and Duke Johnson get one of the most exploitable matchups as receivers. The Chiefs allowed a league-high 8.6 targets per game and 59.4 receiving yards per game to RBs last season.

Chiefs Trends

  • The Chiefs (22% capacity) and the Jaguars (25%) are the only two teams that will have fans in attendance in Week 1.

  • Kansas City has the highest implied total at 32 points.

  • The Chiefs ended last season on a 9-1-1 ATS run in their final 11 games.

  • The Chiefs are 6-0-1 ATS in their last seven home games.

  • Kansas City is on a 10-1 ATS run in their last 11 games in September.

  • The Chiefs have played over the total in six of their last seven September games.

  • The Chiefs have played over the total in their last five season openers. Patrick Mahomes has two Week 1 starts under his belt and both games featured a combined 66 points.

  • Mahomes is 7-0 in September with 23 passing TDs to 0 INTs in his career. Not too shabby.

  • Mahomes became the first QB in playoff history with 300+ passing yards, 5+ passing TDs, and 50+ rushing yards in his matchup with the Texans last season.

  • Mahomes averaged 5.6 carries per game and 30.1 rushing yards per game with four rushing TDs overall in his final nine games last season. He averaged just 2.1/10.3 rushing per game with no rushing TDs in his first eight games last season.

  • The Texans allowed a league-high 6.1 yards per play last season.

  • Travis Kelce had a monster day — mostly against big CB Lonnie Johnson — in the playoffs with 10/134/3 receiving on 12 targets. Kelce scored four TDs in three postseason games after scoring just five TDs in 16 regular season games.

  • Clyde Edwards-Helaire has a chance to get off to a hot start as the Texans allowed a league-high 15.1 receiving FPG to RBs last season.

  • Tyreek Hill posted 5/80/2 receiving when the Chiefs scored 24 points against the Texans early in the season while he had just 3/41 receiving when the Chiefs hung 51 points on Houston in the playoffs.

  • Sammy Watkins totaled 90 scrimmage yards in his only game against the Texans last year while Mecole Hardman totaled 6/64 receiving in two games against Houston.

Brolley’s Bets

Patrick Mahomes has been ridiculously good early in the season in his first two years as the starter, but I’m leaning toward the Houston Texans +9.5 (-110, FanDuel) in the season opener. I’m not racing to the window to bet this game. I’d personally wait it out to see if this line doesn’t hit double digits before kickoff when some of the more recreational money starts flowing in for the first contest. I’m thinking the Texans will need to be aggressive throughout this contest so I like Deshaun Watson over 22.5 completions (-130, sportsbook.ag) and Will Fuller over 60.5 receiving yards (-110, FanDuel).

Tom is a Senior Writer at Fantasy Points who specializes in fantasy and betting analysis. He’ll be helping you to navigate the waiver wire and manage your fantasy teams while also keeping our betting content robust all year long, especially during the season. Tom's Best Bets against the spread won at 61.5% clip in 2019 and he was a perfect 8-0 on his Best Bets for season win totals in 2020.