Week 1 NFL Betting Preview: Chiefs Favored vs. Texans, to Win Super Bowl

Posted on: September 9, 2020, 08:33h. 

Last updated on: September 10, 2020, 11:23h.

The NFL might have already beaten the odds. Amid a pandemic, the 2020 season will start as scheduled, with the Kansas City Chiefs hosting the Houston Texans on Thursday night.

Chiefs tight end Travis Kelce
Travis Kelce and the Kansas City Chiefs stunned the Houston Texans in last year’s playoffs. The teams will kick off the 2020 NFL season on Thursday night. (Image: Mark J. Rebilas/USA TODAY Sports)

The season, as is generally the case, will start at the home of the defending Super Bowl champions. The Chiefs are a nine-point favorite in a rematch of last year’s AFC divisional playoff game. Houston led 24-0 in the second quarter, only to lose 51-31 in an epic performance by Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes.

This first week, you’re going to look at these big spreads and you’d be a little bit shy of laying big numbers,” Ed Salmons, the vice president of risk management for Westgate SuperBook, told Casino.org.

“This was as high 10 or 10 1/2. But it’s down to nine right now, with a total of 54 1/2. They played twice last year, and Houston was in both games, Salmons continued. The playoff game, obviously, got away from them. But Houston figures to score enough points to stay around the number, so I can understand why the number came down.”

Chiefs Favored to Repeat

The Chiefs went 12-4 last season and have, perhaps, the best player in the sport in Mahomes.

When SuperBook released its 2020 Super Bowl odds in the middle of the 2019 playoffs, the Chiefs were 7/1. After Kansas City knocked off San Francisco to win the championship, those odds were cut to 5/1. Now, on the eve of the season kickoff, it’s 9/2.

We’ve seen a ton of $50,000 bets on the Chiefs to win the Super Bowl,” Salmons told Casino.org. “The Chiefs are the sexy team. They have the offense. That always sells with the public. They love teams that can score points.”

It’s no different at other sportsbooks. At William Hill, 15 percent of the championship money has come on the Chiefs, far more than the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and New Orleans Saints at 9 percent apiece.

Sunday Showdown

Two games stood out to Salmons as he perused the schedule. One was the Las Vegas Raiders at Carolina Panthers.

“The Raiders have seen quite a bit of money,” he said. “That line started as a pick and is up to three on the Raiders. There’s some rumors out there about Carolina and injuries and COVID and all kinds of stuff. Plus, the Raiders have always been a popular team in Las Vegas, so that’s not surprising.”

The other game was the Seattle Seahawks at Atlanta Falcons. Seattle is a 2 1/2-point favorite.

“The Seahawks and Falcons, that’s a game where we’re going to need the Falcons for a big amount,” Salmons said. “Everyone’s betting Seattle right now, and that will continue as the weekend goes on.”

In a huge NFC South showdown, it’s the Tom Brady-led Buccaneers against the Drew Brees-led Saints. Both teams are 10/1 to win the Super Bowl at SuperBook, tied with San Francisco for the shortest odds in the NFC. New Orleans is a 3 1/2-point favorite.

With the addition of Brady, FanDuel has a “seven-figure” liability on the Bucs at 15/1 to win the championship, according to Ben Fawkes of the Sports Betting Network. That’s more than double any other team.

Here is the Week 1 schedule, with point spread and over/unders from SuperBook.

Thursday night

  • Houston at Kansas City (-9; o/u 54.5)


  • Miami at New England (-6 1/2; o/u 43)
  • Cleveland at Baltimore (-7 1/2; o/u 48.5)
  • N.Y. Jets at Buffalo (-6 1/2; o/u 39)
  • Las Vegas at Carolina (+3; o/u 47.5)
  • Seattle at Atlanta (+2 1/2; o/u 49)
  • Philadelphia at Washington (+6; o/u 43)
  • Chicago at Detroit (-3; o/u 44.5)
  • Indianapolis at Jacksonville (+8; o/u 45)
  • Green Bay at Minnesota (-3; o/u 46)
  • L.A. Chargers at Cincinnati (+3 1/2; o/u 43)
  • Arizona at San Francisco (-7; o/u 47.5)
  • Tampa Bay at New Orleans (-3 1/2; o/u 49)
  • Dallas at L.A. Rams (+3; o/u 52)

Monday night

  • Pittsburgh at N.Y. Giants (+6; o/u 48)
  • Tennessee at Denver (+2.5; o/u 41.5)