The only rematch from the regular season in this weekend’s divisional playoff round takes place at Arrowhead Stadium in Kansas City. Houston (11-6 SU, 8-8-1 ATS) was on its way to an early postseason exit as the AFC South champions dug themselves a 16-0 hole in last Saturday’s Wild Card matchup with Buffalo. However, the Texans did not repeat last season’s Wild Card performance in a 21-7 setback to the Colts as Houston rallied past Buffalo in overtime, 22-19 to cash as 2 ½-point favorites.
Quarterback Deshaun Watson led the comeback with a touchdown run late in the third quarter, followed by a two-point conversion to cut the deficit to 16-8. Following a field goal early in the fourth quarter, the Texans grabbed their first lead of the afternoon on a Watson touchdown pass to Carlos Hyde for a 19-16 advantage. The Bills tied the game in the final seconds with a 47-yard field goal, but the Texans escaped on a short field goal by Ka’imi Fairbairn in overtime to grab the narrow cover.
The Chiefs (12-4 SU, 10-5-1 ATS) wrapped up their fourth consecutive AFC West title, but have only one AFC Championship to show for it. Kansas City dropped a heartbreaker to New England in overtime last January, 37-31, preventing the Chiefs from making their first Super Bowl since the 1969 season, when they won the franchise’s only championship.
Kansas City posted a perfect September by winning all four games, including three victories away from Arrowhead Stadium. The most notable triumph came in Week 3 against Baltimore, 33-28, handing the Ravens one of their two defeats on the season. However, the Chiefs lost three of their next four games, including home setbacks to the Colts, Texans, and Packers in October. The biggest loss suffered was 2018 MVP Patrick Mahomes, who sustained a dislocated kneecap in a Week 7 rout of Denver.
Mahomes miraculously missed only two games, as Kansas City split a pair of home contests against Green Bay and Minnesota. In Mahomes’ return at Tennessee in Week 10, the All-Pro quarterback threw for 446 yards and three touchdowns, but the Chiefs squandered a nine-point fourth quarter lead in a 35-32 defeat. That would be the last loss suffered in the regular season by Kansas City as Andy Reid’s club finished the campaign with six consecutive victories to lock up the second seed in the AFC playoffs.
Circling back to the Week 6 matchup at Arrowhead, the Texans fell into a 17-3 hole against the Chiefs, but Houston stormed back by outscoring Kansas City, 20-0 in the second quarter to grab a 23-17 halftime edge. Only 15 more points were scored in the final two quarters to barely eclipse the total of 54 ½, but Houston picked up the 31-24 victory thanks to a one-yard touchdown scramble by Watson with 6:17 remaining in regulation. The Texans cashed as short 3 ½-point underdogs, while outrushing the Chiefs, 192-53 and owning nearly a 2-to-1 time of possession advantage.
Playing at home in the playoffs hasn’t been kind to the Chiefs since 1995 as Kansas City is 1-7 in its last eight postseason contests at Arrowhead. Granted, the lone victory came against Indianapolis in the divisional playoffs last season to end that long hex, but it is still a sore spot for Chiefs’ fans as the franchise is 2-5 in the postseason since Reid took over as head coach in 2012.
Since this is the lone rematch out of the four divisional affairs, teams seeking revenge have not fared well the second time around. Dating back to 2015, teams that lost the regular season meeting and hooked up in the second round of the playoffs posted a 3-7 SU and 5-4-1 ATS record. Favorites own a 1-2-1 ATS mark in this stretch with the lone chalk team to win and cover being the Falcons in 2016, who avenged a three-point loss at Seattle to cruise past the Seahawks at home in the playoffs, 36-20 as 6 ½-point favorites.