The Houston Texans travel to Kansas City to take on the Chiefs in the pick of this week’s NFL fixtures. Looking for value in the NFL Week 6 odds? Read on to inform your NFL Week 6 predictions.
NFL Week 6 predictions
Saturday is when we will witness the meeting of the 1st round quarterback draft class of 2017, when KC’s Patrick Mahomes hosts Houston’s Deshaun Watson.
Drafted respectively at 10th and 12th, both have justified their team’s decision to trade up to secure their services, although Week 5 was a contrasting experiences for the two passers.
KC ceded their 100% record to Houston’s divisional rivals Indianapolis in Week 5, leaving just the Patriots and 49ers as the undefeated teams in the NFL.
26 points was the minimum regular season total that the Chiefs’ high-power offense had scored since the start of the 2018 regular season, but they managed just 13 points in a home defeat to Indianapolis last week.
Mahomes only passed for a single touchdown following a blank weekend in Week 4, and both his passing yardage per attempt and completion rate were below his usual high standards since 2018.
There were injury excuses in his skill positions and he was pressured more frequently when passing the ball, but two consecutive well below-average performances may indicate a young quarterback who isn’t finding the NFL as easy a ride has he did in his first full season.
Kansas City Chiefs: Still the best offensive team in 2019?
KC topped the offensive statistics in 2018, while Mahomes was the top ranked quarterback, throwing a yard and a half more per attempt than their opponents typically allowed.
They were also supported by an above average running game and scored nearly 12 points per game more than par.
Overall, KC is still an above average offense, but currently nowhere near as overpowering as in the recent past, scoring just six points per game more than their opponents are allowing
Mahomes’ 2019 passing efficiency isn’t that far below his 2018 overall record, but his dominant performances are front loaded to the early weeks of the season and the running game is poor compared to last year, averaging nearly a yard per attempt less than opposing defenses are conceding.
Overall, KC is still an above average offense, but currently nowhere near as overpowering as in the recent past, scoring just six points per game more than their opponents are allowing.
Two below-par games is hardly a trend, but maintaining such an awesome attacking output is difficult to achieve.
The Chiefs were a 12-win side in 2018, but also just a 10.6 Pythagorean team who finished as the 6th best side for turnover differential. Their defense was around league average against the pass, poor against the run, and allowed four more points per game than their opponents typically scored.
These defensive numbers have improved against the pass in 2019, at the cost of their defense against the run, but they are more difficult to score against than 2018.
They project as a post season side, but they are just one team amongst many who are chasing the standard set by the Patriots in a current NFL, which may be one of the most competitive of recent times. Only the Packers in the NFC North currently have the luxury of leading a division by two wins.
Deshaun Watson vs. Patrick Mahomes: What do the statistics tell us?
Deshaun Watson is deeper into his NFL career than Mahomes, starting in Week 2 of his rookie season, before injury curtailed his season in early November, while Mahomes had to wait until Week 17 to make his start.
Watson’s raw figures are comparable to Mahomes’, but the latter has been more efficient. However, Houston’s quarterback easily eclipsed his fellow first rounder in Week 5 against Atlanta.
We have a situation where one quarterback has completely over shadowed another in the previous week, but it is still highly likely that Mahomes is the superior passer and recency bias may lean too much towards Watson in the upcoming matchup
Watson followed an initial three and out by throwing for five touchdowns. His 85% completion rate was the best of his regular season career and his 12.9 yards per attempt the second highest.
Impressive though Saturday’s performance was, it is inevitably an outlier against his career norm. Even with such numbers overhanging his 2019 statistics, his passing efficiency is above average although it still trails that of Mahomes in 2019.
We have a situation where one quarterback has completely over shadowed another in the previous week, but it is still highly likely that Mahomes is the superior passer and recency bias may lean too much towards Watson in the upcoming matchup.
In 2018, Houston leveraged slightly more out of their offensive efficiency, turning a marginally above-par passing game and a below-average running game into nearly a field goal per game more points than par for their defensive opponents.
Defensively in 2018 they were a top ten ranked team, although their prowess lay greatly in stopping the running game.
They were below par against the pass and only managed to shave in point per game off the average points scored by their opponents and are similarly placed defensively so far in 2019, having traded some run stopping efficiency for a better pass defense.
Houston Texans @ Kansas City Chiefs: Where might bettors find value?
Neither Houston, nor KC were helped by an excess of narrow victories last season, but in keeping with the Chiefs, the Texans had a large, helpful and likely to regress turnover differential of plus 13 - the second best in the NFL.
Overall the 2018 Houston Texans were an 11 win team in the regular season, but just over a 10 win Pythagorean team.
If this matchup had taken place in 2018 the total points would have been pitched at just over 60, but it has fallen to the mid 50s for 2019, so the pressure is towards the under.
There are conflicting indicators for this intriguing contest. Pythagorean matchups have difficulty splitting the teams both this season and last, giving the Chiefs around an implied winning probability of 0.62, or around a 3.5 winning points margin.
Whereas scoring rates and passing and running efficiency pairings suggest that KC will pass the ball with well above average efficiency, but struggle on the ground, Houston will be average through the air but dominant on the ground, leading to a winning margin of six points for the hosts.
We’ll side with Mahomes to manage his sore ankle and just edge past the current quoted spread.