NFL Props Betting -- Texans' Stroud takes bigger step this week against Ravens

  • In Charles Jay
  • Sat, Jan 20th, 2024 12:09:53 pm
  • By Charles Jay - Exclusive to OSGA

CJ Stroud is a sensational rookie. How successful can he be on the road against the AFC's #`1 seed, the Baltimore Ravens, on Saturday afternoon?

Players prop betting for Texans at Ravens

BetOnline patrons only have to take a quick glance at CJ Stroud's story to understand that he hasn't had it easy. Growing up in Southern California (specifically Rancho Cucamonga), his father ran afoul of the law, and is currently doing time for kidnapping, carjacking and robbery.

But that did not deter his athletic pursuits. He was good enough in high school to be highly recruited, and wound up with Ryan Day at Ohio State. No one handed him the starting job, but he did beat out the likes of Kyle McCord and Quinn Ewers to win it.

And once he was in that spot, he never relinquished it.

Stroud played only two full seasons at Ohio State, but with 8123 yards, 85 touchdown passes and only twelve interceptions, he made the most of it. In fact, he was a two-time finalist in the Heisman Trophy voting.

Texans NFL playoff player prop picksWhat really got the attention of the scouts was his performance in the semi-final of the College Football Playoff, where his exploits produced 348 passing yards and four touchdowns in a thrilling 42-41 defeat to eventual national champion Georgia. Ever since the arrival of Urban Meyer in Columbus, the Buckeyes had produced a list of quarterbacks who looked like world-beaters at the collegiate level, only to become second-rate in the NFL (even they even got there).

When it came time for the NFL Draft process, some interesting things occurred. According to many reports, the #1 pick was going to be either Stroud or Bryce Young, a Heisman winner from Alabama.

This depends on whether you believe the following, but reportedly, when the Carolina Panthers wanted to trade up to acquire the #1 pick from Chicago, the coaching staff (including since-fired head coach Frank Reich) preferred Stroud, who was judged to have an NFL arm and NFL size. But owner David Tepper wanted Young. So Young it was.

We're not going to say that Carolina's league-worst record was the direct result of that decision, but the Panthers would have wound up with the #1 pick again if they hadn't traded that pick to the Bears in the deal for Young. There have been instances where the owner demanded the drafting of a QB over the coaches' objections, where it has turned out somewhat disastrous - Washington traded a bunch of people to take Robert Griffin III and Cleveland took Johnny Manziel. Whether that is the case with Young is yet to be determined.

But the Houston Texans, which picked second, rolled a seven with Stroud, who is not only the rookie of the year, but the youngest quarterback to win a playoff game. Throwing just five interceptions in 500 attempts is phenomenal (didn't Peyton Manning throw 28 as a rookie?). And he led the Texans to six outright wins as an underdog.

Can they chalk up another one? They'll try when they face the Baltimore Ravens at M&T Bank Stadium in the AFC Divisional Round of the playoffs - Saturday at 4:30 PM ET.

You know, at BetOnline you can access Prop Builder to make wagers on all the playmakers associated with NFL games, as well as team and game props. It's easy to use, and it offers another way to win big.

We've picked out one of the props as something to look at for the game between the Ravens and Texans on Saturday afternoon. It involves how many yards Stroud will throw for. Here it is:

Total Passing Yards -- C.J. Stroud

Over 238.5 Yards   -115
Under 238.5 Yards -113

Stroud has thrown for 274 yards a game this season. He landed right on that number in his playoff debut against the Cleveland Browns, going 13 of 15 for 227 yards on first and second down alone. This is a guy who is utterly unafraid to take chances downfield, and he does not play the "dink-and-dunk" game either, as his passes average 9.2 yards beyond the line of scrimmage.

With Baltimore's pass rush, things get a bit more difficult. The Ravens have a sack rate of 8.6%, which is the second best in the league. Houston will almost certainly have to get something done with the ground game, and we guess it's their good fortune that Devin Singletary has given them something a lot better in that area than they got from Dameon Pierce (last year's rookie standout).

Where we recognize a problem with Stroud catching the "over" on this prop involves the way he and his team have gone about their business on the road. First of all, the Texans have averaged just 19.5 points per game as the visitor, which is not strong.

In Stroud's seven road starts, he had three wins. He was only intercepted once, but had just six TD passes. His passer rating (91.5) was well below what he had at home (108.3), as was his yards per attempt (7.34 as opposed to 8.94). In what might be the operative figure, he averaged 231.7 yards passing on the road, compared with 310.8 at home.

Against Baltimore in the season opener, he was 28 of 44, without an interception or touchdown pass, and he got to 242 yards. His passer rating in that game was 78.0, which was his second lowest this season.

In five of his seven road games, he has surpassed the posted total here.

With the Ravens' defense he will have a tall task getting to 239 yards. But if he is playing from behind enough - and with Baltimore outscoring opponents by 8.4 points per game in the first half, he may just be doing that - he's liable to be throwing more. It's safe to say that he has progressed, and he is more comfortable working with coordinator Bobby Slowik, who has been pushed by the media as the new hot head coaching candidate.

So even though we're not so sure how successful Stroud and the Texans are going to be, we think he can move past this number, win or lose. OVER

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