NFL Wild Card Round Player Prop Bets: C.J. Stroud, Tua Tagovailoa, Isiah Pacheco, and Other Selections

Houston Texans quarterback C.J. Stroud (7) draws back to pass Saturday, Jan. 6, 2024, during a game against the Houston Texans at Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis.

Our betting staff has placed a range of player prop bets for today’s two playoff games.

In the Cleveland Browns vs. Houston Texans opening game of the day, which players should you be rooting for? In light of the fact that the weather will play a significant role in the night game, how should you bet player props?

In our best NFL Wild Card Round player prop bets for today’s games, we break it all down.

NFL Wild Card Round Player Prop Bets: Saturday Games

Joe Flacco Over 268.5 Passing Yards (-115 at ESPN BET)

Ben Rolfe: Flacco has passed for 309, 368, 374, and 311 yards in his last four games.

That includes 368 yards with a 96.1 passer rating, or 8.8 yards per attempt on average.

In the past two weeks, the Texans have performed well against opposing quarterbacks, but they have also struggled against some excellent and some unexpected passing games.

The Browns, Jacksonville Jaguars (Trevor Lawrence), Cincinnati Bengals (Joe Burrow), New Orleans Saints (Derek Carr), and Atlanta Falcons (Desmond Ridder) have all amassed more than 300 passing yards against the Texans this season.

This week, against a team that gives up an average of 253.4 passing yards per game to opponents, Flacco has a great chance of repeating that performance.

Kareem Hunt Under 24.5 Rushing Yards (-110 at Draft Kings)

Kyle Soppe: Fading both backfields (or at least a piece of both) is something I rarely do because they aren’t correlated. However, “rarely” isn’t the same as “never,” and the statistics clearly support this.
The Browns have the second-highest pass rate over expectations since the veteran took over, so they haven’t been afraid to wager on Flacco to raise their 2023 ceiling.

Why wouldn’t we expect Cleveland to get off to an early lead in this spot at NRG Stadium, where they face the second-best yards-per-carry defense?
Kareem Hunt hasn’t had a 10-yard rush since November 19 due to a groin injury that kept him out of practice early in the week. The running backs in Cleveland have collectively lost yardage on 13.1% of carries.

The seasoned running back may need to break a two-month trend of not receiving more than 12 carries in a game.

In regards to Hunt, here’s one for the road:

  • Hunt: The red zone has accounted for 23.7% of carries.

  • 7.8% of Jerome Ford’s: carries have occurred in the red zone.

    Although those carries have value in fantasy football, I don’t think they should be a big concern when going after yardage props.

C.J. Stroud Over 242.5 Passing Yards (-114 at Fan Duel)

Brian Blewis: Given that the Browns are playing against a top-tier defense, this line is absurdly low. However, this defense struggled away from home this season, giving up 29.6 points per game, which is tied for the most in the NFL with the Broncos.

In the meantime, C.J. Stroud, the quarterback for the Browns, has performed exceptionally well at home. During his eight home starts, Stroud averaged 8.94 yards per attempt, threw for 17 touchdowns, and gained 310.8 yards per game.

Only two home games this past season—a 26-3 rout over the Titans and Week 6 against the Saints—saw Stroud go under this prop. All of the trends point to an overcorrection given the value that the matchup provides.

Devin Singletary Under 64.5 Rushing Yards (-115 at Draft Kings)

Soppe: This season, just 39% of the yards gained against the Browns have been gained through the air, which is the fifth-lowest percentage in the NFL. Dameon Pierce has been replaced in Houston’s backfield by Devin Singletary, but are we certain that he is as matchup-proof as sportsbooks claim?

Singletary hasn’t had a carry of at least 25 yards this season, so it’s unlikely that a single splash play will reverse this wager.

I believe the Browns are contacting Singletary near the line of scrimmage because I have faith in their front four. Efficiency is something that I’m more than comfortable with because the Texans’ lead back is only averaging 1.6 yards per carry after contact, which is behind greats like Miles Sanders and Joshua Kelley.

Dalton Schultz Under 41.5 Receiving Yards (-114 at Fan Duel)

Blewis: Although Dalton Schultz has crossed this yardage mark in three of his previous four games, this seems like the ideal time to sell.

In Schultz’s opponent, the Browns defense, which allowed six fewer targets and 162 fewer yards than the next-best team, was by far the best against opposing tight ends this season.

In their previous meeting, which took place in Week 16 and featured Davis Mills at quarterback, Schultz had eight receptions for 61 yards. This performance seems like a complete anomaly given that his 11 targets tied for a season-high total and were more than the total for the previous three weeks when Stroud was active.

Tua Tagovailoa Longest Completion Under 34.5 Yards (-114 at Fan Duel)

Blewis: This looks to be an easy matchup to fade Tua Tagovailoa given their offensive injuries, their opponent’s excellent defense, and the predicted high winds and cold temperatures. However, his passing touchdown and passing yardage props are heavily discounted and offer little incentive to take the under. So let’s take a different route.

This season, Tua has attempted 91 passes but has not completed one for 35 yards or more in four away games against playoff teams. During their earlier season encounter in Germany, Tua managed just one completion of more than 20 yards out of 34 attempts. I don’t think anything will go very differently this time.

Isiah Pacheco Over 18.5 Receiving Yards (-114 at FanDuel)

Who is Houston Texans quarterback C.J. Stroud? | DAZN News CA

Soppe: In the regular season, Miami ranked fourth in pressure rate but also missed the sixth-most tackles. That screams dump-off passes to me.

Could Kansas City decide to adopt a run-heavy strategy similar to Buffalo’s, which destroyed Dallas in December? It’s possible, but I’m tempted to predict a lot of dropbacks for Patrick Mahomes in this situation because we all know Andy Reid wants his quarterback to decide the team’s fate.

In the event that it is true, Pacheco’s growth as a potential receiving threat out of the backfield stands out.

In all three of his games this season against top-10 pressure defenses, he has caught at least three passes. Those short check-down passes have been successful in comparable situations, and if you’re telling me that I can match Pacheco’s running style in space with a projection of three or more receptions, I’m excited about this leg of the SGP.

Mahomes’ average passing touchdown percentage (aDOT) decreased by 14.6% in the previous postseason compared to the regular season, which is additional evidence that Pacheco’s passing game could be heavily utilized against Miami.

Rashee Rice Over 64.5 Receiving Yards (-110 ESPN BET)

Ben Rolfe: Over the last four weeks, the Dolphins have given up an average of 177.25 yards to opposing wide receivers. They gave up 192 receiving yards to Stefon Diggs and Khalil Shakir last week, as the two wide receivers were frequently out of position.

Josh Allen was able to get the ball to his receivers down the field because the Dolphins’ pass rush was inconsistent throughout the game.

Rashee Rice is the Chiefs’ star wide receiver. Although they will use other weapons throughout the game, their primary weapon of choice is now rice. After practicing in full to start the week, he seems healthy after sitting out the previous one.

In three of the previous four games and four of the previous six, Rice has recorded more receiving yards than 64.

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