On Sunday (10/29/23), the Houston Texans face the Carolina Panthers in an exciting cross-conference matchup. In this article, find player prop selections for the game featuring C.J. Stroud, Bryce Young, Dameon Pierce and Adam Thielen.
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In this Week 8 matchup, we’ll see the No. 1 pick Bryce Young face the No. 2 pick C.J. Stroud in their first NFL matchup. Both of these teams are coming off bye weeks, so it will be fascinating to see how the respective defensive coaching staffs attack these rookie passers. Let’s see if we can find some value in the player prop department.
C.J. Stroud to Throw an Interception (+130 DraftKings)
I know what you’re thinking. C.J. Stroud only has one interception all year. However, the rookie passer won’t keep a clean sheet forever, and as defensive coordinators get more film to work off, they’ll start to figure out how to attack him. I believe that will result in an uptick in interceptions over the second half of the season.
Panthers defensive coordinator Ejiro Evero is one of the best in the league for my money, and I’m expecting him to have some interesting wrinkles out of the bye week to confuse Stroud and force him into mistakes. The hit rate will tell you Stroud won’t throw a pick here, but I have to take the plus money value.
Bryce Young Over 226.5 Passing Yards (-114 FanDuel)
It’s been a slow start for Bryce Young, but things could be looking up coming out of the bye week. Offensive coordinator Thomas Brown is taking over play-calling duties from head coach Frank Reich, and that could be a big boost for an offense that needs one. The offensive line is also getting healthier with guard Austin Corbett returning.
The biggest issue for Bryce Young this year has been that he’s been under pressure too often, resulting in an inability to maintain efficiency. However, this week he faces a Texans defense ranked just 22nd in pressure rate, and I expect him to have more time in the pocket. Young went over this in just one of his five games before the bye, but I see this as a solid buy low opportunity.
Dameon Pierce Over 53.5 Rushing Yards (-115 BetMGM)
The Texans have to find a way to get their run game going coming out of the bye week. They rank 29th in rushing offense DVOA, making Stroud’s rookie success all the more impressive. Dameon Pierce has been quiet, finishing with under 40 rushing yards in four of his six games.
However, this matchup provides an excellent opportunity to get the run game going. Carolina is the worst run defense in the NFL by DVOA and EPA, and the increased health for the Texans’ offensive line gives them a huge boost heading into this matchup. Pierce showed his talent last season, and I expect him to take advantage of the opportunity.
Adam Thielen Over 5.5 Receptions (-140 DraftKings)
While he might be getting toward the end of his career, Adam Thielen has clearly been the WR1 for Carolina. He has 7+ catches in five straight games and 11 in three of his last four. With the play calling change in Carolina, perhaps we see his target share decrease some, but this is still a fairly low number compared to what he’s been doing all season.
Thielen is facing a Texans pass defense that has been shaky all year, ranking 22nd in passing success rate allowed. Houston is a 3.5-point road favorite in this game, and the game script could lend itself to more passing in the second half if the Panthers are trailing. Even if it doesn’t, Thielen should clear this line for a sixth straight game.