Get Texans vs. Bengals player prop picks & odds for the (11/12/23) matchup.
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The Houston Texans and Cincinnati Bengals are both trending up after huge wins last week, but only one can walk out of this Sunday’s (11/12/23) matchup with another major resume piece. With superstar talents like C.J. Stroud and Ja’Marr Chase taking the field, there are bound to be some big performances in this high-profile matchup. Both of these teams feature a prolific passing attack, so let’s focus on the air game for today’s props, and take some passing-related overs.
C.J. Stroud Over 253.5 Passing Yards (-115)
It’s hard not to see this bet as buying high on Stroud after he put together perhaps the best single-game rookie passing performance of all time last week, as he slung the ball for 470 yards and five touchdowns, including a very late game winner, with 71.4% completion. However, this number isn’t really as inflated as you’d imagine, he doesn’t have to come anywhere close to matching last week’s performance, and has done enough to prove that there’s value here.
Stroud’s huge game came after a relative cold streak, which has helped this number be as low as it is. That being said, he’s still having a fantastic season; his 14 touchdowns to just one interception is a ratio you’ll almost never see from any NFL quarterback, let alone a rookie. Of course, efficiency doesn’t always necessitate volume, but here, the game script calls for it.
The Texans are +6.5 underdogs in this one, and while the validity and value of that line is a whole other discussion we can have, they are clearly the underdogs in this road scenario. They’re likely going to be trailing for much of this one, or at least locked in a close enough contest where they have to be air-first rather than running out the clock.
There’s also plenty of reason to believe that the Texans will be able to find success with their passing attempts. The Bengals currently sit 28th in the league in passing defense success rate, so while they’ve limited big plays relatively well, they’ve given opposing passers plenty of opportunities to complete productive throws; they also rank 22nd in the league with an average of 234.3 passing yards allowed per game.
Conversely, the Texans are third in the league in passing offensive DVOA, and seventh in the same category for EPA. Their average passing output of 264.1 yards per game is the league’s fourth best, another feather for Stroud’s cap in a phenomenal rookie season. He’s been playing some incredible football, and this Sunday’s thrilling matchup will be no exception as he should comfortably clear this number.
Ja’Marr Chase o99.5 Receiving Yards (+100)
Perhaps due to the ambiguous health of the Cincinnati wide receiver room, there’s not an official line listed for Chase at most sportsbooks, but interestingly enough, you can find an “alternate” line for him to crack triple digits. That’s the angle we’re going to play, as it provides us with some excellent value at even-money odds.
A big factor towards this prop is of course the health of Tee Higgins, or lack thereof. Chase’s compliment in the league’s best receiving duo has been ruled out for Sunday’s contest, so it’s hard not to imagine that the Bengals’ top wideout will receive an even higher target share than usual. Chase and Joe Burrow have a unique connection, after their shared success at LSU has continued into the NFL, and even with Higgins on the field, Chase has put up some gaudy numbers for Cincy. Despite a slow start due to Burrow’s injury, Chase’s 87.1 receiving yards per game is good for tenth in the league, and he’s cracked triple digit receiving yards in three of the past six games.
Houston’s pass defense has come a long way from some of the units we’ve seen them trot out in recent years, but it still currently ranks just 26th in the league in DVOA, 24th in EPA, and 21st in success rate, compared to a run defense that ranks in or around the top 10 in most metrics. The Bengals will want to go to the air early and often, given both the matchup with Houston’s defense and the simple fact that when relatively healthy, this team is going to be pass-first.
Their metrics haven’t yet caught up after the weak first few games of the season, but this is one of the league’s premier passing attacks, whether or not Higgins is ready to go. With Burrow healthy and a questionable secondary on the other side, Chase is primed for a big Sunday.
Evan McPherson Over 2.5 Extra Points Made (+100)
As always, kicker props come down to game flow, and this one is no exception, but it doesn’t hurt to back a great player; McPherson has converted all 17 of his extra point opportunities this season. Those opportunities have become more and more frequent in recent weeks; after scoring just four across Cincy’s first four games, he’s hit 13 over the past four as the offense has kicked things into high gear.
In those four games, he’s only been below 2.5 once, when he hit two against the Seahawks. The Bengals should have no issue finding the end zone in this one against a Texans team that ranks a middling 18th in defensive DVOA, and right around average in defensive red zone percentage.
On the offensive side of those metrics, the Bengals rank 11th and ninth respectively, giving them what looks like a small edge, but their metrics are dragged down by that terrible start to the year. The team now is in much better form, and should have no issue getting McPherson three or more chances to score a point after try.