The Houston Texans are expected to be without rookie quarterback CJ Stroud for the second straight game in Week 16 against the Cleveland Browns.
Stroud, who was placed in concussion protocol during the team's Week 14 loss to the New York Jets, did not play in the team's Week 15 game against the Tennessee Titans. Now, he reportedly is likely to miss Sunday's clash as well.
This is a brutal blow for the Texans, as they are the No. 8 seed in the AFC and need as many wins as possible to grab a playoff spot in a loaded race. Cleveland, the No. 5 seed in the AFC, has a one-game lead on the Texans.
Houston was able to win in Week 15 with Case Keenum under center, but oddsmakers are not sold on that happening again. The odds for this game moved in a massive way with the news that Stroud will likely be out.
After opening as 2.5-point favorites, the Texans are now 2.5-point underdogs, a five-point swing in the odds.
Browns vs. Texans Odds, Spread and Total
Browns vs. Texans Line Movement
Joe Flacco and the Browns needed a comeback win in Week 15 -- similar to Houston -- but oddsmakers think the team will be able to slow down Case Keenum and company this week.
Keenum looked good enough for Houston in Week 15, completing 23 of his 36 pass attempts for 229 yards, one touchdown and one interception. Still, he's a drop off from Stroud, who is a near lock to win Offensive Rookie of the Year this season.
For bettors who jumped in early on the Browns, this is a huge development, but if you are on Houston, you may want to back the team as an underdog. While the Texans are just 1-3 against the spread as home favorites this season, they are 2-1 ATS as home dogs and 6-2 ATS as dogs overall this season.
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Game odds refresh periodically and are subject to change.