Lauria was born in Virginia and relocated to Ireland with his family when he was seven. His father was an animator and an artist; his mother was a nurse. He has two sisters. He spent his formative years growing up in Dublin. Lauria moved back to the US to attend high school. He received his formal acting training from the University of North Carolina School of the Arts in their drama conservatory. He holds a BFA degree in drama. Lauria is also an avid electric guitarist.
In 2006, Lauria married musician Michelle Armstrong.
Within a few weeks of moving to New York City, New York, Lauria successfully received the guest starring role of Winthrop on NBC's 30 Rock, marking his television debut. Soon after he finally landed a substantial recurring role on NBC's comedy romance Lipstick Jungle as Roy Merritt, where he co-starred with Brooke Shields, Andrew McCarthy and One Tree Hill's Robert Buckley.
Lauria landed his first series-regular role on Luke Cafferty in the Emmy-award winning drama Friday Night Lights, for which he moved to Pflugerville, Texas in order to film. Lauria remained on the show until its series finale in 2011. After finishing Friday Night Lights, Lauria moved to Chicago, Illinois after being cast in the series regular role of Caleb Evers in Fox's crime drama The Chicago Code. The show was canceled after one season.
He will co-star on the upcoming ABC drama series Gilded Lillys created and produced by Shonda Rhimes. He now appears as Ryan, a veteran of the Afghanistan war, on Parenthood, reuniting with former Friday Night Lights showrunner Jason Katims.