Last season the LA Chargers and Cleveland Browns played one of the best games of the entire 2021 NFL season in Week 5. The two teams slugged back and forth in an offensive shootout that the Bolts emerged victoriously in by a final score of 47-42.
364 days later the Browns will host the Chargers in the rematch, also in Week 5, with both teams sporting a 2-2 record. Despite it being almost a year to the day later, things are much different for both teams.
Los Angeles went out and spent big in the offseason to build a defense that the team hopes won't allow 42 points again. Meanwhile, the Browns kicked Baker Mayfield out of town in favor of Deshaun Watson, who won't play until Week 12 due to his suspension. Jacoby Brissett is the man leading the charge in this one.
It is a compelling game including two teams that have been pretty hard to gauge this season. For betters this might be a tricky one, especially including what the lines are set at.
Chargers vs Browns odds Week 5:
FanDuel Sportsbook currently has the Chargers as a three-point favorite on the road against the Browns. Typically, home teams get three points on the spread by default, so Vegas is essentially saying that the Chargers are six points better of a team.
This makes the Chargers a -154 money line favorite while the Browns are a +130 money line underdog. Thus far LA has been the betting favorite, with 74% of bets and 73% of the money going on Chargers -3.
The over/under for the game has been set quite high at 47.5 points. There are only four games in the Week 5 slate that have a high over/under posted.
Chargers vs Browns prediction Week 5:
These are the toughest games to predict as three points do not seem like a lot and in theory, if we think the Chargers are going to win we should just take -3. While that seems simple enough, these are the kind of lines that trap bettors. We have seen it time and time again: the public hammers one side, and of course, the other side is hit.
That being said, the more likely outcome is still a Chargers win by three or more points. Of course, I am not ruling out a Chargers loss but if the Bolts do win it won't be by one or two. For that reason, I think we have to go with Chargers -3.
My reasoning is simple: the Bolts have been a pretty good first-half team while being a bad second-half team this season. The Browns are a team that wants to run the ball and it is hard to come back only running the ball if they are down 14 at halftime.
For that reason, I like the Bolts' chances to take a somewhat sizable lead in the first half and not give it right back to the Browns as they did against the Texans. Cleveland will run out of time on the comeback, and the Chargers can win by 7.
All that being said, if there is one part of this game to bet it is over 47.5. Cleveland has allowed 23.8 points per game (19th in the NFL) and that is without facing a single good quarterback. The Browns have faced Baker Mayfield, Joe Flacco, Mitch Trubisky and Marcus Mariota.
Justin Herbert is obviously levels above those guys and if we think the Chargers win by seven points we have to take the over. This feels like a 31-24 game.