On Sunday, the Los Angeles Chargers hit the road as they travel to Ohio to take on the feisty Cleveland Browns. The Chargers are looking to keep their winning ways going and climb back into the AFC playoff picture. The Browns are looking to win their second straight game and remain undefeated at home. Kickoff inside FirstEnergy Stadium is at 1 PM ET.
|Betting Data||Los Angeles Chargers||Cleveland Browns|
|Current S/U record||3-2||2-2-1|
|2018 ATS Home||1-2||3-0|
|2018 ATS Away||1-1||1-1|
|2018 O/U Home||2-1||1-2|
|2018 O/U Away||2-0||1-1|
The Chargers and the Browns have played against each other 26 times with Los Angeles leading the head to head series at 16-9-1. LA defeated the Browns last year by a score of 19-10. However, they are just 1-2 at Cleveland in their last 3 trips to the Dawg pound.
The Chargers (3-2) have defeated the teams they’re supposed to beat like the Bills, 49ers and Raiders. However, they’ve struggled against better teams as they’ve lost to the Chiefs and Rams. Fortunately, on paper, the Browns are a team that the Chargers should beat. However, with Mayfield at QB, Cleveland has looked like a different team. Can the Chargers get a road win in a tough environment this weekend?
The Browns (2-3) are coming off a solid win at home against their bitter rivals the Baltimore Ravens. If Cleveland loses every game from here on out, fans will still be happy due to defeating the Ravens. However, there are growing expectations and optimism in Cleveland that the Browns could actually be a good team. Will Cleveland defeat the Chargers and climb above .500 for the first time since 2014?
The spread opened at most sportsbooks with the Browns getting 1 point at home. It shifted to an Even line before settling back at +1 for the Browns. The Over/Under opened at 44.5 points with the majority of betting sites, but swiftly fell down to 43.5 before settling back at 44.5 total points.
Things are getting exciting in Cleveland as the Browns have been competitive each and every week including a deeply satisfying win over the Ravens last Sunday. Not to mention, they tied the Steelers in the opening week and are ahead of Pittsburgh in the AFC North standings based on tiebreakers.
A few breaks here or there, and the Browns could be 5-0 on the season. They had a chance to beat the Steelers in OT in Week 1. They could’ve defeated the Saints in Week 2 if it weren’t for kicker issues, and they had a big lead on the Raiders in Week 4, but fell in OT. The Browns haven’t lost a game by more than 3 points this season. But, does all of that translate into a win on Sunday at home against the Chargers?
Cleveland’s defense is allowing 22.6 ppg, 413 total ypg, and nearly 300 passing yards per game at 296.4 ypg. Although they do have talent on the defense, it appears they’re going with a bend, but don’t break philosophy. That worked last weekend against an inconsistent Ravens offense. However, the Chargers are a very different team than Baltimore.
Although the Chargers aren’t at full health on defense, offensively they can put up a lot of points. LA is averaging 27.4 ppg with 23 being their lowest output on the season, which was a loss to the Rams. However, QB Philip Rivers is having a stellar season so far with 1,495 passing yards and 13 TDs to just 2 interceptions. LA’s offense averages 414.6 total ypg and have a great chance to put up points and yards this weekend.
If this comes down to a passing duel between Rivers and Cleveland’s QB Baker Mayfield then I like Rivers in a shootout. Nevertheless, I think the deciding factor in this game will be which team has the most success on the ground. Cleveland averages 144.6 rushing ypg, but the Chargers only give up 95.6 ypg on the ground. Last weekend, the Chargers held the Raiders to just 41 yards on the ground. If they get out to a lead against the Browns, and with their tough run defense, Cleveland could become one dimensional and succumb to a fearsome pass rush.
The Browns aren’t bad against the Chargers as they allow 116.6 ypg on the ground, which is 1 yard more than LA’s 115.6 rushing ypg.
With such a small spread, this game is basically SU and moneylines. I don’t trust the Over/Under as this game could either be a shootout or a low scoring battle like last weekend’s Browns vs Ravens.
The Chargers are 9-3 SU in their last 12 overall games, 6-2 SU in the last 7 games against the Browns, and 7-3 SU in their last 10 games during Weeks 5 through 9. The Browns are 3-14 SU in their last 17 home games, 1-10 SU in their last 11 games during October, 2-32 SU as an Underdog, and 1-8 SU against winning teams.
Until Cleveland wins 2 games in a row, I have to go with the Chargers in this contest and their moneyline of -120. The spread is irrelevant right now, but it may change as we get closer to Sunday’s game. That’s another reason why you should take the Chargers moneyline.
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