Browns point spread: Slightest of favorites vs Chargers in Week 5

Browns (Photo by Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images)
Browns (Photo by Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images) /

The Browns hit the road for the second-straight week, with a trip to LA’s SoFi stadium on the docket, and even though the Chargers are one of the league’s up-and-coming teams behind quarterback Justin Herbert, Cleveland finds itself as 1-point favorites.

This spread is courtesy of WynnBET. The site lists the over/under for the game at 49.5 points.

This one is probably making Browns’ fans nervous because Cleveland just played a tough rough game. Now they’re getting an better opponent for road-trip out west. For what it’s worth, I had the Browns losing this one in my game-by-game predictions made back in May.

The Browns were 2-point favorites against the Vikings last week and covered, beating the Vikings by seven points in Kevin Stefanski’s homecoming. Granted, nobody thought the two teams would only manage to score 21 points combined.

That’s why it’s called, gambling, though, and not absolutes. You just never know how these things are going to shake out.

Browns favorites again on the road?

Cleveland as the favorite has to be predicated on the job being done by the defense. They’ve held the opposition to single-digit scores in their past two games. You could chalk up the Bears game to being a fluke, but the Vikings can score–almost 30-points per game, yet defensive coordinator Joe Woods and company kept them in check.

Most importantly, the Browns are fourth in the NFL, allowing just 16.8 yards per game, according to The Football Database.

Against the Chargers, though, the Browns will see another tough quarterback with a lot more upside than Kirk Cousins. Justin Herbert is coming off a three-touchdown performance against the Raiders on Monday Night Football. He’s thrown nine touchdowns against three interceptions, while posting a rating of 100.1.

The Browns have what it takes to slow Herbert, with Myles Garrett leading a pass rush that can be generate with its four down defenders.

The secondary is also trending up, with Greedy Williams making his first start since 2019 and recording his first career interception off Cousins.

Offensively, the Browns will keep rushing the ball. The Chargers have been stingy about the points they’ve given up (18.5, 7th in NFL), but teams have had success running against them, with LA surrendering 558 yards per game, the fourth-worst total in the NFL.

There’s no telling which Baker Mayfield is going to show up, so leaning on the Nick Chubb and Kareem Hunt will be Stefanski’s best bet.

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Mayfield is coming off his worst game since Week 6 of the 2020 campaign. He was missing wide-open receivers, leaving touchdowns on the field. He missed Odell Beckham Jr. twice, and memorably threw the ball over Kareem Hunt’s head with the back standing alone in the end zone.