Patience has been rewarded for Los Angeles Chargers bettors.
After opening at -3 versus the host Cleveland Browns in NFL Week 5, Los Angeles was dropped to -2.5 late Wednesday afternoon.
Chargers bettors who had considered buying half a point – driving the line down to -2.5 in exchange for paying -132 at Draft Kings – now have a more attractive line they didn’t have to pay for.
That’s the intrigue of this game.
DraftKings initially favored the Chargers with 64% of the tickets at -3, but 72% of the handle was on the Browns. This means that the highest wagers were going on the Browns, which moved the betting line.
Here are six points, a Pick 6 overview if you will, of this contest between 2-2 teams.
- Fortunately, it’s still too early for the fabled Cleveland winds that disrupt passing and kicking games. The forecast is 61 degrees and sunny, ideal football conditions.
This is, overall, a plus for the Chargers.
- There is an abundance of prop bets available. A hunch on a prop is just as valuable, sometimes even more significant than a spread wager. Here is a DraftKings sample:
Los Angeles Chargers props vs. Browns
- LA to score first and win is +180.
- To score first and lose is +425.
- To score more than 24.5 points. The Over is -105, the Under is -115. This total jumped from 22 to 24.5 in one shot, on Wednesday.
- First-quarter touchdown is -110
Chargers point bands
- 0-10 is +1300
- 11-20 is +260
- 21-30 is +135
- 3-40 is +285
Cleveland Browns wagers
- To score more than 2.5 touchdowns. The Over is -105, the Under is -135
- To score first and win is +215
- To score first and lose is +320.
The score first and lose prop is a popular one. A Chargers backer can make this bet on Cleveland before the game, hoping the Browns gets a 3-0 lead and that the Chargers come back to win.
This scenario could be due. It hasn’t happened in a Chargers game yet this year.
Late Wednesday afternoon, several props went up on individuals for both teams. Bettors can wait for the category they want and pounce.
- Austin Ekeler, -115 anytime, +600 first scorer
- Nick Chubb -105 anytime, +650 first scorer
- Kareem Hunt +125, +800
- Mike Williams +125, +800
Bettors expect Williams to be targeted often, especially after hearing that Keenan Allen hadn’t practiced as of Wednesday and is not likely to return from the hamstring injury that has shelved him.
Allen is considered day-to-day, providing a scenario bettors find hard to trust. If he’s a game-time decision, gamblers can’t commit to him on a prop now.
Hammies often take longer than expected to heal properly. Many players try to come back from them after two or three weeks, but five weeks or more is a safer time frame to avoid aggravating it. Allen, case in point, was set to return before aggravating his injury on Sunday.
Ekeler and Chubb were combined in a prop to score four touchdowns or more between them. That’s +450.
Don’t forget the specialty props
- Chargers Defense +450, +2500
- Browns defense, +500, +3000
The defense/special teams occasionally score first. Back in Week 2, the Baltimore Ravens returned the opening kickoff for a touchdown against the Miami Dolphins.
Halves: The Chargers are -1 to win both the first and second half. They have won the first half in three of their four games.
More game props
- The largest lead of the game is Over or Under 14.5 points. The Over is +100 and the under is -130.
- Each team to score one touchdown in each half is +130.
- Total touchdowns for the game over 5.5 is +100.
Can’t trust the Chargers defense? Cade York of the Browns has an over-under for points of 6.5. The Over is -105. The Under is -125.
The field goal prop is playable, in terms of the betting odds. The dilemma for gamblers is trying to predict how many potential fourth-down field goals a coach will take off the board by going for it, even while in field-goal range.
Here’s one that bettors cashed in with the Cleveland game last week against the Atlanta Falcons:
Will each team notch a touchdown and a field goal in each half? This week, it’s +1400 at DraftKings.
The feat is much harder than it looks but pays well. Last week it was worth +1200 to DraftKings bettors who took that. Cleveland lost to the Atlanta Falcons 23-20, but each team fulfilled the mission for that prop.
You need the game to stay close and usually a field goal late in the first half and the game to make this one pay.
Chargers look to parlay breakout performance
It was vintage Justin Herbert last week against the Houston Texans. He topped 300 yards for the 19th time, notching 340 yards with two touchdowns and no picks. Herbert has exceeded 300 yards passing in seven straight road games. Bettors will examine that when his yardage prop goes up.
Ekeler had the breakout game needed, delivering his first three touchdowns of the season. He orchestrated a perfect blend of rushing and receiving for 19 total touches.
The Herbert-Ekeler combo also was lethal on the putaway drive. Herbert not only hit Ekeler on a key 4th-and-2 to keep the final drive going but went to him for the covering TD in a 34-24 triumph. The Chargers were -5.5 at most books.
The Futures Market…Or, the Herbert Market
Herbert has a slight lead over Josh Allen of the Buffalo Bills in passing yardage. His price has gone from +350 to +400, tied with Allen for the top spot. Patrick Mahomes of the Kansas City Chiefs is +600. Joe Burrow from the Cincinnati Bengals is +1000.
This is a good wager all around because, fairly soon, there will be a short list of QBs able to lead the league in passing yards.
A trip down memory lane
Those who established the over-under line of 47 may have forgotten this one.
The last time these teams met produced one of the most memorable NFL contests of 2021. It was on this exact weekend last year.
The Chargers won this barnburner 47-42 in a Sofi Stadium shootout packed with drama.
When the Chargers trailed 27-13 early in the third quarter, coach Brandon Staley correctly figured the Chargers needed a keep-away gamble.
On 4th and 2 from their own 24, the Chargers elected to go for it. Few fourth-down plays are run that deep in a team’s territory. But Staley rolled the dice and prevailed with Ekeler picking up the first down.
The Chargers would score 34 points from that moment on, and the Browns tallied 15.
The numbers were great for fantasy bettors.
Herbert had 398 yards and four touchdowns. Ekeler notched 114 yards and three scores. Williams had 165 yards and two touchdowns.
The teams combined for a mind-boggling 1,024 yards of offense and the Chargers won with a possession time of fewer than 24 minutes.
Most of the skill-position players in that game are back.