Week 4 NFL Picks: Cleveland Browns at San Diego Chargers

Joe Haden (rib) is day-to-day.
Joe Haden (rib) is day-to-day.

Cleveland Browns at San Diego Chargers
Time: 3:05 PM ET, Oct 4 2015 (CBS)
Spread: SD -7
Total: 45

Betting odds c/o Bovada

Cleveland has something of a QB controversy even just three weeks into the season. Fans place their hopes on Johnny Manziel, but the 1-2 Browns will need to find an answer quickly and this week will be tough, even facing another 1-2 club in the San Diego Chargers. Oddsmakers are favoring the Chargers by 7-points in the game.

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Browns coach Mike Pettine is aware that the players are divided on who the starting QB should be, but aware many may be leaning towards Josh McCown at this point. Manziel led the Browns to its lone victory this year, and McCown is beaten up some. Even so, Pettine will be starting McCown this week.

He said of the controversy, “Are we going to have 1000 percent agreement on how we (use) players? No.” But it is not just using players, it is a matter of playing players. He said he was confident there was no rift in the locker room, but do not be so sure of that smokescreen.

McCown endured a concussion on an end zone dive on the first drive of the season as the team lost to the New York Jets, and Manziel came in to launch a 54-yard TD pass to Travis Benjamin, setting the stage for the controversy to come. He then threw a 60-yard TD pass the next week in a 28-14 win over the Titans, and even his detractors are not taking away his extraordinary talents for making big plays. It is developing some consistency and better accuracy which remain in question.

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Pettine seemingly made the right choice in turning back to McCown, as he threw 28 of 49 for 341 yards and a TD last week in a 27-20 loss. He also threw an INT, and the Browns limp into Week 4 with a losing record. In that game, McCown suffered a hand injury, but he does not expect it to be a factor this week.

The Chargers meanwhile roll with the vaunted Philip Rivers, but he has not received adequate protection from his OL. Both of the last two games he has been sacked four times, and he was jarred badly in the third quarter of the 31-14 loss to the Vikings. Rivers also turned the ball over twice before leaving in the fourth quarter.

In the OL’s defense, it is battered and nagging injuries appear to be limiting its efficacy. Injury issues abound for San Diego and the status of many key players is still in the air this week, leaving bettors a bit befuddled at how to handle this game (staying away from it is always in play).

The Chargers are No. 4 in total offense with 402.0 yards per game, but it has also turned the ball over eight times, which ranks it No. 31 in the league. Again, however, it has allowed Rivers to be sacked just once and the Browns already do not defend the pass all too well.

 

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Cleveland gave up 314 passing yards last week, though CB Joe Haden played hindered by a rib injury he sustained on the game’s first play. Haden is day-to-day, as is S Tashaun Gipson who is battling a groin issue but is expected to play.

BETTING TRENDS:

Cleveland
  • Browns are 5-0 ATS in their last 5 games after accumulating less than 90 yards rushing in their previous game.
  • Browns are 8-1 ATS in their last 9 games in Week 4.
  • Browns are 6-1 ATS in their last 7 games following a ATS loss.
  • Browns are 5-1-2 ATS in their last 8 games after allowing more than 150 yards rushing in their previous game.
  • Browns are 7-2-1 ATS in their last 10 games following a S.U. loss.
  • Browns are 17-5-1 ATS in their last 23 road games vs. a team with a losing home record.
  • Browns are 6-2 ATS in their last 8 games after allowing more than 350 total yards in their previous game.
  • Browns are 3-1-1 ATS in their last 5 games in October.
  • Browns are 19-9-1 ATS in their last 29 games after accumulating more than 250 yards passing in their previous game.
  • Browns are 1-4 ATS in their last 5 games after allowing more than 250 yards passing in their previous game.
San Diego
  • Chargers are 5-0 ATS in their last 5 games in Week 4.
  • Chargers are 11-4 ATS in their last 15 games after scoring less than 15 points in their previous game.
  • Chargers are 16-33-4 ATS in their last 53 games after allowing more than 30 points in their previous game.
  • Chargers are 2-5 ATS in their last 7 games following a S.U. loss.
  • Chargers are 3-9 ATS in their last 12 games in October.
  • Chargers are 3-10 ATS in their last 13 games following a SU loss of more than 14 points.
  • Chargers are 2-7 ATS in their last 9 games following a ATS loss.
  • Chargers are 3-11 ATS in their last 14 games overall.
  • Chargers are 1-4 ATS in their last 5 games after allowing more than 150 yards rushing in their previous game.
  • Chargers are 2-9 ATS in their last 11 games on grass.
  • Chargers are 1-5 ATS in their last 6 home games.
  • Chargers are 1-5 ATS in their last 6 games after accumulating more than 350 total yards in their previous game.
  • Chargers are 1-5 ATS in their last 6 games after accumulating more than 250 yards passing in their previous game.
  • Chargers are 0-4 ATS vs. a team with a losing record.
  • Chargers are 0-4 ATS in their last 4 vs. AFC.
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