Early lookahead NFL lines opened with the Baltimore Ravens laying 5½ points to the Los Angeles Chargers, but at the close of Sunday’s Week 5 NFL action, the odds opened with the Ravens laying just 3½ points. This two-point drop occurred before the Ravens roared back in a come-from-behind win over the Indianapolis Colts on Monday Night Football. That’s telling. What’s even more telling is the trend in early betting, which has bet down the line to a field goal, as early money pounded the Chargers following their impressive shootout victory over the Cleveland Browns.
|Game: Los Angeles Chargers (4-1) at Baltimore Ravens (4-1) |
Location: M&T Bank Stadium, Baltimore. Date: Sunday
Time: 1 p.m. ET
|Los Angeles Chargers||+3 120||+135||53 -110o|
|Baltimore Ravens||-3 Ev||-155||53 -110u|
This marks the first meeting between second-year quarterback Justin Herbert and fourth-year QB Lamar Jackson. The teams last met during Jackson’s rookie season, with the Ravens winning 22-10 on the road before the Chargers avenged that loss with a 23-17 victory at Baltimore in the playoffs.
Los Angeles Chargers
Next game: vs, New England Patriots
The Los Angeles Chargers beat the Cleveland Browns 47-42 in a veritable shootout at SoFi Stadium on Sunday – a showdown that will likely go down as one of the games of the season. For it was a stunning display of exhilarating football from both sides, but more so from Herbert and the Chargers as they roared back behind the second-year quarterback to clinch the comeback victory.
Neither side had trouble scoring and the 89-point game total speaks volumes. But the Chargers turned it up late in the game and the Browns came up short at the time of asking.
Justin Herbert is proving to be an unexpected revelation. He wasn’t rated the highest QB in the 2020 NFL draft and was grievously overlooked because he was a bit of an introvert. Questions were raised at the time whether he had leadership qualities, which, with the benefit of 20/20 hindsight vision, seems absurd now.
For a second straight week, Herbert orchestrated a comeback with the kind of calm and poise often seen with a dab-hand veteran. He marched the Chargers downfield to set up Austin Ekeler for the go-ahead touchdown. Although the Chargers missed the two-point conversion, the defense stepped up in the dying minutes of the game to quash Cleveland’s attempt to clinch the last-gasp victory.
HERBO, YALL. pic.twitter.com/uxDZ4sfR3z
— Los Angeles Chargers (@chargers) October 11, 2021
Defensive tackle Justin Jones (claf) is questionable, while guard Oday Aboushi (knee) is on injured reserve.
Next game: vs Cincinnati Bengals
The Baltimore Ravens are flush of another nail-biter as Jackson threw for a career-high 442 yards and four touchdowns to lift his side to the wild 31-25 overtime win over the Indianapolis Colts on Monday Night Football.
The Ravens were down in the dumps, trailing 22-3 late in the third quarter. The Colts thwarted the Ravens on the ground and stalled their fearsome run offense, which was poised to set an NFL record. The Ravens could only manage 89 yards rushing when all was said and done, thus denying coach John Harbaugh and Co. the NFL record for the most consecutive games with 100-plus yards rushing.
Fortunately, the Ravens prioritized winning the game over setting new NFL records. Jackson finished 37 of 43 passing and added another 62 yards on the ground as he kept the chains moving on offense.
It’s worth noting, however, that a little bit of luck tipped the game toward Baltimore. The Colts were a kick away from winning the game in regular time, only for Rodrigo Blankenship to miss the 47-yard attempt. Had Indianapolis’ kicking game been sharper, the outcome might have been different.
Wide receiver Rashod Bateman (groin), wide receiver Sammy Watkins (hamstring), guard Kevin Zeitler (knee), guard Tyree Phillips (knee), tackle Ronnie Staley (ankle) and safety Deshon Elliott (quadricep) are ailing and their status is unclear. Guard Ben Cleveland (knee) is out indefinitely.
Betting on the Game
The NFL line for this game has experienced serious movement since lookahead Las Vegas NFL odds went to press. Herbert’s rising star has everything to do with that, as he’s single handedly turned the Chargers into legitimate AFC contenders. Equally, Baltimore’s numerous by-the-skin-of-their-teeth wins have had an impact, too.
Baltimore fans will likely fancy the Ravens as the field goal favorites. Considering books projected Baltimore at around 5½ points before Week 5, getting them at a basement-bargain of three points is going to feel like a steal bet.
Of course, that presupposes the Ravens will avoid another close contest. The evidence says otherwise. Not to mention, Herbert and the Chargers should have a say in the matter,
Whichever way you slice this bet on the moneyline, the Chargers might be the better play to cover. And if you can get the Chargers at +3½ points, it would be the ideal bet for this game for NFL picks against the spread.
As far as the outright win goes, everything points to a close contest that will likely come down to the wire, and the quarterback with the ball in the final minutes stands the best chance of delivering the win.
The Ravens (4-1) are tipped as the -155 home favorites while the Chargers (4-1) are tipped as the +135 road underdog. It’s a coin toss for NFL odds, but the Chargers would appear to be the value play here for the upset. They’ve beaten the Washington Football Team and Kansas City Chiefs on the road already. A win over the Ravens at M&T Bank Stadium would be par for the course,
Finally, the total for this game has been bet to 53 points, jumping up from 49 where it was projected in lookahead lines. Not surprisingly, the over is the popular bet after the scoring bonanza both sides delivered in Week 5. Color the world shocked if this turns into a slugfest.
Final Score: LA Chargers 41, Baltimore Ravens 40