As what promises to be an unusual NFL season gets underway, we are presented with two teams undergoing transition at the quarterback position. When we make our Los Angeles Chargers vs. Cincinnati Bengals spread pick & prediction at CentSports, the free online sportsbook, we have to put that into perspective.
Game time is 4:05 PM ET on Sunday at Paul Brown Stadium in Cincinnati.
The Bengals, who were 2-14 last season (6-10 ATS), have staked their future on Joe Burrow, who literally set the college football world on fire last season in leading the LSU Tigers to the national championship. Thus he is a special project for Zac Taylor, the NFL’s youngest head coach, who earned a reputation as a “guru” while working as an assistant with the Los Angeles Rams.
The Chargers rode a minus-17 turnover ratio to a 5-11 record (and a dismal 4-12 against the spread) in the AFC West last year. And they bid adieu to Philip Rivers, who spent 16 years as their signal-caller but never really wanted to be in Los Angeles. They also used their first-round draft pick on Oregon QB Justin Herbert, who has been kind of learning the ropes while Tyrod Taylor keeps the seat warm, as they say.
This is a big year for the Bolts, as they will move into SoFi Stadium in L.A. County. Of course, there are no fans allowed, and that will be a downer, but you know, they have been playing at Dignity Health Sports Park just south of Los Angeles, and more often than not, the visiting team usually had more fans.
Los Angeles Chargers vs. Cincinnati Bengals spread pick & prediction
In the NFL betting odds that we will use in our Los Angeles Chargers vs. Cincinnati Bengals Spread Pick & Prediction at CentSports, the free online sportsbook, the home team is an underdog:
Los Angeles Chargers -3 (-120)
Cincinnati Bengals +3 (+100)
Over 43 points -110
Under 43 points -110
Burrow is the reigning Heisman Trophy winner, the #1 pick in the draft, and the guy who is probably most “NFL-ready.” And he steps into a situation where he’s got a viable option in the backfield to provide balance (Joe Mixon) along with high-quality receiving options like A.J. Green and Tyler Boyd.
Burrow was trained in a short-passing offense by Joe Brady at LSU, and undoubtedly Zac Taylor would like to see him get rid of the ball quickly. But he sometimes got himself into situations where he held onto the ball too long. And in the NFL, he’s not going to be able to escape enemy pass rushes the way he did in college.
We don’t hold out a lot of hope for the Chargers in terms of winning the AFC West. And as the season progresses, they may turn to Herbert, who has a big arm and a big learning curve. But they have to do it because there is a lot of money invested and young quarterbacks don’t have as much time to sit as they used to.
However, on this particular weekend, Tyrod Taylor is the guy with the steady veteran presence, while Burrow is the guy with the learning curve, and without the benefit of some pre-season action to get his feet wet. And Burrow comes right out of the box facing two of the fiercest pass rushers in the NFL. And both Joey Bosa and Melvin Ingram signed new paperwork during training camp to make them happy.
Not only that, Burrow will also have to work against one of the league’s better secondaries, which features Casey Hayward, Chris Harris AND Derwin James, an All-Pro safety who is back from injury.
That’s a daunting task. And no earth-movers were added to an offensive line that surrendered 48 sacks last year. While Cincinnati got to within seven points in seven different losses last year, they may not be too much better in stopping the run (32nd out of 32 teams in 2019).
As a result, in our Los Angeles Chargers vs. Cincinnati Bengals spread pick & prediction for this weekend, the Bengals have the tougher assignment, as we lay the points at CentSports, the free online sportsbook that provides challenging fun 24 hours a day!