Key trends this week in CFB, NFL

By Bruce Marshall  () 

COLLEGE

BALL STATE at MIAMI (OHIO)

Ball State covered five of six away from Muncie last year, also went 5-1 as dog. Miami has lost and failed to cover openers the last three seasons. Tech edge: Slight to Ball State, based on team trends.

EASTERN MICHIGAN at KENT STATE

EMU entered 2020 with 22-5-1 spread mark last 28 away from Ypsilanti but has failed to cover last two years vs. Kent State. Golden Flashes closed 2019 covering last five and seven of last eight, but only 2-2 as chalk. Tech edge: EMU, based on team trends.

WESTERN MICHIGAN at AKRON

WMU just 1-7-1 vs. line last nine away from Waldo Stadium and just 6-12-1 last 19 as chalk. But Zips off subterranean 1-11 SU and spread marks in 2019 and 1-11 vs. spread last 12 as hosts. Tech edge: WMU, based on recent Akron woes. 

BOWLING GREEN at TOLEDO

BG continued as poor value last season, only 3-9 vs. line and now 14-34 vs. spread the last four seasons. Falcons did shock local rival Toledo 20-7 last year as 26½-point dogs after losing nine straight in series and allowing 204 points the previous four series losses. Rockets didn’t exactly close 2019 with a rush, as 0-6-1 last seven vs. number suggests, but had covered five of previous seven as MAC hosts into 2019 and were 5-1 as DD chalk in 2018. Tech edge: Toledo, based on extended Bowling Green woes.

BUFFALO at NORTHERN ILLINOIS

Buffalo on 26-12-3 run vs. line since late in 2016. However, Bulls have lost all 11 SU vs. NIU since 1999. Meetings in 2017-18 were decided by one point. Huskies were 5-1 as dogs in 2019 and 8-2 last 10 in role. Tech edge: Slight to Buffalo, based on team trends.

OHIO at CENTRAL MICHIGAN

Frank Solich has covered five of his last seven as MAC visitor and 15-7 vs. spread as visitor since 2016. If Solich a dog here, note 14-5 mark in role since 2015. Ohio has lost and failed to cover last four vs. CMU, though teams haven’t met since 2017. Jim McElwain 10-4 vs. spread in Chippewas debut last year, 6-0 vs. spread at Mt. Pleasant (not so pleasant for visitors). Tech edge: Slight to Ohio, especially if dog, based on extended Solich trends. 

SMU at TEMPLE

Owls were 6-2 vs. line at Linc in 2019 but failed to cover 2020 home opener vs. USF. Temple was whipped at SMU in 2019, however. Mustangs just 1-4 vs. line last five and 2-5 last seven vs. spread away from Dallas. Tech edge: Slight to Temple, based on team trends.

WYOMING at COLORADO STATE

Border war! Advantage, Wyoming, as Craig Bohl has won and covered last four meetings. Cowboys on 8-2 spread run in Laramie after Hawaii win. Tech edge: Wyoming, based on team and series trends. 

UTAH STATE at NEVADA

Utags sagging, only 4-8 last 12 vs. line since early 2019. Wolf Pack on 6-2 spread run last eight vs. Mountain West at Reno. Tech edge: Nevada, based on recent trends.

MIAMI at NC STATE

NC State has covered its first two in Raleigh this season and is 5-1 Over in 2020. Canes only 1-4 vs. line last five as chalk away from home, though 1-0 in role this season. Tech edge: Slight to NCS and Over, based on team and totals trends.

SAN JOSE STATE at SAN DIEGO STATE

SJSU on 11-4-1 spread run since late 2018, 9-3 last 12 as dog. But Spartans haven’t beaten SDSU outright since 2012. Aztecs covered vs. feeble UNLV in opener, but home chalk not a good role lately (5-12 since 2017). Tech edge: SJSU, based on team trends. 

BYU at BOISE STATE

Cougars 7-0 SU, 6-1 vs. line in 2020, won and covered first two on road. BYU has covered four of last five series meetings. Boise now 8-3 last 11 vs. line at home on blue carpet. Tech edge: Slight to BYU, based on series trends. 

AIR FORCE at ARMY

Underdog unbeaten last five vs. line in series (4-0-1). Falcons have won and covered last three trips to Michie. Troy Calhoun 19-10-2 vs. spread as dog since 2014. Tech edge: Air Force, based on team trends. 

TULANE at EAST CAROLINA

Tulane on 14-7 spread uptick since late 2018, also Over 5-1 last six in 2020. ECU 8-3 last 11 as dog (3-1 in 2020 after Tulsa cover) and Over last four this season. Tech edge: Over, based on recent totals trends.

PITT at FLORIDA STATE

Panthers on 6-2 Over run. Pitt on 2-7-1 spread skid since late 2019. FSU only 3-7 last 10 as chalk, Over 7-3 last 10 since late 2019. Tech edge: Over, based on totals trends. 

SOUTH ALABAMA at COASTAL CAROLINA

Chanticleers 5-1 vs. line in 2020 and on 9-3 spread uptick since mid-2019. USA Under 12-5 last 17 since 2019. Tech edge: Under and Coastal, based on totals and team trends. 

LIBERTY at VIRGINIA TECH

Tech has covered five straight at Blacksburg. Hugh Freeze, however, has covered six of last eight away from Lynchburg and 4-1 last five as dog. Tech edge: Slight to Liberty, based on team trends. 

TROY at GEORGIA SOUTHERN

Troy 3-3 vs. line in 2020, 7-11 vs. spread since Chip Lindsey arrived last season. Trojans have covered last two and won last three handily vs. GSU. Eagles have alternated covers their last 12 games through Oct. 29, due to lose if pattern continues. Tech edge: Slight to Troy, based on series trends. 

HOUSTON at CINCINNATI

Dana Holgorsen very so-so lately, 8-8 vs. line at UH, 6-6 as dog. Cougars also Over 6-2 last eight since late 2019. Cincy, however, Under 14-5 since last season. Tech edge: Slight to Under, based on Cincy extended totals trends.

ULM at GEORGIA STATE

Warhawks 2-5 vs. line in 2020, 10-23 last 33 on board for Matt Viator. Even after blowout loss to Coastal Carolina, Panthers 6-2 vs. spread last eight in Atlanta. Home teams have won and covered handily last two years in series. Tech edge: Georgia State, based on team trends. 

LOUISVILLE at VIRGINIA

Home team has covered last four in series. Cards Over 10-2 last 12 since mid-2019, Cavs Over 11-1 last 12 since mid-2019. Tech edge: Virginia and Over, based on series and recent totals trends. 

BOSTON COLLEGE at SYRACUSE

Road team has covered last four in series. Orange just 3-7 last 10 vs. line at Carrier Dome. Eagles 13-5 last 18 vs. line as visitors, 4-2 last six as visiting chalk. Tech edge: BC, based on series and team trends. 

NORTH CAROLINA at DUKE

David Cutcliffe 1-2 as dog this year after 2-4-1 mark in role last season. That follows 25-12-1 mark as dog from 2013-18. Mack Brown 6-3 last nine vs. line since late 2019. Tech edge: Slight to UNC, based on recent trends. 

TULSA at NAVY

Mids 1-2 as Annapolis dogs this season, 5-4-1 in role since 2016. Navy 23-14-1 as dog overall since 2015. Mids have won and covered last five meetings. But Tulsa 8-1 vs. spread away since 2019. Tech edge: Slight to Navy, based on series trends.

MICHIGAN at INDIANA

Hoosiers haven’t won in series since 1987, so it’s 24 SU wins in a row since for Wolverines. Road team has covered last two in series. Jim Harbaugh just 3-5 vs. spread last eight on Big Ten road. IU 5-2 last seven as dog. Tech edge: Slight to Michigan, based on series trends. 

RUTGERS at OHIO STATE

Buckeyes have covered six of their last seven at Horseshoe. OSU has murdered Rutgers last six years, scoring 49 or more in each, covering all except last year’s 56-21 win. Most of those came vs. former OSU assistant Chris Ash. Tech edge: OSU, based on team and series trends.

MARYLAND at PENN STATE

James Franklin has been merciless on Maryland the last four years, winning and covering all with 163-6 total score last three years. Animosity from Franklin being bypassed at Maryland after 2010, though he failed to cover vs. Terps in 2014-15. Franklin, however, on 0-6 spread skid at Happy Valley. Tech edge: Penn State, based on recent series trends.

BAYLOR at IOWA STATE

At end of Matt Rhule era, Baylor had covered seven straight vs. Big 12 foes away from Waco, though lost first conference road game of 2020 at WVU. Bears were also 9-1 as dogs to close Rhule era, 0-1-1 in role this year. ISU has covered last two at Ames, though only 2-4 vs. line last six as host, 3-6-1 last 10 overall. Tech edge: Slight to Baylor, based on team trends.

MINNESOTA at ILLINOIS

Gophers 4-8-1 vs. line as Big Ten visitors since 2018, though 3-2-1 last six in role. P.J. Fleck on 11-4 Over run after Maryland loss. Aside from 6-0 midseason spread run last season, Lovie Smith 8-18 vs. line in other Big Ten games since late 2016. Tech edge: Over, based on Gophers totals trends.

MICHIGAN STATE at IOWA

Hawkeyes Under 10-4-1 since last season after Purdue and NU games. Kirk Ferentz 8-5 last 13 as Iowa City chalk. MSU 17-7 Under since late 2018. Tech edge: Under and Iowa, based on totals and team trends.

UCLA at COLORADO

Karl Dorrell’s Colorado debut vs. his old team! UCLA 18-30-1 vs. line since 2016. Buffs covered last three at Boulder in 2019. Tech edge: Slight to Colorado, based on team trends. 

ARIZONA at UTAH

Utah has won and covered last four meetings. Kevin Sumlin 4-7 vs. line last 11 away with Cats, also dropped nine of 12 vs. spread in 2019. Utes covered all five last year and seven of last eight vs. Pac-12 at Salt Lake City. Tech edge: Utah, based on team and series trends.

ARIZONA STATE at USC

Trojans covered four of five as Pac-12 hosts in 2019 and have won and covered four of last five vs. ASU. Herm Edwards only 5-10 vs. line last 15 since late 2018, though he was 4-2 as dog in 2019. Tech edge: USC, based on series trends. 

STANFORD at OREGON

David Shaw only 1-5 as dog last year after 13-5-1 mark in role since 2011. Shaw had won and covered three straight vs. Ducks before 2019. Ducks only 2-4 vs. spread last six as Pac-12 hosts. Tech edge: Slight to Oregon, based on recent trends.  

WASHINGTON STATE at OREGON STATE

Nick Rolovich in WSU debut. If dog, note Rolovich was only 8-14-1 in role last three years with Hawaii. WSU closed out Mike Leach era on 4-11 spread skid. Beavers covered nine of last 11 in 2019. Jonathan Smith 2-0 in rare chalk role last two years. Tech edge: OSU and Over, based on team and totals trends.

FRESNO STATE at UNLV

Big wins last two years for FSU. Bulldogs were on 2-9-1 spread skid until CSU win. Fresno still 8-4-2 vs. line last 14 on Mountain West trail. Rebels on 7-13 spread skid as hosts at former home Sam Boyd Stadium or Allegiant Stadium after Nevada loss. Tech edge: Fresno State, based on team trends.

WASHINGTON at CAL

Jimmy Lake’s debut with Huskies. Cal has won SU upsets last two years. If dog, note Justin Wilcox 16-7 in role last three years for Bears. Cal also on 20-7 Under run entering 2020. Tech edge: Cal, especially if dog, and Under based on team and totals trends.

APPALACHIAN STATE at TEXAS STATE

App only 1-5 vs. spread since late 2019, has failed to cover three of last four in series. Bobcats 1-3-1 vs. line as Sun Belt hosts since last year, also on 13-7 Under run, though Over last two. Tech edge: Slight to Under, based on totals trends. 

SOUTH FLORIDA at MEMPHIS

Tigers on 1-7 spread skid since late 2019, no covers last five as Liberty Bowl chalk. Tech edge: Slight to South Florida, based on recent Memphis trends. 

KANSAS at OKLAHOMA

Les Miles is 0-5-1 vs. spread in 2020, 1-8-1 last 10 vs. points since late 2019. But Jayhawks have covered last two vs. OU (big prices). Lincoln Riley just 2-5 last seven as Norman Big 12 chalk. Tech edge: Slight to OU, based on Kansas negatives.

TEXAS TECH at TCU

Frogs on 5-16-1 spread skid as Fort Worth chalk. Red Raiders have covered four of last five in series. Tech edge: Texas Tech, based on team and series trends.

OKLAHOMA STATE at KANSAS STATE

Mike Gundy on 13-5-1 spread run, though Chris Klieman 8-3 as dog and K-State 23-8 in role since 2016 back to last three years of Bill Snyder era. Dog has covered four of last five meetings. Tech edge: Slight to K-State, based on team and series trends. 

WEST VIRGINIA at TEXAS

Home team is 5-0-1 vs. line in WVU games this season. But Horns only 2-6-1 last nine as Austin Big 12 chalk. Texas Over 13-6 last 19. Tech edge: Slight to Over and West Virginia, based on totals and extended team trends. 

NEBRASKA at NORTHWESTERN

Before Maryland win, Cats were 2-5 previous seven vs. spread at Evanston vs. Big 12. Road team has covered seven straight in this series. Tech edge: Nebraska, based on series road trends. 

FLORIDA at GEORGIA

Kirby Smart has won and covered last three in series, though Dawgs just 2-3 vs. line last five as SEC hosts. Dan Mullen teams 19-10 last 29 as dogs at Mississippi State and Florida. Tech edge: Slight to Georgia, based on recent series trends.

UTSA at RICE

If Rice chalk, note 1-6 mark in role since 2017. Roadrunners have won outright last five meetings (3-2 vs. line in those). If UTSA dog, note 9-2 spread mark last 11 in role. Tech edge: UTSA, especially if dog, based on series and team trends. 

CHARLOTTE at MIDDLE TENNESSEE

Charlotte has covered last two meetings and won outright last year at home. If MTSU chalk, note 0-5 mark last five in role. Tech edge: Charlotte, especially if dog, based on team and recent series trends. 

VANDERBILT at MISSISSIPPI STATE

Vandy on 4-13 spread skid, but Mike Leach on 5-15 spread skid since late in his WSU career. MSU 2-7 Under run. Commodores 6-10 Under last 16. Tech edge: Under, based on totals trends. 

ARKANSAS STATE at UL-LAFAYETTE

Ragin’ Cajuns have covered last two and three of last four meetings. Billy Napier on 18-11-2 spread uptick. ASU just 1-4 last five vs. line as Sun Belt visitor. Tech edge: ULL, based on recent trends. 

FIU at UTEP

UTEP surprising 4-2 vs. line after 10-25-1 mark vs. spread previous three years. Miners also covered this game vs. FIU in 2019. Butch Davis just 5-11 vs. line with FIU since last year. Tech edge: Slight to UTEP, based on recent trends. 

NEW MEXICO at HAWAII

Under Nick Rolovich, Hawaii only 6-12 as Aloha Stadium chalk, and Warriors now 7-18 in role since 2014, back to the Norm Chow years. Lobos entered 2020 on 4-15 spread skid at end of Bob Davie era, then lost and failed to cover opener at SJSU. Tech edge: Slight to New Mexico, based on extended trends.

WESTERN KENTUCKY at FLORIDA ATLANTIC

WKU 0-7 vs. line in 2020, now on 0-8-1 spread skid since late 2019. FAU has won last three meetings (2-0-1 vs. line). Tech edge: FAU, based on team and series trends. 

LOUISIANA TECH at NORTH TEXAS

If Skip Holtz a dog, note 21-10-1 mark in role since he arrived at Ruston in 2014. Also 5-1 SU and vs. line against UNT since 2014. Mean Green 5-18 last 23 vs. line since mid-2018. Tech edge: Louisiana Tech, especially if dog, based on team and series trends.  

TEXAS A&M at SOUTH CAROLINA

Will Muschamp 3-1-1 as dog this season, 15-8-1 as dog since 2017, though A&M has won and covered last two meetings. Tech edge: Slight to SC, based on extended dog marks.

CLEMSON at NOTRE DAME

Brian Kelly 10-6 as dog since 2014 and 1-1 vs. line against Clemson in that span, including 2018 playoff loss at Cotton Bowl. Dabo Swinney 13-3-1 vs. spread last 17 away from Death Valley. Tech edge: Clemson, based on team trends. 

TENNESSEE at ARKANSAS

Razorbacks 5-0 vs. line in 2020 for Sam Pittman. Vols have lost and failed to cover three in a row after eight-game SU win streak. UT Under 13-6 since late 2018 for Jeremy Pruitt. Tech edge: Arkansas, based on recent trends.

 

NFL

GREEN BAY at SAN FRANCISCO

Niners destroyed Pack in both meetings at Levi’s last season, with total score 74-28. Pack 5-2 vs. line this year, Niners only 1-3 vs. line at home. Tech edge: Slight to 49ers, based on recent series trends.

SEATTLE at BUFFALO

Bills no covers last four in 2020. Seahawks 8-4-1 vs. spread away since last year. Tech edge: Seahawks, based on recent trends. 

DENVER at ATLANTA

Falcons 0-4 vs. line at home this year, 3-8 last 11 as hosts. Vic Fangio 3-0 vs. line away this year, 7-2 vs. spread last nine as visitor. Also 10-3 last 13 as dog. Tech edge: Broncos, based on team trends. 

CHICAGO at TENNESSEE

Bears 3-1 vs. line away this year, also Under 12-6 last 18 on board. Titans, however, are Over six in a row and Over 16-4 with Ryan Tannehill at QB. Tennessee 2-4 vs. spread in last six at Nissan Stadium. Tech edge: Bears and slight to Over, based on recent and extended Titans totals trends.

DETROIT at MINNESOTA

Vikes just 3-5 vs. spread last eight as hosts but have won and covered last five in series. Vikes Over 13-5 last 18 regular-season games. Tech edge: Vikings and Over, based on series and totals trends.

BALTIMORE at INDIANAPOLIS

Ravens have dropped only five of last 18 vs. spread (12-5-1), though they’re 0-3-1 last four vs. spread in 2020. Also 6-1-1 vs. spread last eight away. Baltimore 8-6 Under since late 2019. Colts 0-1 as dogs this year but were 5-3 in role last year. Tech edge: Ravens, based on team trends. 

CAROLINA at KANSAS CITY

Matt Rhule has covered last four as dog in 2020 and last three on road. Chiefs have covered 15 of their last 17 on board. Tech edge: Slight to Chiefs, based on extended trends.

HOUSTON at JACKSONVILLE

Texans have won last five meetings SU (4-1 vs. line), but Houston 1-6 vs. line this year, 1-7 last eight on board. Lone win and cover that span at expense of Jaguars on Oct. 11. Jaguars no covers last five this year. Last five and six of last seven meetings Under as well. Tech edge: Under, based on totals trends. 

NEW YORK GIANTS at WASHINGTON

After Bucs game Monday night, Giants 4-0-1 vs. line last five and 5-1-1 vs. points last seven. N.Y. has won last four meetings (3-0-1 vs. line), including close 20-19 win OCt. 18 at MetLife. Tech edge: Slight to Giants, based on recent and series trends. 

LAS VEGAS at LOS ANGELES CHARGERS

Bolts had won and covered four straight in series before Raiders’ sweep last year. Raiders Over 5-1-1 in 2020. Chargers Over last four. Tech edge: Over, based on totals trends. 

PITTSBURGH at DALLAS

After loss to Philly on Sunday night, Cowboys 0-8 vs. line in 2020, 2-11 last 13 on board. Steelers 8-0 SU, 7-1 vs. spread in 2020. Pittsburgh Over 4-1-1 last six. Tech edge: Steelers and slight to Over, based on team and totals trends.

MIAMI at ARIZONA

Dolphins on 14-5 spread run since early 2019 and 12-3 last 15 as dogs. But Kliff Kingsbury 5-2 vs. line this year and 15-7-1 since taking over Cards in 2019. Cards also on 8-3-1 Under run. Dolphins Under 5-2 this year. Tech edge: Under, based on totals trends.

NEW ORLEANS at TAMPA BAY

Saints on 8-2 spread run as visitors, though only 2-6 last eight overall vs. number. Saints also Over 7-0 in 2020 and Over 5-1 last six vs. Bucs. Saints 4-1 SU and vs. line last five at Raymond James Stadium. After Monday at Giants, Bucs 4-2-1 vs. spread last seven this year. Bruce Arians also now Over 17-7 with Bucs and 32-15 since mid-2016 with Cards. Tech edge: Over, based on totals trends. 

NEW ENGLAND at NEW YORK JETS

Teams are combined 4-11 vs. line this year. Pats have dropped last four SU and 1-3 vs. spread in those. Jets 1-7 vs. line this year, 3-10 last 13 on board. Jets Under 10-4 last 14. Bill Belichick Under 5-3 last eight since late 2019, and Unders 7-1 last eight meetings. Patriots have won last eight SU in series and have covered five of last seven. Tech edge: Under and slight to Patriots, based on totals and series trends.

 

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