This week's college, NFL trends

By Bruce Marshall  () 



UAB at SOUTH ALABAMA: Bill Clark 26-15-1 vs. line since UAB returned in 2017, though Blazers just 4-7 vs. spread last 11 as visitors. USA off quickly with covers in first two this season. On 8-2 spread run since mid-2019. Tech edge: South Alabama, based on recent trends.

MIDDLE TENNESSEE at UTSA: MTSU has started slowly, no wins or covers in first two, outscored 89-14. After UTSA’s upset of Texas State, Roadrunners on 10-5 spread uptick since late 2018. Tech edge: UTSA, based on team trends. 

UCF at EAST CAROLINA: Even after beating Georgia Tech, UCF 4-5 vs. line last nine away from Orlando and 7-8 last 15 vs. spread. ECU hasn’t beaten UCF SU since 2015 but did cover big number last year after getting routed previous three campaigns. Pirates 2-2 as home dogs last year in Mike Houston’s debut after subpar 3-8 spread mark in role previous two seasons. Tech edge: UCF, based on team and extended series trends. 

GEORGIA STATE at CHARLOTTE: GSU closed last season on skid, dropping four of last five vs. line. Could be rare chalk for Charlotte, just 2-2 in role last two seasons. 49ers also 7-3 vs. spread last 10 as hosts. Tech edge: Charlotte, based on team trends.

SOUTH FLORIDA at FLORIDA ATLANTIC: New coach Jeff Scott tries to improve Bulls from 3-8 spread mark last 11 as dogs under Charlie Strong but off slowly in blowout loss to Notre Dame. Willie Taggart’s FAU debut delayed by postponement last week vs. Georgia Southern. He was only 8-13-1 vs. line at FSU, his worst stretch as coach, though he inherits Owls team 10-4 vs. line last season for Lane Kiffin. Tech edge: FAU, based on team trends. 

FLORIDA STATE at MIAMI: Miami has won last three SU in this rivalry. Before last season’s 27-10 score, preceding five games decided by five points or fewer. FSU on 6-13 spread skid dating to mid-2018. Tech edge: Miami, based on team trends.

GEORGIA TECH at SYRACUSE: After 3-8-1 spread mark in GT debut, Geoff Collins recorded big win in opener vs. Seminoles, though loss to UCF makes him 4-9-1 vs. line with Jackets. Tech now on 3-0-1 spread uptick as ACC visitor. Syracuse on 3-7 spread skid since mid-2019. Tech edge: Slight to GT, based on recent trends. 

LOUISVILLE at PITT: Scott Satterfield teams at Appalachian State and Louisville 17-9-1 vs. spread since 2018. If chalk, note that entering 2020, Pitt only 7-14-1 vs. line at Heinz as favorite since Pat Narduzzi took over in 2015. These two haven’t met since 2013. Tech edge: Louisville, based on team trends.

TENNESSEE at SOUTH CAROLINA: Vols closed 2019 fast with wins in last six SU and 6-2 vs. line last eight. Jeremy Pruitt has covered five of last six on SEC road. Conversely, Will Muschamp dropped five of last six vs. spread last year and just 5-9 last 14 vs. spread. If either gets points, note that dog has covered last eight in this series. Tech edge: Slight to Tennessee, especially if dog, based on team trends. 

KANSAS at BAYLOR: Bears have won last 10 meetings SU, covering last eight and nine of those 10, many by whopping scores. Last eight meetings, Baylor’s win margin at 40.5 ppg. Les Miles teams 7-15-1 vs. line last 23 covering LSU and KU stints dating to late 2015. Tech edge: Baylor, based on team and series trends. 

TROY at BYU: Trojans entered 2020 only 4-10 vs. line last 14 regular-season games but romped vs.  MTSU last week. Troy only 1-4 as dog last year for Chip Lindsey. Kalani Sitake just 4-9 vs. number in 2019 but did romp in 2020 opener vs. Navy. Tech edge: Slight to BYU, based on recent Troy trends.

ALABAMA at MISSOURI: Nick Saban just 6-6 vs. line as SEC visitor since 2017, only 21-21-1 vs. line last 43 on board. Eli Drinkwitz’s Mizzou debut after Tigers dropped last seven vs. line for Barry Odom a year ago. Alabama won and covered big the only three meetings (including SEC title game 2014) since Tigers joined SEC. All Tide wins by 29 or more. Tech edge: Alabama, based on team and extended series trends.

NORTH TEXAS at HOUSTON: Dana Holgorsen was 0-2 as chalk in UH debut last year after 10-6 mark laying points his last two years at WVU. Cougars only 1-4 vs. line at TDECU Stadium last year (did cover one at NRG). Mean Green entered 2020 on 3-15 spread skid before covering opener vs. Houston Baptist.  Tech edge: Houston, based on recent UNT negatives.

WEST VIRGINIA at OKLAHOMA STATE: Mike Gundy has won and covered last five vs. Mounties.  Cowboys entered 2020 on 13-4 spread uptick and covered all four as double-digit chalk in 2019, though failed in first try in roles for 2020 vs. Tulsa. Neal Brown just 4-6 as dog in WVU debut last year after 6-2 mark previous three years in role with Troy. Tech edge: OSU, based on series trends.

FLORIDA at OLE MISS: Lane Kiffin’s Rebels debut. Dan Mullen 17-9 vs. spread last two seasons with Gators and 6-2 vs. spread as true visitor last two seasons. Kiffin was 10-4 vs. line with FAU in 2019 and covered four of his last five as dog with FAU. Rebels were also 8-3-1 vs. spread for Matt Luke in 2019.  Teams have not met since 2015. Tech edge: Slight to Ole Miss, based on team trends.

GEORGIA SOUTHERN at LOUISIANA-LAFAYETTE: Ragin’ Cajuns were on 18-7-2 spread uptick after opening win vs. Iowa State. Billy Napier 6-3-1 vs. spread last 10 at Cajun Field, won and covered at Statesboro last year. Eagles just 2-6 vs. spread last eight away from home. Tech edge: Louisiana-Lafayette, based on team trends. 

KANSAS STATE at OKLAHOMA: Revenge spot for Sooners after suffering only Big 12 loss last year at hands of KSU. But OU 0-2 vs. line in rare revenge spots last two years. Lincoln Riley entered 2020 11-17-1 vs. spread last 29. Though home team has covered last four in series. Cats were 6-2 as dogs last year for Chris Klieman and 4-1 vs. spread as visitors. Tech edge: Slight to K-State, based on team trends. 

GEORGIA at ARKANSAS: Sam Pittman debut for Arkansas. Hogs lost last nine SU in disastrous 2019 but did cover four of those (2-0 after Chad Morris dismissed in November). Arkansas 5-5 as DD dog last two years. Kirby Smart has covered last seven regular-season games away from Athens. Tech edge: Georgia, based on team trends.

TEXAS at TEXAS TECH: Tom Herman 6-2 vs. spread last eight away from Austin and has won and covered last two vs. Tech. Horns 2-0 as chalk away from Austin last year after 1-4 mark previous year in role. Red Raiders 2-5 vs. spread last seven on board after non-cover in opener. Tech edge: Texas, based on recent trends.  

IOWA STATE at TCU: Frogs just 6-13 vs. spread in regular season since mid-2018. Also just 3-8 vs. points last 11 at Fort Worth and 5-15-1 as Amon Carter chalk since 2016. ISU sliding a bit, too, with no covers last five after opening loss to ULL. But if Cyclones are dogs, note 18-9-1 mark in role for Matt Campbell since 2016. ISU has also covered all four for Campbell vs. TCU since 2016. Tech edge: Iowa State, based on team and series trends.

MISSISSIPPI STATE at LSU: Mike Leach’s MSU debut. Leach was only 4-11 vs. spread his last 15 with Washington State and started slowly with Cougars in first year at Pullman in 2012, dropping first four vs. line. But he was 14-8 as dog with WSU from 2015-19. Can LSU replicate its big 11-4 spread mark last year? Tigers were only 2-2 vs. line as SEC hosts, and Ed Orgeron was just 4-6 as Baton Rouge chalk in 2017-18 seasons. LSU did win and cover last two vs. Bulldogs but had dropped previous four in series vs. line. Tech edge: Slight to MSU, based on extended Leach dog trends.

VANDERBILT at TEXAS A&M: Jimbo Fisher is 8-3 laying DDs with A&M the last two years and 9-3 as College Station chalk in that span. Derek Mason enters 2020 on 3-10 spread skid. First meeting since 2015.  Tech edge: Texas A&M, based on team trends. 

KENTUCKY at AUBURN: Mark Stoops enters 2020 on 11-4 spread uptick, including 4-2 last six as dog. Cats won last four SU in 2019 and covered six of last seven. Gus Malzahn off best spread year since 2013 title-game season when 9-4 vs. line in 2019, but just 4-11 last 15 as Jordan-Hare SEC chalk. Teams last met in 2015. Tech edge: Kentucky, based on team trends.

TULSA at ARKANSAS STATE: Tulsa 6-1 vs. points away since last year, also 6-3 as dog as Philip Montgomery recovered somewhat after a couple of subpar spread years. Red Wolves just 5-9 vs. spread last 14 at Jonesboro, though covered first two in 2020 (both on road). Tech edge: Slight to Tulsa, based on team trends. 

FIU at LIBERTY: Butch Davis and FIU slipped to 4-9 vs. line in 2019 after near-opposite 10-3 spread mark in 2018. Golden Panthers only 2-4 as dogs in 2019 after Davis posted 10-4 mark in role previous two seasons. Flames 4-2 as chalk last year for Hugh Freeze and now 10-5 vs. line last 15 on board after WKU win. Tech edge: Liberty, based on recent trends.

TULANE at SOUTHERN MISS: Rematch of Armed Forces Bowl won by Tulane 30-13. Old rivals from Wave’s C-USA days had not previously met since 2010. Willie Fritz was 9-4 vs. spread in 2019 but no covers first two in 2020, and no covers last five as non-American visitor. Tech edge: Slight to USM, based on recent trends. 

ARMY at CINCINNATI: Army has rolled to wins and covers in first two of 2020. Jeff Monken slipped to 2-3 as dog last year but was 14-8-2 in role previous four years. Army 7-3 vs. line last 10 as visitor (3-3 last year). Bearcats 7-5 last 12 as home chalk (counting APSU last week) and Luke Fickell just 11-11 last 22 on board. Tech edge: Army, based on extended trends.

UTEP at UL MONROE: Miners’ woes continue, Dana Dimel now 8-18 vs. spread since arriving in 2018 after opening blowout loss at Texas. But UTEP a bit better 8-9 as road dog for Dimel. Miners 10-26-1 vs. line since 2017. Warhawks, however, only 4-12 last 16 on board after two losses to begin 2020. ULM 0-7-1 as Malone Stadium chalk since 2017. Tech edge: Slight to UTEP, based on ULM negatives.

DUKE at VIRGINIA: Bronco Mendenhall has owned David Cutcliffe, as Cavaliers have won and covered all four meetings since Mendenhall arrived in 2016. Blue Devils have lost last five SU and vs. line in series. Duke covered opener at ND as dog, and Cutcliffe was 25-12-1 in dog role from 2013-18, though just 2-4-1 in role last year. Tech edge: Virginia, based on team trends.

TEXAS STATE at BOSTON COLLEGE: Jake Spavital 5-9-1 vs. spread with TSU since last year (1-1 to begin 2020) and 2-4 as DD dog since 2019. Jeff Hafley home debut for BC. Eagles 0-3 as home chalk for Steve Addazio. BC is on 24-11-1 spread uptick — 1-0 for Hafley, much of that in 2017 for Addazio. Tech edge: BC, based on team trends.

NC STATE at VIRGINIA TECH: Wolfpack dropped 10 of last 11 vs. line in 2019 and have lost seven straight vs. spread away from Raleigh but did cover 2020 opener vs. Wake. Virginia Tech covered last three as Blacksburg chalk last year but a subpar 13-18 last 31 on board since late 2017 for Justin Fuente. Tech edge: Virginia Tech, based on NCS negatives.




MIAMI at JACKSONVILLE: After spread cover vs. Bills, Dolphins 10-4 vs. line last 14 since early 2019. Jaguars now Over four of last five as hosts after Indy opener and 2-0 Over this season. Tech edge: Over, based on totals trends.

LOS ANGELES RAMS at BUFFALO: Rams now 10-2 vs. spread in last 12 as visitors since late 2018, and they have won and covered seven straight in early kickoffs in Eastern time zone or London. Bills 4-6 last 10 as Orchard Park chalk. Tech edge: Rams, based on team trends.  

LAS VEGAS at NEW ENGLAND: Raiders have covered last three and six of nine as visitors after opening win at Carolina. Raiders had closed 2019 Under six of last seven before Overs vs. Panthers and Saints. Into Sunday night at Seattle, Belichick Under 21-12 last 33 regular-season games, also 21-10 as Gillette Stadium regular-season chalk since 2016. Tech edge: Under, based on totals trends.  

HOUSTON at PITTSBURGH: Texans now no covers last four as dogs after covering eight of previous 11 in role. Steelers on 14-5 and 16-6 Under runs after opener vs. Giants, and 9-6 vs. spread last 15 at Heinz Field (much of that minus Ben Roethlisberger last year). Tech edge: Steelers and slight to Under, based on team and totals trends.

SAN FRANCISCO at NEW YORK GIANTS: G-Men now no covers last seven as MetLife dogs after opener vs. Steelers. Niners 7-2 vs. spread as visitors since 2019. Tech edge: Niners, based on team trends.

TENNESSEE at MINNESOTA: Titans entered 2020 on 9-4 spread uptick but have failed to cover first two. Vikes Over 9-4 last 13 regular-season games. Tech edge: Over and Titans, based on totals and team trends. 

WASHINGTON at CLEVELAND: Browns 0-2 vs. line for Kevin Stefanski after non-cover vs. Cincy, and Cleveland now 5-12-1 vs. line since 2019. Tech edge: Washington, based on Browns negatives.

CINCINNATI at PHILADELPHIA: Cincy now 5-3 as visiting dog since last year (not counting Rams in London) for Zac Taylor and on 5-1 Over run. Birds 5-14 vs. line last 19 at Linc, 4-10 last 14 as home chalk. Philly was Under last seven at home in 2019 before Over vs. Rams. Tech edge: Bengals, based on team trends.

CHICAGO at ATLANTA: Bears rallied for win in opener but no cover vs. G-Men last week and now 5-14 last 19 on board. Chicago 1-4 as dog in 2019 but got the “W” in role in opener vs. Lions. Falcons closed 2019 on 6-2 SU and spread rush. Atlanta dropped first two SU in 2020 though did cover at Dallas. Tech edge: Slight to Falcons, based on recent trends.

NEW YORK JETS at INDIANAPOLIS: Jets only 3-7 vs. line last 10 away (3-6 for Adam Gase) after loss at Buffalo in opener. N.Y. did cover five of last six as dog in 2019 before loss vs. Bills, also no cover as dog last week vs. Niners. Philip Rivers 5-14 vs. line with Chargers and Colts since late 2018. Tech edge: Slight to Jets, based on team trends.

CAROLINA at LOS ANGELES CHARGERS: Bolts now in new stadium but were 1-8 vs. line their last nine at Carson from late 2018 through 2019, all before cover vs. K.C. last week. Chargers also Under 6-1 last seven as hosts since 2019 and were 2-8 last year as chalk, though did squeeze out narrow cover in Cincy opener. Panthers on 1-8-1 spread skid after opening losses vs. Raiders and Bucs, though also Over 14-5 after first two in 2020. Tech edge: Over and slight to Panthers, based on totals trends and extended Chargers home negatives.

DETROIT at ARIZONA: Kliff Kingsbury now 12-5-1 vs. line with Cards after 2-0 start in 2020. Cards only 0-1 as chalk in 2019 but handled role vs. Washington last week. Lions on 6-12 spread skid and Over 12-6 since 2019 after extended Under run. Tech edge: Cardinals and Over, based on team and totals trends.

TAMPA BAY at DENVER: Broncos 10-4 last 14 vs. points since early 2019 (covered first two in 2020 even though 0-2 SU) and now Under 19-8 since mid-2018 (Vic Fangio 10-8 Under since last year). If Denver a dog here, note Fangio 7-2 last nine in role. Bruce Arians only 6-11-1 vs. line with Bucs, and his teams Over 29-12 last 41 with Cards and Bucs. Tech edge: Broncos, based on team trends.

DALLAS at SEATTLE: Dallas only 8-10 vs. line its last 18 as visitor, though Cowboys 6-1 last seven as regular-season dogs. Seahawks entered 2020 just 2-7 vs. line last nine as Seattle chalk. Tech edge: Cowboys, based on team trends.

GREEN BAY at NEW ORLEANS: Saints got money vs. Bucs in opener, though they were only 3-9 previous 12 as Superdome chalk. Pack 3-0 as dogs vs. teams other than 49ers last year. Tech edge: Packers, based on team trends.

KANSAS CITY at BALTIMORE: Chiefs stretched win and cover streak to 10 in opener vs. Texans but failed to get money vs. Bolts last week. Andy Reid also 9-2 as dog since 2017 and won close games at Arrowhead (but covered neither) the last two years vs. Baltimore. Ravens have won 14 straight regular-season games SU, covering 11 of last 12. Last three meetings Over, including last year. Tech edge: Over and slight to Ravens, based on totals and team trends.

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