Trends for this week's college, NFL games

By Bruce Marshall  () 

Trends for this week's football games.




UAB at MIAMI (Thursday): UAB continued overachieving bent last season, posting another positive spread mark for coach Bill Clark, now 26-14-1 vs. line since Blazers resurrected in 2017. Hurricanes have been consistent money burner last three years, with no winning spread mark since 2016 and dropping seven of 10 as chalk a year ago. Tech edge: UAB, based on team trends.

SYRACUSE at NORTH CAROLINA: Syracuse covered only two of eight in ACC last season and dropped eight of last 11 overall vs. spread. After 9-3 dog mark in 2017-18, Orange just 2-6 as short in 2019. UNC on positive 8-5-1 spread run since late 2018. Tech edge: Slight to North Carolina, based on team trends. 

CHARLOTTE at APPALACHIAN STATE: App consistent spread winner no matter the coaching regime, 18-8-1 vs. spread since 2018. But Mountaineers only 5-6 last 11 laying double digits, and Charlotte covered as 22½-point dog last year. Mounties have covered four of last five openers. Tech edge: Slight to Appalachian State, based on team trends.  

GEORGIA TECH at FLORIDA STATE: Mike Norvell debut at FSU. Bumpy ride for GT in 2019 during Geoff Collins debut: Jackets only 3-8-1 vs. line and just 3-11-1 vs. number dating to late 2018. But Collins a bit better on road at 2-2-1 vs. spread last season. FSU a consistent money burner in recent years, 13-23-2 vs. line since 2017. Norvell teams at Memphis just 2-5 in last seven as home chalk. Tech edge: Slight to Georgia Tech, based on extended FSU negatives.  

COASTAL CAROLINA at KANSAS: Coastal scored 12-7 stunner at Lawrence last September, one of Chants’ five covers in six tries as visitors in 2019. Rare chalk role for Jayhawks, 0-2 laying points in Les Miles’ debut season a year ago and just 4-11 laying points since 2012 under several coaches. Tech edge: Coastal, based on team trends. 

WESTERN KENTUCKY at LOUISVILLE: Louisville handily covered 10½-point spread in Nashville vs. WKU a year ago, part of 4-1 non-ACC spread mark for Cards in debut season of coach Scott Satterfield. His teams are 22-8-1 vs. spread since late 2017 when still at App State. Satterfield teams also 14-4-1 as chalk since late in 2017 (Cards 4-1 laying points in 2019). Hilltoppers rallied after loss to Louisville last season, sporting 7-2-1 spread mark rest of way for new coach Tyson Helton, and WKU was 6-2 as dog in 2019. Tech edge: Slight to Louisville, based on team trends.  

CLEMSON at WAKE FOREST: Dabo Swinney has won big vs. Wake last two seasons by combined 115-6 score after failing to cover previous four vs. Deacons. Clemson 16-4-1 as road chalk since 2017 and 19-5-1 vs. spread overall since midway through 2018 season. Wake 12-4 as double-digit dog for Dave Clawson since 2016, though as noted was routed by Tigers last two seasons. Tech edge: Clemson, based on recent trends. 

DUKE at NOTRE DAME: David Cutcliffe only 2-4-1 as dog with Duke in 2019, including 38-7 home loss to ND, but was 25-12-1 in role from 2013-18. Blue Devils had also covered seven straight openers for Cutcliffe before 2019 loss to Alabama. Irish covered five of seven as home chalk last season after recording just 7-10 spread mark in role previous three years. Duke also Over 10-4 last 14 dating to late 2018. Tech edge: Duke and Over, based on extended team and totals trends. 

UL MONROE at ARMY: Into Sept. 5 opener vs. MTSU, Army only 3-7 last 10 vs. line at West Point and just 9-15 as Michie Stadium chalk since 2015. ULM just 4-10 last 14 on board since late 2018. Warhawks also 4-10 Under since late 2018. Tech edge: Slight to ULM and Under, based on team and totals trends. 

LOUISIANA at IOWA STATE: Ragin’ Cajuns on 7-2-1 surge as underdogs since early 2018, enter season 16-7-2 vs. spread in last 25 on board. ISU dropped last four as Ames chalk last season and has failed to cover in three of last four openers. Cyclones just 3-8 as home chalk since 2018. Tech edge: Louisiana, based on team trends. 

UTEP at TEXAS: While Tom Herman teams have been formidable as underdogs, they have underachieved as home chalk, just 5-10 in role with Texas since 2017 and only 8-18-1 in role since 2015 with Houston. But Herman’s Longhorns teams are 8-3 vs. line last 11 against non-Big 12 foes. UTEP enters 2020 on 10-26 spread skid since 2017, just 3-12 vs. points overall since late in 2018 and 2-10 last 12 vs. spread outside C-USA. Tech edge: Slight to Texas, based on UTEP negatives.  

LOUISIANA TECH at BAYLOR: Skip Holtz teams at Tech are 19-8-1 as underdogs since he arrived in 2014. Bulldogs also 13-7-1 vs. line in last 21 away from Joe Aillet Stadium. Baylor surprisingly just 2-8 as Waco chalk since 2017 and has covered only one of last six hosting non-Big 12 foes. Tech edge: Louisiana Tech, based on team trends.  

UTSA at TEXAS STATE: Jeff Traylor’s debut at UTSA. TSU just 3-8-1 vs. spread in 2019 for Jake Spavital debut and no covers in four tries as host vs. FBS opposition. Bobcats also on 11-4 Under stretch dating to late 2018. UTSA did cover last four on road a year ago and 9-5 vs. spread last 14 on board.  Tech edge: Slight to UTSA and Under based on team and totals trends. 

ARKANSAS STATE at KANSAS STATE: Wildcats on 11-4 spread uptick since late 2018 (9-4 vs. line in Chris Klieman’s 2019 debut) and were 9-3-1 Under last season. Red Wolves only 3-10 vs. line last 13 outside Sun Belt. Tech edge: Slight to Kansas State, based on team trends.

TULANE at SOUTH ALABAMA: USA on 5-1 spread ascent (all as dog) since late 2019 after opening upset win at Southern Miss. Also 5-2 vs. number last seven in Mobile. Tulane on 10-4 spread surge since late 2018, and Wave has covered all four openers since Willie Fritz arrived in 2016. Tech edge: Slight to Tulane, based on team trends. 




HOUSTON at KANSAS CITY (Thursday): Texans 9-3-2 vs. spread last 14 as regular-season visitors and 8-3 last 11 as regular-season dogs. Chiefs closed 2019 with wins and covers in last nine, covering last six at Arrowhead (all as chalk) after dropping preceding four and eight of nine vs. number as hosts. K.C. also Over 44-23 since 2016, and last three meetings Over. Teams split two games at Arrowhead last season.  Tech edge: Over, based on totals trends.

MIAMI at NEW ENGLAND: Before upset in Week 17 last December, Dolphins had lost and failed to cover previous seven at Gillette Stadium and had lost 10 in a row outright at Foxborough. Dolphins closed fast in 2019, covering nine of last 12, all as dogs. Patriots dropped five of last seven vs. number in 2019, now Under 19-10 since mid-2018. Tech edge: Slight to Patriots and Under, based on extended trends.

CLEVELAND at BALTIMORE: Kevin Stefanski debut for Browns. Ravens closed 2019 regular season winning last 12 outright and covering eight of nine. Browns dealt Baltimore only regular-season home loss in Week 4 and have covered last two at M&T Bank Stadium. Cleveland covered only four of last 12 a season ago after beating Ravens. Tech edge: Ravens, based on recent trends. 

NEW YORK JETS at BUFFALO: Road team has won and covered last four meetings. Bills were just 1-4 vs. spread at Orchard Park last season. Buffalo on 23-9 Under run since early 2018; Jets Under 5-1 last six in 2019. Tech edge: Jets and Under, based on series and totals trends. 

LAS VEGAS at CAROLINA: Matt Rhule debut for Panthers. Raiders lost five of last six SU and dropped five of last seven vs. line in 2019. Also Under 6-1 last seven in 2019 and Under 21-11 since 2018. But Panthers closed 2019 dropping last eight outright and just 1-6-1 vs. spread. Only 3-7-1 vs. number last 11 at Charlotte since mid-2018. Panthers Over 11-5 last season. Tech edge: Slight to Raiders, based on team trends. 

SEATTLE at ATLANTA: Seahawks on 9-3-1 spread run away from CenturyLink Field in regular season.  Visiting team is 12-4-1 vs. number in Seattle regular-season games since late 2018. Falcons covered last four and seven of last nine in 2019, also winning six of last eight outright. Seahawks Over 16-8 in regular season since mid-2018. Tech edge: Over, based on totals trends. 

PHILADELPHIA at WASHINGTON: Ron Rivera debut for Washington, if he’s healthy. Philly has won and covered last four in series, both meetings Over last season. Washington 2-8 vs. points last 10 at FedEx Field. Tech edge: Eagles, based on team and series trends. 

CHICAGO at DETROIT: Bears have won all four meetings since 2018, covering three. But Chicago enters 2020 on 4-13 spread skid. Bears were 1-7 vs. line as visitors in 2019 after winning and covering four of last five away in 2018. Lions dropped last nine outright a year ago and covered just two of last 11 in 2019.  Detroit also Under 11-2 last 13 at Ford Field. Tech edge: Slight to Bears and Under, based on series and totals trends. 

INDIANAPOLIS at JACKSONVILLE: Jaguars lost and failed to cover six of last eight a year ago. But they have won and covered last four as series hosts vs. Colts (five if counting London game in 2016) and were 3-1 vs. line getting six or more points a year ago. Jags 8-1-1 vs. number against Indy since 2015. Tech edge: Jaguars, based on series trends. 

GREEN BAY at MINNESOTA: Packers won and covered both meetings last season. But Vikings have won and covered last four and five of six openers under Mike Zimmer. Under 9-2 last 11 in series. Tech edge: Under, based on series trends. 

LOS ANGELES CHARGERS at CINCINNATI: Chargers fell apart late in 2019, losing and failing to cover six of last seven. Bolts 3-7 vs. line last 10 away from home and just 1-8 laying points a year ago. Cincy only 3-10-1 vs. spread last 14 at Paul Brown Stadium but 3-2-1 last six as dog in 2019. Tech edge: Slight to Bengals, based on team trends.

ARIZONA at SAN FRANCISCO: Cardinals played Niners tough last season and very unfortunate to get push out of second meeting after covering in desert. Big Red 4-0-1 vs. spread last five in series and on 11-5-1 spread uptick since late 2018. Cards 6-1-1 vs. spread away in 2019, now 7-1-1 vs. line last nine as visitors. Niners were just 3-4-1 vs. spread at home in 2019 regular season. Tech edge: Cardinals, based on series and team trends.

TAMPA BAY at NEW ORLEANS: Bruce Arians only 5-10-1 vs. line in Bucs debut season a year ago, but his second year at Arizona in 2014 produced 11-5 SU and spread marks. Bucs Over 12-4 in 2019. Arians teams now Over 27-12 dating to mid-2016 with Cards. Over now 5-2 last seven in this series. Saints only 4-9 vs. number last 11 at Superdome. Tech edge: Over and Bucs, based on totals and team trends. 

DALLAS at LOS ANGELES RAMS: Rams open new SoFi Stadium. Cowboys won big 44-21 last December in Arlington. Dallas Over 22-12 since 2018, both meetings vs. Rams Over last two years. Rams were only 5-9 vs. spread in last 14 as hosts at Coliseum. Sean McVay has covered in openers last three seasons. Tech edge: Slight to Over and Rams, based on totals and team trends. 

PITTSBURGH at NEW YORK GIANTS (Monday): Joe Judge’s debut for New York. Steelers Under 12-4 last season (almost all minus Ben Roethlisberger), now Under 17-6 last 23 since late 2018. Steelers also just 1-6-1 last eight as visiting chalk since 2018. Giants Over 16-8 since mid-2018 but just 2-8 vs. points last 10 at MetLife. Tech edge: Slight to Giants, based on team trends. 

TENNESSEE at DENVER (Monday): Broncos blanked Titans 16-0 in Week 6 last season and quietly covered eight of last 12 for Vic Fangio. Denver on 17-7 Under run since mid-2018 (9-7 Under in 2019). Titans covered five of last six on road down the stretch last season. Tech edge: Slight to Under, based on totals trends.


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