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Trends this week in CFB, NFL

By Bruce Marshall  () 

COLLEGE

UAB at MARSHALL

Conference USA championship: After recently overachieving vs. the line, UAB tailed off in 2020, just 2-6 vs. spread and no covers in last five. Tech edge: Slight to Marshall, based on recent trends.

BALL STATE vs. BUFFALO

MAC championship at Detroit: Buffalo covered four of five while recording an unbeaten 5-0 SU mark, raising coach Lance Leipold’s spread mark to 30-13-3 the last three-plus seasons. Tech edge: Buffalo, based on team trends.

OREGON at USC

Pac-12 championship: Ducks no covers last three, Trojans 3-0 last three vs. line. USC Under 4-1 this season. Tech edge: Slight to USC and Under, based on recent team and totals trends.

NEBRASKA at RUTGERS

Scarlet Knights improved to 5-3 vs. line this season in Greg Schiano’s return. Huskers 6-13-1 vs. line for Scott Frost since last season. Tech edge: Rutgers, based on team trends.

FLORIDA STATE at WAKE FOREST

FSU 2-6 vs. line this year, 15-28-2 vs. points since 2017. Wake 3-1-1 vs. line last five meetings and on 5-1 spread run this season. Tech edge: Wake, based on team trends.

AIR FORCE at ARMY

Underdog 4-0-1 vs. line in last five meetings. Air Force has won and covered last three and nine of last 10 meetings at Michie. Tech edge: Air Force, especially if dog, based on team and series trends.

MINNESOTA at WISCONSIN

Road team 5-0-1 vs. line last six in battle for Paul Bunyan’s Axe. Tech edge: Minnesota, based on series trends.

ILLINOIS at PENN STATE

Nittany Lions on late-season surge, having won and covered last three after dropping first five. Tech edge: Penn State, based on recent trends.

WASHINGTON STATE at UTAH

Cougars have faltered since opening win at Oregon State, 1-2 vs. line this year. Now on 5-13 spread skid since late 2018, dating to the Mike Leach era. Tech edge: Utah, based on team trends.

STANFORD at UCLA

Bruins broke 10-game SU series losing streak (1-9 vs. line) in last year’s 34-16 win at Palo Alto. Stanford 4-12-1 vs. spread since 2019. Tech edge: UCLA, based on recent trends.

ARIZONA STATE at OREGON STATE

Beavers continue to provide good spread value, now on 13-3-1 spread run last 17 on board. Tech edge: Oregon State, based on team trends.

NORTHWESTERN vs. OHIO STATE

Big Ten championship at Indianapolis: NU 6-1 SU and vs. line this year, 13-3 as dog away from home since 2016. Buckeyes only 4-6 last 10 vs. spread since late 2019. Cats also on 13-5 Under run. Tech edge: Northwestern and Under, based on team and totals trends.

OKLAHOMA vs. IOWA STATE

Big 12 championship at Arlington, Texas: Matt Campbell 2-3 SU but 5-0 vs. line against OU since arriving at Ames in 2016. Cyclones 19-9-1 as dogs for Campbell (counts Oklahoma State this year as push). Tech edge: Iowa State, based on series and team trends.

LOUISIANA at COASTAL CAROLINA

Sun Belt championship: ULL 9-2-1 last 12 as dog since early 2018. But Coastal 11-0 SU and 8-2-1 vs. spread in 2019. Road team has covered last two meetings, including 48-7 ULL win at Conway last year. Tech edge: Slight to Louisiana, based on team and series trends.

CLEMSON vs. NOTRE DAME

ACC championship at Charlotte, N.C.: Rematch of ND’s 47-40 double-overtime upset Nov. 7. Brian Kelly 4-1 last five as dog. Clemson 11-3-1 vs. points last 15 vs. ACC foes away from Death Valley, though Dabo Swinney only 4-6 vs. line this year. Tech edge: Slight to Clemson, based on extended trends.

TULSA at CINCINNATI

American Athletic Conference championship: Magical Tulsa has won last six SU and is 6-1 vs. spread. Golden Hurricane on 10-3 spread uptick since mid-2019, also Under 7-3 last 10. Tulsa 6-1 last seven as dog and covered last year vs. Cincy. But Bearcats on 8-3 spread advance since late 2019. Tech edge: Tulsa and slight to Under, based on team and totals trends.

ALABAMA vs. FLORIDA

SEC championship at Atlanta: Dan Mullen covered four of last seven meetings vs. Bama while at Mississippi State, though he never won outright in nine tries vs. Nick Saban while coaching in Starkville. Tide has won and covered last seven in 2020. Tech edge: Slight to Alabama, based on recent trends.

BOISE STATE vs. SAN JOSE STATE

Mountain West championship at Las Vegas: SJSU 5-0 SU and vs. line this year (counting UNLV as a cover), and Brent Brennan on 14-4-1 spread uptick since late 2018. Spartans have also covered seven straight as dogs and 5-0 to Under this season, Under last six since late 2019. But Boise Over 5-0 in 2020. Tech edge: San Jose State, based on team trends.

TEXAS A&M at TENNESSEE

Vols 1-6 SU, 2-5 vs. line last seven, not closer than 12 points in any SU losses. Jimbo Fisher has covered six of last eight on road. Vols 11-3 Under since late 2019. Tech edge: A&M and Under, based on team and totals trends.

MISSISSIPPI at LSU

If getting points, note Rebels 7-2-1 as dogs since last season (2-1 for Lane Kiffin this year). Ole Miss has also covered six of last seven away. Kiffin teams, including FAU, 7-3 Over last 10 since late 2019. Tech edge: Ole Miss and slight to Over, based on team and totals trends.

MISSOURI at MISSISSIPPI STATE

Mike Leach has covered two of last three this year after dropping previous five, and had been on 5-16 spread skid since late 2018 at Washington State. Bulldogs Under 7-2 in 2020, on 10-3 Under run since mid-2019. Tech edge: Under, based on totals.

NORTH TEXAS vs. APPALACHIAN STATE

Myrtle Beach Bowl on Monday in Conway, S.C.: App endured tough spread run in 2020, just 2-9 vs. line, though UNT 6-21 vs. spread since mid-2018. Mounties also Under 7-4 in 2020. Tech edge: Slight to App State and Under, based on extended UNT negatives and totals trends.

NFL

CHARGERS at RAIDERS

Bolts no wins or covers six of last seven, though broke losing streak last week vs. Falcons. Raiders have won and covered last three meetings, though went to last play Nov. 8 at SoFi, and have dropped last three vs. line in 2020. Vegas 9-3-1 Over this season. Tech edge: Over, based on totals trends.

PANTHERS at PACKERS

Panthers have been tough on road, covered last four away, all as dogs. Matt Rhule 7-1 last eight as dog. Tech edge: Panthers, based on team trends.

BILLS at BRONCOS

Going into Sunday night’s win over Steelers, Bills were on four straight covers after win vs. 49ers, also now 8-4-1 Over this season. Denver 13-7 last 20 as dog, also Under 4-1 last five this year. Tech edge: Slight to Bills, based on recent trends.

TEXANS at COLTS

Indy has covered only one of last four at Lucas Oil. But Colts have won and covered last five meetings. Tech edge: Slight to Colts, based on series trends.

LIONS at TITANS

Titans now Over 9-3 last 12 and Over 20-6 since Ryan Tannehill took over at QB in mid-2019. Lions Over 8-4-1 this season. Tech edge: Over, based on totals trends.

JETS at RAMS

Jets still winless SU but have covered four of last seven. Rams 0-1 as double-digit chalk this year, though Sean McVay had covered previous six in role since 2017. Rams Under 9-4 in 2020 after Patriots game. Tech edge: Under, based on totals trends.

BUCCANEERS at FALCONS

Series has gone Over last four and seven of last eight meetings. Bucs Over 18-10-1 for Bruce Arians since last year. Tech edge: Over, based on totals trends.

PATRIOTS at DOLPHINS

Dolphins have won seven and covered eight of last nine this season. Looking back to early 2019, they are 19-6 vs. line in last 25 for Brian Flores. Miami also Under 8-5 in 2020. Bill Belichick Under 9-4 after Rams game. Patriots 2-5 vs. spread away this year. Tech edge: Under and Dolphins, based on totals and team trends.

SEAHAWKS at WASHINGTON

Washington has won and covered last four in 2020, also Under 6-2-1 last nine. Seahawks no covers four of last six and six of last nine in 2020. Seattle also Under 5-0 last five this year. Tech edge: Washington and Under, based on recent and totals trends.

BEARS at VIKINGS

Bears broke six-game SU skid last week vs. Texans but still just 1-4 vs. line last five. Under 5-2 last seven meetings, including Nov. 16 at Soldier Field. Chicago on 25-11 Under run since late 2018. Vikes Over 8-4-1 this season, though just 2-5 vs. spread at U.S. Bank. Tech edge: Slight to Under, based on series trends.

JAGUARS at RAVENS

Jaguars no outright wins since opening week but have covered four of last six. Also 6-3 Under last nine. Ravens 3-3 vs. line at home this year and 1-1-1 laying double digits. Tech edge: Slight to Under, based on totals trends.

BROWNS at GIANTS

Giants have won four of last five outright and 7-2-1 last 10 vs. spread in 2020. N.Y. Under 9-3-1 this season. Into Ravens on Monday, Browns had covered only one of six before win at Titans last week. Tech edge: Giants and Under, based on recent and totals trends.

EAGLES at CARDINALS

Both broke skids last week, as Cards had failed to cover previous five and Eagles just 4-9 vs. line previous 13. But both won and covered last week. Philly Under 6-1 last seven this year. Cards Under 8-4-1 in 2020. Tech edge: Under, based on totals trends.

CHIEFS at SAINTS

Super Bowl preview? Chiefs still winning outright but no covers last five. Saints Under 5-1 last six. New Orleans 5-1 SU and vs. line last six this season. Tech edge: Saints and Under, based on recent and totals trends.

49ERS at COWBOYS

Cowboys got rare win last week at Cincy but still miserable 3-10 vs. line. Niners 4-2 vs. spread on road in 2020, now 10-4 vs. spread as visitors since last year. Tech edge: 49ers, based on team trends.

STEELERS at BENGALS

Steelers 10-0 SU, 7-2-1 vs. spread last 10 in regular season vs. Cincy. Under last five and 7-1-1 last nine meetings. Tech edge: Under and Steelers, based on series trends.

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