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Which of the following phrases regarding college football trends do you subscribe to?

• The trend is your friend.

• Trends don’t pay the rent.

• Twice is a coincidence, but thrice is a trend.

• A trend is like a bikini, it reveals a lot but not everything.

When deciding whether a specific trend can carry weight when handicapping college football, it pays to be realistic when determining the validity of a pattern.

While some handicappers might suggest that using trends are meaningless due to the face that the personnel changes so frequently, there is something to be said for teams that keep finding themselves in the same situation and keep experiencing the same result.

Certainly, a reasonable prognosticator wouldn’t ignore the fact that since 1992, teams coming off a winning season are covering more than 70 percent of the time when getting between 3 1/2-to-10 points at home.

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Or a shorter, yet broad generalization sample, such as last week’s games — including the added board — went 47-36-1 to the Under.

We might also consider situational trends that might prove effective, such as a team that has lost nine of 10 games straight-up as an underdog but has gone 8-2 ATS in those same games, a sure indication of an undervalued team consistently getting too many points.

Coaching trends can also be very strong, as well, such as Utah State improving to 13-2-1 ATS on the road with Gary Anderson, who returned to lead this Aggies this season.

The most fine-tuned trends can be weighed even more heavily, such as Oklahoma State’s current run of 55-25 to the Over when favored by 10 points or more.

Trend information that might come from questionable categories include long-term results with a small sample size over a large time frame, such as a team is 0-4 ATS on Thursday games dating back to 2010, or a team is 10-5 ATS in conference night games, especially considering the variance of start times. 

Also, trends vs. individual conference opponents carry far more weight than trends regarding non-conference series, especially when it is not a yearly-renewal.

We look to rebound from a slow start with our selections:


Syracuse at Maryland, Total 56: Most of the action on this total has been reportedly on the Over after the Terps racked up 79 points but books have moved this total lower two points early off a pair of reported moves. The Orange has gone Under in five of their last six on the road. UNDER

Nebraska at Colorado +4.5: Sharps reportedly were on the Buffs early, taking as many as 6.5 while public money decidedly on darling ‘Huskers. Colorado won and covered its opener as a double-digit favorite and Nebraska failed as a double-digit favorite last week. COLORADO 

North Texas at SMU, Total 69: Game opened 68.5 and moved to as high as 71.5 before sharps reportedly started to move against the public’s big early Over majority. North Texas has gone Under in 9 of its last 12 and also in its last five games on the road. UNDER

Illinois at Connecticut +20: Bettors wants no piece of UConn so sign us up getting 20 at home. This game reached as high as 21.5 and came back down to this number despite consensus reports of overwhelming tickets and money on the Illini. UCONN

Last week: 0-4

Season: 0-4


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