Sports betting, particularly football betting, has become significantly more sophisticated over the past decade with players mining years of research in an effort to gain an edge on sports books. These so-called technical handicappers use trends, or prior team tendencies, to try to predict future results. Let's see if we can't sift through all the data to find the very best plays for this weekend:
SATURDAY, NOV. 03
Texas Tech at Baylor: Texas Tech is 7-1 against the spread (ATS) the last eight meetings with Baylor. The Red Raiders also have covered five straight games in Waco and the favorite, which Texas Tech figures to be, has covered 10 of the last dozen games in this Lone Star State rivalry.
Wisconsin at Ohio State: Wisconsin has covered six of the last seven encounters in this Big Ten series, including four consecutive ATS wins in the Columbus Horseshoe where the Badgers haven't lost since 1996.
Vanderbilt at Florida: Vanderbilt may have lost 13 games straight up (SU) to Florida but the Commodores are 9-4 ATS during that span, including covering five of the last six games in The Swamp.
Clemson at Duke: Incredibly, the home team has covered eight straight games in this series, with Duke having beaten the pointspread five consecutive years in Clemson.
Purdue at Penn State: Penn State has owned this Big Ten rivalry, covering the spread in seven of the last eight meetings between the clubs, including four in a row in Happy Valley.
Maryland at North Carolina: Maryland has covered the spread in the last seven games between these ACC foes, including four of them in Chapel Hill.
East Carolina at Memphis: ECU backers must really look forward to this one given that the Pirates are 10-1 ATS the last 11 games played versus Memphis.
Navy at Notre Dame: These teams sometimes meet on a neutral field but Navy, which has lost 43 SU to Notre Dame, has covered eight straight on the Irish home field.
LSU at Alabama: The visiting team is 12-2-1 ATS the last 15 games in this SEC rivalry and LSU is 4-0-1 ATS its last five trips to the Bama home field in Tuscaloosa.
Also: Nevada (3-0 ATS) over New Mexico State, Friday; Colorado (5-1-1 ATS, 3-0 ATS at home) over Missouri; Kansas (3-0 ATS) over Nebraska; Cincinnati (3-0 ATS) over South Florida; Michigan (4-1 ATS) over Michigan State; Pittsburgh (4-1 ATS, 4-1 ATS at home) over Syracuse; Wake Forest (5-1 ATS away) over Virginia; Miami (4-0 ATS) over NC State; Texas A&M (3-0 ATS) over Oklahoma; South Carolina (5-1 ATS) over Arkansas; San Jose State (3-0 ATS) over Boise State; Rice (4-0 ATS) over UTEP; Stanford (3-0 ATS) over Washington; Air Force (8-2 ATS) over Army; Toledo (4-1 ATS) over Eastern Michigan; USC (9-2 ATS at home) over Oregon State; Minnesota (5-1 ATS, 3-0 ATS at home) over Illinois; San Diego State (5-0 ATS at home) over Wyoming; Washington State (5-1 ATS, 3-0 ATS away) over California.
SUNDAY, NOV. 04
Cincinnati Bengals at Buffalo Bills: The Bills have dominated this series, covering seven of the eight meetings. Check weather reports to see if snow is a factor.
Green Bay Packers at Kansas City Chiefs: Traditionally, Kansas City has been a difficult place for opponents to succeed, a fact to which the Packers, who are 0-5 ATS in KC, can readily attest.
New England Patriots at Indianapolis Colts: This long-awaited matchup of premier teams has been one-sided at the betting windows with the Patriots owning an 8-2-1 record ATS versus the Colts. What's more, New England has covered four straight games in Indianapolis.
Dallas Cowboys at Philadelphia Eagles (NBC): These teams have been playing each other for decades but the Eagles have the edge over the past 20 years, posting a 13-6-1 mark ATS versus the Cowboys.
Also: Arizona Cardinals (3-0 ATS, 5-1 ATS away) over Tampa Bay Buccaneers; San Diego Chargers (3-0 ATS) over Minnesota Vikings.
MONDAY, NOV. 05
Baltimore Ravens at Pittsburgh Steelers (ESPN): The Ravens have covered four consecutive games against the Steelers. Baltimore is 13-11 ATS on Monday Night Football, including 2-4 as a road underdog. Pittsburgh is 21-16-1 ATS on MNF, including a solid 10-4 as a home favorite.
Are the above sportsbook busters guaranteed? Of course not. But historians point out that by studying the past we're better equipped to predict the future. That may be true for sports betting, too.