Here’s a look at some powerful betting trends for today’s — and tonight’s — games in college football, college basketball, the NHL, NBA, and NFL. The most significant trend for each sport is listed below. Check them out.

QB Dillon Gabriel is leading a sports betting trend of UCF not covering the spread
The University of Central Florida Golden Knights have been a covering machine over the past three seasons, but in more recent games, they’ve come up short against-the-spread. (Image: AP)

Which teams are hot and which are not? Here’s a quick-and-easy guide that may help to handicap today’s games.

College Football

Marshall plays Central Florida today in the Gasparilla Bowl. The Golden Knights have been a covering machine over the past three seasons, going 22-15-1 against the number. However, oddsmakers may have finally caught up to Central Florida, as they’ve dropped seven of their last nine games against the spread.

In today’s bowl game, Central Florida is laying -15.5 to Marshall. The spread has tightened since the opening number was released at -17.5. Meanwhile, the Marshall Thundering Herd may have received a bowl invite, but they’re a dreadful 4-8 against-the-spread this season. Could today be their opportunity to cover?

Conclusion: Marshall hasn’t been this huge an underdog all season, and Central Florida is on a point-spread slide. Hence, getting +15.5 points might be the way to go if you have to bet the game.

College Basketball

With Christmas just two days away and college students on holiday break, there’s a limited slate of NCAA basketball games on Monday. Only one matchup appears to have significant one-sided trends worth considering.

Dayton hosts Grambling State where the Flyers are favored by a whopping -26 points. Dayton hasn’t been favored by this many points all season. The biggest dog spot for Grambling State, so far, was getting +21 (they lost the game by 22). Here are two key trends worth considering:

  • Dayton is 7-1 SU in its last 8 home games
  • Dayton is 9-2 SU in its last 11 games overall

Conclusion: Dayton would normally be a solid play, based on recent trends and their dominance, but it’s hard to justify laying far more points than has been the norm.

NHL

Tonight will be one of the busiest of the NHL season with 13 games slated on the ice, including one rare afternoon start (Carolina at Toronto). This plentiful bounty of games provides some interesting trends worth looking at.

The most significant trend appears to be on the Washington Capitals, who are going off as a small underdog (+115 on the money line) at the Boston Bruins. Here are some persuasive numbers:

  • Washington is 26-11 ATS (+10.5 units) in all games this season
  • Washington is 26-10 ATS (+11.6 units) in December games over the past three seasons
  • Washington is 75-52 ATS (+18.1 units) when playing an opponent with a winning record over the past three seasons

Meanwhile:

  • Boston is just 3-8 ATS (-13.1 units) in December games this season
  • Boston is 0-5 ATS (-8.1 units) after playing three consecutive home games this season
  • Tonight marks the Bruins fourth straight home game

Conclusion: Washington on the money line appears to be worth a serious look, based on recent trends.

NBA

Since all NBA teams get Christmas Eve off (tomorrow), this Monday night is a bit busier than normal on the hardwood. As a result, there are 11 games on the slate tonight. The Toronto-Indiana matchup looks to be the premium contest from a spectator’s point-of-view. However, as bettors, our priority is to look for games with an edge.

One game appears to fit the mold of matchups with significant trends where the line seems to be a little off. Miami hosts Utah, and is laying -4. The Heat continue to be undervalued by both oddsmakers and the betting public this season, winning a phenomenal 66 percent of all games against-the-spread.

  • Miami is 18-9 ATS in all games played this season
  • Miami is 10-2 ATS in all home games this season

Meanwhile:

  • Utah is a woeful 11-17-1 ATS this season, despite a winning 18-11 W-L record

Conclusion: Miami appears to be a bargain at this price, laying only -4 points. Given their impressive overall and home record, in addition to Utah’s poor performance versus the number, the Heat look like a hot bet tonight.

NFL

Just about all gambling eyes will be on Minneapolis tonight for the premier NFC North matchup between two frosty rivals battling for the division title. Minnesota hosts Green Bay, and has been bet up to a -5 favorite (-5.5 in some places) with a total at 47.5.

Here’s a game where recent trends appear to favor betting the total.

  • This series has gone under in eight of the last 10 meetings
  • Green Bay enters the game on a 5-1 run to the under
  • Green Bay hasn’t fared well offensively in this stadium, scoring just 17, 10, and 14 points respectively inside Minnesota’s imposing dome

It’s noteworthy that the previous meeting between these rivals went under the total. That game was totaled at 43. Now, the total has increased by 4.5 points, making the under appear to be the clear value.

Conclusion: If you can find 47.5 (it’s out there in some places), the under is worth strong consideration. At 47, the number still offers some value for contrarians. Anything at 46.5 or less probably should trigger a pass.

Note: Check back daily at OG for all the latest updated trends.

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