Welcome to the second season of The Old College Try. I’ll be here each week, trying to beat the book by betting on college football. All lines accurate as of Wednesday, November 4th.  Picks appear in bold.

Previous Weeks: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9

Ok, we’re officially on a losing streak, and based on the breaks I’ve gotten, it looks like now is the time to fade me. Last week, we made two very bad picks, two very good picks, and one (Oklahoma State) where we got absolutely hosed. I’m sure y’all are tired of the bad beat discussion though, so we won’t go into that loss.

I won’t talk about how Oklahoma State fumbled when they were about to go up two scores. Or about how the ensuing Texas drive was extended by both a garbage PI call and a (legitimate) roughing the kicker call on a punt. I won’t bring up the controversial replay decision or the other phantom PI call that occurred in overtime, or even the fact that Texas had a 3% postgame win expectancy (the lowest of any winning team this year). Nope, I’ll just move right past this game.

We have been creeping back to that .500 line over the last few weeks, now sitting at 20-16-2 with a profit of $140 on the season. Now we have to turn that streak around and get back to our winning ways.

It’s the week of the road warrior as the card is covered with teams favored in opposing stadiums. Normally, taking this many favorites, and especially this many road favorites, might concern me. But you have to follow the numbers, and with the way things have gone the last three weeks, maybe it’s time to go in a more unorthodox direction.

The Wounded Wolfpack Wasting of the Week

Miami -10 at NC State

Bet: $110 to win $100

If quarterback Devin Leary was healthy for this one, I wouldn’t touch it. Without him, though, I’m just not sure the Wolfpack can move the ball against Miami. Sure, the Hurricanes have allowed 5.1 yards per play this year, which is pretty mediocre on its face. But that number is slightly misleading due to Clemson’s dominant performance. NC State is a below average offensive team without Leary’s ability to stretch the field.

On the other side, NC State hasn’t shown the ability to stop good offenses this year. They’re allowing 5.4 yards per play to opponents, and only one of those opposing offenses (UNC) can match Miami’s talent. The Hurricanes have their issues — the offensive line is a weak point, and they haven’t run the ball well at all over the last few games. Running back Cam’Ron Harris has even taken to twitter to air his grievances.

I don’t see any of those issues being a problem against NC State, though. The Wolfpack will struggle to contain D’Eriq King, and I think this is a good chance for Miami to get its running game back on track. The Canes win this one by two touchdowns or more.

The SEC Question Mark Quarterback Clash of the Week

Tennessee at Arkansas +2 (-110)

Bet: $110 to win $100

Jarrett Guarantano isn’t good to start with, but Tennessee hasn’t done any favors for him this year. They’ve run an incredibly predictable offense, frequently handing the ball off on first and second down leading to a lot of third and long situations. Having a below average quarterback and an unimaginative offense, as you might expect, leads to some pretty bad results.

Now, I know what you’re probably thinking. Isn’t Arkansas right next to Tennessee at the bottom of that list? And yes, they are. But Arkansas’ defense has also been a bit more impressive than the Volunteers’ so far. And their results have been better, too. Sam Pittman has this team playing with confidence and fighting to the last whistle, and that has resulted in the Hogs covering the spread in every game since week 2.

Normally, I’d say the under is in play here, but we lost one of those in an Arkansas game last week, so I’m going to steer clear. Plus, there’s always the possibility of pick sixes with these two quarterbacks playing. I do think the game will be tight, but I also think Arkansas has a greater than 50% chance to win this one at home. If you’re going to give me two points and the side I think is going to win the game, I have to take it.

The “We All Wish it Was Basketball” ACC Best Bet of the Week

North Carolina -11 at Duke

Bet: $110 to win $100

I think I’ve been much lower than the market on North Carolina this year, but I can’t really even come close to this number. Yes, this is a rivalry game of sorts. And yes, Duke is playing at home. But Duke’s also very, very bad. Sure, they blew out Charlotte last weekend, but they didn’t even really need to throw the ball in that game.

Sam Howell and company are going to dominate the Devils. The Tar Heels have two running backs averaging over 100 yards rushing per game, and I think they both get over 100 again in this one. North Carolina should have the advantage in both trenches, and Duke certainly doesn’t have the skill position talent to make up that gap. Give me the Heels.

The PAC is BACK Western Football Warm up of the Week

UCLA -6.5 at Colorado (-110)

Bet: $110 to win $100

Earlier in the season, I repeatedly try to go to teams with consistency. With reduced practice time this offseason, it was harder than ever for new coaches and new players to come in and either pick up or implement new schemes and a new culture. Well, Colorado has a brand new coach. And a brand new quarterback. And they also have a lot less talent than their opponent this week.

Chip Kelly is entering his third year as the head coach of the Bruins, and the first two haven’t been great. I don’t think Kelly is going to be taking UCLA to the PAC 12 championship any time soon, but a loss here would be catastrophic to both this season for UCLA and for his chances to continue as the program’s head coach. The Bruins have the talent (and should have the motivation) to beat Colorado handedly. I think this line should be closer to 10, so it’s an easy play at 6.5.


The “Look Hideous, Play Hideous” Fetid Fashion Fade of the Week

Michigan -3 at Indiana

Bet: $110 to win $100

I have a moral obligation to fade any team that wears uniforms this ugly. That’s the whole write up.

Can We Bet on the Dawgs this Week?

No. As a punishment for that horrendous offensive performance against Kentucky (14 points? Really?), we’re not touching the WLOCP this week. The Dawgs will have to be more impressive on the offensive side of the ball before I’m willing to place them among my best bets. In addition, Georgia is dealing with serious injuries on the defensive side. It looks like safety and defensive leader Richard Lecounte will miss the game, as well as defensive anchor Jordan Davis. Those aren’t easy guys to replace.

All that being said, I would absolutely not take Florida here even if I were a neutral observer. Dan Mullen has not shown any signs that he is able to beat Kirby or the Bulldogs, and Georgia, despite the injuries, still boasts a dominant defense. Florida has been gashed repeatedly in the run game by teams with worse offensive lines and less backfield talent than this Georgia team. Even with the question marks at quarterback, the Dawgs should be able to win this game.

That’s all we’ve go this week, but let me know if you are following or fading these picks here in the comments or on Twitter (@slapnslide). As always, you can stay updated with everything we post on this site by subscribing by email (below) or following Sideline Warning on Twitter or Facebook.