Cheddar Bay open thread #2; Irish at Michigan.

Welcome to Week 2 of Cheddar Bay.1942_notre-dame_vs_michigan  This week’s lines are linked here.

Our all-play this week is:

Notre Dame +4.5 at Michigan.
8pm Saturday, Ann Arbor, ESPN.

The Browns’ opener was considered for the all-play but after consultation with the Chairman Emeritus, we agreed Mich/ND is the better game and also that we were somewhat blasé going into the Browns season.

Attention Ipad users
It’s been pointed out to me that the standings sidebar widget is unseen from mobile endpoint devices.  So here are the links to the Cheddar Bay 2013 trackers for your bookmarking pleasure:

Your commissioner thanks you in advance for double-checking his data entry.  Mistakes have happened and will again; please make sure I get your pick entered correctly.

Game submittals
You may have noticed that some players stagger their submittals.  This is fine just so long as the picks are in an hour before kickoff (and frankly we’ve been known to cut some slack on the one hour rule but don’t push it).  You can even change your picks after they’re submitted although this is frowned upon and invariably leads to your original pick winning and your new pick losing.

Reminder:  at least one pro and one college pick every week.

I cut slack to three players last weekend, a first week courtesy.  Normal essay rules are in place now and moving forward as are the sanctions for non-compliance.

56 players so far.
We’ve managed to get more players year-over-year again.  We stand at 56 which is a good number.  Always room for more.  If you’re interested in joining it’s pretty much shoot an email to and we go from there.

Cheddar players quoted by Grantland.
Holly Anderson obviously hits our twitter subscription list so you probably should too.  Go here to find it.

Screen Shot 2013-09-04 at 6.51.35 AMScreen Shot 2013-09-04 at 6.52.11 AM

Way to go Borcas.
First LOBSTERFEST was seen last week, congrats Matt.  And while we generally don’t do recaps/highlights of the week before because everyone of us has a bad beat that is worthy of discussion, so your pain is stipulated… we feel both empathy and hilarious amusement at the McNeese State thing for our new USF friends.

Drop picks in the comments.
And I’ll be maintaining a word cloud right here if you’re interested in the trending picks.  Good luck this week.


  • cleinmpls

    Eagles +4.5

  • Weeden is bad, but worse than being bad, he’s just a mismatch for where the NFL is going. You can take half a potential NFL playbook and tear it up and throw it away when he, or someone like him, is your guy. 0 mobility. There is no sense pursuing this any longer. He’s not the best QB on this roster.

    Also I’d trade Richardson for about half of the starting RB’s in the league, which means he’s worth about an early 3rd rounder.

    Glad they saved the money on Mack. They need to restructure this line, and there are more important places to spend it than center.

    • I find I’m unable to write anything that doesn’t have a ‘trolling’ feel to today it so Ima push back from the keyboard for today.

    • acto

      You know I love you Bupa, but you are having a bad week. It must be the earthquakes.
      Center is a very important cog in the team machine.
      Pittslime has one of the best in the league, but watch what happens with him out.
      I do not care about the stupid term “franchise quarterback”, I would rather have a franchise center.
      I do however appreciate your evaluation of TRich.
      NEVER pick a running back in the first three rounds of the draft!!

  • Titans +7 at Steelers
    Vikings +5.5 at Lions
    Cardinals +4.5 at Rams
    $$$$ Packers +5 at Niners $$$

    Bro, have you seen randall cobb in action? Have you witnessed Eddie Lacy in person trample Manti Te’o time after time en route to a beatdown in Miami, FL? Have you seen Aaron Rodgers’ restaurant partnership with Ryan Braun that’s too legit to quit? (Actually, he did just quit it.) Did you know that Frank Gore is so old that he actually played Littlefoot in The Land Before Time? Let’s just call this quite the large spread, based on the boner that Colin Kaepernick gave everyone a year ago, after replacing underrated game-manager Alex Smith. Dude, I know you’re so “west coast” now that the Niners are your favorite team ever, but ain’t no defense in this league that can bring Aaron Rodgers down to human level. That said, I’ll take the points.

    sorry for being late.

  • oxr

    From yesterday: ND (loss!) and Oregon (win!). Now for the main event:

    Bengals +3 over Bears
    Colts -10 over Raiders

    Essay: Bucs -4 over Jets:

    Week 1 is a magical time. I can’t recall a year in which there weren’t at least a couple of games that went utterly and completely sideways by the end of the first quarter, leaving me staring slack-jawed at a double-digit road favorite. (At least the Colts are a double-digit *home* favorite.) Four points looks like a valuable “who the hell knows” line, presumably based on the fact that people are wary of betting on Tampa Bay. Nobody knows how bad the bad teams are going to be, but at least it seems fair to say the Jets are going to be subject to some growing pains. These things never go the way they look on paper, but on paper this is as clear a strength/weakness matchup as you’re likely to see: one team that has made huge investments in its secondary versus another that has a near-unprecedented level of quarterback instability. Never mind pulling the upset – losing by only a FG would be a huge moral victory for the Jets, and would probably require a career-ending meltdown from Josh Freeman to boot. But even if Bad Freeman shows up, the Bucs at least have other things they can do on offense; I’m not sure what the Jets have in the cupboard apart from, like, Stephen Hill. Week 1 road favorites, I wish I could quit you.

    (I’m going to pick one of the Monday games but I can’t decide which, and I’m already a bit inside an hour before kickoff, so I’d probably better just post this.)

    • oxr

      Wow, that kind of sucked. Here’s where I’m at:

      ND (loss), Oregon (win), Colts (loss), Bucs (loss-), Bengals (push).

      And to finish, gimme the Eagles +4.5 over the Redskins, because after that Bucs-Jets game I just don’t know anymore.

  • Let me take this opportunity to slow-clap you all, and admit I almost fell for your little game here. You are as devious a cheddar field as ever this poor honest Bupalos has seen, but the bottom line is, it didn’t work. Oh and it was clever indeed; “Let’s pile up all the bad action on the Browns we can” you said. “Let’s craft meek little statements of support for the defensive line and coaching,” you schemed, “and maybe the famed Bupalos, He, that Scourge of Bad Consciences, will leave us alone, pick some other team, destroy his own karma, and give us all a chance to win our precious green “money.”” No, no, no, and NO.

    Imagine the sound of all the basketball buzzers on earth sounding at once. Above, Wall Street execs plummet from their shattering glass towers; below, the shockwave spontaneously fractures the shale layer and drives all hydrocarbons to hell; Here on the Bay, one man alone withstands it’s skull-crushing force, crunching the clams and mussels of deceit beneath his feet as he strides forth to meet his glorious destiny.


    Also, Bills +11, Not Steelers, +7.

    • acto

      Bupa, Have you been drinking the Fracking Sludge again?

      • bupalos

        Never stopped

  • posted for Art Brosef:

    no essay week.
    St Louis

  • posted for TrashyCamaro:

    @jets -4 bucs
    @Redskins -4.5 Eagles

    @colts -10 raiders

    I do have to take a moment and disagree with our progenitor here – the Colts are certainly up for a case of regression. Does this mean they will return to 2-14 with Andrew Luck? Of course not. But I think an 8-8 record is a fair assessment of the situation. The Colts look great at QB, have a decent pair of wideouts (I’m not ready to Heyward-Bey “good”), and their tight ends look to be solid. However, Bradshaw/Ballard/Brown running back carousel has plenty of questions, as does an offensive line that is middle of the pack, and leaning on a Lions castoff at RT to go with a couple rookies. And we have not even started on the defense yet, which finished 31st overall, with a sterlling 32nd place finish against the run. They have decided to switch over to the 3-4 and are still transitioning, adding the immortal Erik Walden and rookie 1st round pick DE Bjoern Werner, who now gets to learn how to play OLB. We’ll see how that goes.

    A franchise QB can take you places though, which is why I see 8-8 as a good place to land. And a good place to get that first win is against the Terrelle Pryor era Raiders.

  • cleinmpls

    Bucs -4
    Chiefs -4

  • Bobby_Slick

    Here’s to our lovable Cleveland Browns and here’s to week 2…

    Broncos (Loss)
    Michigan (Win)
    Tennessee Volunteers (Win)

    Buccaneers -4
    Bengals +3
    Browns -1 ****

    Words cannot express how much I hate Pat Shurmur. I’d have a better chance being a successful (name a profession) than be has as a successful football coach. I still see the Browns as an under .500 football team (hoping for 8-8) but they get the opener. Everyone is healthy and I think Norv uses Bess and Benjamin out of the slot to make up for the loss of Gordon. Trich gets plenty of carries and finds the end zone a couple times…last, I think this Browns D is going to be pretty sneaky. Solid line and I’m praying with Hortons attacking D we find a way to get to the quarterback. The optimist in me says this isn’t close, and come on, how fun is it putting the browns as your essay for the first nfl week of the year. Go Browns!


    Browns over Fins
    New England -9.5 over Buffalo
    Indy -10 over OAK
    Houston-4 over SD
    TB -4 over Jets
    the Bucs will be able to score. The Jets cant score in a whore house. Betting against a rookie QB in his first start just seems like an easy pick. He doesn’t have help either. The Bucs, on offense, are almost at full strength. Nicks is out with MRSA, but Martin will run well without him, and unlike in the preseason, the offense will look good.
    Happy Football Season!

  • oxr


    AP: Irish +4.5 over Michigan (another coin flip; glad the All Plays don’t count for an extra half point this year)
    Oregon -24 over Virginia (obligatory stupid-favorite Duck pick to start the year off; apparently can’t help myself)

    NFL picks tomorrow.

  • cheddarclay

    Kansas St (-10.5) / ULL
    Tulsa (-9.5) / Coloraado St
    Arizona (-11) / UNLV
    ND (+4.5) / Michigan

    Arkansas St (+13) / Auburn

    I always look for early season SUN BELT disrespect and believe I have found one. Ark St played a near flawless game last week destroying Pine Bluff 62-11. This team is dying to knock off an SEC school and may never have a better opportunity. They have won 10 games the past 2 seasons and beat Kent in a classic Bowl game last year. Auburn, for a lack of a better term, sucks. Hung on for dear life at home last week vs an equally shitty Washington St team that had travelled across country. Ark St is not gimmicky like some good small conference teams, they have a nice run/pass balance and should be able to run a little tonight, which at very least should keep them in the game (had 3 100yd rushers last week).

  • cltil


    In the books << @Broncos (- didn't matter) over Ravens. Kind of bummed I didn't finish the essay I had started on this one Wed night, but real life intervened, so…
    ~AP~ ND +4.5 @Mich
    Arizona -11 over @UNLV
    @Bills +11 over Pats – Brady saw Welker with Peyton like we all did, and I'll go with Biki anytime
    Titans +7 over @Steelers
    **@Skins -4.5 over Eagles

    My appreciation of Robert Griffin III, on and off the field, knows no bounds. (Anybody that can make family, morality and hard work cool again is aces in my book.) Someday I may get over him not wearing orange and brown, but it won't be anytime soon. Whatever Holmgren did or didn't do for Cleveland, that missed opportunity is all I will ever remember about his time here (once that daiquiri golf cart image finally fades).

    So, Chip Kelly is going to run as many offensive plays as he can possibly squeeze into 60 minutes. (trying to picture Shurmur keeping up, and can't). Washington's D-coordinator must have watched as much Oregon film as he could get his hands on to prep his unit for what may come. He's got the much-seasoned London Fletcher out there to co-manage things on the field if he can't get the play call in fast enough. It will be interesting to see if what Kelly's got cooking can stand up to the NFL test. RG III has already aced that test, and his teammates believe. He had 6 TD passes against Philly last season, and the Eagles' secondary still is not what you'd call a strength with 3 new starters. The Skins are opening at home, and their fans were pretty much reborn last year. Also FWIW, Washington was something like 11-6 ATS in 2012, while the Eagles covered just 3 times.

  • DQuatts

    DQuatts Week 2 Cheddar (so far…):

    Virginia (+24)

    Michigan (-4.5)

    Georgia (-3)

    Will post my Essay pick and other (3) picks for the week ASAP. They will be NFL games.

    • DQuatts

      DQuatts, con’t:

      Oakland (+10.5)
      Tennessee (+7)
      *Browns (-1)

      Essay: It’s football season!!! Tough to find more loyal fans that the ones in the Muni-lot this morning! Browns get a win in the opener. I like the idea of Cleveland being able to control the clock against a young defense. This can be a game that the browns can dictate the way it’s played. I understand Miami has some excitement on offense and brings in some momentum from finishing last season on a good note, but Cleveland has energy and momentum as well. The tides have started to turn in Cleveland. Behind a performance of 130 yds and 2TDs from Mr. Richardson, the browns cruise the a 27-17 victory to get this season started on the right foot! Happy Sunday all….go Browns!

  • jmacdaddio(@jmacdaddio)

    Michigan (-4.5) over Notre Dame
    Texas (-7.5) over BYU
    Indiana (-12.5) over Navy
    Tampa Bay (-4) over NY Jets
    New England (-11) over Buffalo
    Essay: Dallas (-3.5) over NY Giants

    I’m not a Cowboys fan. Actually, I can’t stand them. But there’s points and money at stake so I’m picking them over my NY Giants. The fantasy football buzz this year is generally pro-Dallas (Dez Bryant is about to break through to another level, Romo is consistent as ever, etc) while the Giants did an off-season roster purge, meaning there will be a lot of playbook cramming on the team bus. While anything can happen in NFL week 1, I don’t see the Giants staying close in a national TV game on the road. NY media seems to be fixated on the mess that’s the Jets, which usually means the Giants are quietly building a winner, but time the Camp Rex smokescreen is hiding the fact that the Giants aren’t much better.

  • Florida (-3.5) at Miami
    Cincinnati (-9.5) at Illinois
    UTSA (+30) vs Oklahoma State
    Michigan (-4.5) vs Notre Dame
    Washington State (+16) at USC

    NFL essay to come…

    • ***Texans (-6) at CHARGERS***

      It’s really difficult to interpret what’s going to happen with a team that’s “on the cusp” year over year, but I don’t think Houston has quite reached that point just yet. Still, they’re close, but they’re running short on excuses; happy to be here only lasts for so long. In their case, I think continual growth is more likely than a complete meltdown. Speaking of meltdowns, haven’t the Chargers been in that mode since they canned Marty? I don’t love the quarterback play on either side, but I like the Texans depth at the skill positions, as well as their obvious chemistry on the other side if the ball.

      I see Houston pulling a Denver here, not in the passing game, but just with a thorough team game.

  • here we go yay

    notre dame +4.5
    florida -3.5
    cincy -10
    duke -6.5
    ohio -6
    wku +14

    this line is suspiciously high. western kentucky is much more further along in the process than tennessee is under butch jones and dooley didn’t do jones any favors with that roster. bobby petrino is coaching with the motivation that drives him most — to make more money and get another job, and the only way he can do that is by winning a bunch of games at wku, which has a surprisingly good roster and already beat one down sec team this year. wku might not win, but 14 points is just too many, this thing will be a score or less.

    • hey martin, just noticed there’s no pro pick. as is custom, i’ll drop your last non-essay pick (ohio) and ask you to make a pro pick.

  • For CapGG via twitter: “cheddar me Cinci & Florida. Post coming soon. Let me know of it’s too late to lock this in.”

    • CapitalGG

      Week 2:
      It’s been a pretty awful week. Fortunately I still have my health and #CheddarBay.

      All-play: Michigan -4.5 v. Notre Dame: If you’re not sure the road dog wins out right, give the points with the home team (why didn’t I give myself this advise last week?).

      Cincinnati -10 @ Illinois: The Illini are stinky. <-That analysis is why I'm paid the big bucks!
      Toledo +17 @ Missouri: Gary Pinkel is an overrated coach. UT covered 18 against a better team in a more difficult venue last week.
      Ohio -6 v. North Texas: Line seems an overreaction to OU getting housed by a very good L’ville team.
      Panthers +4.5 v. Seahawks: Weird stuff happens in week 1. Panthers are underrated (unluckiest team in league last year). Seattle to Charlotte is a long way and 3 time zones.

      Didn’t I just watch UNLV get blown out in that terribly difficult venue called TCF Bank Stadium in downtown Minneapolis? Yep, that happened. So they get to return home and have Rich Rod’s Wildcats come to town.

      Arizona should be very competitive in the Pac-12 South. They won 35-0 against N. Arizona last week, N. Arizona has usually been competitive in these early season games. The Lumberjacks had 40 minutes TOP last week and ZERO points. That’s more defense than you typically see from a Rich Rod team, so you figure the offense will catch up soon.

      It seems that on the surface this line should be in the 3 touchdown range. Instead it’s Arizona -11. Cheddar me some of that please!

      Other plays:
      Ball St. -9 v. Army
      Florida -3.5 v. Miami
      Georgia +3 v. South Carolina
      W. Kentucky +14 @ Tennessee
      Houston +3.5 @ Temple
      Miami(OH) +17 @ Kentucky
      Indiana -12.5 v. Navy
      Washington St. +16.5 @ USC

      Bengals +3 @ Bears
      Titans +7 @ Steelers
      Vikings +5.5 @ Lions

  • munasrevenge

    –LSU (-36) vs UAB (Almost took Oregon in my “Extremely Mismatched Talent” game this week, but LSU is playing their home opener and UAB is much much MUCH worse than TCU defensively.)
    –Wyoming (-29.5) vs Idaho (Is Idaho still “Idaho”? All signs are currently pointing to yes and Wyoming showed enough against Nebraska to make me think they can put up enough points.)
    –Indiana (-12.5) vs Navy (IU has a frisky team this year that can score in bunches.)
    –Browns (-1) vs. Dolphins (If we all keep saying it, it will come true, right?)

    —Michigan (-4.5) vs ND (Both teams are probably overrated a bit, as usual, but I really like Michigan at home in this one).

    —-BGSU (-7) @ Kent St.A MACtion/Essay double! I actually had the “pleasure” to be at the BG/Tulsa game last week and BG looked really impressive. They were touted as a team to beat in the MAC this year, and I wasn’t a believer initially (I almost took Tulsa in CB last week) but they really shut Tulsa down. Kent was a team that was probably a little lucky to finish how they did last year, and judging from their opener against grey-area “is it a church/no it’s a school I swear!” Liberty, they have dropped off quite a bit. I hate laying points on the road in this type of game (especially when I look up and realize I have an all-fave slate), but this one really could be over in the 2nd quarter.

    • munasrevenge

      Actually I’d like to switch my Wyoming pick to Arizona (-11) @ UNLV if it’s not too late. (So congratulations everyone who picked Wyoming!)

  • I really wanted to pick more college games to make today’s uninspiring slate more interesting/meaningful, but the NFL lines looked way more favorable.


    All Play: Notre Dame (+4.5) over Michigan
    Packers (+5) over 49ers
    Eagles (+4.5) over Redskins
    Patriots (-11) over Bills
    Bucs (-4) over Jets

    Colts (-10) over Raiders

    As Kanick covered this week, Andrew Luck is, hands down, the best QB from the 2012 draft, and poised to enter to Brady/Manning/Brees/Rodgers stratosphere this season. Decidedly not poised to enter that stratosphere, in this reality or the next, is Terrelle Pryor, whose “weapons” (if you can call them that) consist of two receivers (Moore, Streater) who would be backups on some D-I college teams, a tight end 99% of the football-watching populace has never heard of, and human china doll Darren McFadden. Furthermore, I’m not a fan of Oakland’s revamped secondary – the Charles Woodson-at-safety signing strikes me as more of a feel-good reunion story to drum up any semblance of fan excitement (in the same vein as Thome to the Indians in 2011) than a football-based move; Mike Jenkins was a bust first rounder with Dallas, and these sorts of reclamation projects rarely work out, except in cases where a once-highly touted OT moves to guard; and Usama Young (UGH) might actually see some playing time. This defensive backfield is bound to fall victim to Luck’s aerial assault on Sunday; Reggie Wayne is still great, TY Hilton is shifty and legit, and Dwayne Allen is the league’s most underrated tight end. Colts 35, Raiders 13.

  • Harbaugh Handshakes

    Already Played: Ravens +7.5 @ Denver Wow Peyton looks good…(mental note taken)
    AP: Michigan -4.5 vs ND Love Michigan at night in the big house.
    Tampa Bay -4 @ Jets…Seems like the Jets are a hot mess and I’m sure Revis is licking his chops watching film on Geno
    Chiefs -4 @ Jax….Jacksonville is awful and if the chiefs live up to the hype this should be a massacre.
    Browns -1 vs Miami…Holding my breath…
    Essay:Colts -10 vs The Raaaiders,,,,,

    I think Kanick summed it up best when he deemed this year the year of Luck. Listen Luck made the Browbs defense look silly in the 3rd preseason gane. The kid is the best of the big 3 qb’s that came out last year and I’d argue a top 5 QB in the League (Brady, Rodgers, Brees, Manning, Luck) and if I’m starting a franchise Luck is my # 1 pick. Anyway the Raiders are the definition of awful and a sure thing to win the Teddy Bridgewater/Clowney sweepstakes. They are starting Pryor at QB purely due to the fact that he is more capable if running for his life behind an awful offensive line. Mcfadden is the only bright spot on this team but its easy to stop the run when you don’t even have to think about the pass. This one’s going to get ugly 38-10 Colts

  • cleinmpls

    Michigan -4.5 (all play)
    Panthers +4.5
    Colts -10 (essay)

    First week of the NFL is always tough, but a terrible Oakland team with Pryor at QB that has to travel across the country to face a competent Colts team for an early kickoff doesn’t exactly sound like a match made in heaven. It really is hard not to fawn over Luck when you watch him play. Talk about a guy that passes the eye test. The passing attack with Wayne and Hilton coupled with an upgrade at RB with Bradshaw sounds pretty decent to me. Colts will stack the box and make Pryor beat them. I just don’t see that happening. This game may be close for awhile, but the Colts will play smart and pull away at some point. Probably a turnover late to seal the deal. This may have been a trap game for the Colts if this was in the middle of the season, but they will be focused since its opening day.

  • Irish, Virginia, and OU Bobcats for me today. I’ll check in with a tunnel-speach tomorrow AM.

  • thatsfine

    ND +4.5 / UM put up 59 points last week, but Devin Gardner looked raw. I think he’ll get schooled by ND’s defense.
    BGSU -7 / This caught my eye as soon as I started looking though the lines. For a second I thought it said -17. Nope, it’s -7.
    COLTS -10 / I think Kanicki’s season preview has whipped everyone into a froth on this one (last count 15-1)…. I still like it.
    BUCS -4 / The Raiders may be the worst team in the NFL, but the Jets are the biggest punchline.
    BUFFALO +11 / Who is Brady throwing to in this game? I know, he’s lost pieces of the passing game in past years and hasn’t missed a beat. But, he lost Welker, Hernandez, and (for now) Gronk all at once. Plus, I love CJ Spiller. Doug Marrone loves to run the ball. Give me the home dog.
    CHIEFS -4 / I don’t buy the talk of Blaine Gabbert’s improvement, because how could he be much worse than he has been? Sounds like Weeden improvement talk to me. Even with a healthy MJD to take some of the pressure off of him, I don’t trust him to find Blackmon or Cecil Shorts anywhere on the field. I do buy talk of Andy Reid coming to KC with Alex Smith (accurate, small hands and all) and taking a team with a two potentially great weapons (Dwayne Bowe and Jamal Charles) that was in desperate need of a QB and running towards a .500 season – for the next 3 seasons. They start it off by a double-digit dispatching of a team that spent more time redesigning its uniforms than significantly improving their roster.

  • Irish +4.5 obviously.
    Tulsa -9.5 v Colorado State.

    The rest to come tomorrow.

  • pateslvrblk

    Bowling green -7 over Kent
    Oaklahoma -21 over West Virginia
    All play: Michigan -4.5 over Notre Dame
    Chiefs-4 over Jaguars
    Seahawks -4.5 over Panthers
    ***Washington State+16.5 over USC
    Although the cougars didn’t seize victory in week 1 they found themselves in a position to win the game twice. Even when all seemed lost after a questionable play call, leading to a pick on first and goal, the defense came back and forced a turnover. Sure Conner Haliday needs to settle down and watch his interceptions and learn from mistakes. This team keeps working to improve unlike the mess at USC. Lane Kiffin is still trying to find his leader at QB. His leading receiver Marquise Lee in the first half against Hawaii had drops and thru a fit on the sideline. Although the talent is impressive, the team doesn’t seem united, especially with a coach on the hot seat. This could get interesting in LA , and I’m counting on it.

  • NCAA: Eastern Michigan +24
    NCAA: Virginia +24
    NCAA: Missouri -17

    NFL: Brownies -1

    ALL PLAY: ND +4.5

    ESSAY: NFL: Buffalo Bills +11
    Just like I always split 8’s and double on 11 in BJ, i ALWAYS take the homedog division rival when playin the NFL and all 3 have been very kind to me over the years. Coupled with the fact that everyone appears to be on the Pats, naturally this was a play for me. Those 2 rules of engagement aside, the Bills always play tough at home and I think the Bills new run first mentality should keep Brady off the field long enough to keep this game reasonably close. The losses of Welker, Gronk and Hernandez will hopefully put Brady at a slight disadvantage than in previous years. My hope is that the fierce front four Buddy Nix envisioned when he splurged old man Wilson’s money last year finally proves their worth and disrupts the timing of Brady and his new cast members enough to keep this game reasonably close.

  • Bevilacqua


    Western Kentucky (+14) over Tennessee…Bobby Petrino vs. the SEC!!!!!

    Florida (-3.5) over Miami

    Texans (-5) over Chargers

    Browns (-1) over Dolphins

    Buccaneers (-4) over Jets

    All Play & Essay: Michigan (-4.5) over Notre Dame
    My essay pick against Notre Dame won last week, so I may as well ride this until it stops working. Yes, at a brief glance, it looks like Notre Dame, gaining 543 yards and winning 28-6, dominated Temple. But if you watched the game, it was really a lot closer. That was one of the most lackluster 500+ yard offensive games I’ve ever watched. Temple actually gained more first downs (25 to 21), and the score glosses over the fact that Temple failed to score on three trips into the red zone (they missed two field goals in the first half and lost the ball on downs late in the game). Temple even failed to make the PAT after their lone touchdown. I am a little worried about turnovers, because even though Notre Dame only forced one against Temple, Devin Gardner threw two picks against lowly Central Michigan. However, if Michigan manages to go up early, as I foresee in my crystal ball, I expect Tommy Rees and Notre Dame’s offense to struggle with the pace. Moreover, this game is under the lights at the Big House (I think this is like the second time ever), so that alone should be worth a few extra points.

  • cwonder23

    (Already Played) Broncs -7.5 vs Ravens
    ND + 4.5 @ Michigan (AP)
    South Carolina +3 @ Georgia
    Buccaneers -4 @ Jets
    Falcons +3 @Saints
    Texas -7.5 vs BYU (Essay Pick)
    I know this is uncommon opinion but I like Mack Brown (as a coach) and I love Austin (the City). I think the “Mormons” test will prove too great down in the heat. BYU played VA close last weekend but let’s be real here, VA ain’t TX. I think the B12 will show the home crowd a game and TX will win and cover. People have loved picking BYU in this game but I just don’t see the potential! Oh, and Go Hawkeyes!

    • cwonder23

      Clearly 2 am posts are probably not the best idea. Especially, when you can’t even determine the home team correctly!

      • acto

        Yeah, thanks a lot cwonder, I went down to DKR and no one was there! Well, at least I finally made it into Scholtz Garten.

  • Jdoepke


    Mich -4.5 vs ND (All Play)
    BY +7.5 vs TX
    Toledo +17 @ Mizzou
    Miami +3 vs FL
    Titans +7 @ Steelers
    Panthers + 4.5 vs. Seahawks (Essay)

    From the time the lines came out I’ve loved the Panthers in this spot. A lot of attention on Seattle this year after a great year last year. Traveling across county didn’t seem to be an issue last year but as we all know, things change every year. I liked the Panthers at +3.5 when it opened, now it seems its up to 4.5 and I’m not sure how much I like it but we’re gonna go with it. Home dog in NFL in week 1 vs a team everyone seems to be jumping on the bandwagon. I will take Caroline and the points.

  • pforever

    ****ND +4.5 Michigan
    Cincinnati -9.5 IL
    S. Carolina +3 Georgia
    Wake +3 BC
    Oregon -24.5 Virginia
    Cleveland -1 Miami

    I’m not totally sure what’s going on with this line but hey – don’t look a gift horse in the mouth, right? this ND team was undefeated last year, including beating Michigan. I see no reason why ND won’t win outright again. Tommy Rees is no Everett Golson, but as everyone should remember, he is actually the quarterback that led ND to its biggest wins last year. He couldn’t have looked much better than he did last week – Temple or no Temple, a mistake free game is a mistake free game, and lots of quarterbacks facing inferior teams didn’t have one last week (see, e.g., Braxton Miller; more to the point see Devin Gardner, who threw only 1 TD and 2 INTs against Central Michigan). I like ND’s multi-threat running game too. But the biggest reason to be sanguine about ND’s chances tomorrow is ND’s defense. ND’s d-line is one of the best in college football. And Michigan’s o-line is young and inexperienced. Gardner isn’t going to be running for 50+ yards. Nor will Michigan be racking up 250 yards rushing. The game is going to be close, like these games always are (3 of the last 4 decided by 4 points or less; the 4th was decided by a touchdown) but ND will grind it out. Aw. It’s okay wolverines. You’ll always have the buckeyes.

    • acto

      We all knew your pick on this one p_foreveragoldendomer, it should be easy to discount the reactionary ramblings of our favorite domer_homer, but I cannot find fault with your essay. Now I am contemplating doing the unthinkable and changing my pick. I wish we had a once a season pass on the all play like we get to skip one essay. You had me with the horse’s mouth, I think I may have my head up the wrong end of the horse.

    • I’m going to drop Wake since these picks came in after kickoff (Friday game). You dodge a bullet there, give us a 6th pick.

      Agreed on Tommy Rees, hasn’t it been two years since he was the bad turnover machine? He figures to be much cooler now.

  • chuckkoz

    Buccaneers -4 (at Jets)
    Panthers +4.5 (vs Seahawks)
    Titans +7 (at Steelers)
    Cardinals +4.5 (at Rams)
    AP: Michigan -4.5 (vs ND)
    Essay: Chargers +5 (vs Texans)

    I took a look over at and this game is getting overwhelming action for the Texans (80-90% going to Texans). Its early, so I refuse to except such a consensus can be true.

    I guess people are excited about a team that was 12-4 last year and for a good portion of the season looked like a Super Bowl team, especially when they are matched against Chargers team that was deemed a joke by most analysts for most of last year. However, these people seem to be ignoring the Texans late season collapse: lost 3 of 4 final regular season games, dearly costing them homefield, then getting murdered by the Patriots after slipping by Bengals. So with losing 4 of 6 to end last year, I think we can all reasonably ignore the Super Bowl hype this year.

    Meanwhile, the Chargers actually weren’t so bad last year (with the major exception of losing that terrible game to the browns). They won 3 of their last 4, finished 7-9, and were only truly out of one game last year (against a video game performance by Cam Newton…see above pick). So they may just be okay this year, especially since a look at their additions/subtractions seems to indicate a net gain from last year. So lets take the points and the home crowd on Monday night.

  • Squeekycleen

    Illinois +10 (essay): I must confess, I love of terrible teams. I just can’t resist them. There was even something pleasing about Pitt getting lit up by Jameis last week. This week, we will move to Big 10 patsy Illinois. They struggled with Southern Illinois last week. Meanwhile, Cincy was lighting up Purdue. I would think Illinois was looking ahead a bit, and hopefully will be more focused this week. At the worst, they should be able to move the ball and keep the back door open. Wait, maybe that’s the best case scenario. No idea how they win this game, and that’s how I like it.

    UNLV +11
    Jacksonville +4
    Temple +3
    All play: Michigan -4.5

  • ArtVandelay


    Wyoming -28.5 vs Idaho – See Kanicki’s essay.

    Packers +5.5 @ SF – I know SF has had their # but the Pack were banged up last year especially at the end. Any time you get the best QB with more than a field goal you have to take it.

    Bengals +3 @ Bears – Geno Atkins is really good.

    Panthers +4 vs Seahawks – Luke Kuechly. Panthers D especially their front 7 is very good. Plus I dont care for Pete Carroll.

    AP: UM -4.5 vs ND – Rees lack of mobility hurts him. When things break down you need to have some ability to make a play with your feet. Plus ND has not had things go their way in that stadium in a long time.

    Oregon -24.5 @ UVA

    I will be honest part of this pick is because I am a little miffed at UVA for knocking off my essay pick last week. And thanks to the machine from Eugene I didn’t have to wait long to get my revenge.

    Yes it is true that Oregon is traveling east but it is a 3:30 kickoff so the Ducks should be fine. Most are aware of Oregon’s offense with Marcus Mariota & De’Anthony Thomas and what they are capable of doing. But did you know that Oregon’s defense has 10 juniors and seniors in the starting lineup. My point is that this is a very experienced group who should give UVA fits. As mentioned last week BYUs D is solid & they delivered. I see no reason why UVA will have any success against Oregon’s D either. The Oregon offense will do what they do best and while the UVA D will put up a fight they will eventually be gassed. UVA has talent it is just young and inexperienced and unfortunately for them they will be taken to school by an experienced well oiled machine.

  • fyi, a couple lines are off. we’re using the current line, not the open. these are the problem children.
    pats -11
    bucs -4
    colts -10
    i’ll leave as is unless you tell me to change em, thanks.

  • All Play: ND +4.5

    Colorado State +10.5

    Steelers -6.5

    Seahawks -3.5

    Browns -1

    Essay: Colts -7

    The Oakland Raiders are a bad team. There, I said it. I feel so much better now. It’s the place where careers go to die. The facilities are run down and I have it on good authority that they smell. This doesn’t feel like an NFL franchise anymore. This is the team that makes me wish that American football had relegation like European football does. That way, the Raiders could fade off into obscurity in the 3rd Division.

    This is a team that threw money (yes, GOOD, HARD-EARNED MOOLAH) at Matt Flynn. The guy who parlayed the equivalent of one game of real football into millions of dollars and yet could not beat out Russell Wilson. Then again, he really hasn’t beat out Terrelle Pryor. That’s saying a lot because Terrelle Pryor’s accuracy can be just plain awful.

    On the other hand we have Andrew Luck and Company. Last year, I wrote a piece for about Andrew and why he was worth getting excited over for Indy fans. Year two should prove no different and he’s starting off against a weak opponent. I like the Raiders’ defense somewhat but their offense will not be able to score points. Here’s to giving up seven points and rolling to Cheddar…..

  • @hitthehorns:

    Essay: Browns -1

    If you believe the Browns can get to nine wins, then they have to go 6-2 at home and they have to win the opener. Every article that has been written about Chud has mentioned he is from Ohio, and he ate dog bones as a kid. Hopefully that means he’s taken 30 minutes to check youtube for the comedy of errors that have happened on opening day in our stadium. I feel like I say this every year, but this is a must win for the Browns. We are @Ravens, @Vikings, home for Cincy. Might be looking at 0-4 if they lose. Things that make me nervous: Cundiff. My God, Cundiff. Also, I’ve listened to Mike Lombardi make fun of Weeden on the BS Report for a year. Go back and listen to those – he just was laughing at the guy. I’m shocked they didn’t bring someone in to challenge him. I have field passes for Sunday, so I’m sure I’ll see something in the pregame that will make me want to change this pick. This is purely a gut choice. I have no statistical measures to support this.

    Panthers +4.5

    Chargers +5. Points grab. Home team. Questions about Arian Foster. New coach for the Chargers, Mike McCoy, was able to coordinate a winning offense for Tim Tebow and Peyton Manning. If Phil Rivers has anything left in the tank, McCoy should be the guy to bring it out of him. Plus, Manti Teo is hurt, which is good for the purposes of this pick.

    All Play: Michigan -4.5

    Idaho +29.5 – Wyoming looked great last week. Emotional letdown here.

    UVA +24 – Oregon’s first road game is 3,000 miles away…they beat an FCS team last week…UVA beat BYU….I have UVA on the buy list and Oregon on the sell list…

  • Holy smokes. I understand there is tremendous bias in this forum but Browns -1 is outpacing Miami +1 at a 20-1 pace!!

    • Daniel

      There is nothing more miserable than rooting against the home team or against your bet. I discovered this last year week 1 against the Eagles.

  • Mich -4.5 vs ND (All Play)
    TB -4 vs NYJ
    KC -4 vs Jax
    Det – 5.5 MN
    SD + 5 vs Hou
    Browns -1 vs Mia (Essay)

    This will probably be the only time you will see me pick a Browns game this year. I tend not to pick games I already have a rooting interest in. But, I want to start the season with positive thoughts. If the Browns have indeed changed from the doom and gloom days, these are the kind of games they need to win: A home game against a team with similar talent level. Both HC’s and QB’s have everything to prove still. Young RB’s and similar WR talent level. Here’s hoping Ray Horton’s D doesn’t make a fool of themselves, I’m taking Browns.

  • Concierge

    Arizona -10
    Central Michigan -3.5
    Miami FLA +3.5
    Notre Dame +4.5
    Browns -1
    Cowboys -3

    Browns vs Dolphins
    I just think the Browns are a better team overall than the Dolphins. With the game being at home that adds to the value. Brandon Weeden should take big steps this season with Norv Turner as offensive coordinator. I know he didnt look great against the colts in the pre season but it doesnt matter. Richardson will be a beast and have over 100 yards to get this thing started off on the right note! Browns all day baby!!

    • Hey Conc: Just noticed that there’s no line on the CMU/UNH game. Can you get us another pick? I’m going to kill that pick off. Thanks.

  • kanick

    6. @Bills +11 Pats
    5. @Rams -4.5 Cards
    4. Arky St. +13 @Auburn
    3. AP: Irish +4.5 @Mich
    2. Cincy -10 @Ill
    1. Essay: @Wyo -29.5 Idaho

    Whoa now, giving 30 points on an essaypick? I know. But I watched Wyoming play Nebraska down to the wire last week, in Lincoln. Wyoming outplayed Nebraska to my eye with better execution, energy, coaching. The Huskers line eventually “out-stronged” the Cowboys, wore em down. But nothing flukey in the 34 points they put up… 383 pass yards + 219 rush = 602 yards on Nebraska in Lincoln.

    Meanwhile, Idaho gave up 591 total yards (40 points) to North Texas.

    I’m just doing math here, but if Wyo got 600 yards on Neb, and Idaho gave 600 to UNT, then Wyo should get 1200 yards on Saturday, no?

    Brett Smith is an interesting QB. 6-3 Junior can run, can pass, 11th in the FBS in quarterback efficiency rating. Peculiar tidbit: every other QB in the top 20 in efficiency was in a bowl.

    Random tidbit #2: Wyoming had 18 first time starters last year; only one team with that many went to a bowl (TCU). So

    I liked the look of Dave Christensen on the sideline last week. I don’t know a whole lot about him except that he’s been an offensive coordinator since 1992. Toledo, then at Mizzou for 11 years. He runs a pass oriented no-huddle spread.

    I found a preview at SBNation’s Mtn West Connection. The key quote I saw was: “As for the defense for Idaho, it’s on the defensive line to make plays. The secondary is very inexperienced and very thin, so if the defensive line can’t get pressure on Brett Smith then it’s going to be a very long day.” There is a possibility the Idaho could get some rush yards against Wyo, but the expectation is that Wyo’s offense is going to roll pretty strongly.

    Let’s add it up:
    * Hot shit QB.
    * HC who’s actually a 20 year mad-scientist OC.
    * Pass oriented, no-huddle, spread offense.
    * Against Idaho.
    * In Laramie.
    * Home opener.

    Let’s roll the dice on this four TD spread.

    Also like: BGSU -7 @Kent; @Colts -10 Raiders; USU -10 @AFA; Wazzu +16.5 @USC; @Saints -3 Falcons; Vikes +5.5 @Lions.

  • Ravens +7.5 over Broncos (Already submitted)
    Michigan -4.5 over Notre Dame (All Play)
    Baylor -27.5 over Buffalo
    Virginia +24 over Oregon ***
    Packers +5 over Niners
    Colts -10 over Raiders

    *** I can’t think of a more dangerous team to pick ATS than the Ducks. But Oregon is making a very rare trip to the east coast against a potentially under-rated Virginia team which upset BYU last week. While the transition to the new coach for Oregon might have appeared seamless, they did play a patsy in Nicholls State. While I think the Ducks will still win this game easily, Virginia’s defense should do enough to slow them down to keep it within the spread. The Cavs played an up-tempo offense (albeit a JV version of Oregon) last week in BYU and held them relatively in check with points. Holding my breath throughout this one.

    • Stole my thunder on Virginia. Hard to believe Oregon is going to be perfectly in sync on that long trip.

  • Nick’s picks (nmesha)

    All Play: Michigan -4.5 vs ND
    Browns -1 vs Fins
    Saints -3 vs Falcons – Sean Payton is out for blood this yr. He will run coaching circles around Mike Smith, and most of the league.

    Chiefs -4 vs Jags – Andy Reid is out for BBQ this yr.

    Tulsa +9.5 vs Colorado St – pursuant to my essay pick, Tulsa couldn’t move the ball against BG’s defense, I don’t necessary thing Tulsa is a bad team, so I will gladly take 9.5 points at home.

    Essay: Bowling Green -7 vs Kent St
    Kent St was my darling mac team last year, and won me a lot of points here in the bay. This year they have a new coach, qb, and o-line. And their star player is hurt. They beat Liberty 17-10. I don’t know anything about Liberty, but I don’t think a one score win is a good sign. Meanwhile, Bowling Green returns 9 starters on defense that was the #6 ranked total defense in the country last season. They went out last week and crushed defending C-USA champions Tulsa 34-7. On a personal level, I played golf with some Goodyear guys last week who went to Bowling Green, and they were excited about this season. So what we have here is a matchup between an inexperienced Kent st squad that squeezed by an inferior opponent versus an experienced BG team who dominated a conference champion + my own personal connection that leaves me feeling with enough good juju for me to ride BG this year. #MACtion

    • Tulsa favored by 9.5 fyi

  • I will be attending Notre Dame-Michigan as my dessert after having to eat my broccoli dinner (USF-Michigan State). This might be the only time this year where I’ll be attending the All Play: Do I hedge with hate? Do I pick the home team so I’m more emotionally invested? No way, I simply root against all those Irish-Catholic assholes that made my parochial school Philadelphia upbringing the worst.

    Go Blue +4.5

    Boring regular picks:

    Arizona -11 over UNLV
    Eagles-Skins OVER 51.5. (I might go over 70 totals on some Eagles games this year)
    South Carolina +3 over Georgia
    WVU +21 over Oklahoma

    Essay Pick:
    Miami +3.5 over Florida

    Look, folks: Miami is going to be really good this year. They are loaded, have speed and talent all over the field, and this is the game they’ve circled on their calendars for a year now. Them getting points in their own crib against a team that’s not in the Top 10 is ridiculous. Also, Jeff Driskel on the road! JEFF DRISKEL ON THE ROAD!!! Not that Stephen Morris spectacular, but he’s serviceable and in friendly confines. This line is off by a bunch, and I will happily take my victory while watching the team I root for get their asses beat in Spartan Stadium.

    And ChuckyCrater basically gave my thoughts exactly after USF last week. But my plane tickets and hotel were non-refundable, so yeah I’m just going to drink a lot. But I simply don’t have the balls to take USF after seeing what I saw last week. Gun to my head, I guess USF covers. But a firearm is the only way you’re getting me to touch that game.

    • No over-unders, just the game lines. So drop us a sixth pick.

    • So a little birdie told me there’s no totals in Cheddar Bay?? OMG WTF BBQ!!

      How can I randomly root for points or punts now? But if that’s the rule, gimme the Jets +4 over the Bucs. You guys don’t understand how bad the Bucs are going to be this year, and I couldn’t be more excited about it.

  • Week 2 Picks

    All Play – Notre Dame (+4.5) over Michigan

    I trust the Irish defense more than I trust Tommy Rees. I trust both of those things more than I trust Devin Gardner who will play catch with the Irish secondary all night.

    Wyoming (-29.5) over Idaho

    The line still has not moved enough…remember how I vent about Idaho on the road and depth perception issues…ever seen a game in Wyoming?

    Pittsburgh (-7) over Tennessee

    I may hate them but I sure as hell are not ready to bury them yet.

    Stanford (-27.5) over San Jose St

    Coaches matter. I am still on cloud nine digging out all kinds of old Colorado gear and wearing it proudly. The gain for Colorado is the loss for San Jose State. Ton of talent on that Spartan team but Saturday just feels like bad things. Everyone seems to be on San Jose State and I love David Shaw.

    Chicago (-3) over Cincinnati

    I believe in CFL coaches more than Marvin Lewis (especially now that Hawkins was fired) and am a card carrying member of the Jay Cutler to Cleveland in 2014 fan club.

    Essay Pick

    This being my 3rd year here in the Bay I have picked up on a few things from people. Mainly…find a damn good team that covers every week or find a team that is just terrible. I’ve been trying to figure out who that team is all preseason and I think I have found that team. I’m not going with Oakland or the Jets because everyone knows that they suck and I just don’t see any value there.

    The problem is that I think I found the team, I just hate the fact that they are in Cleveland this weekend.

    There is an unwritten rule somewhere that you do not sign a deep threat WR while letting your Pro Bowl anchor LT leave the franchise. I can’t get beyond this. I don’t fault Mike Wallace…if someone gave me that kind of money to go to Miami I’m already on the plane but that guy is going to be pissed when every time he gets 40 yards downfield he turns back to see his QB trying to find his mouthpiece rolling around on the ground. Keller was a nice signing but he is done for the year. The defense is above average but I just don’t see how they put points on the board. Go look at their schedule and when the Dolphins are 0-5 at the bye you will thank me.

    There I wrote all that and did not talk about the obvious.

    Don’t miss any extra points or field goals. Don’t have anyone get trapped under an American flag. Do not allow Pat Shurmur to be thought of in any way shape or form.

    Cleveland (-1) over Miami

  • Harbaugh Handshakes

    Give me Baltimore +7.5 tonight for 1 pt tonight

  • bupalos

    Sweet sassy molassy, look at all that bad mid-week action on Baltimore.

    It’s taking candy from like 16,17,18 babies and counting… put me down for the horsey-faced altitude-horsies-of-revenge from Denver!

    • clevelandfrowns

      PROTIP: There is hardly any such thing as bad action in Week 1.

      • clevelandfrowns

        But sometimes there is!

        • Morality and action aside, early season travel/altitude plays using M+∆A are one of the only statistically significant handles I’ve found.

          • clevelandfrowns

            OK what is M+∆A?

  • Posting on behalf of Acto

    Early Cheese for Acto

    All Play Michigan

    Ravens +7.5 over The Sons of Horseface, –Losing Champ Bailey is a much greater detrement than losing Stabby McKnifey

    –Idiotic ESSAY–
    @BYU +7.5 over Texas, –Last week should have been a Texas sized shellacking from the opening kick, instead Tejas failed to dominate and run over a much less talented team, (I believe it was the Little Sisters of the Poor, or somebody). LSotP may be the worst team around so the Horns prevailed, but NDSU would have trounced Texas. Even though Major Opie will have a terrific, positive influence on the Texas offence and David Ash throughout the season, it will not be enough to see Texas cover the spread against a more disciplined defense. BYU should get an interception or two despite their secondary being depleted through a series of injuries and Kyle Van Noy should have a great game by being in the right place at the right time, he seems to do that rather frequently. The somewhat less than amazing Texas O-line kept David Ash’s uniform clean against the undersized and only slightly crippled LSotP defensive front, I do not think they will be equally successful going up against the able bodied and possible Outland Trophy winner, but oftentimes unmentioned because his name is too hard to pronounce, Eaathyynn Manmaumannmmonoalleuuaeua. If his name was “Vein Gash” we would hear about him all the time.

    UTSA +27.5 over Okie State –Beep Beep–

    East Carolina -21 over Florida Atlantic
    UCF -26 over Florida Int -My guy T. Y. is long gone
    Miami +3.5 over Florida
    Ore State -26.5 over Hawaii

    • That’s seven Acto, I’ll drop off Ore St unless you direct otherwise. Thanks.

      • acto

        I need the extra help. I guess it is too late to drop East Carolina. I just looked it up, there is no East Carolina! My map only shows North Carolina and South Carolina. What was I thinking?

        Yes please drop Ore State.

  • clevelandfrowns

    Cannot resist the Baltimore Raisins +7.5 tonight, for one point, please. Thank you.

    • clevelandfrowns

      I’ll take BGSU -7 over Kent St. and Michigan -4.5 over Notre Dame. Will probably make Mich. my essay in which case I’ll be back shortly.

      • clevelandfrowns

        OK, Michigan will be my essay. First, I really hate the way Brian Kelly tried to downplay this 115 year old rivalry, which corresponds with my hate for the way so many historic regional rivalries are being tossed into history’s dustbin these days. Second, I think the Michigan coaching staff outschemed the hell out of the Irish last year, and would have won by two scores if not for Denard’s 5 turnovers. This year they’re at home with a better quarterback than they had last year. Temple moved the ball well last week against ND, and I expect the title game bludgeoning as well as the Teo nonsense to hang over the Irish a bit this season. Also, Tommy Rees bath salts.

        • clevelandfrowns

          Alright, Go Blue. 3 NFL picks today.

          Bears -3 over Bengals: Had I not gone with Michigan for an essay (did I nail that one or what, though?), it would have been this. Not buying the Cincy hype just yet and I expect the Bears to be improved. See some value here.

          Niners -5 over Packers: Mangini Mangini Mangini Mangini Mangini Mangini Mangini Mangini Mangini Mangini Mangini Mangini Mangini Mangini Mangini Mangini Mangini Mangini Mangini Mangini Mangini Mangini Mangini Mangin Mangini Mangini Mangini Mangini Mangini Mangini Mangini Mangini Mangini Mangini Mangini Mangini Mangini Mangini Mangini Mangini Mangini Mangini Mangini Mangini Mangini Mangini Mangini Mangini Mangini Mangini Mangini Mangini Mangini Mangini Mangini Mangini

          Bills +11 over Patriots: THE LINE IS TOO DAMN HIGH.

        • clevelandfrowns

          Dang, I like the Falcons today, too (that Saints defense WOOF). Wish I’d have held off on Thursday night.

  • trashycamaro


    Ravens +7.5 @ Broncos

    while I hate choosing the Ravens as a Browns fan, picking the Broncos to lose softens the blow.

    My take – Peyton is good, but the Broncos d is suffering right now, missing its best three players from last year tonight (Von Miller, Elvis Dumervil, and Champ Bailey). I would be reluctant to go against Peyton on opening night at home, but I am getting over a TD here. And the Ravens D, despite the turnover, has the potential to better than last year’s unit.

    • Daniel

      wow. that escalated quickly.

    • trashycamaro

      don’t see an edit button, so sorry in advance Kanick –

      Michigan over the Golden Showers.

      NFL that is not the Baltimore atrocity coming by Sunday am.

      • trashycamaro

        forgot to put in my mandatory:

        WKU +13 @ TENN

        • trashycamaro

          Between the egg the Ravens laid the other night, Driskel’s impending murder by the Florida defense, and this series of plays:

          • 1st-10, WKU 19, 5:15: J. Coleman intercepted B. Doughty for 23-yard touchdown.

          • 1st-10, WKU 29, 4:24: K. Simpson rushed up the middle for 3-yard gain.

          • 2nd-7, WKU 32, 4:17: C. Sutton intercepted B. Doughty for 36-yard touchdown.

          • 1st-10, WKU 30, 3:27: K. Simpson rushed up the middle for 3-yard gain. K. Simpson fumbled. D. Sapp recovered fumble.

          • 1st-10, WKU 28, 1:20: A. Andrews rushed up the middle for 8-yard gain. A. Andrews fumbled. M. Arnold recovered fumble and returned for 12 yards.

          • 1st-10, WKU 14, 0:31: B. Brewer intercepted B. Doughty for no gain.

          I can only assume something awful is going to happen to the Wolverines tonight. You have been warned.

  • deputyglitters

    Seahawks -4.5 @ Panthers
    Chiefs -4 @ Jaguars
    Colts -10 vs. Raiders
    Browns -1 vs. Dolphins
    Notre Dame +4.5 @ Michigan
    Bucs -4 @ Jets

    All indications are the Jets = disaster. I’m not sure the Raiders are the worst team in football. And I’m not sure which uniform I can see Clowney wearing more fittingly. With Geno Smith starting after splitting reps all camp with Sanchez – I’m counting on a performance akin to his miserable preseason. It couldn’t help that he didn’t take all first-team reps like our red-headed man-child/god Weeden. I kid. We could see Simms at some point, in this game. Starting at receiver are Stephen Hill and a very questionable Santonio or Kerley. Puke in my mouth. The presence of Quinn and Winslow on the roster makes me laugh with a mouthful of said puke. Sorry about getting so graphic. Bilal Powell is getting the start after they paid Ivory all that money. I just don’t see how this team scores enough points. I wouldn’t be surprised if that free 4 is all they get here.

  • 1. ND +4.5 (All Play)- I dont think either team are all that good. My Temple pick last week v ND benefitted from those thoughts. Last 3 meetings between these teams were decided by 4, 4, 7 points. ND does have a monster DL and Rees has plenty of experience. He looked very good last week (16/23, 346, 3 td, 0 int) for a ridiculous 15 yds/attempt. Id like to see Freshman star recruit RB Greg Bryant more than 2 carries this week so he could be a difference maker if he gets more carries. I just don’t believe in Devin Gardner enough to lay 4.5.

    2. Temple +3.5 Houston- Took the Owls last week to cover v ND and they somehow hung on. To their credit they did put up 4.8 yds/play which I guess isn’t terrible considering how bad their offense was last yr and went against a stout ND defense. QB Connor Reilly did show well as a duel threat. Not sure why Houston is favored on the road here. They beat Southern (?) by 50 points last week, although as a 40 pt fav that wasnt too surprising so pretty much meaningless. Lets take a quick look at the Cougs results last year. They went 5-7 including a horrific 0-4 record on the road losing by an average of 21 points. The teams they lost to weren’t necessarily the top of the SEC or anything (Marshall, ECU, SMU, UCLA). They were favored by 3 and 3.5 on the road in two of those games as well.
    * 69% of public on Houston according to Covers

    3. BYU +7.5 Texas- Texas is pretty good but as showcased in the first half of their game last week against one of the worst D1 teams in the nation (N Mex St) they were down 7-0 near halftime before turning it on. Provo is historically a really difficult place to play and somehow BYU lost last week at Virginia despite only allowing 3 yds/play, which is shutout quality. BYU also didn’t have their best offensive weapon in Cody Hoffman, who is questionable this week. Having him back is a must. The hook matters here imo.
    * 71% of public on TX according to Covers

    4. San Jose St +27.5 v Stanford- Not going to lie, I don’t understand this line. LY San Jose was an outstanding 11-2 ATS last year and 11-2 overall, including an impressive 20-17 loss at Stanford. In that game SJSU put up 4.6 yds/play vs Stanford’s 4.1. Now I will say Kevin Hogan didn’t play QB at that point for the Cardinal but impressive nonetheless. Most of you know about SJSU future 1st rd pick in QB David Fales so if you are going to back a 27.5 pt dog on the road, having a top notch QB is extremely comforting. In addition, SJSU sports two top notch WR weapons in Noel Grigsby (82-1307-9td last yr) and Chandler Jones (54-69-11td). Also of note is that Stanford has lost a lot on the offensive side of the ball to the NFL the last 2 years, including TE Zach Ertz and RB Stepfan Taylor this past April. In fact only 30% of Stanford’s offensive yards return ranking 119th nationally. A lot of unproven talent outside of Hogan will be playing for Stanford. I think this is a 14-17 point W for Stanford but too many points to give a game SJSU team.
    5. Buffalo Bills +11 v NE- This is a value grab right here. Line was static at 11 on Wednesday morning before EJ Manuel was announced as starting QB and the line currently sits at 9. Those are virtually unprecedented spreads for a road favorite in the NFL. Buffalo isn’t nearly that bad and with one of the best weapons in the NFL in CJ Spiller as well as a promising young QB in Manuel and HC Marone, the Bills could be scrappy this year. At a minimum they will be in a bunch of shootouts and should be able to move the ball against a bad Patriot defense. NE ranked 25th in defensive yds/play on the road last year and they didn’t upgrade at all enough to really make a difference. I like Buffalo to keep this within the number and wouldn’t shock me if they won outright.
    6. Carolina +4.5 v SEA (Essay) – Seattle is overvalued, plain and simple. This coming from a guy who predicted a Seahawk playoff run in the preseason last year when very few others did and had a SEA SB ticket at 20-1 in hand halfway through the season. So I really know this team well and also know how poorly they performed on the road last year. From the “did you know” department, Seattle was only 2-5 in true road games in the regular season (didn’t count playing Buff in Toronto as a real road game) and their only wins came by 4 and 6 points (OT). They lost on the road to some pretty bad/mediocre teams like Miami, Arizona, STL and Detroit. They did beat Washington on the road in the playoffs but this was after being down 14-0 when RG3 got hurt. Also, Seattle is beat up on the d-line as Bruce Irvin is suspended, Chris Clemons still recovering from ACL surgery and Cliff Avril, Brandon Mebane and Tony McDaniel are all questionable. The Panthers on the other hand are one of my favorites this year and had some really unlucky losses last year. I believe they were 1-7 in one score games a year ago. This same Seattle team went into Carolina and only won by 4 last year when Cam got stopped on a 4th and goal at the end of the game. At very worst Carolina is in this thing all the way with a chance to win late and my guess is that they will start winning some of these tight games they’ve lost the last two years. I’ll go against the overvalued team here and take Carolina.

  • FlyHighCharlieFrye

    All play: ND (coin flip)
    Dolphins +1 at Cleveland because 1-67 in openers since whenever can’t be coincidence
    Carolina Panthers +4 vs. Seattle
    BG -7 at Kent because there’s a chance that Kent is really horrible
    Ind Colts -10 vs. Oakland because the Raiders could be as bad as everyone thinks, right?

    The Cincinnati Bengals +3 at Soldier Field

    The Bengals are stacked, and they never would have done Hard Knocks if they didn’t feel like they were ready to handle everything that comes with trying to exist in the part of the NFL that’s four galaxies away from Cleveland. Andy Dalton has a lot of proving to do and Marvin Lewis is often a guest speaker in Romeo Crennel’s gameday management classes but I see a Bears team in transition and a Bengals team that was really good down the stretch last year before collapsing in that playoff game. I don’t love much on this week’s slate but I’ll take plus points in NFL Week 1 and especially in this spot a lot more confidently than I’ll take an overhyped college team trying to cover a big number or an NFL game everyone will be watching.

  • Its Only Money

    UCF -26 @FIU
    @OSU -29.5 SDSU
    NE -11 @Buf
    SEA -4.5 @Car
    All Play @UM -4.5 ND

    Essay @MSU -24 SFU
    I don’t care what Sparty looked like in a lackluster win over Western Michigan last week, I might just pick against SFU the rest of the year. Any team that gets blown out by a FCS school at home can’t be trusted to cover any number. With no weather issues to deal with in East Lansing this week I think the Spartans offense will come together nicely. Fewer dropped passes, better thrown balls and just being the second week of the season will all make for a big MSU win. I think the Bulls will struggle to get in the end zone this week making the job easier for MSU to cover the 24.

  • My first comment on the initial 2013 Cheddar Bay post was, “I’m just here for the lobsteritas. Count me in.” Last week I made another remark, “I understand female rookies has a history of making a splash (I’m looking at you CLTIL and pgshakelton), and I hope to add to the tradition or go out in a hurricane of lobsteritas.” Much like my golf game, when I stand there thinking, do not hit this in the creek, do not drop this in the pond” and my ball invariably does just that…I did just that. Not a very auspicious start to my Cheddar career but a start nonetheless and it’s a really interesting sensation to know that this week, I cannot do any worse.

    As Kanick told me, all of our couple luck went to Nick and had he not “put a ring on it” this weekend, I might feel some sort of animosity towards him. Instead, I’m just sad his only loss was the only pick we both had.

    Let’s just say I’m more of an “NFL girl.”

    All Play: +4.5 Notre Dame: Muck Fichigan. (Soooo original.) Also- I read an article about “worst uniforms” Kelsey Campbell-Dollaghan cited Princeton because their helmets are a ripoff of Michigans…and then notes that Princeton did it first. Am I missing what the definition of rip-off is? I know this isn’t Michigan’s fault but that really left a bad taste in my mouth. (A more original rationale to dislike Michigan.)

    Ravens +7.5 I don’t think their defense will be sending any “let’s get back together” mixtapes to Kruger anytime soon.
    Saints -3 I miss Rob.
    Buccaneers -4
    Colts -10 To be a QB in Indy you don’t have to be remotely handsome, but you do have to be good.

    Browns -1: Write what you know. Tannehill may have the brains to want to be an orthopedic surgeon but we’ve got the guy who grew up wanting to play in professional sports. I’ve really enjoyed our offseason (non-sports related team owner issues aside) and am looking forward to attending the home opener. Each home Browns game means good times with my family and friends and this Sunday we get to celebrate the start of a new era, both for the Browns and in my own personal life. If all that love isn’t enough positive energy to carry the Browns to a victory by more than one point, I don’t know what is.

    • clevelandfrowns

      Whoa, congrats you guys!

  • Please give me Ravens +7.5 over Broncos as my first pick of the week. More to come tomorrow.

  • cwonder23

    @Broncos -7.5 over Ravens – too many weapons at Peyton’s disposal for Baltimore to handle. More picks tomorrow.

  • FTCMikeD

    Ravens + 7.5 over Broncos
    Falcons + 3 over Saints
    Vikings +5.5 over Lions
    Texans -5 over Chargers
    AP: Meat Chicken -4.5 over ND
    ****Colts -10 over Raiders
    Many experts keep saying that the Raiders are the worst squad to put on their uniforms in quite a long time. Like worse than 2008 Lions bad. The Raiders should probably get used to be being double digit dogs every game, let’s see how they respond. It could be a long season for them especially with Pryor at the helm – he apparently hasn’t won everyone over inside the organization. Some are pulling for Matt McGloin. Seriously. It’ going to be a long season in Oakland. On the flipside, Andrew Luck and the Colts were no aberration last year. Luck is the 2nd coming of Peyton Manning in Indy. How is it fair that the Colts suck for 1 season, get their next franchise QB for 10 years and they are back to their winning way? Such is life for a Browns fan I guess. Anyways, I digress. Colts cover easily.

    • i posted 2000+ words of agreement on this essay just a few minutes ago. !

  • In no way do I want to step on Kanick’s toes here as a moderator but I am seeing different lines being used for the same games (HOU/SD for one). Make sure you are looking at the column for “current” lines only.

    • TA is correct.

      Now then.. when I go to score the pick, I double-check the lines against the ‘current’ column. So for example, if you submitted “Colts -7” (the opening line), I’ll adjust it to “Colts -10” (the current line).

      If it’s egregious, I’ll try to give you a heads up that your spread is wrong; but I can’t do it in all cases. So be careful. Here’s where to look:

  • zarathustra

    Chasing mid-week action will surely be my demise, but I can’t resist.
    Ravens +7.5 over @Broncos
    Will be throwing a few shekels on the moneyline too.

    • zarathustra

      Raiders +10 over @Colts
      It seems impossible for anyone to even mention the Raiders without giggling about 0-16.  Which means time to start buying.  I don’t doubt that they will be bad team; just that the anti-raider bandwagon is so full that there might be value on the other side.  I will gladly take a double-digit dog this early in the season.  And, moreover,  I think t.p. could be pretty good. 

      Eagles +4.5 over @Redskins
      I must confess I had a rather unwholsome feeling up my leg when I saw some of these nfl dogs.
      Giants +3.5 over @Cowboys
      Eli used to be one of the people I hated most in all of sports, but he completely turned me.  I fucking love the damn goober now.  He has won four straight in dallas an 6 of 8 over the cowboys.  And they are getting more than three!  Have to take it.  I don’t know what to make of the giants this year, but I’m more bearish on the cowboys then most.  Sure, they are loaded on offense,  but bill callahan is calling the plays.  And there was a lot of drama associated with it.  So not only do get the distraction of who is actually in charge of the team, but you also end up with a pretty bad coach at the controls of your high-powered offense.  But don’t worry because you’re not very good defense is moving in the opposite direction of pretty much every successful team and switching to a 4-3.  I really liked the cowboys last year, but this year I think the odds are even we see a meltdown with entirely too much media attention.

      Cardinals +4.5 over @Rams
      The Rams have the makings of a pretty good young defense and MAYBE a franchise quarterback.  Enter Jeff Fisher.  EVERYBODY LOVES Jeff Fisher.  I hear it all the time.  And I’ve been hearing it for years.  It is impossible to have a conversation with somebody about the rams (or before that with Titans) without that somebody gushing about how much they love jeff fisher.  Hell, I used to do it!  And even though I know in my bones that that this love of jeff fisher is misplaced I still have to fight the urge to love him.  17 full seasons.  A winning record in only six.  Those years of contention–assisted by a quality qb and pro-bowl running back–were over a decade ago.  And the league is just different from the time when everyone fell in love jeff fisher.  Oftentimes I get depressed by the short memories of sports fans–people in general really–so I suppose I should find the jeff fisher love heartening.  People aren’t hopelessly myopic. Henceforth, I shall look at the world with new eyes.
      . . . .then again,  maybe the jeff fisher love is just latent homoeroticism. He does have a little bit of a bear thing happening.
      Also, last year the Rams went 4-1-1 in division last year.  I’m going to go out on a limb and say that is not happening again this year.
      I’m not a big carson palmer fan, but I like the cardinals more than the rams this year as the surprise frisky team from the nfc west.

      Browns -1 over Dolphins
      Coming out of the draft I really didn’t tannehill.  And I still don’t.  But watched them a fair amount last year and there were flashes I didn’t expect to see.  So you never know. I do know that I’m not buying their offseason.  And I also know the browns are going to win at least 9 games and I suspect this to be one of them

      • zarathustra

        Browns for the money.
        Dartboard says
        michigan for the all-play

      • zarathustra

        Let it be noted that this was posted well before the bill simmons column which made the exact same jeff fisher point–save my comparing fisher to a homosexual archetype. I am unoriginal in many ways, but I don’t crib from sports columnists.

  • cltil


    @Broncos -7.5 over Ravens. It’s going to be Denver’s year.

  • ESSAY: South Florida +24 vs. Michigan State

    Well, I’d like to thank you all for your concern and empathy after Saturday’s disaster. I think we’ll all feel a bit stupid when McNeese State gets that invite to the Sugar Bowl, but for right now my alma mater looks as bad as it ever has, and that includes all the terrorist stuff.

    I did find a silver lining. We already knew our house was a major fixer-upper. (I think the previous owner was some kind of hobo squatter.) Rotting drywall, a leaky roof, an overgrown yard, busted privacy fence, awful wood paneling and shag carpets, wallpaper in the bathroom, formica all over the kitchen. It was going to take a lot of work to fix this house. Last week, Willie Taggart went in there with his sledgehammer, put his first shot into the living-room wall to see what he had to work with, and out came a whole bunch of rats. Like, dozens and dozens of rats.

    It sounds awful, but secretly it’s great. Because now, you can just bulldoze the house and start over again. You can build the home you really want to build, instead of trying to fix up this piece of crap that wasn’t that great to begin with.

    Anyway, the game. I’m glad the line bumped up from -23.5 because I can’t see Michigan State scoring more than 31 points with that brutal offense of theirs, and then USF just needs one touchdown to push. I think they can manage that.

    ALL PLAY: Michigan -4.5 vs. Notre Dame.

    Because I don’t want to be the dumbass who backs Tommy Rees on the road, and then they’re down 10-0 early and Rees throws a pick in his own territory.

    Texas -7.5 vs. BYU

    Cincinnati -10 vs. Illinois

    Colts -10 vs. Raiders

    Texans -5 vs. Chargers

  • Petefranklin

    franklin cheddar play #1 Ratbirds +7.5 over Denver

    • Petefranklin

      #2 Florida (-3.5)over Miami
      #3 michigan

      • Petefranklin

        #4 N.O. -3 vs Atlanta
        #5 Carolina +4.5 vs. SEA
        #6Essay NYG +3.5 over Dallas Have things really changed that much for Dallas in one offseason?Last year they were horrible against the spread at home (1-7). Eli Manning is undefeated in the house thar Jones built. The giants can get revenge for last years opening Thursday night loss, although that angle is pretty minute. The Cowboys are a vision of what I think life under Haslem will be….Mediocracy, so I’ll take the points.

        BTW I’m sitting on the Clowns +1.5 and I’m hoping the $$$ keeps pouring in on them so I can get the fins at +2.5 for the middle. We all know the problems the Browns have, kicker being high on that list. I predict the kicker(not Phil Dawson) screws up yet another game late for the Clowns. Too many touts are on them…a recipe for disaster.

  • I probably shouldn’t turn in picks this early. And I definitely shouldn’t go with so many road teams. What can I say? I’m a glutton for punishment I suppose.


    All Play: Michi…(pukes in mouth)…gan -4.5 vs Notre Dame. (So here’s my take on this one. Not my essay pick. I hate Michigan. No way could I find myself to root for them, even over Notre Dame. So the best thing to do is pick them to cover. If they lose outright, I win. If they win but don’t cover, I win. If they cover, well it is just another reason to hate them.)

    Colts -9.5 vs Oakland. The Raiders are bad. Really bad. And the Colts are home.

    Giants +3 at Dallas. I think the Giants win outright. Giving me points? OK.

    Texans -3.5 at San Diego. The Chargers are not good. Home field does not save them.

    Patriots -11 at Buffalo. WHAT? Giving 11 points on the road?? Yep. Sorry Buffalo.

    Essay: Bengals +3 at Bears.

    I kept checking to make sure this wasn’t a typo. I would have possibly given three points here. The Bengals defense is good. They will pressure Jay Cutler, which is exactly what you want to do to Jay Cutler. I don’t think so. Cincy will also score. I don’t know what’s not to like? Whitworth being out doesn’t make me happy, but I think they will be ok. They are more balanced between the pass and run with the addition of Bernard. The Bengals win outright.

  • TheKardiacKid

    Ravens +7.5 @Denver
    @Ohio -6 N. Texas
    @OSU -29.5 San Diego St.
    Texans -5.5 @ San Diego
    AP: @Michigan -4.5 ND


    @Cleveland -1 Miami

    I have to be optimistic 1 time a year.

    This is how it plays out: The Browns come out to new and improved introductions but while running through the tunnel Trent Richardson trips and tears his ACL due to a loud bang from the pyrotechnics. (Out for the season)

    First Half:

    The first half goes just as one would expect a Dolphins/Browns game to go.

    0-0 Halftime

    The Presidents of the United States were expected to play “Cleveland Rocks” at halftime but end up canceling to open up for Bon Jovi in Pittsburgh.

    3rd Quarter:

    Both teams score a TD in the 3rd quarter:

    Dolphins score on a Mike Wallace TD catch over 5’1” Buster Skrine

    Browns score on a pass that is intended for Jordan Cameron that deflects into the air and is caught by Alex Mack who rumbles in to tie it up.

    4th Quarter:

    Late in the 4th, the Dolphins put a drive together and get to the 50. It’s 3rd down and the Browns need a big stand when this genius idea of playing the Halloween theme on key defensive 3rd downs is unveiled, the Browns stop them and force a punt. Weeden drives the team back down to the 50 with 3 seconds left. Out trots Billy “Can’t Miss except over 40” Cundiff to try an NFL record FG to win and more importantly cover.

    It’s GOOD!!!!!

    CBS cameras pan to the Press Box where Grossi is wearing a Phil Dawson jersey and is in tears.

    Go Browns!!!!!!

    • clevelandfrowns

      This is beautiful.

  • In honor of opening day, here is a list of all the jerseys I saw at this year’s preseason opener. I removed 00 “Dawg Pound” and the many “Last Name-Dawg” jerseys you see. Just former players. Happy to see the Wali Rainer jersey still hanging in someone’s closet.

    Frye 9
    Wallace 6
    McCoy 12
    Winslow 80
    Hillis 40
    Edwards 17
    Matthews 57
    Cribbs 16
    Kosar 19
    Rison 80
    Green 31
    Speilman 54
    Dawson 4
    Brown 92
    K Johnson 85
    Couch 2
    Anderson 3
    Jurevicuous 84
    J Miller 95
    Morgan 81
    Quinn 10
    Rogers 92
    Brown 32
    Stall worth 18
    Kelly 44
    Garcia 5
    Lewis 31
    Harrison 35
    Suggs 44
    Prentice 41
    Rainer 58
    Davis 54
    Sipe 17
    Andre Davis 87
    Jameson 53
    Detmer 11
    Byner 44
    Slaughter 84
    Droughns 44
    Holcomb 10
    Dixon 29

    • clevelandfrowns


  • Lots of visiting teams look appealing to me this week on the NFL slate.

  • Apparently Scores and Odds is behind. Every line is heavily shaded in favor of the dogs. I see multiple lines that are 3-4 points higher here than everywhere else. As a dog player I’ll take it!

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