#CheddarBay Week 15, all the B1G: OSU/Sparty.


MSU’s Darqueze Dennard projects as a first round cornerback in next year’s NFL draft.
He’ll be seeing Devin Smith again this year and probably more of him.

Late lines:

  1. UCF -10.5 at SMU;
  2. Browns +11 at Pats;
  3. Falcons +3.5 at Packers.

Weekly lines linked here.
All-play:  Ohio State -5 vs. Michigan State at Lucas Field, Indy; 8:15 PM Saturday on Fox.

The Council of Elders evaluated the great games this weekend. The obvious: Auburn/Mizzou, Niners/Seahawks; the also pretty-darn-good: Colts/Bengals, Texas/Baylor, BGSU/NIU, OkST/Oklahoma. But ultimately the ultimate put up or shut up game won out.


Strength vs. strength. (Full size.)

Ohio State vs. Michigan State at Lucas Stadium, Indy.

The obvious angle to watch is OSU’s rush attack (#2) versus MSU’s rush defense (#1).  That’s like last week’s Auburn offense versus Bama defense matchup except moreso.  But also interesting is whether Sparty can conjure an offense and how will the Bucks’ D re-group after some scary moments last week.

From my Monday post you can probably tell where I am on this game so I won’t kill you here with my bias.  But I will end this preview with an interesting nugget found on the Freep:

Final stop for the revenge tour: MSU lost five Big Ten games by a total of 13 points last season, and the Spartans have paid back four of those teams so far —Michigan, Iowa, Nebraska and Northwestern. Ohio State is the fifth.

Winner, winner, chicken dinner:  Concierge.

Dammit DQuatts, one week off.  Cheddar newbie Concierge posted a seven pointer (Curse you Terry Bowden!) to claim the weekly award last week.  This also places him back in the hunt for the regular season top spot as the top four are forming an interesting bunch for the homestretch.


The Browns do provide solid entertainment value, you have to hand it to them.

Late lines.

Two pro games will be delayed due to uncertain QB situations.  Green Bay may be starting Aaron Rodgers at Atlanta; Browns may be starting Alex Tanney against the Patriots.

Right, so we’ll post the lines here and in the scoreboard when that’s settled.

Essays:  One hour before kickoff.

Friendly reminder that your essays need to be posted one hour before the kickoff.  I had to dock thatsfine on his winning WMU +35 essay last week and naturally it was a winner.  Nobody wants that outcome.  So be sure to note your essay’s kickoff (that was the problem for WMU… was an odd 7pm start time instead of the 8pm from earlier weeks) and get em in on time.

Skanky Fish with @ClevTA.

@ClevTA's Skanky Fish Picks.

28-25-2 ATS YTD;
2-1 last week:  UConn (win, straight-up), Iowa (win, straight-up), Idaho (damn you Perfecta killer Vandals).


Random Auburn happiness.

Found a cool photo of Toomer’s Corner post-Bama (click to enlarge) and a mind-blowing Dee Ford talent (piano).  Liked em, passing em on.

Feel free to take a swing at the ranker poll in the sidebar.  The thing’s a bit kludgey but I’m surprised and pleased at how the reader rankings are coming in pretty on target.  Good luck this week.



125 Responses

  1. jimkanicki says:

    bobby slick

    Bears are starting a couple youngsters at linebacker which is going to allow Murray to have a big game. Bears red zone D is pathetic (worst in the league if I recall correctly). Cowboys scoring 3rd most points in the league behind only Denver and Seattle, second best in turnovers…should I stop? I actually really like Dallas as a dark horse out of the NFC (Seahawks too easy of a pick…give me some Tony Romo)

    Cowboys +1

  2. jimkanicki says:


    I’ll take the Bears (-1.5) for my Money Pick:
    Chicago is in a must-win game in December at home…I like it. Josh McCown is better than Cutler…I like it. The Bears have gotten their run-game going…I like it. There are a lot of reasons why I like the Bears, and I can’t say which one I like best. It could be the little confidence I have in Romo to go ‘lead’ this team to a playoff run, especially starting tonight. The Bears control the clock from start to finish in this one and a QB controversary is started in Chi-town.
    Bears 34-31 in this one!


  3. bupalos says:

    Alright, I’m set up for the fairy-tale ending. I conservatively figure I need to go 16-3 with my remaining picks before the hatchet falls, so despite my concern that this may look like showboating, I’ve decided to go ahead and do that. It all starts tonight with my drink-delayed essay on… Da Bears. I really would have hooked up the Browns even at like +5 or so, but Sunday just didn’t even start happening until after noon for me. But this is a decent substitute. It’s going to be a freezy bowl and I just don’t think the Cowboys are going to respond all that well. The operative equation here is (ground like concrete) + (Julius Peppers) + (Romo) = (Bad Tony/Broken Tony.) In addition to the salience of that math, I’m taking nothing but home teams from here on out. I feel like there is more home cooking from refs this year and anyway statistical home field advantage increases later in the year from 1.5 points to 4 points or something like that. So reasons, numbers, hope. Also those state farm commercials are really pretty entertaining, and just has me thinking daaaaa bearse!

  4. clayII says:

    Saints (-3) to avoid the virgin lobster thing. Could not have drawn up a worse football weekend.

  5. HitTheHorns says:

    Saints -3

  6. bupalos says:


    essay late or monday

  7. jimkanicki says:

    Rough game last night….bummer!

    OK, rounding out the rest of the week…

    Browns +11
    Lions +2.5
    Redskins +3.5
    Packers -3.5
    Bears -1 ($$$ pick…will be back with my essay this afternoon)

    Thanks, guys!

  8. jimkanicki says:


    essay: broncos

    anytime you start to hear the phrase ‘coaching for his job’ it could mean one of two things. in the event of titans coach mike munchak, it is coaching for his next job. tennessee has never been able to establish any kind of identity under munchak and while it wasn’t necessarily the wrong move to get rid of jeff fisher — change when things get stale is important — you typically want to bring in someone who will make his own mark. munchak brings no sort of energy to that team and players recognize that. the broncos should be in for a big day.

  9. Katie O. says:

    That moment when you realize not only have you been avoiding finals but you also avoided making your NFL picks and now it’s 1 p.m. and you’re SOL.

    Loving the Detroit/Philly Snow Bowl, by the way.

    My three remaining picks:

    Titans +12 vs. Denver

    Giants +3

    Essay Pick: Panthers +3 vs. Saints

    I’ll be honest – reading Squeaky’s essay was like the Grinch stealing Cheddar. As my old friend Thumper has learned to say, “if you don’t have anything nice to say, don’t say anything at all.” I’m picking this rainy game today because I like both teams and the little voice in my head is whispering Panthers. Despite how much I’d love to be in New Orleans right now eating my weight in its culture. I’ve been to Charlotte once and my biggest takeaway is that it’s the cleanest big-city I’ve ever been too. Felt like a blank slate. So many young people, so many new buildings. Also – one of my favorite sports centered commercials involves Cam Newton:

    KID: “And make Panthers’ fans forget about you?

    CAM NEWTON: “What?”

    KID: “And become your mom’s favorite player?”

    CAM NEWTON: “Whoa …”

    It was probably my favorite until Foot Locker’s Week of Greatness commercial…seriously Rodman, make it a one-way ticket next time. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9KMUnqB_NiU

  10. Jeff overberger says:

    Michigan St +5 (tweet pick)
    Cardinals -6
    Lions +2.5
    Giants +3
    Raiders +2.5
    Cowboys +1(essay)

  11. oxr says:

    yesterday: All-Play OSU (welp, sorry Buckeye fans)

    Colts +6 over Bengals
    Bears -1 over Cowboys
    Eagles -2.5 over Lions
    Chargers -3 over Giants

    Essay: Chiefs -3 over Redskins – I don’t like that it’s a road favorite, but I still think this is a valuably low line. The Chiefs may be losers of three straight but two of them were to the Broncos and I think/hope they’re still a cut above whatever has been going on in Washington. Griffin has been thrown into the teeth of whatever pass rush he has faced and even without Justin Houston this is still a potentially disruptive one – I don’t know how long they can manage this without breaking the poor kid. Meanwhile, Alex Smith has been playing better against better defenses than this. It’s also a matchup between the best and worst special teams in the league (per Football Outsiders) so perhaps some short-field magic can happen.

  12. Rich Swerbinsky says:

    Jets -2.5
    Bills +2.5
    Lions +2.5
    Titans +12
    ***49ers -2.5

    Short week, natural let down spot for the Seahawks after a huge blowout win, Niners playing well and angry after being pasted by Seattle the last couple times they’ve played. They need to win to stay one game ahead of all the other NFC WC contenders a game behind them.

  13. CLEinMPLS says:

    Cardinals -6
    Steelers -3
    Chargers -3

  14. pateslvrblk says:

    ***Jets-2.5 over Raiders

    So, this is a game the Raiders should win handily. Instead, they will do what they always do on the East Coast, getting out to a fast start and then bumbling their way through the second half before collapsing at the end of the game. Perhaps the Raiders should hire a second coach to do the halftime adjustments and coach the second half of games. If there were ever a home team that didn’t deserve to win, it’s the Jets, but win they will because Dennis Allen forgetting how to coach in the second half of football games no longer appears to be a trend, but rather an immutable law of nature. Newton gave us the Laws of Motion, the Founding Fathers gave us the First Amendment, God gave us the Ten Commandments, and Dennis Allen gave us “The game lasts for 30 minutes”.

  15. bupalos says:

    I’ll try the bucks tonight.

  16. jimkanicki says:

    DQuatts in for OSU.

  17. squeekycleen says:

    Essay: Ohio St.: If any of you have been paying attention, my essays are just a bunch of total nonsense. While many of you think this is a worthwhile exercise, I basically think its the biggest waste of time ever. It is amusing, however, to read your multiple page explanations as to why your eye, or your heart, or your feelings think someone is going to win. I just try to fill in 100 words. You see, I realized a long time ago that I sucked at trying to figure out who was going to win like that. So instead of trying to “figure out” who was going to win games, I decided to try to figure out which games the media and general public thought were the “easiest” or “safest” bets. Next, I learned to look at which teams were particularly bad or good preferably on TV in recent weeks. Then I looked for which of those games had shady lines or moves against the general public side. Finally, and this is the hardest thing to do, I learned to figure out which games I liked the least, or thought had the least chance of winning, and played those for more. Obviously, you guys are all smarter than me, so you won’t need to do stuff like this, you can figure this shit out on your own. Anyways, why Ohio St? All I have heard this week is Michigan St Michigan St Michigan St Defense Defense Defense. This number should have been closer to 3, but they put it up at 5.5. It’s getting plenty of Michigan St action and of course in my head I think Michigan St. should cover this number because by golly they have such a damn good defense, so I’m betting the Buckeyes and putting them as my essay. (Additional disclaimer: I’m not from Ohio either so this is not a homer play).

    Arizona St. Sundevils
    Washington Redskins
    Utah St. Aggies
    San Francisco 49ers
    Miami Dolphins

  18. jimkanicki says:

    Martin Rickman:
    Louisiana Lafayette
    and will pick 2 NFL games in the morning tomorrow one of which will be my essay.

  19. Collin says:

    All play: Sparty +5 over OSU. Urbz been living a gilded existence in C-Bus so far… ends against the best defense in America today.

    Auburn -2 over Mizzou. SEC West > SEC East.

    FSU -29.5 over Duke. Put a smile on your face… Jameis gonna go crazy.

    Stanford +3 over ASU. Because I trust David Shaw a helluva lot more than a guy that looks like he’s wants me to Super Size it.

    Eagles -2.5 over Lions. I am riding my boys until I can’t… even though Calvin Johnson might easily get 300 yards on the Birds secondary.

    Essay: Rutgers -5.5 over USF. USF literally couldn’t give a crap about this game, and RU is playing to be bowl eligible. But that’s only the surface…

    USF had two players kicked off the team last week. They were in the team hotel the night before the UCF game… and were smoking weed in their hotel room. They were both redshirt seniors. That’s the kind of leadership you’re getting from the USF Bulls right now.

    Did I mention it’s going to be 25 degrees or so at kickoff. Most USF players are kids with difficult upbringings, and many of them have never even seen snow in their lives except on football road trips. Let’s just say they aren’t too comfortable with that kind of weather. Cold and failing to give a shit is a lethal combination when you’re getting less than a TD.

  20. zarathustra says:

    1.) Bowling Green (W)
    2.) Marshall*** (L)
    3.) Sparty +5 over Ohio St (all-play)
    I have to think that the Buckeye defense will be much better after last week and won’t face the same challenges against a less mobile quarterback. I have been a buckeye fan my whole life so I of course want them to win, but I just love sparty and dantonio too damn much. He isn’t the best coach in the country but is my favorite.
    I am not a big Braxton fan–by the way, who on earth is telling him that he can play at the next level– but he definitely has a clutch quality to him. I think it will be a close game, but Braxton will make a play or two when it matters. Buckeyes hopefully win, but I don’t see them covering.

    4.) Stanford +3 over ASU
    A lot to like about this Arizona St team and they are home. But Stanford is not a good match up for them–especially without their best player.

    5.) Steelers -3 over Dolphins
    Back to back road games for the dolphins against a steeler team that has been playing very well for over a month and off a tough loss against the past and future Super Bowl champs. Also, extra rest.

    6.) Raiders +3 over Jets
    It is probably time to take the Jets, but why try to catch a falling knife? Rex said the offense practiced better than they have all season and I don’t think it is just motivational propaganda. I believe him! But how will Geno respond when he gets hit, throws a pick(an inevitability) or just faces general adversity? As someone who watched him a whole lot in college I can tell you. Poorly. You will be hard pressed to find a qb in college or nfl with worst body language when things aren’t going his way. It is a total mystery to me how anybody who actually watched wvu could not foresee this turning out any other way. He and our own Brandon weeden are the worst quarterbacks in the league. Hmmm. I wonder if they have anything in common. Maybe that 8 page holgo playbook they worked with in college didn’t actually prepare them for the nfl.

    • zarathustra says:

      Have to pull Raiders. I knew McFadden was out but didn’t realize Jennings was questionable. The jets still shouldn’t be favored over anybody, but the raiders are to banged up to risk a cheddar point.
      Will replace with:

      Saints -3 over Panthers

  21. oxr says:

    All-Play OSU -5 over MSU.

  22. CleveLandThatILove says:

    Baylor -15.5 over TX
    Auburn -2 Mizz
    MSU +5 OSU

    • CleveLandThatILove says:

      ***Packers -3.5 Falcons
      Dolphins +3 Steelers
      Seahawks +2.5 Niners

      Garbage time for the Falcons (and me), but not for Green Bay. Fans have one last game to endure without Rodgers; the rest of their games against the Cowboys, Steelers and Bears are all entirely winnable with his return. If Philly can engineer a win over Detroit this week, the Pack is squarely back in the hunt if they can find a way to win tomorrow. Lots of ifs, but it is the NFL and it is December.

      GB RB Lacy will be the key again this week, the Falcons know it, and their soft run defense will have its hands full trying to keep him from having a huge game. Hopefully this will open things up for Matt Flynn to endear the cheesers and hook up with Jordy Nelson now that they’ve had a full week to practice together. The other key is the packer defense and their wounded pride. Clay Matthews is back in fine form, probably mad as hell, and we’re going to hear his name all afternoon.

      Home field advantage, especially the cold, will be a factor of course; the mostly home-grown Packer players are used to it and seem to thrive in it. As the afternoon wears on, I think we’ll see the Falcons wishing they were home where it’s warm, and subconsciously thinking a good draft pick in May might not be such a bad thing.

  23. Its Only Money says:

    Texas +15.5 @ Baylor

    Missouri +2 Auburn

    @ New England -11 Cleveland

    Kansas City -3 @ Washington

    All Play MSU +5 OSU

    Essay FSU -29.5 Duke

    I believe all the hype about Jimbo Fisher getting this team
    and keeping this team prepared. They
    have gone through a lot all year this year and have just punished teams. With the legal troubles behind Jameis at this
    point the ‘Noles will come out even looser than they have the last few weeks
    and will dominate. Duke has been a great
    surprise all year, but it will run out tonight.
    They just don’t have the horse to keep up with FSU. The FSU offense will put up serious points tonight
    and the defense will shut the Blue Devils down.

  24. clayII says:

    Marshall (-4.5) / Rice – tweeted in
    Mizzou (+2) / Auburn
    Duke (+29.5) / FSU
    Utah St (+3.5) / Fresno
    Ohio St (-5) / Sparty
    Until someone stops this offense, I’m not betting against it. Brax is the best player on the field and Hyde is a beast. As good as Sparty’s defense is (?) their offense is average at best. I think Urbs will try to turn this into a track meet, and that is a race MSU cant win. Also, let us not forget, if Hyde doesn’t fumble in the 4th, and Gardner doesn’t play the game of his life, last week would not have been that close. I rarely say free money – but going to here.
    NFL pick to follow

  25. jimkanicki says:

    Martin Rickman, Picks from car

    Ohio State

    More to come

  26. munasrevenge says:

    Well what started as a solid season has quickly turned into a disaster. At least I didn’t jump in on some MACtion since I didn’t have a strong thought (although I was leaning NIU)

    Missouri (+2) vs Auburn (Let’s not forget we are only even discussing Auburn as a NC because of 2 miracles. Just like everyone wringing their hands weeks ago about all the undefeated teams, I think all the whining about Auburn renders itself moot this week)
    Arizona State (-3) vs Stanford (Stanford doesn’t play well on the road, and almost choked away a big lead at home the last time these teams played)
    Utah State (+3.5) @ Fresno State (FSU has been pretty meh for weeks now, and with the letdown of last week’s loss I could see them playing down here)
    Chargers (-3) over Giants (Can someone please please put this team out of its misery already?)

    Ohio State (-5) vs Michigan State (I think the Buckeyes have the potential to bust a couple of big plays in this one, and the Sparty offense isn’t equipped to keep up.)

    —Marshall (-4.5) @ Rice.

    Marshall has been absolutely destroying the (terrible) CUSA this season, but they really looked good last week in their demolition of a very good East Carolina team. Rice has had a “nice” season, but “nice” in the way you tell your 3 year old that his picture is nice (what IS that anyway, a rake?) and then hang it on the fridge. Their defense should keep it close early, but Marshall has too much talent and should be able to pull away in the 2nd half. Depending on their bowl matchup too, Marshall could really take it to one of the 2nd tier BCS conferences teams (side eye your way Nebraska/Arizona/Mississippi). I don’t love giving points on the road, but I really like Marshall.

  27. jimkanicki says:

    Per Bobby Slick who is vacationing in the bahamas:

    South Alabama

  28. Peter Markos says:

    UCF -10.5 OVER SMU




  29. Petefranklin says:

    #3 Baylor-15.5 over Texas
    AP Sparty saves OSU from yet another embarrassing bowl blowout.
    #5 Stanford +3 over ASU, this should have been my essay
    #6 Baltimore Ravens -6.5 over Minny

  30. pateslvrblk says:

    Auburn-2 over Missouri
    Arizona St -3 over Stanford
    Texas +15.5 over Baylor
    All Play Ohio St -5 over Michigan St

    • actovegin1armstrong says:

      pat, who was playing Stanford?
      You know I love you and I do not intend to be insulting, but, what??

  31. thatsfine says:

    Previous: BGSU (win) – Wow… after watching the Falcons dominate NIU I’d take them over any team not in the top ten right now. Others: OSU, Stanford, Ravens

    UConn (essay mulligan) – The Huskies do not want to be the basketball school dragging down the AAC’s football credibility

    Finish me off with Texas +15.5 / Baylor

    Dreading next week when I have to start picking more pro games.

  32. BGSU +3 over NIU (W)

    What a weekend of football it is in this football America. Three more college picks for the Prohibited Favorite today and two NFL’s, including an essay, for tomorrow:

    Auburn -2 over Mizzou and Ohio State -5 over Sparty: Really like the essays that have come out on Auburn and tOSU. Having the most underwhelming undefeated major conference champ in recent if not all-time history freeze out a one-loss team with a resume as compelling as Auburn’s is a perfectly unsatisfying final chapter to the BCS farce.

    Arizona State -3 over Stanford: Here’s an article that lays out a good argument as to why Arizona State is a different team than the one that was rolled over by Stanford 70 days ago: http://www.foxsportsarizona.com/collegefootball/arizona-state-sun-devils/story/ASU-different-in-big-ways-since-Stanford?blockID=968905 I’m buying it.

    ESSAY — Niners -2.5 over Seahawks — ESSAY: Look at the standings. Look at the schedule. The Seahawks don’t need this game at all. They will not open up the playbook against a probable playoff opponent with so little to gain for the effort. They’ll line up vanilla and lose to a Niners team that has a lot more to prove and play for here. And then Seattle will go on to beat the listless Giants next week in their last road game of the year, and probably lock up the NFC’s top seed the following week at home against the Cards before resting starters in Week 17 against the Rams. Beyond the usual 60% or so confidence I have in my picks, I’ll be quite surprised if the Seahawks end up taking this one.

    Panthers +3 over Saints: Big cats have everything to gain and nothing to lose here, on the other hand.

    Hope everyone enjoys the games.

  33. zarathustra says:

    Marshall -4.5 over Rice***
    So the spot screams Rice. Home dog facing a team that travels pretty poorly and coming off a blow-out win in a really big game. Moreover, this rice team is senior-laden and pretty damn scrappy. But Marshall is just the better, far more complete team and has been playing very well.
    Let’s look at the schedules. Rice squeaked by a decent Tulane team last week and won at Texas-San Antonio earlier in the year and that is it. Beyond that they have beat up on one shit team after another. Solid effort in a loss at north Texas and a misleading score against Houston–I watched that game and they were pretty much dominated the whole time but some fluky plays in the 4th quarter made the score look much closer than it was.
    Marshall has beat up on a lot of the same shit teams Rice has, but they blew out East Carolina. Two of their three losses were respectable–triple over at Virginia Tech, at Ohio early in the year before they quit–the other was a loss at a decent Middle Tenn St team.
    Marshall is playing their best football of the season and are just better.
    Moreover, the last I checked this line was -7 (-115) so -4.5 here is attractive.

  34. Art_Brosef says:

    Duke +29.5 – Ever since my spot on Duke vs Miami essay a month or so ago, Duke has been winning AND covering. I do think the Duke corners can make a play or two, and again, this is a proud group of well coached upper classman. I think there is something to be said for FSU SOS as well. Anyway, might as well right the train till it crashes,

    Marshall -4.5 Im seeing -6.5 now so Ill take the two points on the market. Since starting off 500, Marshall has kicked it into high gear and are now 6th in the country in scoring. Meanwhile, Rice needed OT to beat UAB a couple weeks ago and barely snuck by Temple last week.

    People who have never spent much time In Jersey tend to be, well, not fond of it. When I was in school, Pennsylvanians often referred to it as “the armpit of America” (despite the fact that most of them hightailed to the Jersey Shore the minute the clock struck 5pm on every summer day). So if people from neighboring farm states despise New Jersey, imagine what sunshine loving Floridians think of The Garden State. So needless to say, I cant imagine any member of the 2-9 South Florida team is going really be all too pleased to be playing a meaningless game in December in Piscataway, NJ, against a Rutgers team who needs a win to become bowl eligible.

    Rutgers has had a significant drop of defensively, but USF hasnt gotten any sort of consistency from the QB position all year, and they are the only team in their conference with < 20 TDS on the season. Gross.

    Wouldnt have taken this at the original number, but I hate to chase lines. Rutgers has more talent on offense, and the motivation/location factor here should be enough to cover the 5.5.

    Sparty +5 – OSUs offense vs MSUs defense – lets call it close to a wash. How about MSUs offense vs OSUs defense? It really doesnt take much to score on this OSU defensive bunch, so Ill take the points.

  35. jimkanicki says:

    1. @jags +3 texans (win)
    2. bgsu +3 niu (detroit) (win)
    3. essay: ***auburn -2 mizzou (atlanta)
    essay posted here. i stand behind this tweet immediately after the mizzou/tamu game.

    4. @sala -3 ull
    first ever start for brooks haack. since ull pretty much WAS terrance broadway, ull might have the look of earlier this year’s ulm-minus-kolton-browning. it wasn’t good. haack led a nice scoring drive at the end of last week’s ULM loss, but probably against a prevent type defense. on the SALA side, not for nothing, but the road win last week at GSU was some good work against an unusually spunky 0-12 team. (no, really.) thanks CapGG for the QB data. was leaning SALA before, that sealed it.

    5. ap – msu +5 osu (indy)
    when osu has the ball: the one-dimensional offense talk that was laid on auburn last week.. it belongs on osu. hyde is quite awesome as is the o-line but msu *is* the best rush defense in the country. sparty will stack the box and force miller to beat them with his arm. that’s dicey for osu. miller was 6-15 passing vs mich, 13-29 vs illinois. good news is he gets to play in a dome this week, bad news is he’s facing sparty’s version of a No Fly Zone. extra bad news is that philly brown saw fit to poke the bear. dumb in its own right but didnt urbz jump the shit of the poor kid who joked about wiping the floor with FSU? is urban not in control of his team?
    when msu has the ball: if sparty can hit one deep route over the top of roby et al, it will to loosen up the run game against the fickell defense. urbz is a smart coach, but defense isn’t his thing, the osu defense is broken, and luke fickell .. fickell’s defense has not looked great. [600 yds allowed last week.] the good news for osu is that jim bollman is the OC equivalent to fickell-as-DC.
    net net: maybe OSU wins as osu is much more of the dome team than sparty (and i find that sad), but osu hasn’t been able to step on the throat of anyone with a record greater than 1-11 on the road yet this year.

    6. @okst -9.5 okla
    it looks like blake bell will not be qb for sooners so that’s good. but i doubt freshman trevor knight can keep it together in his third start at stillwater. i see that okla has a top 20 defense but i also see they just gave up 350 pass yds to kstate last week. kstate not noted for its passing. okst, notable for its passing. chelf emerging star. gundy, bye week, style points, stillwater-bedlam, friendly line (9.5) all apply too.

    also duke, asu, chiefs, seahawks, browns, lions, panthers.

    • Capitalgg says:

      You’re welcome on the Broadway injury insight. I just noticed the line was smaller than I expected, I had to figure out why. Really kinda liked SAla against the number I was expecting. Like them outright for sure against no Broadway.

  36. TheKardiacKid says:

    Stanford +3 vs ASU
    Oklahoma St -9.5 vs Oklahoma
    Steelers -3 vs Dolphins
    Saints -3 vs Carolina
    AP: OSU-5 vs MSU

    Duke +29.5 FSU
    My first essay of the college football season was about Jameis Winston and how he was going to blow up. (Genius analysis) To book end the college football season I’m going to pick against Famous Jameis and his Seminoles. I don’t think Duke has a shot at pulling off the upset but I think Cutcliffe will keep it close for a while and will help me win 3 points (which is the important thing).

  37. Harbaugh Handshakes says:

    Harbaugh Handshakes:
    I’ve done something to piss off the gambling Gods and I’m not sure what it is. That’s why i cringed at the sight of this all play. I love Oh St in this game but for the past 3 weeks every game I’ve loved has been a disaster. (NE vs Hous, NIU vs. BG, and Browns vs Jags) I really almost considered taking MSU just to give OSU an extra edge tonight but I just couldn’t do it. So here we go, either the defending champ rises like a Phoenix or crashes and burns out of the playoff picture. (Curious: does the cheddar bay champ have a history of not making the playoffs the following year kind of a super bowl hangover type of a thing?)
    Houston -3 (L)
    NIU -3 (L)
    All Play: Ohio St -5 vs MSU
    Stanford +3 vs ASU
    Cinncinati -6 vs Indy
    Essay:Oklahoma St -9.5
    I love me some Ok st football. Ok st is 11th in the country in scoring and in pts allowed. Its a rivalry game but no one has been close to OK St the past 3 weeks winning by atleast 30 pts in all the contests. Who were they playing our lady of the poor? Nope just #4 Baylor, #24 Texas and Kansas (ok they suck but you get my point) This team is really hitting its stride and if not for a rd loss to West Virgina they’d be a scary team for anyone to play. Oklahoma on the other hand does not have the firepower to keep up with OK st and there defense will not be able to slow them down. Did I mention this game was a T. Boone Pickens Stadium…well it is see Ok St in a route.

  38. Matt Borcas says:

    ASU -3 over Stanford
    OSU -5 over MSU
    Lions +2.5 over Eagles
    Colts +6 over Bengals
    49ers -2.5 over Seahawks

    ***ESSAY*** Chiefs -3 over Redskins

    I like good teams coming off a loss (or three losses, for that matter), especially if said good team is facing a bad team, which the Skins irrefutably are, particularly on the defensive side of the ball. They’ve singlehandedly rejuvenated Colin Kaepernick’s season (well, along with Mangini’s top-notch tutelage); they’ve allowed Christian Ponder (!) to post a 95 QBR on them; and they surrender 30.2 points per game, second worst in the league. Additionally, the Chiefs offense has been firing on all cylinders as of late, so much so that I’m not bothered by their recent defensive woes. They basically need to win out for any shot at the AFC West crown, so I think they’ll play extra-inspired. Shanahan is becoming a lame duck, RG3’s skills seem diminished, and there’s no way they keep this game close.

  39. Bevilacqua says:

    I actually had a winning week for once. Even still, I think the only Cheddar Bayers that I’m beating have stopped submitting picks weeks ago.

    All-Play: Ohio State (-5) over Michigan State
    Urban Meyer is worth the five points alone. And his team is more talented.

    UCF (-10.5) over SMU
    I’ve lost my last three picks on UCF, including two essays. This will eventually work, right?

    Stanford (+3) over Arizona State
    Arizona State is over-hyped. I mean, they did lose/win against Wisconsin, and the Big 10 is the worst BCS conference. Or at least that’s what I’ve been hearing all week.

    Seahawks (+2.5) over 49ers
    There isn’t a rivalry out there where homefield advantage matters more. It’s just that Seattle is that much better right now.

    Saints (-3) over Panthers
    I have to take at least one home favorite.

    ESSAY: Lions (+2.5) over Eagles
    I need Matthew Stafford to have a big week for fantasy football purposes, and since the Eagles defense is actually better than most people think (forget yardage, since their offense treats the ball like a hot potato; they’re a respectable 16th in point allowed, which, by the way, is better than the Browns), this is not exactly a guarantee. So this is more or less wishful thinking. But on the other hand, the Lions defensive line should rock Nick Foles, which will result in his first interception(s) of the season (I don’t think the refs will bail him out again like last week’s game). And this is the year that the perpetual Philadelphian pessimism has translated into results: the Eagles are 2-4 at home. Would it be that surprising if it became 2-5?

  40. Nick says:

    Duke +29.5 vs FSU – I shelved an essay on this one. I love that this game is in Charlotte, and that FSU hasn’t played anyone good in a month. This is a proud Duke team that will work hard for the backdoor cover if it comes to that, but I don’t think it will. This is the first and only time I’m rooting for Duke.

    All Play: OSU -5 vs MSU – Pretty much on board with TA’s thoughts, this could have been my essay play as well, but I don’t trust Braxton Miller to cover anything.

    Ravens -6.5 vs Vikings
    Colts +6 vs Bengals
    Lions +2.5 vs Eagles

    ******Packers -3.5 vs Falcons*******Essay play

    Not surprisingly, the Packers have not won a game since Rodgers went down. In that span, they have cycled through several QBs, Wallace, Tolzien, and now Flynn. With hard running Eddie Lacy, all they need is average to below average QB play to be competitive on offense (Matt Flynn + GB system + full week of practice= competent QB?). However, it’s their defense that is the real concern. Coming off a Turkey day massacre where Detroit hung 40 on them, I think that was the wakeup call they needed.

    Atlanta has allowed their last 9 opponents to run over 100 yards. They’re 3-9, it’s the middle of December, players know management is getting fired this offseason, maybe earlier depending on how this team finishes, and they have to go up to Lambaeu and hit Eddie Lacy for 60 minutes. Please.

  41. HitTheHorns says:

    Hit the Horns:

    Ohio State -5
    Ny Jets -2.5
    Cincinnati Bengals -6
    San Francisco 49ers -2.5

    One more pick to go.

  42. p_forever says:

    sparty +5 osu

    auburn -2 mizzou***

    FSU -29.5 duke

    miami +3 steelers

    bills +2.5 tampa bay

    browns +11 patss

    tiger tiger burning bright, indeed. no one does a last second miracle like the auburn. only 2 near impossible wins in a row got this team a berth in the SEC championsip game, but, unlike with some teams that somehow survive on the edge, that isn’t a cause for concern here. yes that alabama win was crazy – but auburn had kept alabama’s vaunted defense in check throughout the game, which is how they got to that last second within striking range in the first place. missouri, to the contrary, comes into this came having kept exactly zero vaunted defenses in place. scheduling is somewhat fickle and mizzou did the best it could with what it had, but what it had simply isn’t enough to prepare them for what they’re going to see this weekend. i suppose i get why the line is so tight here – on paper mizzou’s stats are eerily similar to auburn’s, and it didn’t take a miracle to get that team here. but auburn isn’t feeling lucky to be where it is-they are feeling invincible. which is sort of exactly how they should feel.

  43. Jonathan MacDonald says:

    OSU -5 over MSU
    Auburn -2 over Mizzou
    Rutgers -5.5 over USF (Essay)

    I’m only essaying RU because they are local to me, I went there for grad school, and I’ve done a very good job of not using them in Cheddar Bay. Not that using them would have done much good – they are notoriously unpredictable. Now that my season is in smoldering ruins, I might as well have some fun. I miss the good old days when they were terrible and it was possible to watch a game and enjoy it without feeling like you were on a Tokyo subway at rush hour. RU even made it interesting sometimes. Mediocrity is at stake so RU will go all out for a W, especially with a bid to the Pinstripe Bowl on the line.

    NFL picks tomorrow.

    • Jonathan MacDonald says:

      Last night’s empty High Point Solutions Stadium pointed to the ugly truth about RU football – it’s at best a diversion in a saturated sports market. Even die-hard fans stayed home. Why freeze your tail off when you can watch it on your 60 inch flat screen? Next up is the Pinstripe Bowl, another outdoor cold weather event.

      Redskins +3 over Chiefs in the Native American Bowl. KC is a paper tiger – they’ll make the playoffs but their streak was courtesy of the schedule makers.
      Cardinals -6 over Rams
      Falcons +3.5 over Packers. This one looked like an NBC Flex candidate in August. Now, not so much.

  44. trashycamaro says:

    #1 All Play: OSU -5 over @MSU

    #2 Stanford +3 over @ASU

    #3 @Auburn -2 over Missouri

    #4 @PHI -2.5 over DET

    #5 Essay @PIT -3 over MIA (Essay pass this week)

    #6 @NOLA -3 over CAR

  45. jdoepke says:

    BG +3 for me please. Rest to come later

    • jdoepke says:

      Well, I chickened out of making BG my essay pick. Just figures. Oh well, here goes.

      Sparty +5 (AP)
      Baylor -15.5
      Mizzou +2
      Redskins +3

      Uthah St. +3.5 (Essay)
      Similar to Baylor a couple weeks back after a loss that took undefeated and premier bowl away, this is a letdown spot. Combine that with the line stinks at only 3.5 for Fresno at home, and 70% of public is on Fresno and you know which way I’m going. Utah St. 31 – Fresno St. 30

  46. jimkanicki says:

    pateslvrblk in for BGSU.

  47. FlyHighCharlieFrye says:

    Mizzou +2

    ESSAY: NIU -3

    The line says woah. The line says no. But my eyes tell me yes because NIU hasn’t won all these in a row by accident. They’re not just Jordan Lynch, either. This NIU team is good at almost every position and IMO, better than BG. The Huskies have the big stage and a big win streak and great line play and millions of reasons the MAC needs them to win and plenty of experience here and my run on sentences are pretty good but this Lynch is very, very good and I’m going to say too good for BG. Somewhere in the 31-17 range I’m guessing as I can’t believe the line isn’t double digits. I’ve been beaten by Vegas a time or 700 before but I’m sticking with my eyes and the Huskies here.

    • FlyHighCharlieFrye says:

      A sucker is born every day. I was born on a Wednesday.

      Marshall – 4.5 at Rice
      Ravens -6.5
      Rams +6

  48. zarathustra says:

    Bowling Green + 3 over Northern Illinois
    Not so much because I have a great read on this game, but because I cannot tolerate even the thought that a deserving team might be deprived a bcs bowl so that this ridiculous NIU team can go get waxed by a quality opponent–something they haven’t come close to facing all year. I know it can be fun to root for these mid-majors and MACtion! and all, but seriously? This team squeaked by Iowa and beat Ball St. That is it. I sincerely question whether they even belong in the top 25, let alone a bcs bowl. They will probably win big tonight, but I will be praying to all that is holy in this world that they lose. One point.

  49. chuckycrater says:

    Getting frustrated how I’m hanging around the fringe of playoff contention, but can’t put together a 6 or 7 point week to get into the mix. Let’s try and do something about that. Need to start focusing on NFL games since I won’t have much choice after this week.

    Jaguars +3 vs. Texans (win)
    ALL PLAY: Michigan State +5 vs. Ohio State
    Oklahoma State -9.5 vs. Oklahoma

    Auburn -2 vs. Missouri
    Bucs -2.5 vs. Bills

    ESSAY: Bears -1 vs. Cowboys

    I don’t trust the Cowboys at all away from home. Jason Garrett seizes up on the road and calls a much different, much more conservative game plan. I think Romo follows that lead and doesn’t take the chances he takes at home, even the calculated ones. It limits their ability to win road games going away, and causes them to lose more games than they should. I think the cold weather is actually a problem too. Not just because it’s disrupting their schedule in Dallas this week, but because it’s another reason for Garrett to clench his butthole during the game. The Giants game on 11/24 was the first time the Cowboys won in sub-40 degrees on the road against any remotely good team (this assumes you think the Giants are a remotely good team) since 1993. Chicago has to have this game, the Cowboys can survive without it. Give me the Bears.

  50. jimkanicki says:

    1. @jags +3 texans (win)

    2. bgsu +3 niu (detroit)
    screw it, i’m in. you guys are all crazy. respect for rod carey and concern about shaun droplin (in spite of his MAC player-of-week award). but. bgsu is the balls. we all know they went 176-17 in the last four games, right? no respect i tell ya. they’ve got SEC speed with travis greene and ronnie moore. receiver size with gallon and bayer. and qb who is superb running the zone read and who delivers the ball great. i really don’t think bgsu’s offense will have a problem ‘keeping up’ with niu. i DO think niu will be shocked at what a defense looks likes because they haven’t seen a real one since the iowa opener. gonna lay the ‘who have they played’ card on you, here’s the defense rankings (pts against) of NIU opponents: WMU/106; toledo/76; bsu/49; umass/98; emu/124; cmu/76; akron/76; kent/68; purdue/114; idaho/126. welp. bgsu is #5 in points against. their offense is legit. and cripes, i won’t let Forward Falcons get bet on cheddar at a 23-2 pace. make it 23-3.

    i’ll be back tomorrow with the rest.

  51. architectartvandelay says:

    NIU -3 vs BG – I was going to essay this one

    Stanford +3 @ ASU – I know its tough to beat the same team twice but if you watched what Stanford did to ASU the first time

    Saints -3 vs Panthers – NO at home in a game they need.

    Ravens -6.5 vs Vikings – Vikings have played back to back OT games so I expect them to be flat. Flat + bad team vs a team that needs to keep winning to stay in the playoffs equals a loss. Love the fact that the # is 6.5 & not 7 or more.

    AP OSU -5 vs MSU – Another one I was going to essay

    FSU -29.5 vs Duke

    Dukes nice run comes to a crashing end. FSU is bigger, faster, stronger across the board and should manhandle the Blue Devils. I do really like what Cutcliffe has done but lets be honest the ACC is not good & Duke has won some tight games that could have easily gone the other way. Looking at their 4 common opponents from this year Duke won by an average of 14 pts (3-1) while FSU won by 35. I just don’t see how Duke will be able to keep the ball away from FSU nor how they will have any chance of stopping them once FSU does have the ball.

  52. Harbaugh Handshakes says:

    I’ll take NIU -3 for 1 cheddar point tonight.

  53. Petefranklin says:

    NIU -3 tonight, one point play that I probably wouldn’t mind losing.

    • Petefranklin says:

      Upon further review, lets make this the Essay play. I really don’t like playing these teams with so much pressure on them, but at this price I can’t refuse. The points and hooks become more valuable this time of year, and I wanted to write an essay on another team at +3.5 but it was only 3 in the contest. You guys seem to know so much about the MAC so I’m just going with the flow and grabbing some line value for insurance. I may get a push here, but it just feels right. Oh and one more thing, I’ve owned a husky but never a falcon, although I’ve heard that they are super cool to own.

  54. CLEinMPLS says:

    OSU for the All-Play
    NIU -3 (Essay)

    Gavin pretty much covered this in his essay, so I am just repeating most of this. NIU has too much to play for here. They win and they are in a BCS game. Jordan Lynch is playing for his spot in NYC. If Lynch was younger and inexperienced, I believe BGSU would have a shot. Unfortunately for BGSU, he isn’t, and he will not accept any type of letdown from his group. I think NIU scores in the 30s, and BGSU can’t keep up. This line seems low for it being on a neutral field. Maybe Vegas knows something we don’t. Who knows? Either way I am going with my gut and rolling with NIU here.

  55. jimkanicki says:

    for DHemms (from auburn/mizzou post)

    Michigan St +5 over Ohio St (All Play)
    Bowling Green +3 over N. Illinois
    Oklahoma +9.5 over Oklahoma St
    Missouri +2 over Auburn
    Saints -3 over Panthers
    Lions +2.5 over Eagles ***

    *** The Eagles have arguably the worst pass defense in the NFL and supposedly this guy Calvin Johnson is pretty good. That doesn’t bode well. The Lions have also had a long break since they played on Thanksgiving so they’ll be well rested. Even though Nick Foles has resurrected the Eagles offense and had some big games, he hasn’t faced pressure from a defense that the Lions d-line will bring. Not only are Suh and Fairley playing at pro bowl levels, the rookie Ansah has 7 sacks. The Lions also find themselves in a rare position a top the NFC North so they will also be playing with a sense of urgency to make the last push towards the playoffs. While the Eagles are in a similar position, I think they are an over-rated group who has snuck by two inferior opponents at home these past few weeks. Living in Philly has its perks which includes the annual tradition of the Eagles crushing the hopes of their fans. Cue up the start of the demise this Sunday.

  56. thatsfine says:

    Damn, I’m this week’s cautionary tale. Not only that, but after my essay was downgraded to a one-pointer my week went to hell in a handbasket. I’m sorry to see the midweek MACtion end – that was the only thing keeping me on the fringes of the playoffs.

    BGSU +3 / NIU – Looks like I’m going it alone on this one (so far), but I was impressed by BG last week and think they can pull a shocker tonight.
    OSU -5.5 / Sparty – Not a homer play for me. I think MSU is overrated. So is OSU, of course.
    Stanford +3 / ASU
    UConn PK / Memphis – In a battle of bad teams I’ll take the bad team at home.
    Ravens -6.5 / Vikings

    One more pick coming and will decide on an essay at least one hour before kickoff.

  57. Concierge says:

    rice +4.5 essay but I’m not writing one.
    NIU -3
    Missouri +2
    Dolphins +3
    49ers -2.5

  58. ChuckKoz says:

    Stanford +3 (at ASU)
    Fresno St -3.5 (vs Utah St)
    Rams +6 (at Cardinals)
    Saints -3 (vs Panthers)
    Bears -1 (vs Cowboys)
    AP/Essay: Ohio State -5 (vs MSU)

    For weeks I have been certain OSU will pound MSU in the Big 10 title game. I feel a bit shaken, based on the Buckeyes struggle with Michigan, but I continue to believe MSU is a not all that good. Apparently they have a good defense, but OSU has a dominant offense (with Carlos Hyde running as good right now as any OSU running back ever has) that has not scored less than 31 all year. Meanwhile, MSU’s offense has struggled on many occasions (14 points at home last week against Minnesota, just 14 at home against Purdue (who the Buckeyes beat 56-0), 13 against Dame, and 21 against a 2 win South Florida team). And for all the talk about Ohio State not beating anyone, MSU has been less impressive. And because OSU fans are borderline unhealthy in their fandom, I think this game will be like a home game. Hence, Buckeyes by at least a touchdown.

    • CLEVTA says:

      Even better, MSU only scored 7 offensive pts v Purdue. 1 td was defensive td. That’s way more pitiful than OSU allowing 600+ to Michigan imo

  59. actovegin1armstrong says:

    Please explain the currently extant “essay push”.
    I do not understand how that is possible. Please be kind to my bumbling neophyte attempts to learn stuff.

  60. FTCMikeD says:

    FTCMikeD’s Week 15 picks:
    NIU -3 over BGSU
    *****AP: tOSU -5 over Sparty

    Chiefs -3 over @Skins
    Seahawks +2.5 over @niners
    Panthers +3 over @Saints
    Cowboys +1 over @Bears

    All this talk this week of weak schedules, not beating your rivals by enough, giving up 450 to Devin Gardner is really factoring into this line for the B1GCG. Right now the public is on Sparty, buying into all the talking heads. Fact is, UoM game-planned really well, probably caught the Bucks off guard, and gave them a wake up cal that you can’t overlook anyone, even your down year rivals. But that’s the beauty of the rivalry game. Buckeyes won’t let that happen again. They know Sparty is 11-1. They’ve been hearing all about their D. Bucks are going to run all over Sparty, just like Nebraska did. When 8 men in the box doesn’t stop Hyde, watch for the play action and look for Braxton to go deep. I definitely think the Bucks’ O beats MSU’s D. Urban’s not going to Sparty prevent him from going to another NCG. Bucks win by more than 5.

  61. harbaugh handshakes says:

    Houston -3 @ jax really think the browns could of beat jax by 21 if we had hoyer or even campbell. Houston will come to play for a national tv audience. Ill take jj watt for 1 cheddar pt

  62. Northern Illinois -3 vs. Bowling Green
    Michigan State +5 vs. Ohio State
    Auburn -2 vs. Missiouri

  63. actovegin1armstrong says:

    So I do not forget:
    Jags +3 over Texans
    ****NIU -3 over BGSU****
    Mizzou +2 over Auburn I really like the Missouri D-line
    Ohio State -5 over Mich State
    Texas +15.5 over Baylor Achilles heel has been revealed
    Waiting on Browns line
    and UCF line
    Well, Montana line too

    • chuckycrater says:

      I thought about UCF but the weather will be so terrible (in the 20s, field maybe covered in ice) that I think the under is a much better play.

      • actovegin1armstrong says:

        Chucky, please help me out on this one.
        I played for a team with a terrific defense and a lousy offense.
        Those chumps scored more points on ice covered fields.
        I was a cover corner and I had to go to greater lengths to anticipate the receiver’s moves. More frequently I just knocked them down, (before the 5 yard rule).
        It always seemed that bad weather hurt running teams and helped passing teams.
        What do the degenerate gambler stats show?

        • chuckycrater says:

          I’ll have to look for the numbers, but in this particular situation the under looks good. Neither team is used to this kind of weather. SMU may not have Garrett Gilbert and without him they scored 0 points last week against a dreadful Houston defense. And this game may be absolutely meaningless for UCF. If Louisville wins tonight, UCF wins the American no matter what happens in this game.

          • actovegin1armstrong says:

            Thank you cc, wonderful initials by the way.

          • chuckycrater says:

            By the way, O/U for the UCF-SMU game is between 58 and 60. That’s just way too high. I’m not sure those two teams would get there even in good conditions.

        • Petefranklin says:

          It’s the wind that affects passing more than anything else IMO.

    • actovegin1armstrong says:

      Panthers +3 over NO
      Unless the Browns get an unbelievable amount of points.

      • actovegin1armstrong says:

        My most humble apologies, but may I please change out of the Panthers pick and take the Browns + 11 over the Pats.
        The Pats only beat the Texans by 3 and they did that mostly with smoke and mirrors.

  64. Jeff Rich says:

    I think I’m in an 5nderdog type /bf mood, so I don’t mind taking the points in all 6 of my picks.

    Texas (+15.5) at BAYLOR

    Duke (+29.5) VS FLORIDA STATE

    Stanford (+3) at ARIZONA STATE

    ***MICHIGAN STATE (+5) vs Ohio State***
    I know that it might be a case of me overreacting, but after watching Ohio State last week, I have to believe that this line is a little bit high in Michigan State’s favor. There’s no question that Ohio State can score, and this is one of those weird scenarios, where I believe Ohio State will outlast them in the end, but not cover.

    The stories about Connor Cook being from Ohio this weekwill keep rolling in, but it’s more about what he’s going to do in this game then where he grew up. I see this playing a lot like the Wisconsin game, where Fickel shut down the run, and forced Stave to win with his arm. If Jeremy Langford can’t be a factor at all, Ohio State will run away with this. He needs to contribute, and Bollman needs to come up with a way to throw the ball downfield to his tight ends, because Sparty has no Abbrederis.

    The story of the game will be the Buckeyes offense against the Spartans D, which I think will stale-mate in the first half, if Ohio State can’t steal a drive on a short field, but pull away in the end.

    Colts (+6) at BENGALS

    SeaChickens (+2.5) at BENGALS

  65. HitTheHorns says:


    Essay Texans -3:

    Going to steal some stats from the great @ClevTA’s twitter feed:

    Divisional faves on TNF since 2006 32-7 SU and 24-15-0 (61.5%) ATS

    TNF Divisional Faves with same season revenge – 8-1 SU and 7-2 (77.8%) ATS Since 2006

    Divisional Road Faves on TNF 15-3 SU and 13-5(72.2%) ATS

    Let’s not be blinded by the Jags win last week against our hapless Browns. Houston will score a ton of points tonight –Weeden’s turnovers last week were self-inflected. I’m not sure Jacksonville’s defense is any good. Feel like it is a tough slate this
    week and we need to get out in front of things here. Good luck to those of you in your fantasy playoffs. Also makes me happy when I see this many ESPN talking heads on the other side:


  66. jimkanicki says:

    i will take the jags tonite and i just posted my auburn essay.

  67. Petefranklin says:

    Bearcats plus three and the hook tonight please. One point play

    • actovegin1armstrong says:

      Sorry about the lack of a Lyle story, it involves my brother and his house. I recently found out that my bookie brother occasionally reads this stuff.
      Internet gambling has made his life difficult. (Not us, but the “offshore bastards”.)

  68. chuckycrater says:

    For tonight I’d like the Jaguars +3 vs. the Texans.

    More picks to come before all of DFW is encased in ice.

  69. CLEVTA says:

    1. Utah St +3.5: Hook important here. More importantly, Fresno has played one of if not the worst defensive schedule I’ve ever seen. Utah St on the otherhand has played against stiff competition including very good offensive teams like Utah, USC, BYU and San Jose St. They only allowed those 4 teams to score 20 pts/game on offense, well below their averages. On a yds/play basis Utah St allowed an aggregate of 5.2 yds/play to those teams and they averaged 5.8 on the season, so they held those offenses in check. In fact, the same San Jose St team that just put up 62 on Fresno could only muster 12 v Utah St earlier in the season. In other words this defense should be able to slow Fresno down enough to stay close and put up enough points to win outright. Fresno hasn’t played a defense even close as good as Utah St. Major letdown here for Fresno as well with their BCS hopes going up in flames.

    2. OSU -5 (all play) (Essay): I have not taken a non all play OSU game all season. And obviously no essays on the Buckeyes. Until now. I absolutely love the Bucks here. I’ve laid it out before but will do it again. MSU’s defense is good, sure. But the
    all world status they’ve received is way overblown in my opinion. They’ve only
    faced 2 teams that rank in the top 50 in terms of rush offense yards/play (Nebraska and Indiana). Nebraska ran for 180+ (5.7 ypc) and Indiana 3.4 ypc. And we know that Nebraska is much more like OSU in the run game with Abdullah than Indiana’s soft spread offense. Conversely, OSU has faced 5 defenses that rank in the top 50 defending the run (San Diego St, Wisconsin, Iowa, PSU, Michigan). Against those defenses, OSU put up 6.6, 4.5, 5.4, 8.0, 8.5 ypc. Those 5 defenses in aggregate have only allowed 3.7 ypc and the Buckeyes rang up 6.6 ypc. I am convinced that there is no defense that can fully slow down Hyde and Miller. Even if MSU stacks the box and OSU can “only” muster a 4.5-5.0 ypc game, the Bucks will be successful. Everyone acts like OSU allowing so many points and yards to Michigan was an isolated Michigan scoring offensive game. I mean this wasn’t Purdue all of the sudden exploding on offense. Michigan has scored 41 vs a very good ND defense, 42 v Minnesota, 40 v PSU and 63 v Indiana. And yes I realize that MSU totally shut that offense down and was extremely impressive. But in watching that game it was obvious Borges and Hoke had an awful game plan a were not prepared. That MSU d-line overwhelmed the Michigan o-line in muddy conditions. Another thing to note here. I think last week was OSU’s wake up call. Everyone was touting a blowout so those kids were reading clippings all week long. Now after a poor performance, all they hear is how bad that defense is and how MSU will win. Having this game indoors with great conditions and a fast track can only help OSU here as well. If MSU had their way this would be played in snow and a muddy field. I have literally never heard so many terrible CFB analysts predict an underdog to win a conference title game like I have this week. And the majority of the public is on the dog here. So you have the public and the majority of bad analysts taking the dog. BAD ACTION ALERT if I’ve ever seen one. 31-20 Bucks

    3. Mizzou +2

    4. Baylor -15.5

    Two NFL games coming Sunday

  70. CLEVTA says:

    No skank picks this week. In fact I think this is a good time to shut it down. I’ll pull a Costanza and leave on a good note going >.500. NFL lines are pretty tight at this point in the season.

  71. cwonder23 says:

    AP: MSU +5 vs OSU
    UCONN PK vs Memphis
    Fresno St. -3.5 vs Utah State
    Duke +29.5 @ Florida State
    Chiefs -3 @ Redskins
    Essay: NIU -3 vs BGSU
    Weekly NIU pick here. Jordan Lynch is my favorite player to watch in the NCAA. He’s like a right handed Tim Tebow with a better arm. NIU should be able to put up some points in support of a BCS bid on a national stage. Love me some MACtion. BGSU is rolling but NIU has too much to play for to lay an egg. One could argue this is a bit of a trap game but I’m confident that NIU will cover here.

    • mgbode says:

      note: it looks like NIU goes to the Fiesta with a win. So, let us all root for Baylor and Oklahoma this weekend. Baylor v. NIU is just a fun potential matchup with Petty & Lynch facing off.

  72. actovegin1armstrong says:

    **** Super Terrific Happy Fun Essay****

    If it is a MAC game on Friday night do we call it Fraction?

    I have been riding the NIU train frequently this year, mainly because I really like their big conference talent and that linebacker guy they have playing QB. This week the linebacker will have some of his “skill players” (read sissies) back on the field, so he shall not have to go about his duties on the wrong side of the ball without help.

    BGSU shall hope to rely on their terrific defense, but as all of us ancient Browns fans know, your defense can shut down the receivers, stop the running game, leave no tern unstoned and horseface Elway will escape containment and gallop around enough to sustain a 98 yard drive. (Still bitter?)

    That linebacker guy can do the same thing. He has the strength of future hall of famer Tim Tebow, the speed of some fast guy and shifty moves when he does not feel like running over some arm tackle safety.

    BGSU is a terrific team, but NIU will emerge victorious and use this game as a primer for when they meet the also undefeated Ohio State Buckeyes in the BCS Championship game.

    Well…. when everyone else loses and The MAC is given the respect it not quite exactly unlike deserves.

    NIU -3 over BGSU

  73. Capitalgg says:

    Week 15:

    The last week of college football and I’ve got to say, I enjoy the all-play more when it’s not involving Ohio St. or the Cleveland Browns. I don’t bet those teams for real, so I hate to have to risk the cheddar point on them. Okay, rant over onto picks…

    All-play: Ohio St. -5 v. Michigan St.: Limited offensive team v. limited defensive team. Offense that can run and score on anyone. And I gotta think the Bucks don’t bring another C game this week.

    Essay: Hmmm… what game could I possibly be picking this week? SEC Championship game? An NFL game? Conf USA? Seriously, if you didn’t see this coming, you quite frankly haven’t been paying attention.

    Damn right, I’m playing some MACtion, one last time.

    So let’s break this down. The MAC has 5 good teams. In order they are:
    1. Northern Illinois
    2. Ball St.
    3. Bowling Green
    4. Toledo
    5. Buffalo

    With the exception of Toledo beating Bowling Green, each team in this power rankings list beat the teams above it and lost to the teams below it. But you can’t lose to Akron, Toledo, and stay above a team you only beat by a field goal.

    Anyway, back to this game. Based upon my MACtion power rankings, The #1 team faces the #3 team. That tells me that I’ll lean to the #1 team if the line isn’t too big. Then I see the line is a meager 3. BOOM! ESSAY!

    But wait, why couldn’t BG keep this close? Not if Jordan Lynch has anything to say about it. The way he is playing right now is unreal. They played the last 2 games with their #1 & #2 WRs injured. Toledo and Western Michigan knew that Lynch was running and couldn’t stop him.

    This week those guys are back. That means Lynch will be both a run and pass threat. And they’re playing at Ford Field so weather won’t be a factor.

    Defensively NIU is not dominant, but they play solid and adjust well in the 2nd half allowing Jordan Lynch and the O to move into a lead and make the opposing offenses 1-dimensional.

    And motivation? Let’s see… a win and NIU gets to play in a 2nd straight BCS bowl. And a big game by Jordan Lynch will most assuredly get Jordan Lynch an invitation to New York City. And pending the Florida State Attorney’s announcement tomorrow, it might just earn him a big, heavy trophy.

    So this will play out like all MACtion all year. Bowling Green will be competitive for a while and Northern Illinois will win by more than 3 points.

    Goodbye MACtion, my friend. See you next year.

    More picks to come

    • Capitalgg says:

      And here is the rest…

      1. South Alabama -3 v. UL-Lafayette: Terrance Broadway is out with a wrist injury. South Alabama has been quietly not terrible and should take advantage of the Cajuns without their QB.
      2. Missouri +2 v. Auburn: Yes, the schedule has been easier. Yes, I hate Gary Pinkel. But I just have a hunch they are quietly the best team in the SEC (except for Bama, but Saban melted down against Auburn).
      3. Saints -3 v. Panthers: Bounceback game for Saints. Did I mention they are unbeatable at home?
      4. Stanford +3 @ Arizona St.: Stanford out-physicalled them the first time rushing for 240. And without 3 4th quarter TDs by Sparky, it really wasn’t as close as the score indicated.

      Other plays:
      Fresno St. -3.5 v. Utah St.
      Duke +29.5 v. Florida St.

      Jaguars +3 v. Texans
      Lions +2.5 @ Eagles
      Chiefs -3 @ Redskins
      Cowboys +1 @ Bears

    • Setting aside your personal preferences re: what to wager on, which are understandable, do you at least agree that Ohio State/Michigan State is the most compelling football game of the week at a Cleveland-based website?

      • Capitalgg says:

        Being 1000% honest, Ohio St.-Michigan is most interesting from a Cleveland-based website’s fan perspective. But, from a gambler’s perspective, Auburn-Missou is a much more intriguing game with the line bouncing from -1.5 to +1.

        My other problem with it is this is the 5th time either Ohio St. or the Browns have been the all-play this season. Exactly 1/3 of the weeks. Because of the site fan bias leading to overly emotional picks for the home team (guilty), the decision, in my opinion, should be to attempt to pick away from the home team except when the game is clearly THE GAME of that week.

        Of course, you can take or leave my “customer complaint” because much like with the Browns, I’ll keep coming back regardless.

  74. GRRustlers says:

    Week 15 Picks

    I’ll go ahead and hit leadoff this week. I feel a little naked without mid week #MACtion but let’s give this a run.

    All Play – OSU (-5) over MSU – I had an entire essay written in my head about how MSU is the worst 11-1 power conference team in my lifetime but I’ll stick with the one point all play since I have enough OSU friends at work who for some reason I can’t fathom are terrified of Sparty.

    Duke (-29.5) over FSU – I like Duke. I think I’m finally over the beat from last year in the bowl game that made me sweat out a playoff spot. FSU should win but by 4+ scores in what basically will be a home game for Duke? I’ll take the points.

    Saints (-3) over Panthers – Don’t overreact to last week. Think simple. Dome+Brees+Payton = Cheddar point. This is science.

    49ers (-2.5) over Seahawks – I think the Seahawks finally get punched in the mouth.

    Marshall (-4.5) over Rice – Last 5 games Marshall is averaging just under 54 points a game. That should do it here.

    Essay Pick

    It’s time to put my #MACtion powers to the test one final time.

    Putting my documented .764 (13-4-1) and perfect essay record (4-0-1) on the line here. I would almost demand my own 30 second radio spot where I spout off about my guaranteed plays but then it turns out this stuff is actually true.

    First things first. Bowling Green is a really good football team. As I stated earlier this year I look forward to playing them in their bowl game regardless of the opponent. Fun thing about watching BG. Count how many times the QB throws a pass without ever moving. It’s the coolest thing. Catch snap. Throw. Repeat. Score.

    This brings us to Jordan Lynch and the big stage. Let’s just say he and NIU are going to be very comfortable in Ford Field. The nerves may play a factor for BG early and if nerves are a factor always take the team that runs the ball better.

    Lynch runs wild one more time and puts the Huskies back in a BCS bowl game.

    Final thought: If Lynch runs for 245 yards he will break 2000 yards. I don’t think he will or even should win the Heisman but if CFB can’t see that he should be involved in the ceremonies in New York then they have completely lost their mind.

    NIU (-3) over BGSU

    • Capitalgg says:

      Nice essay. Didn’t look up the Jordan Lynch rushing stat. If this game gets out of hand, you got to think Rod Carey will give Lynch a chance to hit 2000 Friday night.

    • actovegin1armstrong says:

      Sorry GRRRRR and Cap, I posted before I read your essays. I have been planning this essay for a week.

  75. actovegin1armstrong says:

    Jags +3 or +17 over Texians ( What does the second number mean? I understand very little of all of those numbers. Perhaps someone should explain them some day.)

    • FTCMikeD says:

      I think the 2nd number (-17) is short for a -117 bet on the Texans -3. So need to bet 117 on -3 to win 100. I looked it up last year and that is what I recall. Someone please correct me if I am wrong.

      • jimkanicki says:

        you’re right. basically the line is favoring the texans more but without changing the spread.

      • actovegin1armstrong says:

        Thank you Mike and jk. I almost understand a little bit more.
        Then if the “sharps” are favoring the Texans past the line then I really screwed up taking the Jags. Does that make sense to you kids?

      • Petefranklin says:

        It means the line is real close to going to the Texans -3.5. Or it may have just moved FROM -3.5 +120 or so to the 3 -117. In this case for the opening line I use(pinny) it was Houston -2 -105 and now sits at -3 -124, meaning a big majority of play is on the Texans. It will be 3.5 at most shops by gametime unless some syndicate organizations and wiseguys decide that they like the home dog plus 3.5, which would push the line back to 3. So in reality taking the Jags now gives you a slight disadvantage vs. what you should expect to get(+3.5) tomorrow. This does not guarantee a losing pick however as I have taken great #’s many times in the contest, and lost. LVH supercontestants (1.5k entry fee) like to do this(take good #’s) also and are getting creamed(about 33%) vs. the spread this year.

        • CLEVTA says:

          Makes me feel great that Im 52% ATS in the supercontest then? 🙂

          • Petefranklin says:

            Pretty ballsy to even enter and 52% is much better than most! Good Job!!!

          • CLEVTA says:

            Entered for first time last season & finished right outside the money at 55%. Was in top 5 after week 6(?) I believe then faded a bit. It’s fun

        • actovegin1armstrong says:

          Thank you too PeteFranklin,
          Some day I hope to be a denizen of the deep with the rest of our respective degenerate gamblers.

  1. December 5, 2013


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