Wk 16, Lions +5 at Giants, 1pm Sun.

I don’t like to be in the habit of shouting out on the play of a particular player because some weeks I’ll forget or be rushing and then I’ll miss a righteous shout-out and feelings might be hurt.  Also the pernicious site proprietor jinx is real.  That being said…

Nope.  That jinx thing IS real so let me just say to the person who has moved 20-odd slots up the board in the last five weeks — I see you.

I’ll get those FCS lines up as soon as I see them.  Stay tuned to twitter and check the header of the standings for the update.  I’m adding an OTHER option in the form if you want to play one of these teams, use that.  If you forget, no biggie I’m sure I’ll find it.

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  • RCLA

    I would love to join the discussion, thanks bot!

    I assume I can essay tonight’s game but I’m also sure there is some rule against it for reasons wholly beyond my ken. Like Carolina and the points.

    Anyway, this is a perfect DC aboriginals fuck up game. I just looked at Carolina’S schedule. It’s just the worst. They’ve lost to a million good teams by a field goal. They kind of have that wounded animal feel to them. And not withstanding the years they have had, this is a lot of points for Cam to get against Kirk Cousins. I think it’s a close game and I will take the points. Plus? Fuck the Redskins. I can’t wait until president trump passes a law requiring them to change their name to the towel head killers or somesuch thing

  • bupalos

    Pretty much over for ol Bupalos after last week’s lobsterita, but you have to keep swinging. Raiders looks like the best line to me this week, following the theory others have espoused here that it’s a bit of an overreaction to one disappointing game. Week in and week out they’ve looked like a quality playoff team, just as pretty much week in and week out the Charger’s haven’t. I guess the Chargers are being credited with being the home team, but in reality these are 2 of the NFL’s semi-rootless stadium bargaining chips, and they’re only separated by a few hundred miles anyway. Carr should get back on track and Rivers shouldn’t and the balance of talent doesn’t seem particularly close to me.

    Raiders -3

  • RCLA

    Apparently forgot about the mandatory game. Well fuck. Gimme oak, ne, Arizona and I’ll essay tonight’s game.

  • Matt Borcas

    Tulsa, Giants, Falcons, Chiefs, Patriots

  • Dave Borcas

    Cowboys -6.5
    Vikings -4.5
    Browns +10
    Raiders -3
    Lions +5 (all play)
    Tulsa -12.5 (essay)
    Tulsa is about as balanced of an offense as you will ever see. And oh yeah, they can score points in a bunch. The key to the game will be if Tulsa’s D can get off the field, without giving up points that is. Tulsa comes into the game hot, winning 5 of 6 while CMU enters losing 4 of 5. This game should be fun, with the scoreboard getting a workout. Tulsa 45 CMU 30

  • Lucy Lawrence

    Essay: chiefs -5.5
    All Play Lions +5
    Den +3
    Philly +6

    I’m going with the chiefs and their offense against the horrible titans defensive backs. I think Smith, Kelce, and Hill (who is a scumbag and shouldn’t be playing but that’s a whole other story) will be on fire and win this game with ease. Chiefs are quietly one of the best teams in the NFL and I think have a real shot at the Super Bowl. I think their defensive line will put Mariota on his butt a few times, making him a little more uncomfortable than usual.

  • TS_Butler

    Packers -6.5
    Cowboys -6.5
    Patriots -3
    Colts +4.5
    Giants -5
    Essay: Tulsa -12.5

    I’ve been staring at the NFL lines for 30 minutes now – they are very perplexing this week. I don’t like any of the games, not even the ones I picked. They’ve got me feeling like I don’t know anything, and got me doing crazy things, like deciding to wager 3 cheddar points on the Miami Beach Bowl. I’ve never seen either of these teams play. All I know is central mich went 6-6, and tulsa went 9-3. The line is high, so there is clearly blowout potential, and that’s what I’m hoping for. Golden Hurricane for life.

  • bupalos

    Vikes, raisins, cmfb

    • bupalos

      And Stiller’s.

  • squeekycleen

    Essay: Browns: My performance in this contest this year has been inexplicable considering I have torn up college foots and sit near the bottom. It’s probably because I’ve kept going back to the well with the Clowns and Jags. But if there is only one thing I know about sports gambling, it’s that when you have been beaten up by a team that you think is now worthless, that’s the time to stay on them. Buy low, sell high. Can you buy lower than the f-ing browns?

    • Squeeky, these are precisely the modest and reasonable expectations that the Browns exist to defy.

  • Matt Lawrence

    Rams +16 (L)
    Ark St +6 (W)
    Broncos +3
    Eagles +6
    Lions +5 (AP)
    Steelers -3***
    I typically don’t like taking road favorites in these divisional rivalry games, but the Steelers seem to be hitting their playoff stride. They got a big road win in Buffalo last week in the snow, and gained the division lead with the Ravens losing at the Patriots. They will need to keep their foot on the gas to maintain that lead.

    During their 4 game win streak, their offense is averaging nearly 26 points per game, 3 of which game on the road, while the defense is only allowing less than 13 points per game. I’ll take the Steelers -3 in this key divisional matchup.

  • Hawkaholic

    Bills -10
    Falcons -14
    Tulsa -12.5
    Pats -3
    AP: Lions +5
    Essay: Packers -6.5

    This is a must win game for the Packers and it just seems like Chicago continues to head in the wrong direction. It is going to be a very very cold game where I would imagine the running games for Green Bay and Chicago will carry the load. With that being said I think the QB’s will have to make plays to extend drives and give me Rodgers over Barkley all day. Green Bay is playing their best football of the year after dismanteling Seattle last week and again, the Bears are the Bears. Granted the Bears are getting Alshon Jeffrey back this week which is nice for them but in my mind it is nowhere near enough to change the outcome of this one. Rodgers is a little dinged up and didn’t really practice this week, i think he can rely on his experience and skill, i think the Packers have made the playoffs like 7 or 8 straight years winning games like this in December. FYI the temp at kickoff is going to be around 0, yuck! This will be a repeat of the first time these two teams met in October, Packers roll and win by two touchdowns.

  • trashycamaro

    colts
    texans
    lions
    houston (l)

    more to come later, including essay

    • trashycamaro

      falcons

      essay pats

      seems silly that pats are only giving 3 at this point in the season. even with Brady playing hurt and on the road, there doesn’t seem to be many teams that can hold up against them. the Broncos clearly do not fit that mold. these aren’t last years horses – with no run game and an inability to stop the run, the horses have struggled to duplicate last years results. the pats are of course well suited to take advantage of these weaknesses with LGB bringin the ruckus on the ground and an inability to stop the run not hurting them in this game.

      on a barely related topic, it doesn’t feel right that the Pats were able to get Floyd. this was arguably the biggest weakness for the Pats and for them to just pick up a player who is such a huge upgrade near the end of the season is silly. those are the kinds of aggressive moves the browns should be making.

  • PJD19

    I’m going to switch off of the raiders today and go with Central Michigan on Monday for my college pick.

    Essay Browns over Bills
    I think things are going to finally click for the browns today (said with a straight face). I think an 0-13 team is more motivated to get their first win than an underachieving team fresh out of the playoff race with a lame duck coach and a lame duck quarterback. Throw in Marcell Dareus’ absurd guarantee for some locker room fodder and I could see this one being close. The Bills D is straight up bad, if it wasn’t for the Steelers throwing 3 picks last week that game would have been 35-10 instead of 27-20. Brownies for win numero uno.

  • ChuckKoz

    Seahawks -16 (Rams) – W
    Buccaneers +6.5 (Cowboys)
    Tulsa -12.5 (CMU)
    Packers -6.5 (Bears)
    AP: Lions +5 (Giants)
    Essay: Bills -10 (Browns)
    I could probably just cut and paste from last week, but the fact is the Browns have never looked worse in my life. I have continued to turn a blind eye and find optimism, but no more. RG3 was probably the worst QB I have ever seen last week. And our coach seems to be insane enough to not see the problem of his inabilty to throw a 6 yard pass, something that is not the result of cobwebs but his overal condition that we observed in the preseason. Meanwhile, the Bills are apparently going to be firing Rex, but I am under the impression management hates him, not the players. So I don’t think the dysfunction would cause the player to tank; and maybe they will even step up. Either way, they have plenty of talent to beat the happless Browns by 10.
    Bills 30, Browns 10

  • zarathustra

    My playoff odds are quite long at this point, but I do still have my poty in pocket. Moreover, I have unharnessed wu-tang ju-ju. In years past almost every time I incorporate wu-tang in my essays they seem to hit. I’ve actually done this quite a bit over the years, but haven’t yet for some reason this year. So if my my normally long-winded gibberish now unexplainedly mentions things like Don Rodriguez from the Bronx or a sentence randomly sprouts “lactic acid desert drop cactus practice” just know that I’m evoking a power far greater than myself.

    Rams (L)
    Houston (L)

    Lions
    I hate this. Would really like it if Stanford wasn’t injured. Even still I can’t lay points with this giants team.

    Buccaneers
    I’m a big believer in Jameis. This team is buying what he is selling. He kind of imploded against Oregon, but I can’t think of another big game where he didn’t show up. This is a big game.
    I got the golden egg plus the goose, Eighty proof, Absolut, mixed with cranberry fruit juice, Ginseng boost, I got your neck in a noose, keep my money wrinkled, the rap star twinkle killer instinct, sixteen bar nickle sell more copies than kinko, grow like a fetus with no hands or feet to complete us, and we return like Jesus when the whole world need us.

    Chiefs
    This was a stay-away for me at first but picking the rams on Thursday had me considering this as an essay. The reason being Jared Goff. Last year I would harangue anyone who would listen that Goff was going to be a bust in the NFL. This made for some awkward moments in the check-out line at giant eagle to be sure, but I felt strongly enough about it that it felt somehow wrong to deprive the world of this opinion. So where was I Thursday? Rooting for Jared Goff as a rookie in Seattle with the Seahawks coming off a loss. Can’t believe that didn’t work out better. This is relevant for this game because I had strong opinions on Marcus Mariota as well. Not that he would be a bust necessarily but that he would never be better than an average NFL qb. Now he is going on the road for a big game in the cold at arrowhead. The Chiefs are probably overrated at this point, but they are coming off a mini-bye and I’ll lay the points. Plus, it reminds of a fateful trip to Kansas City some years back.
    Hairdo way more class than Halle Berry, caught visions of me and you riding on the ferry, plus your daughter Kiki talk to my man Mari, I order me a sex on the beach with a cherry, I order her Riunite on ice, sounds nice, she elegant, pretty eyes, glasses intelligent, Whispered in my ear that she celibate, whispered back in her ear we don’t have to go there.

    Raiders ***
    There’s plenty of reasons not to like the Raiders. Kind of soft, undisciplined, the defense isn’t good enough. There was also of course the scaredy-cat play calling in the second half last week. They are talented though. They are young and learning to win. I like them off a loss with some extra rest vs a chargers team without Melvin Gordon. I like Rivers plenty but he is trying to do too much. This quote about his interceptions seems relevant: “I know better than that but at the same time I don’t want to stand back there and throw balls away and get beat 35-3,” Rivers said. “It just felt like that was the way it was going, and again, that is no excuse to make some bad mistakes and turnovers.”
    Gordon being out isn’t going to help this.

    My razor sharp darts be like cold stares
    The smell of fear makes my nostrils flare
    Truth or dare

  • FTCMikeD

    AP: Lions +5 over GIANTS
    VIKES -4.5 over Colts
    CHIEFS -5.5 over Titans
    *****
    The Bengals need to keep winning if they want any shot at the playoffs. And what better way to do that than to beat the hated Steelers. This one is for all the marbles. Look for the Bengals to keep it close and competitive all game. Bengals +3.

  • Harbaugh Handshakes

    Packers -6
    Lions +5
    Steelers -3
    Tulsa -12.5
    Panthers -5
    Browns +10
    Hue’s done an excellent job this year coaching a team completely void of talent. The angle I’m taking here is the Browns are just going to play harder for him than the Bills will play for the soon to be fired Rex Ryan. I also like the 10 points and the opportunity for a meaningless touchdown for the backdoor cover. Finally if we’re being honest I need some extra juice just to watch this team. Go Browns

    • Harbaugh Handshakes

      Panthers +5*

  • zizzer13

    Been a week… spent no time whatsoever looking at this as I’ve been tied up elsewhere… so of course I’ll run the table, right?

    Southern Miss -2
    Packers -6.5
    Saints +2.5
    Raiders -3
    Steelers -3
    Giants -5 (essaying the all-play)

    This pick is less about my confidence in the Giants as it is my confidence in the Lions to do Lion things. Matthew Stafford is going to struggle with the dislocated finger and torn ligaments, and the Giants defense is pretty good – good enough to pick off a few balls when a QB isn’t at his best (and the odds of Stafford being at his best with a bad finger are pretty low). The Lions are notorious for being chokers, and I expect form to hold true here, as the Lions will likely go from the second seed to out of the playoffs in three very short weeks.

  • pateslvrblk

    UCF -6
    Ravens -6
    Niners +14
    Steelers -3
    Lions +5
    ***Raiders -3

    No need to overreact to what happened in Kansas City, given the short rest, the weather and the fact that the timing was right for a stinker after six straight wins. The last time the Raiders were in position to clinch a playoff berth against the Chargers was the regular season finale in 2011. This team is much better equipped to prevail, given their talent level and body of work this season.
    Jack Del Rio is a believer in “The Process.” Part of that process is talking about “The Process” every week. You recover, prepare, play to the best of your ability on Sunday, then repeat each week. No one game bigger than the next. All of equal importance. All opponents are respected. The Raiders have pretty much appeared to fall in line all season.
    They have had 10 days off and should be ready to go against a seriously banged up Chargers team who will be playing to mostly Raiders fans at home. That’s got to sting. Just win baby!

  • oxr

    Toledo -1 over Appalachian State for today

    • oxr

      All-Play Lions +5 over Giants

      Eagles +6 over Ravens
      Steelers -3 over Bengals
      Browns +10 over Bills

      Essay Raiders -3 over Chargers – Two teams heading in different directions (one east, the other north-east, but I meant it figuratively). The first season of American football I ever watched was the one that concluded with Rich Gannon breaking a record for number of interceptions in a Super Bowl, and since then the Raiders have been so dependably bad for so long that, even as a fan of a divisional rival, it’s hard not to feel good about them finally making it back to the playoffs. Less sentimentally, the line looks low: against teams other than the Chiefs Oakland has been a pretty reliable source of thirty-point afternoons. I’m not sure who exactly is supposed to be scoring the points for San Diego. And sure, the Raiders are on the road, but are the Chargers really at home anymore? They’re essentially waiting for the internet to be turned on at their new place and leeching wifi from a coffee shop in the meantime. Speaking of which, I gotta run.

  • Matt Lawrence

    Ark St +6

  • Troy Bunting

    **Essay Pick***
    Eastern Washington -9
    1. Eastern Washington is good every year. They usually beat 1 or 2 FCS teams each year, compete for arguably the most difficult conf championship in the big sky, and are always making noise in the playoffs. They play difficult schedules year in, year out and are used to the FCS playoff grind.
    2. Youngstown State needed double overtime last week to beat a team that did not throw the ball. Not did not throw it well, but literally only had one passing attempt in the whole game, which came in overtime. Eastern Washington is gonna drop some points on the penguins.
    3. As ridiculous as it looks, the “inferno” red turf and home field for EWU is huge. They’ve got a great fanbase for being in Cheney Washington (basically bumbleshit idaho) and it’s hard not to pay attention to the field
    4. Mascot v. Mascot – Eagle vs. Penguin…. No doubt here. Eagles win big.

  • bupalos

    UTSA +7

  • FTCMikeD

    Toledo -1 over Appy St
    Dolphins -2 over JETS

  • thatsfine

    UTSA +7

    • thatsfine

      Bears +6.5 Essay
      Giants -5
      Cowboys -6.5
      Jets +2

      Essaying the Bears again this week, having watched them fight and claw their way to close losses to good teams over the last four weeks: Giantsby 6, Titans by 6, a 20 point win over SF, and a loss to the Lions by 3last week. Matt Barkley has looked serviceable over the last 3 games asa starter. Not to the point they won’t draft a QB next year, but better than expected. The Bears are 3-10 on the the year but 3-3 at home with wins over the Vikes and Lions. On the field they do not look like a team that has given up on the year. The Packers stomped Seattle on the scoreboard last week 38-10, but were actually outgained 354-330, the
      beneficiaries of 6! Seattle turnovers. They’re also 2-4 on the road and Rogers is playing with a sore calf, and it will be record breaking cold in Chicago. Once again, the Bears will play tough and cover.

  • SDSU +4. Houston is kinda overrated.
    ULL +4.5. I’ve actually watched this team about six times this year. The defense is good. I’m gonna play the under as well.
    BUCS +6.5. Wish I was getting the extra half point here, but I’m riding it nontheless. Bucs defense over the second half of the season is on an historic rebound. As long as they take care of the football, this will be tight to the finish.
    PACKERS -6.5. Packers making the short trip down to Soldier Field to play in sub zero temperatures. I like that.
    LIONS +5. Tell me who’s better on a neutral field, and then tell me the Giants get five for playing at home? These two teams are having remarkably similar seasons (both started really slow, losing three in a row early; Giants have won 7 of last 8, Detroit has won 8 of last 9)… I can’t imagine a high-scoring game with the way both defenses are playing, and so I think we’re looking at a 2-3 point game in either direction, decided on a final drive.
    $$$ RAIDERS -3. $$$ Oakland is going to the playoffs for the first time in 14 years, but with three weeks left, they’re still in the hunt for their division and possibly an outside shot at the first seed in the AFC. They are coming off a long week of rest-helping to shake off the loss at KC as well as heal a dislocated pinky on Derek Carr’s throwing hand, and the Chargers are returning from a cross-continental trip on which they turned it over five times and lost their star running back. Time to strap it up and get playoff ready, while the Chargers, a dumpster fire of late, and without Melvin Gordon are stumbling their way to season’s end.

  • CLEinMSP

    UTSA +7
    Texans -6
    Vikings -4.5
    Titans +5.5
    Giants -5 (All Play)
    Ravens -6 (Essay)

    The Ravens head home after a loss on Monday night at NE to face an Eagles team that has not played well on the road. The Ravens should be extremely motivated here, because if they win this game, it sets up a huge matchup in Pittsburgh next weekend. Bottom line, if Baltimore wins out they will win the AFC North. The Eagles on the other hand have nothing to play for at this point other than the development of Carson Wentz. Baltimore has played in a lot of meaningful December games in the Flacco era, so they know what they need to do here. They’ll be looking for a big win and some confidence heading to Heinz Field next week.

  • FlyHighCharlieFrye

    Giants -5
    EWU -9
    New Mex – 7
    Chargers +3
    SDSU +4

    Dolphins – 2
    *PLAY OF THE YEAR*

    Matt Moore. Matt Freaking Moore. On the road, in the winter. I sorta hate it. But look at the Jets. Awful team. Awful chemistry. Playing for nothing. Bryce Petty…also in the winter conditions. The Jets were down 14-0 last week to the 49ers, and two weeks they got blown out of their stadium by the Colts. The Chuck Pagano Colts. Believe it or not, the Dolphins are in the playoff race, and I know they’re not very good and they’ve had to switch to Matt Moore. But one team has motivation here, one team has zero and has a track record of laying eggs, and I’m only laying 2 points. Gimme the Fins.

  • LittleBallofHate

    Not much to say: Dolphins (-2), Toledo (-1), Vikings (-4.5), Packers (-6.5)
    All Play: Giants (-5.5)
    Essay
    Steelers (-3) at Bengals
    Roethlisberger is 21-4 in games played in the State of Ohio. It looks like it might be a steady dose of Bell since the Bengals are ranked 25th against the run. The Bengals have looked better the past two weeks but they still manage to lose their poise against the Steelers plus Burfict hasn’t had a good unsportsmanlike conduct penalty yet this year which means he is due. Less than a year after the Steelers took advantage of the Bengals crumbling late to knock them out of the playoffs, they will knock the Bengals out of playoff contention on Saturday.

  • Lucy Lawrence

    1. Rams L
    2. So Miss -4.5

  • HitTheHorns

    App St

    • HitTheHorns

      Essay Bengals +3
      Decked would appear to be stacked against Cincy here: Steelers winners of 6 of 7 in Cincy, Ben always dominant in Ohio, a limited or sitting out AJ Green, Steelers D line leading the league in sacks over past 4 weeks, Dalton getting hit often. Steelers needing a win to keep pace to win the division, Cincy and maybe Marvin Lewis playing out the string. I’ll take the home team getting points in an ugly, cold game that will hopefully buy Lewis another year to coach.

      Cowboys
      Saints
      Broncos
      NYG

  • Brian

    Houston -4
    Toledo -1
    New Mexico -7
    Ravens -6
    Lions +5
    Green Bay -6.5 ***Essay***

    The packers look to be rolling now that they have Aaron Rodgers looking like his MVP self and Clay Matthews back on the defense. They are scary good right now on both sides of the ball and they look to be a team that nobody wants to play. This should be a game where dom capers can run a brutal defensive strategy against matt barkley and a struggling bears team. I dont see the bears scoring to much especially if the weather is garbage again. They have few to no weapons where green bay has many weapons. The bears D isnt good enough to hold Green Bay down and the bears offense isnt good enough to keep this within 7, so i’ll take the packers for 3

  • zarathustra

    Houston tonight for one point.

  • AP: Lions +5 at Giants
    Houston U -4 vs. SDSU – Ward is going to need this for his draft highlight reel
    **non-essay essay**Toledo -1 vs Appy State: In lieu of writing 100 words, I have 100 boxes to unpack
    Youngstown +9 vs EWU
    Raiders -3 vs Chargers
    Central Florida -6 vs Ark. State

  • Nick

    Bears +6.5 vs Packers. Doing this from my phone so this might read like Finnegins Wake. We moved in to our new house in Downers Grove, IL Thursday! Get a call from co-worker Friday to go to bears packers Sunday, which sounds like a terrible idea, so I’m going. Company seats in the united club so its not heavy lighting. But I have a cold and my body is overworked so it is definitely stupid.

    Anytime the temperatue drops below 60 degrees, my hands get cold, so i dont know how these football players play without gloves. I thought yoga would improve my circulation, but alas, im stuck with cold hands for life. Im taking bears because Ewing theory going on without Cutler and Rodgers is banged up and I’m a hopeless homer.

    Lions +5 vs Gmen
    Ravens -6 vs Eagles
    Falcons -14 vs 49ers
    Bills -10 vs Browns
    Steelers -3 vs Bengals

  • Capitalgg

    [All-play] Lions +5 @ Giants: Expecting a low-scoring game, so I’ll take the points.
    1. San Diego St. +4 v. Houston: What’s the motivation for Houston here? SDSU has a RB they need to get a record for.
    2. New Mexico -7 v. UTSA: Roadrunners make a bowl game! And UNM gets a home game.
    3. Jets +2 v. Dolphins: ‘Phins plus cold minus QB equals L.
    4. Vikings -4.5 v. Colts: Colts are secretly terrible. Vikings have huge home field advantage.

    Hey kids! It’s total Cheddar fun as the the Fun Belt battles MACtion. How was this not the All-Play? I’ll just say the game slate this week is simply absolute garbage, so a “wackier” play would have been more appropriate. I’m moving on, but I’m totally playing Appy St. v. Toledo. Here’s an analysis…

    The Boys from Boone are 9-3 with 3 mostly quality losses (against either a good team or up a weight class). They have losses in Knoxville, against a secretly pretty good Miami and at super hot late Troy. The rest of their schedule they dominated including over bowl teams Idaho and Louisiana-Lafayette. And they did it with a solid defense that ranked in the top of FBS.

    Toledo is the an identical 9-3 having quality losses to BYU by 2, MAC runner-up Ohio by 5 and by 10 to unbeaten Western Michigan. The Guys from the Glass City have bowl wins over Arkansas St., Eastern Michigan, and Central Michigan. While Toledo plays pretty decent defense, they do it mostly with a lethal offense lead by RB Kareem Hunt (1355 yards rushing), QB Logan Woodside (3882 yards passing), and 4 receivers with 40+ catches, 3 of which have over 700 receiving yards.

    On a personal level, my eldest cousin holds a Communications degree from Appalachian St and my sister graduated from Toledo with an Education degree. So I’ve been following both of these schools/teams for quite some time and I have a lot of affection for both.

    So the pick is… defense wins! Appalachian St. +1 over Toledo. Enjoy the Camellia Bowl from lovely Montgomery, Alabama.

    Other Considerations:
    Packers -6.5 @ Bears
    Broncos +3 v. Patriots
    Buccaneers +6.5 @ Cowboys
    Titans +5.5 @ Chiefs
    Indigenous Persons -5 v. Panthers

  • jdoepke

    Lions +5 (AP)
    UTSA +7
    App St +1
    Broncos +3
    Bears +6.5

    Essay:
    Central Michigan +12.5

    Don’t ask me what I know about CMU or Tulsa. The only thing that worries me here is that the line is climbing. 90% of the wagers on Tulsa according to Vegasinsider.com, yet 73% of money on CMU. 61% public on Tulsa according to Covers. I love MAC underdogs in bowls and the O/U of 70 suggests some points so I’m gonna say the Chippewas cover here 38-31.

  • Jmacdaddio

    Houston -4
    Patriots -3
    Raiders -3
    Falcons -14 (Essay)
    Ravens -6
    Giants -5 (AP)

    This week is all favorites. It’s the path of least resistance and this late in the year I don’t feel like thinking about anything. The Falcons are scoring points, and the Niners are coming off a home loss to the Jets to give an indication of just how bad they are. I’d wager that Chip Kelly’s time is short too. It’s not that the Niners are bad, it’s that they are terrible with no rays of hope. I don’t see them showing up at all crossing the country for a game that they have no stake in. Also it’s fun to go with double-digit NFL spreads.

  • RCLA

    Gimme Houston. I might essay it if I have time tomorrow, but if not 1 unit

  • GRRustlers

    Week 16 Picks

    UNM (-7) over UTSA – I asked what the reaction in South Bend would be to buying billboards with Bob Davie on them asking if they miss him yet. The time it took him to draw that middle finger back with dashes was impressive.

    Dolphins (-2) over Jets – More Jets in prime time?

    Packers (-6.5) over Bears
    Falcons (-14) over 49ers

    AP – Lions (+5) over Giants

    Essay Pick

    The only thing that is even keeping me above the red line is the essay pick. It’s been a frustrating year and if I can hang on for three more weeks and get that playoff spot everything will be worth it because I feel lost this year when looking at games.

    This brings me to the Cleveland Browns. I ask you a simple yet insane question. Have the Browns had their doors blown off yet? I mean really truly embarrassed from the opening gun. I’m here to tell you that they have not. They have only lost two games by 20+ points. In a rational world you could make a case that most games they have had a chance to win. I mean we are talking about the Browns here but take away the Patriots and the Cowboys games and you can find turning points where a normal NFL team steals a game.

    Sunday is the day it all falls apart. The Bills still have something to play for and I have this fear that this is the Sunday that RG3 completely falls apart. The Browns turn the ball over early and often and the Bills just run the ball all day.

    Bills (-10) over Browns

  • Chris P.

    Appalachian State +1 Toledo
    Tulsa -12.5 Central MIchigan
    Dolphins -2 Jets
    Chiefs -5.5 Titans
    Lions +5 Giants

    Yeah. I suppose the coach matters, but talent matters more. This isn’t ancient Mongolia where “An army of tigers led by a donkey beats an army of donkeys led by a lion.”

    Absent a giant US Naval Academy sized fluke, I’ve not seen anything to convince me that San Diego State should be on the same field as Houston, regardless of whether or not Houston feels it is better than the Las Vegas Bowl.

    The line has only moved a half a point to -4, and it should have moved seven times that much to -7. This is an easy won for a scorned Houston team that should be ready to say “Screw Tom Herman, we’re winning this thing.”

    Motivation is a finicky thing, and I don’t trust the people who think Houston isn’t motivated. I’m not hearing that from anyone who isn’t guessing.

    Houston -4 San Diego State

    • Chris P.

      yeah, got that metaphor backwards but who cares, my point stands

  • actovegin1armstrong

    Browns +10 1 vote
    UTSA +7 1 vote
    Dolphins -2 1 vote
    Toledo -1 1 vote
    Lions +5 1 vote AP
    Raiders -3 3 votes ****

    • actovegin1armstrong

      The NFL may have it in for The Greatness of The Raiders, recently foiling them with an errant camera cable and still serving a long tradition of zebras throwing yellow satchels, but I do not care, it is time to fight the power. Last week I bucked the powers of good taste and any semblance of sense by throwing 42 Jason Pierre-Paul “hand/finger jokes” in one essay, why not take on the NFL this week? The Raiders have sued the NFL almost every time they have moved and they will certainly be at odds with the NFL again when they want to move from Vegas to San Antonio.
      In their first game this year Rivers had some success against the Oakland secondary, but despite some injuries the Raiders are looking better against the pass and their cornerbacks are playing up more, making their chance of jumping routes for interceptions much more likely. I do not care if they give up 400 yards, if they get 2 interceptions in the process I will take it as a win. Rivers has thrown 10 interceptions in the last 4 games. Is there any reason that should not continue? Rivers had an absolutely amazing 4 interceptions in the 4th quarter against the Dolphins. Playing the Raiders, Rivers will channel the ghosts of George Blanda and Brett Favre, both players had terrific flashes of brilliance, and they also had an amazing ability to throw the ball to the other team to break the monotony of matriculating the ball down the field. Rivers has spent his career on the verge of greatness, but now he is galloping to the glue factory. We are out of patience and but a scant few are saying that the Chargers may win it all next year. Rivers has run out of “next years”, water under the bridge.
      “For all sad words of tongue and pen, the saddest are these, ‘it might have been’”.

  • So I started looking at this FCS game tonight, James Madison University v. North Dakota State University, and it looks like this is going to be a great one tonight in the Fargodome (Fargodome!). NDSU, according to Wikipedia, the top seed in this tournament, “is known as one of the greatest dynasties in college football history” having become the only college football program to ever win 5 straight national championships and having won 17 straight playoff games and counting in the process. On the other side, No. 4 seed James Madison, who last won a national title in 2004, comes in on the rise and as hot as a team could be, having just destroyed the No. 5 seed, Sam Houston State, the highest scoring team in the nation, by a score of 65-7.

    NDSU beat Iowa this year, and Iowa beat Michigan, so that’s something. On the other side, JMU had a 21-14 first quarter lead over UNC before getting blown out in the rest of the game to lose 56-28. But like Bernie Kosar said during the Mangini years, you can only outscheme a more physically talented opponent for so long.

    Which gets to the main reason I will make JMU my vote of the week, first year(!) head coach Mike Houston. This is as impressive a football coach’s resume as you’ll ever see, at least at this stage of a career: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mike_Houston_(American_football)

    Plus, JMU’s junior QB Bryan Schor completed 75% of his passes this year, with 24 touchdowns and only 5 INTs on his way to becoming Colonial Athletic Association player of the year.

    So I am buying journalist Richie Bozek’s “Product Life-Cycle Theory” theory when it comes to this game.

    http://www.breezejmu.org/sports/jmu-football-looks-to-complete-season-of-growth-knock-north/article_2918dcba-c240-11e6-9596-4304c74cc588.html

    And I’m with The (Staunton, VA) News Leader reader Rebecca Boyd, in asking: “Where’s the JMU football coverage?”

    http://www.newsleader.com/story/opinion/readers/2016/12/14/wheres-jmu-football-coverage/95418530/

    Finally, the JMU mascot is a bulldog decked out in a royal purple cape and crown. Roll Damn JMU Duke Dogs.

    • this game has been a homerun to watch and 10 minutes left.

      • It was a great game

      • Holy cow Youngstown State

        • those two games were fantastic.
          i cannot believe and hate to admit that i forgot bo pellini was coaching YSU.
          i hope he tells any and all D1 programs who want to sign him to go screw. except ND.
          pellini at ND would be priceless.

    • 2) San Diego State

      • 22 Cheddar points to 1 on the Raiders over the Chargers? Is Rivers still playing QB for SD? Is the Raiders secondary still the Raiders secondary? Should the Raiders have hired Mangini over Del Rio? Check, check, and check.

        3) Chargers
        4) Lions
        5) Bills
        6) Bucs

  • mmmmsnouts

    I don’t like how many chalk plays I have, but the only other underdog I really considered was San Diego St. So let’s go with these.

    ALL PLAY: Giants -5. Just accept it, these guys are winning the Super Bowl and their lunch pail hard hat freedom ain’t free 80s movie villain dweeb of a coach is going to be holding the Lombardi aloft with a sneer on his face, an avatar of our shitty new doomed country. Also the Lions are what, 26th in DVOA?

    Raiders -3 vs. Chargers
    Broncos +3 vs. Patriots
    UCF -6 vs. Arkansas State
    Tulsa -12.5 vs. Central Michigan

    ESSAY: Cowboys -6.5 vs. Bucs

    I was going to write everything CLEVTA wrote about overreacting to the Cowboys game last week because it’s absolutely happening here. If you have three CBs who rise up and play physical lockdown man coverage for the whole game, and that allows you to blitz on every passing down, and those blitzes get home every time, then you too will have a chance to beat the Dallas Cowboys. Tampa… does not have those things. Also they can’t run the ball and they’ve had too many WR injuries to get a coherent passing game together. I honestly don’t know how they managed to win five in a row but it certainly won’t be six in a row. Plus you’re giving me the hook? How sloppy of you, Vegas.

    Side note, I will not be attending this game despite living 5 minutes from Jerry World. I did that the last time the Bucs came to town and it was a horrible experience. Not unlike breaking into prison, or loading cattle on to the killing floor. The stadium is designed to emphasize class and if you belong to teh poorz then it is blatantly obvious when you go there. I’ll watch at home and maybe spend that money on a Mike Evans jersey in support of free speech.

  • CLEVTA

    1. App St +1
    2. Giants -5 (all play)
    3. Niners +14
    4. Tulsa -12.5
    5. UTSA +7
    6. Dallas -6.5 (essay): This is such a typical overreaction to short term results, aka recency bias. The reason the books win so much money from the public is from this exact bias. So Dak and the cowboys had to go on the road on primetime in consecutive weeks against two of the top 3 pass defenses in the NFL. So yeah its not a shock that Dak didnt light them up. And lets be fair, the Cowboys have had it easy for 11 weeks and literally have nothing to play for anymore. So now the whole world thinks Tampa is going to come into Dallas and not only cover but win outright. I’d count about 50/50 the number of analysts and radio/tv announcers who I’ve heard pick Tampa outright. This is lunacy. Tampa has played well lately but is still 28th defensively on a yards/play basis. You don’t think Dak, Dez, Zeke and that OL have heard all week how bad they are now all of the sudden and how Romo should replace Dak? One of my favorite spots in the NFL is this exact scenario where a good team gets talked badly about all week in the media. Motivation matters a ton in the NFL. Tampa’s best LB, Lavonte David, is now very questionable and you cant lose your best tackler against this running game. Dallas bounces back in a major way this week by double digits

  • Galea Minor

    Lions +5 over Giants (all-play)
    Browns +10 over Bills
    CMU +12.5 over Tulsa
    Skins -5 over Panthers
    Texans -6 over Jags
    Packers -6.5 over Bears (essay)

    • Galea Minor

      Tank Mode Bears rolling back into town for what will purportedly be the coldest game in Soldier Field history. I’ve seen a game there, it’s fucking cold. There will be no one there except 10,000 cheeseheads who made the drive.

      I thought Matt Barkley looked pretty solid last week against the Lions. Of course, the Bears still gave that game away, because they are trying to lock up that Deshaun Watson pick (Brad Kaaya pick? DeShone Kizer? Mitch Trubisky? The QB class is starting to get fun). But Barkley could have a future in the Shaun Hill type role.

      No one else on the Bears is good. They’re really young and take loads of penalties. Their pass catchers are atrocious. Jordan Howard has been a good find, but that’s about it. Now that Jeff Fisher is gone, John Fox has officially replaced him as the new Jeff Fisher. There is no fight, there’s no reason to fight, and there’s never going to be a fight for the 2016 Bears.

      OTOH, the Packers know they still can win the division, and with Stafford’s injury, they have the Lions square in their sights. They aren’t going to let this crap-ass Bears team get in the way.

  • thatsfine

    Rams +16

  • pheasantpants

    Jim Harbaugh’s Future Team +16 tonight

    • pheasantpants

      Dallas -6.5
      Detroit (all play) +5
      Green Bay -6.5

  • Lucy Lawrence

    1. Rams +16

  • Matt Lawrence

    Rams +16

  • 1dolphins -2
    tannehill is out but ajayi is in and running behind this guy. for the winner of this year’s dez bryant award for most underdrafted first rounder, tunsil’s numbers are not great but likely reflective of the rookie learning curve. you would think the jets run D would be among the nfl’s best but using PFR’s ‘how RBs do against team defenses using fantasy metrics’ chart, the jet’s are just middlin. (yes i miss the old, non-mobile-device-friendly pfr site that actually had a ‘team defense’ compilation. of course i do.) the whole ‘in playoff hunt’ versus ‘not’ resonates. no one likes playing in the cold whether they’re based in miami or green bay. but playoff contenders are smelling a goal while the jets’ will just be trying to keep their feet warm on the sidelines. and i don’t even have to give a full FG? in.
    did you know adam gase is from yspilanti? it’s the year of EMU and miami is in on it.

    2unm -7
    3giants -4 (the sameoldlions as ref’d by galea’s essay last week were not exorcized in their struggle against the bears.)
    4chiefs -5.5 (pate had me talked into taking the chiefs over the raiders last week and she was right.. though she still took the raiders.)
    5texans -6 (not really big on this game but it gives me a chance to pontificate on the perils of drafting qbs as franchise saviors. fucking gus bradley has lost this team and will lose his job because the jax equivalent of mary kay cabot mobilized the pftcommenter brigade into pressing a nervous GM and new owner that ‘you have to draft a QB.’ IT HAPPENS EVERY YEAR. here’s hoping it the browns are armored sufficiently with ‘analytics’ to where they can fend off the draft a QB in the first round crowd.)
    6bengals +3 (no one gets more out better 5-7 teams in december than marvin.)

    • ok who was i kidding — of course i want to play the FCS games!
      drop chiefs and texans; add JMU and EWU.

  • cwonder23

    Rams +16 for one Cheddar point please.

    • cwonder23

      Rams +16 (L)
      Dolphins -2
      Steelers -3
      Central Michigan +12.5
      All Play: Lions +5
      Essay: Bucs +6.5

      The Buccaneers defense has really turned the corner while Dak has shown signs of mortality over the past few weeks. With the ROMO situation in Dallas, I expect the rookie QB to try and press things here. The Bucs have a real shot at the playoffs and have been impressive of late. I expect this to be a lower scoring game with Dallas having to rely heavily on Zeke. Bucs 14 – Boys 10.

  • zarathustra

    Rams tonight. Might be back to essay it.

  • ChuckKoz

    Seahawks -16 (Rams)

  • agnesbojaxhiu

    Yay, first to comment! And hurray for college football choices-a week of prestigious bowl game to choose from (they must be good because I keep accidentally writing bowel instead of bowl in my notes). This week my goal was to get my votes in before Frowns could talk me into a virgin lobsterita again. I know he professes that I am the bossy one, but he has decades of football voting experience and I am still learning the difference between a bootleg and an option (though I think maybe they should allow the flying wedge again as it would spice up the game http://ordinary-gentlemen.com/2015/09/14/the-flying-wedge-the-greatest-play-in-football/). This week I am taking a chance on Toledo again. I usually have a rule against essaying anyone who has lost me points before, but my rules have not served me well these last few weeks. Toledo’s is ranked 4th in total yards and 18th in total points while Appalachia is 56th and 65th. Toledo’s quarterback has a 43/9 TD/Int ratio while Appalachia’s is 14/8. The only mutual opponent they had was Akron U and Toledo won 48 to 17 vs Appalachia’s 45 to 38. I’m going to ignore the stats on Appalachia’s superior defense and hope for the best. The Raycom Camellia Bowl seems destine to be a good one with all the great press it has been getting in the news (http://www.camelliabowl.com/toldeo-visits-local-hyundai-plant/) and with its long history of great games and exciting match ups (2 total).

    Other votes
    San Diego State +4
    UTSA +7
    Southern Mississippi -4.5 (which I found out was is Mississippi’s only beachfront campus when I was googling the school to figure out which abbreviation in the votes list was its)
    CMU +12.5
    Lions +5