Wk 17, Ravens +4.5 at Steelers.

We are down to the wire and as happens every year, the struggle to get over the red line is intense.  The number to beat in the last two years has been 79 and it looks like that will hold true again.  There are still quite few POTYs out on the board which will only add to drama.

Given the collective degeneracy among those of us still playing even though we’re realistically out, we should probably set up some side game to handicap the playoff pool.  I don’t know quite how to do that and I sure don’t know how to administer the book that would take action on something like what’s showing at right.  

Anyway, just something to kick around and yeah, that’s my back of the envelope handicapping for our playoffs going into Week 17.

I’ll add another column next week showing max possible points and check marking who’s clinched, alive, and dead.

To those at the top, don’t take your foot off the gas:  regular season winner gets dough somewhere north of $500.


Placeholder post to get the mid-week bowls repped.  Lines:
Tues/Boca — Memphis +7 vs. WKU;
Wed/Poinsettia — BYU -10 vs. Wyo.

Pending late line:  MTSU/Hawaii.


Download (PDF, Unknown)


Oh!  And Christmas came early here because I never knew and just discovered Norm MacDonald has been a thing on the web for a couple years. His channel is like Carson plus Space Ghost without an orchestra. Each interview is better than the last. And each episode includes a joke section and occasionally something like this:

(Actually I like this version of the joke from an Australian cricket match… let’s see Tom Hamilton pull this off.)

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  • bupalos

    Hmm I thought there would be more monday football from which to select this week. I guess I’m left essaying the Monday nighter. And I don’t know what the Monday nighter even is oh look Dallas v. Detroit well, given the glorious Saturday results, Detroit retains the title as worst football team ever so let’s just pile on here. Dallas is, apparently, good. Deplorable, yes. Awash in I’ll gotten oil gains? Yes. Pretty much the poster child for what’s wrong with the NFL and the world? Goes without saying. But Detroit is and remains Detroit. So oily fracking cowboys it is.

  • TS_Butler

    Vandy for my final cheddar point

  • bupalos

    raisins! Merry X-mas & happy Holidays!

  • oxr

    All-Play Steelers -4.5 over Ravens
    Cowboys -7 over Lions

    Got to pick all tomorrow’s college games because I screwed up yesterday:
    Miami Ohio +13.5 over
    Boston College +1 over Maryland
    NC State -4 over Vanderbilt

    Essay/Pick of the Year Broncos +3.5 over Chiefs – Missed out on NFL picks yesterday in the usual Christmas Eve hurly-burly, but I’m going to make up for it by cashing in my POTY on the lost cause of the Denver Broncos’ playoff hopes. This is partly a defensible Cheddar play and partly sentimental nonsense, as the Broncos’ improbable journey to the Super Bowl behind a cardboard cutout of Peyton Manning was a great joy for me to watch, and seemingly kicked off a run of several unlikely blessings that I’ll always remember 2016 for. As a glance at the standings makes clear, none of said blessings involved my correctly picking football games, but that’s OK too.

    This is hopefully going to be a low-scoring game in which Denver’s defense will discombobulate Alex Smith. Admittedly, the offense has had its share of sucking-related issues lately, but it only takes a couple of plays here and there. The Chiefs are a better team but they haven’t exactly been putting their opponents away lately (5 games decided by 3 points or fewer since the beginning of November). Derrick Johnson is out for the rest of the year. Picking the Broncos to keep things close and maybe pull the upset. Merry Christmas, everyone!

  • Matt Lawrence

    Steelers
    Chiefs****
    I know the Chiefs lost last week against the Titans but they are still a top team in the NFL in my opinion. The Broncos are on the down and Trevor Simien is not very good. The Chiefs are playing for the division while the Broncos are not playing for much. I’ll take the home team today.

  • Dave Borcas

    Merry Christmas to all

    BC +1
    Vanderbilt +4
    Mississippi State -13.5
    Cowboys -7
    Chiefs -3.5
    Stillers-4.5 (all play and essay) using no essay week

  • TS_Butler

    Bengals were input as winner, but texans covered 1.5, it’s xmas eve, and this is my concern

    • haha wow! sorry, youre right to be concerned on any night considering the stakes! fixed!

  • pheasantpants

    AP: Steelers -4.5
    Lions +7
    Maryland -1
    Broncos +4.5
    NCSU -4

  • cwonder23

    Chargers -6
    Cardinals +8
    49ers +3.5
    All Play: Ravens +4.5
    Essay: Missy St -13.5

    I don’t know much about either of these teams but graduated from Miami. I just don’t think they can handle an SEC team in a bowl game. Winning 6 games in a row in the MAC isn’t as easy as winning a bowl game. I expect missy st to take control in this game. Good year for Miami all things considered but it ends here. Missy St 40 – Miami 20.

  • TS_Butler

    The Texans made the biggest change of any NFL team last week, finally benching osweiler, who sucked. Hopkins is alive again, and Tom savage has never looked better. The bengals have been overrated all season. This game is basically a pick at -1.5, and I don’t think the Texans will lose at home to cincy, who has nothing to play for, and weren’t any good to begin with. Merry Christmas everybody, apologize to your wives in advance, and watch football all day! Glorious holidays!

  • TS_Butler

    Titans
    Washington
    Chargers
    Falcons
    Texans
    Barely beating the deadline here, damn Christmas. College pick and Texans essay coming.

    • TS_Butler

      Realized I didn’t pick all play, no chargers please

  • Matt Borcas

    Chargers, Titans, Texans

    • Matt Borcas

      Steelers

  • pateslvrblk

    MiamiO
    Cowboys
    Skins
    Chargers
    Steelers
    Seahawks

    Seahawks -8
    Basically Carson Palmer sucks balls and that Richard Sherman corner back the hags have is going to put a good old fashion ass whoop’n on Carson’s Air game. The Hags defense will score at least one touchdown. Turn overs will decide this game. I can’t stand the Sea Hags myself, but I see a perfect storm brewing with the cardinals air game and Hags defense…

  • Galea Minor

    Steelers -4.5 over Ravens (All-play)
    Maryland -1 over BC
    Texans -1.5 over Bengals
    Packers -6.5 over Vikings
    Seahawks -8 over Cardinals
    Lions +7 over Cowboys (Essay)

  • Lucy Lawrence

    1. Philly W
    2. LaTech
    3. Hawaii +7
    4. Titans -4.5
    5. Essay: Minn +6.5
    6. Back tomorrow with all Play

    I’m always a fan on getting a significant amount of points in a division game. Packers are playing well right now and I think this pick stands out to the public. Really the teams they have beat the last few weeks aren’t top tear (Chicago, Philly, and Houston). So I’m going to go against the old packers playing well, Minnesota can’t score theory. Minnesota wants to do its part in ruining the Packers playoff scenario. I think if Bradford can do his part and not give the ball away and muster up some pts the Minnesota d line can give Rodgers fits and keep this game close.

    • Lucy Lawrence

      Merry Christmas
      6. All Play: Steelers

  • FlyHighCharlieFrye

    Vandy +4
    Ravens +4.5
    Dolphins +4
    Titans -4.5
    Chargers -6

    Bengals +1.5

    What the hell, right? I know the Bengals are down to their JV team but all the pressure is on the Texans and Tom Savage, who’s making his first start. Being better than Osweiler is not the tallest of tasks but having everything to play for with your running back out seems less than ideal. The Bengals have a kicker now, they have some young kids getting some run and they still have a good defense. I think two field goals and two turnovers are the difference here and you see some classic Bill O’Brien faces on the sideline

  • John

    I took last week off, and still didn’t have my worst week.

    Chargers (-6) over Browns
    Seahawks (-8) over Cardinals
    Miss State (-13.5) over Miami Ohio
    Chiefs (-3.5) over Broncos
    all play – Steelers (-4.5) over Ravens
    ***essay*** Bears (+3) over Redskins

    • John

      I have zero negative reward for my essay selection. I’m in the bottom 10 already…so …with literally 45% of the starting offensive starters out for this game, I think the Bears keep it low scoring, and end up winning this game,

      please don’t watch this game. It may win ‘least watchable game of the season’…but …just like all these Browns fans, I am a true fan…and will truly put my $$ where my mouth is…

  • Matt Lawrence

    Eagles (W)
    La Tech (L)
    Vikings
    Bengals

  • trashycamaro

    Essay: Falcons -2.5 at Panthers The kitties keep being pretty terrible and the birds are getting Julio back. Honestly, even without Julio, though, the Falcons would still be up on this one. The panthers just cannot stop the pass. Even Thomas Davis and Kuechly do well against TEs and RBs, but they are no match for the speed and quickness out of Coleman and Freeman. Importantly, this year the Falcons learned how to block pass rushers (hi Alex Mack!) and giving Matty Ice the time to throw down field against the Panthers woeful secondary is a bad plan for anyone.

    On the other side of tha ball the panthers offense has not been clicking and Beasley is making sense as a 1st rounder.

    • trashycamaro

      Steelers -4.5 over the Ravens

      Miss State -13.5 over Miami Ohio

      Packers -6.5 over Vikings

      Pats -16.5 over Jets

      Bengals +1.5 over Texans

  • Skins -3. Cousins bout to make that cash in these last two games.
    Chargers -6. Because there’s no such thing as a true home game in Cleveland in 2016. Especially on Christmas Eve, where everyone in a Cleveland would rather be doing ANYTHING else.
    Ravens +4.5. I think the defense is too solid and keeps Le’Veon in check (kinda).

    $$$ Titans -4.5 $$$
    Mariota is becoming a true “franchise quarterback” by my definition of the phrase, and DeMarco Murray has been the anchor of my fantasy football team all season long. They’re playing for the division these last two weeks, and will control their own destiny when the Bengals beat the Texans tonight. While I’m at it, Houston doesn’t deserve a playoff birth, a division championship, or really any love whatsoever based on their quarterback selection this off season. Elway played them for fools, Osweiler committed the biggest heist in recent memory, and it just goes to show you that as “experienced” and data driven as scouts, GM’s, head coaches and owners (see: Cleveland Browns) claim to be, some of them still have their heads so far up their asses, that they cost their franchises millions of dollars, and years of agony for their fans and employees. (Oh hey, lookin at you there too Jags!) Not the Titans though. They seem to have things together.

    Merry Christmas everyone!

  • Hawkaholic

    Packers -6.5
    Pats -16.5
    Boston College +1
    Falcons -2.5
    AP: Steelers -4.5
    Essay: Skins -3 @ Chicago

    Chicago burned me on my essay last week with the late cover against GB so they owe me one. Chicago is just a miserable team, not saying the Redskins are world beaters but they need this one more. They are on the verge of making the playoffs and they need to have a good game here, Cousins was very pedestrian like last week and i anticipate he bounces back. The big thing that scares me in this matchup is the Redskins run defense is near the bottom of the league and Jordan Howard is playing pretty darn well for a rookie. I saw a stat this week that Howard is actually out gaining the most likely ROY Zeke Elliot in the YPC stat, pretty impressive considering how much better the Dallas OL is. In the end Skins are the more desperate team and i think they win by 6 or 7.

  • zarathustra

    Colts
    The Raiders are a very talented young team that is winning for the first time. Clinched the playoffs for the first time in over a decade last week. I don’t trust them much here. Indy can score and is a playing well trying to sneak in to the playoffs. They fought until the end of a lost season last year and I like them to keep it up here today.

    Bears
    Bears have been playing hard and coming up just short. I think this is a good spot for them to finally get it done. Skins on a Monday to Saturday short week and feeling playoff pressure. Haven’t looked at it lately, but my memory is that Cousins’ home/road splits are pretty pronounced.
    Credit to Jay Gruden for making the playoffs last year and being right there again this year. Through the first couple months of the seasons if they lost it was a close one. Now they’ve lost three of four and things seem to falling apart. I don’t think he’s the kind of coach that can right the ship. Here’s him this week:
    ” As far as mental preparation, this late in the year, we should be able to put a game plan together,” Gruden told reporters during a conference call this week. “The physical part of it is what concerns me. These big guys, they take a beating on a Sunday or a Monday night football game. You need your rest. You need to recover. That’s the biggest issue I have is the recovery time going from a Monday night to a Saturday.”

    He’s not wrong here, but it doesn’t inspire confidence that he’s already worked out an excuse for if they lose.
    I’m not a big John Fox fan, but I think he’s the kind of coach that can keep his team motivated in meaningless December games. (unlike every single Browns coach of the expansion era, except of course Mangini and he was the worst. So glad we got rid of that guy. The guys since have been so much better.)

    Texans
    The books supposedly made a decent adjustment for savage replacing osweiller but somehow are laying less than three here anyway. I still think there is some value on the Texans. People were probably beating them up too much during the losing streak. They still have a good d and have been good at home. A competent offense that doesn’t turn the ball over very well may positively impact the team’s overall performance. Seems like maybe the books are caught in tough spot here not wanting to overcompensate for osweiller being out. (Or I’m just wrong about all of this which quite frankly is the better explanation.)
    Bengals are in a big letdown spot after blowing a game that were placing their who season on last week. They are the type of team that could no-show here. Plus Burfict is out.

    • zarathustra

      the Texans pick is my official essay pick.

    • zarathustra

      Let’s make Texans my ***POTY***

      • zarathustra

        I feel gross winning that, but I’ll take it. Ravens for all-play.

  • HitTheHorns

    Miami OH
    Chargers
    Ravens
    Chiefs
    Panthers
    Bills – Matt Moore at a glance looked great in a spotlight game last weekend. They won a cold weather game on the road. 4 TD’s on 12 completions for Moore. Just enough to make Miami the rare public underdog this year. There have been rumors of Rex Ryan being fired for at least a month now, yet Buffalo has continued to be competitive. Unlike what will happen in Cleveland today, Buffalo fans will show up in snowy conditions and put some heat on the backup Miami qb. The story is that Miami has something to play for, therefore they are going to play harder and win. Buffalo can actually still get in if 100 other things happen.

  • CLEinMSP

    Miss State -13.5
    Vanderbilt +4
    Chiefs -3.5
    Bengals +1.5
    Steelers -4.5 (All Play)
    Packers -6.5 (Essay)

    Things aren’t going so great for the Vikings during the last week. They got killed at home last week against the Colts in what was pretty much a must win game from them if they wanted to make the playoffs. Then they got stranded on their plane last night after landing in GB. This is a team that started off 5-0 and now they know they are going to be shut out of the playoffs. The Packers on the other hand have won 4 straight and with a win today, they will play for the NFC crown next week at Ford Field. The Packers are scoring scoring points, and the Vikings aren’t. I’ll take Aaron Rodgers at home with 2 teams going in different directions.

  • Chris P.

    North Carolina State +4 Vanderbilt
    Boston College +1 Maryland
    Chargers -6 Browns
    Lions +7 Cowboys
    Steelers -4.5 Ravens

    So, it all went to hell last week, and the one point week happened when it could be afforded least. Luckily there’s an easy way to wrap this up with a lock of a pick. Tom Savage might not be any good. Lord knows Osweiler isn’t…. but no team has underachieved more this year than Cincinnati. SO this week.. hopes are up… a chance to salvage a couple games at the end… the balloon is swelling with pride for the Benglas as AJ Green gets ready to walk through that door (Is this the same door I declared that Manziel wasn’t walking through in week 1, and is why Charlie Strong would be leading Texas to new heights while A&M lingered in crapititude? Unclear. My track record with doors isn’t good)…. anyway.. my thought was interrupted.

    Bengals excited. Swelling with pride. Ready to win out. Best player coming back.

    Then God sticks a shank in the balloon, AJ is out for the year, and every remaining ounce of excitement leaves that locker room. Houston should roll. 1.5? In the words of everyone’s favorite all time Bengal, “Child please.”

    Texans -1.5 Bengals

  • Bucs +3 vs. Saints
    AP: Steelers -4.5 vs. Ravens
    Titans -4.5 vs. Jags
    MTSU -7 vs. Hawaii
    Broncos +3.5 vs. Chiefs
    **Essay Pick** Maryland -1 vs. BC – will be back to write my essay at a later time. TBD,

  • Harbaugh Handshakes

    Rams -3.5
    Ravens +4.5
    Chargers -6
    Lions +7
    Ncst-4
    Packers -6.5
    I’ll take a hot packers team over a vikes team that can’t score. This season feels like it’s building to a Aaron Rodgers tom Brady super bowl. I don’t think the vikes can score enough points to keep it close. The packers defense is playing much better and can keep the struggling vikes offense out of the end zone. Pack by 7

    • Capitalgg

      And now the rest of the story…

      [All-play] Steelers -4.5 v. Ravens
      2. Broncos +3.5 @ Chiefs
      3. Dolphins +4 @ Bills
      4. Jaguars +4.5 @ Titans

      Revenge is a powerful motivator. As is the shake-up a team gets from firing its head coach. The Rams have both of these things going for them against the NFL’s second worst team.

      In week 1, the Rams were blown out by the 49ers in San Fran. The ‘9ers haven’t won a game since and have been largely non-competitive. And all appearances are the team is ready to pack it in.

      L.A. hasn’t been much better getting Jeff Fisher fired before last week’s game. But here’s the thing, NFL team typically rally right after firing a coach. But the Rams fired Fisher between a Sunday and Thursday night game. So the typically fire-rally was likely put off until the Rams got 10 days to prepare for this game.

      So I’ll take Rams -3.5 at home gaining revenge against San Francisco.

      Other Considerations:
      Texans -1.5 v. Bengals
      Packers -6.5 v. Vikings
      Seahawks -8 v. Cardinals
      Vanderbilt +4 v. North Carolina St.

  • Brian

    Old Dominion -4 (Push)
    Titans -4.5 Jags fired their coach and they don’t want to win anymore games
    Redskins -3 they are 3 points better then the bears
    Chargers -6 because picking against the browns seems to bring me much needed points
    Ravens -4.5 game is always decided by fewer points, history doesn’t lie
    MTSU -7 ***ESSAY***

    Basically making this pick because no matter who decides to play QB for middle Tennessee, Hawaii is just a god awful football team. They aren’t good, but because they won 6 games they became bowl eligible so they get to play in their own bowl. Middle Tennessee has a good enough offense to put up points against a less than impressive Hawaii team. Hawaii has beaten no one impressive, with their wins coming against teams with a combined records of 12-36 and beating a middle of the road FCS 41-36. Bottom Line is, they aren’t good and MTSU is more than competent enough to beat them on their worst day. And picking against a team named the rainbow warriors makes me feel a little better. Middle Tennessee for 3 please

  • Troy -4. One cheddar. Let’s goooo.

  • zizzer13

    Troy -4 over Ohio
    Jets +16.5 over Patriots
    Steelers -4.5 over Ravens
    Middle Tennessee State -7 over Hawaii
    Cowboys -7 over Lions
    Essay: Mississippi State -13.5 over Miami

    I feel like this line is artificially low for some odd reason. Maybe it’s that Vegas thinks Miami, having won six straight to become bowl eligible, is on some kind of roll against a Mississippi State team that only got into a bowl by virtue of there being too many bowl games and not enough crappy teams to fill them. In any case, this is a Miami squad that hasn’t been to a bowl game since 2011; a Miami team that lost earlier this season to that heavyweight program, Eastern Illinois (go Panthers!); a Miami team that avoided having to face either of the two decent programs in the MAC this season in Western Michigan and Toledo; a Miami team that managed six wins against league teams that combined to win just 14 conference games this season (and 24 games total).

    Mississippi State can put up some points. They’ll do so against an average Miami team that is just happy to not be sitting in Oxford for the holidays. The Redhawks will be happy to collect their swag bags and their ass-kicking and like it.

  • zarathustra

    I’ll take Troy tonight.

  • Troy Bunting

    Essay Pic
    Bucs +3

    Jameis is playing great football. Mike Evans is a beast. Doug Martin is returning to form as a top tier running back. Tampa is definitely going to put some points up on the board. New Orleans just isn’t as scary as they have been in the past. Drew Brees isn’t playing as his usual self, which is the only reason i’m betting against him at home. New Orleans is packing it in for the year and Tampa is still chasing the playoffs. I’d bet Bucs money line if i could get some extra points!

  • ChuckKoz

    Dolphins +4 (Bills)
    Chiefs -3.5 (Broncos)
    Lions +7 (Cowboys)
    Mississippi State -13.5 (Miami)
    AP: Steelers (Ravens) -4.5
    ***POTY/ESSAY: Chargers -6 (Browns)
    I don’t want this to be and I will root against it happening as I waste what should be quality family time on Saturday watching this garbage. But the fact is: RG3 is fucking awful and cannot throw basic passes. And the defense can play admirable at moments, but their is never a game where they don’t collapse for 3 consecutive drives. Meanwhile, the Chargers are a professional football team that has been in basically every game this year and even won 5 games. Of their 9 losses, 8 are within a score and 2 point conversion. 2 of their last 3 losses were close losses to really good/hot teams, the Raiders & Buccaneers. So we have a competitive team against a team that has cratered had has not been truly competitive since October (oh, and they still lost to a garbage Jets team). I hate this, but its not even a close call.
    Chargers 28, Browns 13

    • good luck!

      • ChuckKoz

        my late season rally has ended and I am out…..glad i could sacrifice for the greater good

  • Brian

    Old Dominion -4

  • Jmacdaddio

    Louisiana Tech -6
    Vanderbilt +4
    Chiefs -3.5
    Browns +6
    Buccaneers +3 (Essay)
    Steelers -4.5 (AP)

    I was tempted to essay the Chiefs, however it’s a hard sell to put the essay on them winning by more than a field goal when they’ve had scoring problems of late. I’m also tempted to put the triple cheddar on LA Tech, however I feel bad going against a service academy (despite Navy having hit the wall). I’ve learned to never, ever essay the Browns, despite this week being the last winnable game of the season… against a West Coast team making dealing with the time difference… on a holiday weekend…. after a short week… did I mention the Browns’ opponents aren’t quite sure where they’re playing next year?

    Once again my love-hate with the NFL continues. Owners are holding cities hostage, first for stadiums, now for training complexes. When will the pro sports bubble burst?

    Meanwhile, the Bucs are looking more like a contender. The Saints are a whole lot of “meh” this season. They scored a lot last week, however I’ll give more weight to the Bucs playing the Cowboys close for analyzing recent performance. As for the crowd and the noise, there’s nothing quite like a disappointing season intersecting with a major holiday to cause no-shows. I expect the Bucs to win and keep pace with the Falcons.

  • GRRustlers

    Week 17 Picks

    ODU (-4) over EMU – Adds to bet against MAC East whenever possible. Oh…Eastern is in the West. Whatever.

    Mississippi State (-13.5) over Miami OH – See MAC East.

    Dolphins (+4) over Bills – The best thing Simmons ever wrote was “Ewing Theory” See: Ryan Tannehill.

    Chiefs (-3.5) over Broncos

    AP – Steelers (-4.5) over Ravens – Laugh it up but when Tomlin runs out 22 steel workers in Week 17 to cost the Browns their perfect season and the number one pick the rivalry will be back.

    Essay Pick

    Anytime you get a chance to bet on the first team in the history of the Sun Belt to be nationally ranked against the “champion” of the MAC East you have to do it. Troy has had some time to recover from a tough finish and will match up with an Ohio team that I just don’t see scoring enough points to keep up with Troy. I expect Chunn to have a big night over an overrated Ohio defense that padded numbers over offensive juggernauts like Akron, Kent, Miami and Buffalo. Those four powerhouses put up a total of 30 points. Troy retaining a good young coach like Neal Brown only helps Troy moving forward.

    Troy (-4) over Ohio

    • GRR, I was surprised you didn’t have Idaho this week, though Troy did work out for you

      • GRRustlers

        I thought about it briefly but I have such an irrational hate towards Colorado State that I just decided to move on. I’m going to miss Idaho next year.

  • bupalos

    giants!

  • Lucy Lawrence

    1. philly +2.5

    • Lucy Lawrence

      2. LaTech -6

  • thatsfine

    Eagles, can’t resist.

    • thatsfine

      Ohio +4

      • thatsfine

        Bears +3 essay
        Colts +3.5

        I’m rolling with the Bears for a 3rd straight essay. The Bears have shown themselves to be a “live dog” in putting up a fight while going 1-4 over the past 5 weeks, all losses to teams with winning records. To recap: loss to the Giants by 6, Titans by 6, a 20 point win over SF, loss to the Lions by 3, then Green Bay by 3 last week. They haven’t had anything to play for during that span, but still do not look like a team that has given up on the season. Washington has the NFL’s 28th ranked defense (22nd rushing / 26th passing) playing on a short week and needs a win bad.They’re 1-3 over the past 4 which has put them behind Green Bay and Tampa Bay for the playoffs. The pressure is on only one team here, and I like the Bears to cover at home again.

        • thatsfine

          I was due for a crap week.
          Ravens +4.5

  • LittleBallofHate

    https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/1bcc397f1dc746282e95bf2503e5a9b930221453266353bc4a4279e4c57703f5.jpg
    Not much to say — Giants (-2.5), Bucs (+3), Titans (-4.5), Chiefs (-3.5). All play — Steelers (-4.5)
    Essay
    The Armed Forces Bowl (La. Tech -6 vs. Navy)
    First of all, both teams get these lovely festive holiday sweaters. If that wasn’t enticing enough to wager three Cheddar points on, then the fact that Navy will start its third-string quarterback should be. Louisiana Tech has one of the top passing offenses in the nation. Considering the Middies don’t face a lot of vaunted passing attacks, this could be another long day for them.

  • Matt Lawrence

    Eagles +2.5

    • Matt Lawrence

      La Tech -6

  • Folks, I’ve got some hot stuff here for the Cheddar Bay gossip pages. A shot of Agnes having a bowl of potato soup in preparation for her must-win playoff essay on Idaho in the Famous Idaho Potato Bowl.

    Frankly, it seems Unamerican in a bad way to not vote on Idaho in the Famous Idaho Potato Bowl, especially with Idaho voters like Agnes making such rigorous pre-game commitments. Put me in for one vote on the Vandals.

    https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/27e36d2c9d7c5ee301bd60aaca1e9ef94d1b7f5885ffdc9a21753455acb1792a.jpg

    • In other news, this Giants/Eagles line sure is interesting (Philly now -1 IRL). Surprised and also not surprised that more people aren’t on it tonight.

      • Ah, friggit, New York Football Giants for one vote.

        • Oops, there goes my lobster. Anyway, I’ll make Eastern Michigan +4 over Old Dominion my vote of the week. I’ve said since the middle of the season that I’d vote on EMU in their bowl game and I don’t see any reason to back down now that the glorious occasion of the Popeye’s Bahamas Bowl is upon us. Their turnaround is one of the best stories of this college football season and their quarterback Brogan Roback can play some ball. I must admit I haven’t seen Old Dominion play, ever, let alone this season, but it looks like their schedule was horrible trash this year. I don’t see anything as impressive there as EMU’s win over Wyoming, and EMU also hung tough with Western Mich. So fly Eagles fly and happy holidays to all.

          • famous idaho potatos on blue turf followed by popeye’s bahama bowl and the ultimate cheddar bay 2016 perfecta: Idaho and EMU. well fucking done.

          • Thanks, Boss. Wyoming on Weds wasn’t bad either. Glad to be reminded that there are some things we will always agree on. <3

          • Saints for one.

          • Raisins for the all play

  • TS_Butler

    Are the playoffs this year only going to consist of NFL playoff games? I thought usually the major bowls would be included, but this year they mostly come before week 17 of NFL ends. Maybe I’m missing something?

    • We will announce shortly but the end of the regular season always coincides with the last NFL game. We try to work as much college into the playoffs as we can, given that constraint.

      • TS_Butler

        Yea, week 17 felt later than usual to me this year – maybe with it being on a holiday – but it turns out it’s actually 2 days earlier than last year.

  • cwonder23

    NYG +2.5

  • FTCMikeD

    EAGLES +2.5 over Giants
    PANTHERS +2.5 over Falcons
    RAIDERS -3.5 over Colts
    AP: STEELERS -4.5 over Ravens
    Cardinals +8 over SEAHAWKS
    *****
    The Famous Idaho Potato Bowl is not a top tier bowl destination. But it may mean everything for the Idaho Vandals, who are essentially being relegated to the FCS after this season. This is only their 3rd bowl berth in 21 years. They have all the motivation in the world against the Rams, who were only able to sell 400 some tickets. One of the only places colder than Fort Collins in the winter is Boise, I doubt I’d make the trip too. Look for Idaho to keep it close. They wouldn’t want to let down 98 year old Peg McGee after all… http://www.kivitv.com/news/idaho-vandal-surprises-grandmother-before-famous-potato-bowl (This is my POTY since I never used it)

  • actovegin1armstrong

    Ohio +4
    DC Pro Football Team -3
    Bucs +3
    Chiefs -3.5
    AP Steelers -4.5

    • actovegin1armstrong

      ****essay**** With many thanks and all appropriate blame to Mr Nick Harlow for helping me decide upon which pick to make 3 votes
      Middle Tennessee State may be playing this game without a quarterback. The peasants are rejoicing! They have had three quarterbacks injured and their 4th string is still in High School. Does anyone remember that Baylor game when they said “We don’t need no stinking quarterback”, they averaged about 8 yards a run the rest of the game and played the most exciting football since the great “3 yards and a cloud of dust” and “student body right” were abandoned? I like it when a team plays 11 on 11 for a change.
      Hawaiiii beat two really bad teams just to become bowl illegible, they were 4-7. Hawaiiii has a terrible defense, I only watched them once and to quote an Oscar worthy performance which has not, will not be scrutinized by my very fallible “eye test”, “what we have here is a failure to communicate”.
      Our esteemed colleague Mr Harlow had the most brilliant insight which I am happy to steal. Hawaii shall be playing what is essentially a home game. They will be drained of their respective strength by their parasitic family members and the stress of the dark clouds of holiday spirit.
      “Once again we come to the Holiday season, a very religious time everyone observers in their own way by going to the mall of their choice” Dave Barry
      Middle Tenn State, whatever the line shall be

      • agnesbojaxhiu

        Just keep shakin the bushes boss

      • Nick

        “If there’s anything more important than my ego around, I want it caught and shot now.”

        Chicago area thin crust ranked:
        1) Vito & Nick’s
        2) Lucano’s
        3) Aurelio’s
        4) Papa’s Pizza Place

        The family pizza budget is out of control and Mr. Harlow will need to win another weekly cheddar prize to help subsidize the copious consumption of such pies, c’mon Middle!!!

        • spacca napoli. in ravenswood. i think it qualifies as “thin”

        • actovegin1armstrong

          Love the Beeblebrox!
          “Apparently you cannot be president with a whole brain.”

  • Wyoming +10 for one.

  • Wyoming +10 tonight for a cheddar please.

  • agnesbojaxhiu

    Wyoming

    • agnesbojaxhiu

      We move from mediocre bowl game week to slightly less mediocre bowl game week (I mean who doesn’t love a Terrapin/Eagle double 6-6 record match up at Ford Field to celebrate Christmas observed bank holiday?) and I am loving the drama. When I saw the bowl game slotting and the amazing placement of Idaho in the Famous Idaho Potato bowl, I was just too excited to not start crafting an essay. Both Idaho and Colorado state have been on winning streaks and both have weeks of beating the spread under their belts, so it is just a matter of guessing whose streak will continue and whose will not in this final showdown. Colorado is the better team on paper in many ways, but 15 points better seems to be pushing it. The longest running cold weather college bowl game should be fun as Boise dips below freezing temperatures and hopefully dumps a few inches of snow on their blue field. In case you are thinking of going, according to channel 7 KTVB.com, the parking passes are sold out but you can park for free in any of the universities garages if you bring one canned food item to donate. My favorite quote for the week from Yahoo Sports Dr. Saturday “Colorado State looks to be the superior team, but Idaho could make things weird.” Go Vandals and your barbaric invasion legacy.

      College votes for the week

      1. Wyoming-W
      2. Idaho
      3. EMU
      4. Hawaii (who doesn’t love Rainbow Warriors)
      5. Maryland

      • pheasantpants

        Agnes, you should know that Galea Minor and I have been to the Ford Field Boxing Day/Bank Holiday Bowl on more than one occasion. It is always a treat appropriate for the day-after-the-gluttony mood.

        • pheasantpants

          I also was at the Randy Moss-Chad Pennington-Deuce McAllister game at the Pontiac Silverdome. Who knew?

      • agnesbojaxhiu

        Ravens

  • Nick

    Giants -2.5 vs Eagles…have really enjoyed betting against the Eagles the last few weeks.
    Louisiana Tech -6 vs Navy
    Boston College +1 vs Maryland
    Mississippi St -13.5 vs Miami (OH)
    Steelers -4.5 vs Ravens
    Middle TN St. vs Hawaii***
    Whatever they set this line to I am going to take Middle in this spot and make it my essay. Very emotional season for coach Rick Stockstill watching and coaching his son at QB, and therefore it feels like this means more for Middle than Hawaii. After getting sidelined with a broken collarbone, son Brent might be back for this bowl game. But even if not, I still like Middle to cover as I’d rather be on the team traveling to Hawaii, treating it like a vacation/work trip, rather than being on the side of the home team going in and out of family events while simultaneously getting ready for a bowl game.

  • wku

    • HitTheHorns

      Part 2 of the Norm McDonald Live with Gilbert Gottfried is one of the funnier hours of comedy I’ve ever seen in my life.

    • 2 byu -10
      i think i like the dolphins +4 better than this game, but as i have am running out of time to win this thing, i need to move fast. thus the early essay and the expectation that the display of agility and expertise herein will pressurize the competition into unforced erros. chess, checkers. anyways… wyo seems beat down with two starters on the defensive front out for this bowl. given that byu is going with their backup qb, one would expect a run focus for their offense and this is a wyo team gave up 500+ yds to UNM a couple weeks ago (after the loss of one of the aforementioned players). but byu’s qb will be tanner mangum who ive always thought was better than decent. he is more of a passer which, actually, creates more of a (or let’s just say different) problem for wyo to run defense. bake in byu’s experience playing big games on the road and that i’ve never seen any byu team not play with full effort, i think that makes them easier to predict. ie, we dont have to worry about players quitting because coaches are leaving or any of that sort of nonsense (cough, houston). an argument could made, and i’ll make it here, that byu is one of the more ‘under-bowled’ teams in this post-season. they’re 8-4 and the four losses were by 1, 3, 3, and 1 points. considering they were supposed to be ‘down’ this year with a rookie HC that’s some solid work. and since the [at] boise loss they haven’t been threatened. the risk with byu is the back door cover where theyre taking a knee with 30 seconds left at wyo’s 5 leading by 8. as far as wyo, i have to think their two good games against SDSU are deflating this line and both those games saw a sea-level-located team playing up in laramie. if you’re into such miscellany, wyo’s struggles have occurred while playing at or under 2000 ft elevations. (las vegas, lincoln, yspilanti). so what the hell, go cougs.

      1 wku (win)
      3 giants -2.5
      4 dolphins +4
      5 falcons -2.5
      6 ravens +4.5

  • jdoepke

    Memphis +7

    • jdoepke

      Navy +6
      Miami (OH) +13.5
      Ravens + 4.5 (AP)
      Vikings +6.5

      Essay: Bears +3

      Call it a gut feeling here, the Bears just seem to be on a roll ATS and I’ve not been that impressed with the Redskins after getting manhandled by Carolina. Bears are 6-4 in their last 10 ATS and 5-2 ATS at home this year. Public heavy on Redskins at 70% and line has dropped from 4 to 3. Bears outright 26-23

  • thatsfine

    Memphis +7

  • CLEVTA

    1. Memphis +7

    • CLEVTA

      2. Eagles +2.5

      • CLEVTA

        3. Bears +3
        4. Colts +3.5
        5. Steelers -4.5 all play
        6. Chargers -6 (essay): it cracks me up every week how the so called “sharps” keep taking the Browns along with all the other bad teams in the NFL and they keep losing. Most every other year I would be right with them as a contrarian bettor but not this year. The divide between the top and bottom of the NFL is as wide as ever. I understand the notion that SD doesn’t want to be in Cleveland on Christmas Eve playing a meaningless game but then I look at the other side and see the red ass Phil Rivers. Of all the QBs in the NFL he’s the one who would want to play this game the most. The guy has 8 kids! Last thing he wants is to be at home dealing with all of them. This is heaven for him. Also he’s really good. The Browns have not really faced a murders row of QBs during the second half of the season. Big Ben is the best QB they’ve faced in the last 5 weeks and he is very mediocre on the road. Phil always plays tough and this Charger team doesn’t quit. The Chargers have an exact scoring differential of 0 this year meaning they really profile as a .500 team. A few bounces go there way and they are close to leading their division. One more thing, you don’t think Joey Bosa has been looking forward to this game since the Browns snubbed him at the draft? He will be a one man wrecking crew. Chargers 27-13

  • zarathustra

    Memphis for one point