(Remember, these picks are for entertainment only. No actual wagering is being performed.)
At the start of the contest, everyone has $1000 in fake money. Let's go through everyone's fake picks here. Remember, the lines are set based on whatever the lines are at noon on Thursday, so if your picks look a little different than they do when you sent them in, that's why.
We'll start with Hoya Suxa, the Glaude, the live grenade that we tossed into this contest to keep everyone on their toes. Suxa, take it away.
I should probably preface my bets with a bit of disclosure: I don't understand the rules; I intend on winning.
You see, I'm a probably the most pathetic grown-ass man walking the planet. I grew up 15 minutes away from two of the largest casinos in the world and yet I don't know a lick about gambling. Parlays, teasers, proposition bets: You're speaking Greek to me, friend; we're in America, you see, and I like hot dogs, apple pie, and Goddamn winners. The only sophisticated wagering I'm familiar with is "boxing horses," and that's only because I'd really like to see a jockey deck a stallion right in its big freakin' teeth.
This fact, however, will not deter my scorched earth. To raise the stakes even higher, I'm running at this contest like an adolescent to a conversion van filled with candy and a fellow in a mustache. I refuse to take the easy way out and will, therefore, only wager on lines that are 10 points or less. That's how you become a champion, son.
At best, I will end this contest as a fake billionaire. I'll take all my fake money, buy me a fake trophy wife with really fake breasts, and sink my cash in fake investment ventures (like SBNation). At worst, I'll corkscrew Casual Hoya straight into the ground and use their heads as pissing posts for my dog.
Victory is my destiny; simply shitting in Casual Hoya's pillow is my consolation prize.
WAGER ONE: Syracuse at Akron
The Orange Empire -- it's tyrannical; you should totally join it -- is giving 9 on the road to the Zips. Call me crazy, but I think that Syracuse wins by thousands.
$100 on the Orange to cover.
WAGER TWO: Maryland at Navy
Toot! Toot! Here comes the triple option ship! It's going to sink Friedgen faster than the Titanic!
Navy covers the six. $20 on the Midshipmen.
WAGER THREE: Cincinnati at Fresno State
The Bearcats are getting 2.5 and I want them all, baby! I'm going to take those 2.5, rub them all over my body, and just soak it all in. Yeah, 2.5! Give it to me, 2.5!
Anyway, I'll take Cincinnati and put five smackaroos on 'em.
$125 on the line with the bulk of it resting on the hopes of a two-deep that may or may not include me. My confidence is at an all-time high.
Let's move on to Chris Lane of The Nova Blog, who kept it simple with his picks.
USC (-21.5) over Hawaii - 100
UAB (-14) over FAU - 100
Pitt (+3) over Utah - 50
Next, we'll go with Ken's picks, from this blog. You'll notice he's the first person to really veer off into crazy town with his picks. But definitely not the last.
Minnesota -1.5 over MTSU $100
UConn +3 over Michigan $50
Cincy +2.5 over Fresno $50
My insane weekly 9 team parlay - Sota -1.5, UConn +3, Cincy +2.5, Oregon State +13.5, Navy -6, Northwestern -4.5, Washington +2, Cuse -9, Clemson -24.5 $25
A lot more picks after the jump.
Next we'll go with the official Casual Hoya picks.
Texas -30.5 (they always blow rice out of the water...(This is our LOCK) $50
Marshall +28 $25
Texas tech v SMU OVER 60.5 $50
Akron +9 $25
UNC +220 LSU $25
Vandy +4.5 $25
Wake Forest -45 $50
Let's toss out my own picks now.
$110 on a 6-point tease - Missouri over Illinois (from -12 to -6) and Notre Dame over Purdue (from -11 to -5). I will bet against Ron Zook under any circumstances. And I will bet with Brian Kelly under any circumstances.
$55 on Oklahoma (-33.5) over Utah State. I know that's a lot of points to lay but the Sooners typically open a can on these patsy teams. Recall the 79-10 shellacking of North Texas back in 2007, where they could have easily broken 100. They also brought the Aggies in a couple weeks after that game and beat them 54-3.
$55 on LSU/North Carolina UNDER 42. This game screams 13-10 COMPLETELY UNWATCHABLE CRAP HEY WHERE'S THAT CINCINNATI-FRESNO GAME to me. I doubt they get to 32 points, let alone 42.
$29 on Louisville +3 over Kentucky. Think Charlie Strong wants to make a statement - it's at home with their bitter in-state rival, they have a ton of recruits coming to this game, the team's been focused on this all summer... I smell an upset.
$1 on Michigan -3 over UConn. Who has two thumbs and doesn't fear Edsall? THIS GUY.
TOTAL IN PLAY: $250
I don't really believe in that Michigan pick, but I said I would bet against UConn every week to piss off Andrew and Kevin from The UConn Blog, and it seems to have worked. Here are Kevin's picks.
Interesting choice of words on the UConn pick, seeing as this is a (fake) gambling pool and you did pick against the eventual Orange Bowl champions.
Now, onto what will surely be an embarrassing first week.
$25 - Southern Miss at South Carolina - UNDER 45
Entirely based on the fact that Spurrier will be changing quarterbacks five times in the first two quarters.
$20 - Florida (-36.5) over Other Miami
Other Miami is awful.
$10 - UConn (+3) over Michigan
I honestly don't have a goddamn clue who's going to win this game, so by the power vested in me by blind homerism, I'm picking the Huskies.
$35 - Syracuse (-9) over Akron
My first Weekly "Hedge With Hate" bet. This will be a regular occurence, wherein I put a decent amount of money on a team I hate for one reason or another. If I win, HOORAY! Fake money! If I lose, Twitter mockery will be incessant. For obvious reasons, I'm starting with Syracuse.
And here are Andrew's picks.
$50 on Colorado St. (+11) over Colorado
OH OH OH. Have to interrupt the picks here, because any time someone bets against Colorado this year, we're putting up this instant classic MS Paint from user THujone at the Shaggy Bevo message board. (picture via i15.photobucket.com)
Back to Andrew's picks.
$25 on Fresno St. (-2.5) over Cincy
Finally, $100 on UConn (+3) over Michigan -- Don't worry, you will all fear Edsall soon enough.
$175 in play
We finally were able to reach the Bearcats Blog, and they were happy to join our band of degenerates.
1) A 6 point tease Ohio State (v. Marshall), Pittsburgh (at Utah), Cincinnati (at Fresno). It teased to OSU -22, Pitt +9, and Cincy +8.5 for 75 units.
2) Kentucky/Louisville under 49 for 15 units.
3) UConn +3 at Michigan for 20 units.
4) I want to do a really crazy bet. I'm going to do an 8 team parlay with Boise State -2, UConn +3, Kentucky -3, Miami-OH +36.5, LSU -6.5, Oregon St +13.5, South Car -14 and USC -21.5 for 10 units.
This site took up at least half an hour of my time coming up with crazy parlays. When I become a total degen, it's Voodoo 5's fault.
I'm honored. Let's go to a highly bitter Chas Rich from Pitt Blather, fresh off watching Pittsburgh's ugly loss to Utah.
I'm going to keep this simple since I didn't have a lot of time to think, re-think and overthink this. I also made the picks with a hangover and sitting on a flight home from the Nike event.
$100 on Pitt (+3) over Utah. I have to go with my team. Everything about this game screams toss-up and very close.
$75 on Western Michigan (+23.5) against Michigan State. No, I don't expect WMU to win, but I think the Broncos are better than last year. I like for them to keep it within 3 touchdowns.
$75 for Navy (-6) over Maryland. One of Maryland's few strengths on defense is with their defensive backs. That doesn't help so much with Navy. The Terps have one of their starting DTs and a linebacker on the 2-deep out for the game. While Maryland's O-line is actually healthy, they have no TEs (the #1 and #2 TEs are both injured) to help block or help the passing game.
Here are WVUIE's picks, from The Smoking Musket. Nice and simple here.
Here's mine for the week:$15 - Pitt(+3) over Utah
$75 - Wisconsin (-20.5) over UNLV
$25 - UConn (+3) over Michigan
Down to just a couple of picks... let's go with Sean Keeley at Troy Nunes Is an Absolute Magician.
$25 - Norfolk St. (+38.5) over Rutgers
$25 - UConn (+3) over Michigan
And because I'm a glutton for punishment... $50 - Syracuse (-9) over Akron
And to close it out for the first week, the man who may have more actual gambling experience than the rest of us put together, our own Toro Grande.
Glad to see you people hate money as much as I do. Let's get one step closer to Fake Big Pussy hitting me in the head with a fake trash can for being in the red...
Pitt +3 over Utah, $55 to win $50
The Wannstache must give Western Pennsylvania hope before he can take it away with a gut wrenching decision to punt on 4th and 1 from his opponents' 30 late in the season.
FAMU +40.5 over Miami, $27.50 to win $25
I was an SID at a MEAC school last year (Delaware State), so I actually watched some MEAC football. FAMU is the best team in that league, and they have some athletes. Plus Randy Shannon will find a way to make sure his team isn't prepared to roll and smoke the Rattlers like they should.
Florida -36.5 over Miami (OH), $55 to win $50
Florida is 32-4 ATS against non-conference opponents under Urban Meyer. That's what we professional gamblers call a "trend." Plus Brantley has to give Gator Nation hope before the Bulls do their normal "Holy Crap USF shocks the world AGAIN" routine next week.
Boise State -2 over Va. Tech, $55 to win $50
I hate West Coast teams going east, but Boise returns 10 of 11 starters on defense, and has no problems throwing it all over the Smurf Turf in crappy weather. Imagine what they can do on Dan Snyder's finely manicured grass that uses the unpaid $100 bills of awful NFL contracts his star free agent signing of two years ago didn't claim after being cut as fertilizer on a clear day.
Akron +9 over Syracuse, $1.10 to win $1
Betting against the Orange. We're going to do this. A lot.
There you have it everyone. The first set of results will post on Monday night, since there's fake action on the Boise State-Virginia Tech game. Good luck to all of... oh hell with it, I hope you all crash and burn. I MUST BREAK YOU.