Underdog Game kicks off with season's first lines

Today's the day that our charity pro football underdog game really gets rolling, with the first week's lines here:

8 HOUSTON vs. Indianapolis

7 NEW YORK JETS vs. Baltimore

7 CHICAGO vs. San Francisco

6.5 PITTSBURGH at Cincinnati

6.5 SEATTLE vs. Denver (Monday, pick still due Sunday 10:00 a.m. PDT)

5.5 ATLANTA vs. New Orleans

5.5 NEW YORK GIANTS at Tennessee

4.5 ARIZONA vs. Kansas City

4 DETROIT vs. Philadelphia

3.5 LAS VEGAS at Los Angeles Chargers

3 JACKSONVILLE at Washington

3 NEW ENGLAND at Miami

2.5 LOS ANGELES RAMS vs. Buffalo (pick due Thursday 5:20 p.m. PDT)

2.5 CLEVELAND at Carolina

2 DALLAS vs. Tampa Bay

1.5 MINNESOTA vs. Green Bay

For players in our game, the goal is pretty straightforward. They try to pick an NFL underdog every week that will win its game outright. If the player's 'dog wins, the player gets the number of points that team was favored to lose by. The player with the most points at the end of the season is the winner. This is the start of Week 1.

There is a modest entry fee, and all proceeds go to charity, in that the winner gets to pick an eligible charity that gets most of the dough. The second place finisher will also get to designate a small portion of the pool to his or her eligible charity. If more than 20 players play, the third place finisher will also get to designate a small portion of the pool to his or her eligible charity. So far we've got around 15 'dog aficionados who have expressed an interest.

The full rules are here. If you want to play, you can do so for free this first week, provided your fee is in by the 14th (a week from tomorrow). Send your pick to dogpdx22@gmail.com. That's also the address to email me for further instructions on how to enter.

Do you see an underdog on that card that you think will win its game outright this weekend? You could be a hero for a charity you like. Picks are generally due before kickoff on Sunday; see the rules. This week, that means Sunday at 10 a.m. Pacific Time, except where noted above (the Thursday game).

Good luck, players! And when you send in your pick, please let me know what name you want to go by on this blog. If I don't get a nickname from you, I'll use your first name (and last initial if multiple players have the same first name).