Underdog Game begins with first week's lines

Our charity pro football underdog game officially gets rolling right now, with the first week's lines here (underdogs listed in CAPS):

10  HOUSTON at Baltimore

7  ARIZONA at Washington

6.5  DETROIT at Kansas City (Thursday, 5:20 p.m. PDT)

6  TAMPA BAY at Minnesota

5  INDIANAPOLIS vs. Jacksonville

5  LOS ANGELES RAMS at Seattle

4  LAS VEGAS at Denver

4  NEW ENGLAND vs. Philadelphia

3.5  CAROLINA at Atlanta

3.5  TENNESSEE at New Orleans

3  MIAMI at Los Angeles Chargers

3  NEW YORK GIANTS vs. Dallas

2.5  CLEVELAND vs. Cincinnati

2.5  PITTSBURGH vs. San Francisco

2.5  NEW YORK JETS vs. Buffalo (Monday, pick still due Sunday 10:00 a.m. PDT)

1  GREEN BAY at Chicago

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 (as seems likely at this point), the third place finisher will also get to designate a small portion of the pool to his or her eligible charity. 

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 13th (a week from Wednesday). Send your pick (and a backup pick, if you like, in case your game gets cancelled) to dogpdx23@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).

Here we go, underdogs, here we go (clap clap)!