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    Andy Freeland
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  • Wagers & Lagers 2012: Week 14

    In case you have noticed, and judging by the views, you have; Matt has gone 18-6 during the last three weeks of W&L. If someone was betting legally in Las Vegas, they would owe him a steak or two. I have gone 14-10 over that time, but the winning percentages are very close at this point and both above .500. We only have four weeks and the playoffs to mess this up.

    DAL @ CIN (-3)
    RG: I thought I had a leg up on this one because I was on Dallas in this one. It is not a fun subject to talk about, but it seems like teams have about a hundred and three winning percentage after tragedy. As we are finding out, The Cowboys are the latest team to deal with an unfortunate situation. Pick: Dallas

    MK: This has been a season of extremes for the Bengals, who got blown out by Baltimore to open things, then won three in a row before losing four in a row only to now win three in a row. If they can beat Dallas tomorrow, they may very well get to six when they play Philly next Thursday. Dallas is a different team with a healthy DeMarco Murray. They've won every game in which he has either carried the ball twenty times or scored a touchdown. I think this one is close. Dallas hasn't played a game decided by more than one score since Week 4. Pick: Dallas

    CHI (-2) @ MIN, o/u 40
    RG: This game comes down to Christian Ponder and the ability of AD to do it all on his own. Now, Peterson has had a few games where he has beaten the Bears on his own, but the Vikings had better quarterback play in those games. Before facing Ponder and Joe Webb, the Bears had lost 4 of 5 in Minnesota. The lack of bad weather makes me think that points will be scored. Pick: Chicago. The Over

    MK: Minnesota is fading. Following a brilliant start their last six games have been brutal. They're 2-4, with Christian Ponder posting a completion percentage of 54% (96-175) with a YPA of 4.97. Adrian Peterson is still spectacular and it's a shame he's not like to win Comeback Player of the Year given the return of some guy in Denver. A reasonably healthy Chicago is still too much. They've lost 3 of their 4, but the Bears haven't lost to Minnesota since November 2009. Pick: Chicago. The under

    BAL @ WSH (-1.5)
    RG: I'm buying RGIII and the Redskins right now. I feel like it could be an Enron situation where I may have to get out quickly, but I am in right now. You know, until RGIII gets hurt again. Baltimore's offense is a mess right now and Cameron Cameron is making the offense call in sick more often than Cameron Frye. Should someone remind him that he still has Ray Rice? Rice got 12 carries last week in a key divisional game where they managed to lose to Chuck Batch. No, not high on the Ravens right now. Pick: Washington

    MK: I'm not ready to say a lot of things about Robert Griffin III--as has been a theme here this past week--but I'm pretty ready to declare him better than Joe Flacco. Though we're all in awe of RG3, we should mention that the Redskins' defense has played extremely well the last three games. I think Cam Cameron is likely to take all the wrong lessons from the fact that Washington has one of the shakiest pass defenses in the league (31st) and one of the best run defenses (4th). Pick: Washington

    NO @ NYG (-5)
    RG: This is my opposite pick of the week. Drew Brees was terrible and may have effected by bank account with his performance last week, but the Giants still stink at home and I think this is a perfect time to have one more push for a down-to-the-wire battle between the Redskins, Cowboys and the Giants in the NFC East before the Giants win the final three to get in. Pick: New Orleans

    MK: Two weeks ago, I thought New Orleans was on a roll and ready to sneak into the playoffs after a horrific start. Now, I'm wondering if they can avoid ten losses. The New York Giants did not start a possession beyond their own 24 yard line last week, and start 4 on their own 10 or inside it. I don't think that will happen again. Pick: New York

    HOU @ NE (-4)
    RG: New England at home against the Texans gives them a chance at the Eff You Game as well as a shot for home field if Houston falters during the final three games. Darth Hoodie pulls out all the stops. Sure, it won't matter when the Pats lose against the Niners next week, but the talk will be fun for a few days. Pick: New England

    MK: Are some of us doubting the Texans because they came up so small against Green Bay on a Sunday night? I think so, and they could establish themselves once and for all as the Super Bowl favorites with a win. This also has all the makings of a classic Belichick eff-you-buddy game. The Pats have won six in a row and three of those wins have come against AFC East teams. Against their divisional opponents they've won by 3, 6, 30, and 7; against all others, they've won by 32 and 35. Pick: New England

    Well, this is actually a sauce. This is the recipe for my Carolina style BBQ sauce. What is written below is a base and it is up to the BBQer to find the mix and taste that fits their region. I tend to add some butter to thicken this up because Northeast Ohio seems to like it. Anyway, here it is:

    1 cup yellow mustard
    1/2 cup of sugar
    1/2 light brown sugar
    3/4 cup of cider vinegar
    1/4 cup of water
    2 tablespoons of chili powder
    1 teaspoon black pepper
    1 teaspoon white pepper
    1/4 teaspoon of cayenne pepper
    1/2 teaspoon soy sauce
    3 tablespoons butter
    1 tablespoon of liquid smoke

    Mix all except the soy, butter and liquid smoke. Simmer 30 minutes or so. Stir in remaining ingredients and simmer until done (usually about 10 minutes).

    It's been 'the season' for a little while now, so you're probably going to start want to looking for a beer that goes well with all those chocolates and roasted nuts that seem to accumulate in your house around Christmas. Or is that only my father's house? Anyway, let's look at porters and stouts, because they tend to have tasting notes like chocolate and coffee. We'll save porters for another week, though. There's more to stout than Guinness, and I recommend Lefthand Brewery's Milkstout.

    MK: 5-1
    RG: 3-3

    RG: 47-36-1
    MK: 27-21
    PS: 5-7

    Comments 7 Comments
    1. wxwax's Avatar
      Which match-ups favor New England? Everyone says Belichick will dial it up, but he doesn't play. Myself, I wouldn't put money on this game. But I like Houston for the upset.

      Isn't this the time of year when the Giants flick the switch? Eli can't possibly play as poorly as he did in DC. New Orleans ran hot and cold in Atlanta. Brees was alternatively brilliant and awful. His defense wasn't that bad. This might be close, but I like the Giants, mostly for their defense.

      I love Carolina sauce, just not crazy about liquid smoke.
    1. mkocs6's Avatar
      I'm admitting I may be undervaluing the Texans (the fallacy of misleading vividness comes to mind) because of their exceedingly poor performance at home against Green Bay. I think both teams are playing well. When making the call, I posed the question like this: do I think New England can win this game, at home, by a touchdown? I said yes. It's nothing terribly sophisticated, at least on my part.
    1. mkocs6's Avatar
      It's a method that's gotten me to 4-1 today, anyway.
    1. Rich Gapinski's Avatar
      Another impressive week, sir. I have to pick it up. We now have a fight to the finish.
    1. wxwax's Avatar
      Quote Originally Posted by mkocs6 View Post
      I'm admitting I may be undervaluing the Texans (the fallacy of misleading vividness comes to mind) because of their exceedingly poor performance at home against Green Bay. I think both teams are playing well. When making the call, I posed the question like this: do I think New England can win this game, at home, by a touchdown? I said yes. It's nothing terribly sophisticated, at least on my part.
      Good one, never heard that term before. It buttresses one of my favorite quotes, from Bertrand Russell: "It has been said that man is a rational animal. All my life I have been searching for evidence which could support this."

      Logic and rationality aren't at the top of our decision-making tree.

      I like your simple method for picking games.
    1. mkocs6's Avatar
      Apparently, New England could win this game by more than a touchdown.
    1. brauneyz's Avatar
      Quote Originally Posted by mkocs6 View Post
      Apparently, New England could win this game by more than a touchdown.
      I believe we did!