• Wagers & Lagers 2012: Week 15 Picks



    Well, now I'm determined. Matt just can't seem to have a bad week. His streak stands at 23-7 and now has a higher win percentage for the season, while we both are doing reasonably well. I stayed afloat with a 3-3 week while his 5-1 trumped me.

    GB (-2.5) @ CHI
    RG: Bears are 1-2 when I see them play the Packers. I'll be there this weekend and I never feel confident. That one win was glorious. It was the 35-7 game with the Urlacher return touchdown in what was supposed to be the final Favre game in Soldier Field. The Bears are so banged up that practice is limited this week while the Packers gain Matthews. The teams combined for 12 sacks last time and likely will again. The Bears loss of Robbie Gould is really underrated. Plus, as a Bears fan, it just makes sense that they would lose this game, win the final two to squeak in, Lovie would keep his job and they would try the Cover 2 without Urlacher, leading to a bad season and a contentious negotiation with Jay Cutler. Nope, haven't thought about it all. PICK: Green Bay

    MK: I really want to take the Bears. They need this game. Two things are making me hesitate. First, Rich is going on a pilgrimage this weekend and that sounds like a recipe for disaster. Second, my rule is, more or less, if the spread is under three, don't get too cute and just pick the winner. I break that rule sometimes. PICK: Chicago

    NYG @ ATL (-1)
    RG: See below. PICK: New York N

    MK: I get the points in this one? [Evil laugh.] PICK: New York N

    DEN (-2.5) @ BAL
    RG: I really think this playoff run for Baltimore will be determined by Joe Flacco and his ability to run an offense he thinks he can run. Still, the hiring of Jim Caldwell, who has never called plays, makes me think a lot of those backflips by Ravens fans ended with them flipping into a brick wall. Also, we are at the point where Peyton Manning must be trusted until everyone sees their playoff draw. PICK: Denver

    MK: When a coach fires a coordinator in the middle of a playoff push, no matter how justified, it's not good. The Broncos will probably enter the playoffs winners of eleven straight, yet be the team that we know the least about in the AFC. PICK: Denver

    PIT @ DAL (-2)
    RG: If the Steelers were smart, they would run the ball at the beat-up front seven from Dallas. But do they think that they have a running back they trust right now? I have a feeling that Roethlisberger may want to prove his arm is healthy by throwing a bit; to his detriment. I danced around this one. PICK: Dallas

    MK: This is basically a playoff game. The loser is probably eliminated--and if that loser is Dallas, probably I think becomes definitely--and the winner at least stays on pace or within striking distance. I'm not crazy about this line, but I'm not sure there's a line for this game I would like. When in doubt, take the points, right? That's not the rule, though. PICK: Dallas

    SF @ NE (-6), O/U 48
    RG: The Patriots tend to just win and win and win in December while preparing for playoff disappointments. I do like this as a Super Bowl preview, though I picked the Pats-Packers for the 4th straight season. I know, how Berman-esque of me. New England's defense and offensive line are now reaching underrated status. PICK: New England, the under.

    MK: This was the Super Bowl I wanted last year, and it may yet be the Super Bowl I get this year. The Patriots have not lost a home game in December since December 22, 2002. They have lost a weirdly high number of games at Miami in December over the last ten years, though, and lost a January 1 game to the Dolphins at Gillette in 2005. Still. Damn. PICK: New England, the over

    Food
    MK: You know, this is the last week of the last semester in which I'll have a full slate of classes in my graduate career. This week, go to Chipotle.

    RG: mmmmm, Chipotle. The ultimate body cleanser.

    Beer
    MK: When I was a younger lad, I interned at the Parliament of Canada in Ottawa for a couple of months. I can assure you, in Canadian Bacon, John Candy was wrong. Their beer does not suck. In honor of the NFL's annual field trip to Toronto, I wanted to pick out a true Canadian beer to showcase this week, so I chose a very famous Nova Scotian brew which is difficult to find stateside...




    Alexander Keith's (recently acquired by Anheuser-Busch, the influence of which is I think unfortunately evident in the logo redesign; still, they're rumored to be distributing in the United States now...) makes an exceptionally good product. You wouldn't go wrong ordering their red or their brown or their lager, but their India Pale Ale is well worth a try. Beer nerds love IPAs because they're loaded with hops. IPAs are so called because they were made for shipment from metropolitan England to their colonial possessions in the sub-continent in nineteenth century; in order to withstand the long shipping distance and the great fluctuations in temperature throughout the journey, the brewers loaded the beer with hops, which essentially are a preservative. Modern hopheads love them because craft brewers do the same, but also tinker with the varieties of hops you'll find in an IPA. The category is always one of the most hotly contested at any beer competition. Anyway, I'm not one of those guys. I still love this beer, though, and if you're ever up in true north, do yourself a favor and order one.

    RECORDS

    LAST WEEK:
    MK: 5-1
    RG: 3-3

    SEASON:
    MK: 32-22 (59.25%)
    RG: 50-39-1 (56.11%)
    PS: 5-7

    Comments 10 Comments
    1. brauneyz's Avatar
      Never met an IPA I didn't like. Will keep an eye out for this one, but I'm still working my way through a case of assorted Fat Tire ales.

      Love the love for NE, but I wish we were still flying a bit under the radar. Also, totally agree with the Denver pick. Betting against Peyton Manning on a team that has just undergone a huge change at this point in the season is too iffy for me. Manning>Caldwell!

      Lastly, I've missed the last couple PIT games so I'm just going on highlights and rumormongoring, but surprised that no one gives them a chance against DAL. It's gotta be time for Romo to implode and Big Ben to carry the team on his shoulders again. I mean, it's the NFL. Can't we count on anything?
    1. wxwax's Avatar
      It wouldn't surprise me a bit if Pitt won the game. Ben's probably smarting from last week.
    1. Trumpetbdw's Avatar
      Clearly I think Pittsburgh is going to win, but in the grand scheme, based on their potential tie-break advantage over both Cincy and the Jets, even with a loss today, the Steelers only need to beat Cincy and Cleveland at home to get in, with no other help needed.

      However, if Pittsburgh beats Dallas and Cincy, but loses to Cleveland, while the Jets win out, the Colts lose out, and the Bengals beat Baltimore in week 17, then the Jets and Colts look to be in the driver's seat, while Cincy and Pittsburgh would both be left in the cold.

      End of story for both teams- Forget about scenarios. Win. If you can't, you don't deserve to be there anyway.
    1. mkocs6's Avatar
      Sorry about the mix-up with Pittsburgh, I wrote this in some haste.
    1. mkocs6's Avatar
      Well, at least I hit on the over.
    1. Rich Gapinski's Avatar
      I should have followed up my Pays lose one of two prediction in the Council article from Week 14. Oh yeah, I hate OHare. Fell victim to broken plane.
    1. wxwax's Avatar
      Quote Originally Posted by Rich Gapinski View Post
      I should have followed up my Pays lose one of two prediction in the Council article from Week 14. Oh yeah, I hate OHare. Fell victim to broken plane.
      It's too early to be drinking. Or are we blaming spellcheck again?
    1. Rich Gapinski's Avatar
      Quote Originally Posted by wxwax View Post
      It's too early to be drinking. Or are we blaming spellcheck again?
      I'm blaming United Airlines and their inability to have a working plane and lack of sleep. I am going to bed, see everyone tomorrow.
    1. mikesteelnation1's Avatar
      O'hare is truly one of the worst airports on the planet. Add to that united is a disaster. The last 3 times I've flown out of o'hare my united plane has had issues or delays.

      United is the worst of the big airlines, and o'hare is the worst of all the major market city airports. Dulles is a close second, but bwi is a hop and skip away. I know there's another airport in chi town, but the schedule and pricing usually nix it from consideration.

      Dfw would be 3rd worst to me.. love Atlantas airport. Other big cities should take note and emulate.. it's why it's the #1 airport for international flights...
    1. Rich Gapinski's Avatar
      Quote Originally Posted by mikesteelnation1 View Post
      O'hare is truly one of the worst airports on the planet. Add to that united is a disaster. The last 3 times I've flown out of o'hare my united plane has had issues or delays.

      United is the worst of the big airlines, and o'hare is the worst of all the major market city airports. Dulles is a close second, but bwi is a hop and skip away. I know there's another airport in chi town, but the schedule and pricing usually nix it from consideration.

      Dfw would be 3rd worst to me.. love Atlantas airport. Other big cities should take note and emulate.. it's why it's the #1 airport for international flights...
      Agreed, Midway usually doesn't have the times or the price I need. I fly out after the games, but like to time it so I can go to the game, go get dinner from a favorite place of mine near the hotel I normally stay. Midway is an easy hop on the Orange line and O'Hare at least provides the same on the Blue line.

      I honestly don't remember the last time I got out on time from O'Hare on my Sunday flight. I think it was two years ago when I went with a friend who is notoriously lucky. I have come to expect delays, but the circumstances this time prevented a chance to get a decent nap.
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