• Wagers & Lagers 2015 Week 8: London Calling, Part II


    PS: Team W&L had - from a gambling perspective - a respectable week. Matt crushed it going 5-2 while Rich and I both went 3-4. Not bad, considering. Week Eight gives us a whole new set of challenges, though. We are tackling the London game between the Lions and Chiefs, what promises to be a divisional bloodbath in Pittsburgh, the Jesters' visit to surprising Oakland, a Seattle visit to Arlington, Peyton at home against a quietly nails-tough Packers defense, and the Laughable Lucks' visit to Carolina.

    Lions vs. Chiefs (-3.5)

    RG: The streak of bad London games continues. What's even more hilarious than the fact that someone has to win this game is that with the half point, someone has to cover. Why? These teams are 3-13 ATS this season. I wonder if the Chiefs will still believe in their own chances if they manage to pull this one off. It's funny because I don't trust the offenses to be able to take advantage of the weaknesses of these defenses, so this comes down to how much I believe whether or not the hiring of Jim Bob Cooter (I just wanted one more chance to write his name) will have the proper effect on the Detroit offense. HINT: Throw more to Megatron. I think they will. PICK: Lions

    PS: You have to think a sea change amongst Detroit's offensive coaching staff would be a good thing, right? I am unsure why it is the Lions decided to let go any coaches during a week where they had to fly across the pond. I mean, there is a bye week coming after London, right? This tells me the CaldwellBot's seat is wicked hot right about now. Expect some offensive fireworks from the Leos. Also, look for a philosophy shift in the run game. The Lions have big, bruising run blockers who have been wasted on a zone blocking run scheme. PICK: Lions

    MK: I just can't pick the team that's travelling internationally after they fire basically their entire offensive coaching staff. PICK: Chiefs

    Bengals @ Steelers PK

    RG: We did decide to monitor this line throughout the week due to the caliber of game. This line moved briefly to -1.5 for the Steelers with the news that Big Ben is coming back and now has moved all the way back to PK. It's tough to go against the Steelers at home, but the sharps like the Bengals. The Steelers defense has been stingy since week one and do we really think the Bengals will be able to lock up a division this easily? While I think Cincy is going to win the division, I like the spark Big Ben gives. PICK: Steelers

    PS: The Steelers, historically, do not usually fare well in Big Ben's first game(s) back from injury. Add to that the fact PIT is allowing opposing offenses to convert on 41% of third downs and I kinda like the Stripeys, here. PICK: Bengals

    MK: I don't mean to disrespect what the Bengals have accomplished this season, but they're not going undefeated this year. A road game in Pittsburgh is probably one of your best opportunities to hedge. PICK: Steelers

    Jets (-1.5) @ Raiders, o/u 44.5

    RG: The Jets could be 10-4 when they face the Patriots again. That means I think they can get through the Raiders. Oakland is tough, but I like the match-up against the secondary. PICK: Jets, Under

    PS: All Hail FitzFantasticBeard. I am very interested to see Amari Cooper visit Revis Island. PICK: Jets, Under

    MK: This has become the game that I'm most interested in all day, and I'm willing to hang out in a bar basically the entire to be able to watch it. The Raiders are on the border of respectability and relevance, and they even have an outside shot at the West if Denver falls off a bit of a cliff--something that wouldn't surprise me at all. The Jets have been a great team for gamblers this season, as they're 5-1-0 ATS--while the Raiders are only 3-3-0--but let's face some facts here. Almost all of the Jets' covers--against Cleveland, Indianapolis, Miami, and Washington, plus their backdoor special against New England--came against teams that were playing truly dreadful football, at least at the time of the game. I'm going against the grain here. PICK: Raiders, Under

    Seahawks (-6) @ Cowboys

    RG: Dez Bryant is supposed to be back and won't be quite in game shape. It won't matter because Matt Cassel is still throwing to him. PICK: Seahawks

    PS: I need a big fantasy week from Darren McFadden. This is the Cowboys' kiss of death. PICK: Seahawks

    MK: I believe in a thing called the backdoor cover. PICK: Cowboys

    Packers (-3) @ Broncos, o/u 45.5

    RG: I would probably give up to six points in this game. I just don't see how the Broncos can continue this charade on offense when they are facing a team like the Packers. These are the top two scoring defenses in the league. PICK: Packers, Under

    PS: Rich just alluded to the key point. Yes, the Donkeys D has been stellar. But Green Bay's defense is contributing at an impressive clip as well. PICK: Packers, Under

    MK: Look, Denver would have lost to the Browns if any of the following had not happened: (1) a defensive back did not fall down, allowing Denver to score their only offensive touchdown in the fourth quarter; (2) the Browns had been able to do math and hadn't gone for two up four in the same quarter; (3) the Browns had actually tried to score a touchdown instead of settling for a field goal at the Denver 11 inside of two minutes to play; (4) Josh McCown hadn't thrown one of the worst interceptions you'd have ever seen in your life after Denver went three and out on the ensuing possession; (5) after Peyton Manning threw an interception on his own side of the field in overtime, Josh McCown had not taken three consecutive sacks.

    I like Green Bay. Big. PICK: Packers, Over

    Colts @ Panthers (-6.5)

    RG: The Panthers are a much better football team than the Colts right now and the Panthers aren't even that good. However, the Panthers can run and the Colts have spent the better part of 40 games not stopping that. Also, the Colts can't pass because Luck isn't healthy and that's what the Panthers are good at stopping. If Indy gets back door cover, so be it. PICK: Panthers

    PS: Count me as a believer. I believe Chuck Pagano is going to be fired sometime between now and Thanksgiving. PICK: Panthers

    MK: Cam Newton is playing well enough to win this game by himself, and Andrew Luck looks too injured to do that. Maybe a touchdown is a bit much, but I'll risk it. PICK: Panthers

    BEER OF THE WEEK


    RG: I've had a good time giving fun beers the last couple of weeks, so I decided to give it another go this week with a classic. This time it is the Black & Tan. Traditionally, this is Guinness and Harp, but I normally drink the Guinness and Bass version. Either way, I don't think you can go wrong with it. If you want to make perfect Black & Tans at home, be sure to get yourself a Lagerhead. Don't know what that is? Get them here: http://www.amazon.com/Brutool-Lagerh.../dp/B0007SN5TI

    GAMETIME GRUB

    PS: Babyback Ribs

    - 3 slabs babybacks
    - 1/2 cup chili powder
    - 1/4 cup garlic salt
    - 1/4 cup onion powder
    - 5 large Vidalia onions
    - 3 Macintosh apples
    - 4 cloves garlic
    - 2 bottles of Stout (Guinness, e.g.)
    - 12 oz. apple cider
    - 1 large bottle Montgomery Inn BBQ sauce
    - 1 cup apple cider vinegar
    - 1/2 cup bourbon
    - 1/2 cup honey
    - Spices of your choice for heat in your sauce (Tiger Sauce - 2 bottles - does the trick for me). But knock yourselves out.
    - Full size throwaway roasting pan & a roll of the wide aluminum foil
    - Applewood chips for smoking
    - Kingsford Charcoal (it absolutlely matters, dammit)

    This is all done on a good old school Weber kettle grill with a charcoal chimney (or 2).

    - Soak your wood chips for smoke
    - Get your chimney fired with 18-20 coals
    - Peel the membranes off your ribs
    - Lightly coat meat with olive oil
    - Mix all the dry spices in a bowl
    - Liberally coat both sides of your ribs with spice rub
    - Let the ribs rest while you finish prep
    - Peel & cut the onions into 1/2" wheels
    - Cut the apples into wedges
    - Line the bottom of the pan with onion wheels and stick the apple wedges into the gaps between the onions (you are making a bed for your babybacks. do not break up the onion wheels)
    - Peel & open the garlic cloves and toss them into the pan
    - Pour 2 parts stout to one part apple cider into the pan until the onions are barely covered
    - Lay the ribs on the bed of goodies

    - Get your coals into the grill. Add chips for smoke. Set the roasting pan, uncovered, on the grill & put the lid on. Smoke ribs for 35-40 minutes.
    - Start another chimney of coals.
    - Pull the pan off with the grate. Wrap tightly with 2 layers foil.
    - Add a few fresh coals (8-10) while the pan is out of the way.
    - Replace the grate/pan. Cook at 325 for 6 hours. Buy a flat top thermometer to stick on your grill's dome for monitoring. You will have to add heat to the mix at least once, so keep your chimney humming with fresh coals

    Sauce:
    - Add BBQ sauce, vinegar, bourbon, honey, your secret spices and 1 1/2 cups of water into a crock pot and cook on high, uncovered until the ribs are ready for sauce. If the sauce gets too thick, add a little water to thin it out and reduce heat to low.

    When the ribs are ready, pull the grate and pan off the heat. Add fresh coals (depending on the conditions, you may need a complete coal swap here). Get the ribs out of the braise and onto the grate (ribs will be crazy tender, so use long tongs and go slowly). Sauce liberally on both sides. Caramelize the sauce (15-20 minutes) on the grill.

    Serve.

    Bask in the glory as the reigning BBQ King in your neighborhood.

    The copious consumption of frosty beverages is encouraged throughout this exercise.

    STANDINGS:

    RG: 27-23-0 (3-4-0 LW)
    PS: 25-25-0 (3-4 LW)
    MK: 23-27-0 (5-2 LW)

    Comments 45 Comments
    1. Matt Kocsan's Avatar
      Cam Newton is selling Greek yogurt. What a time to be alive.
    1. Patrick Sullivan's Avatar
      1) The undue optimism for the Jim Bob Cooter era shown by PFT's Michael David Smith is unwarranted at best, retarded at worst. Then again, MDS is a lifelong Lions fan. Poor bastard.

      2) Charcandrick West and DeAnthony Thomas are nice options to replace Jamaal Charles.

      3) Haloti Ngata is welcome to depart in free agency. Nice player in his day. Sadly, his day is over.

      4) Am I the only one who noticed Ameer Abdullah fumble the opening kickoff? Jeebus, kid. Hang onto the damn ball. No surprise you have zero offensive touches.

      5) I am on a 25 minute DVR delay, so most of this has probably been proven to be bunk. I can live with that.
    1. Matt Kocsan's Avatar
      By the way, next week I'm posting my ribs recipe. Dueling recipes is always fun.

      Perhaps the Lions should put a spy on Alex Smith?
    1. Patrick Sullivan's Avatar
      RG: Lions, Steelers, Jets, Under, Seahawks, Packers, Under, Panthers

      PS: Lions, Bengals, Jets, Under, Seahawks, Packers, Under, Panthers

      MK: Chiefs, Steelers, Raiders, Over, Cowboys, Packers, Over, Panthers

      Matt giving himself plenty of opportunities to separate.
    1. Patrick Sullivan's Avatar
      Quote Originally Posted by Matt Kocsan View Post
      By the way, next week I'm posting my ribs recipe. Dueling recipes is always fun.

      Perhaps the Lions should put a spy on Alex Smith?
      Perhaps the Lions should take the extraordinary step. Fire the #CaldwellBot at halftime. This is the same stupid ass offense we have seen the last two seasons. run when you should pass. Pass when you should run. An utter and complete inability to pick up a blitz.... A TE who can't hang to a ball. A disappearing Megatron...

      And yeah, a spy on Smith would be a good idea.
    1. Patrick Sullivan's Avatar
      The lack of preparation by the broadcast crew is appalling. Deandre has played in one game this season, guys. You just said he had not played a snap. Remove craniums from rectums.
    1. Patrick Sullivan's Avatar
      Or would that be cranii from recti?
    1. Matt Kocsan's Avatar
      This is just death by screen pass for Detroit. Kansas City is basically flicking screens and flares. It's hard to beat a team of they don't ever have to throw the ball beyond the line of scrimmage to drive sixty yards.
    1. Patrick Sullivan's Avatar
      Quote Originally Posted by Matt Kocsan View Post
      This is just death by screen pass for Detroit. Kansas City is basically flicking screens and flares. It's hard to beat a team of they don't ever have to throw the ball beyond the line of scrimmage to drive sixty yards.
      The Lions are missing Levy's range and ability to cover TEs. Big time.
    1. Matt Kocsan's Avatar
      Quote Originally Posted by Patrick Sullivan View Post
      Or would that be cranii from recti?
      A -um ending in Latin is typically a second declension neuter word, so the plural in that case is -a. (This is why data is the plural of datum, for example.)
    1. Patrick Sullivan's Avatar
      Quote Originally Posted by Matt Kocsan View Post
      By the way, next week I'm posting my ribs recipe. Dueling recipes is always fun.

      Perhaps the Lions should put a spy on Alex Smith?
      Next year we need to do an "all ribs, all the time" W&L where we all post our recipes.

      BTW, I am live now. Is it too early to start drinking? #****ingLions
    1. Amy's Avatar
      Why do you call a 4 yard route for Megatron on 3rd and 27?
    1. Patrick Sullivan's Avatar
      Quote Originally Posted by Amy View Post
      Why do you call a 4 yard route for Megatron on 3rd and 27?
      Good question.

      #FireJimBobCooter
    1. Patrick Sullivan's Avatar
      Feel free to replace "Texans" with "Lions" and "defense" with "offense".

    1. Patrick Sullivan's Avatar
      We have a CaldwellBot challenge. These always turn out well.

      {}
    1. Patrick Sullivan's Avatar
      Because, #Lions...
    1. Patrick Sullivan's Avatar
      If that was a catch, Dez Bryant's denied TD was, too.
    1. Matt Kocsan's Avatar
      Quote Originally Posted by Patrick Sullivan View Post
      If that was a catch, Dez Bryant's denied TD was, too.
      I mean, at this point, I have about as much faith in the catch rule as I do when a ref is wandering the sidelines guessing where a punt went out of bounds.
    1. Patrick Sullivan's Avatar
      Someone with better digital A/V skills than I needs to rewrite the old E.T. theme song "Turn On Your Heartlight". The new title needs to be "Put Down the Crack Pipe" and the song needs to be about the futility of being a Lions fan.
    1. Matt Kocsan's Avatar
      Quote Originally Posted by Patrick Sullivan View Post
      The lack of preparation by the broadcast crew is appalling. Deandre has played in one game this season, guys. You just said he had not played a snap. Remove craniums from rectums.
      Honestly, I'm embarrassed for them. They sound like tourists who are telling nothing interesting on their return home.