THE BACKDOOR COVER: WEEK 5

When the Denver Broncos take the week off, I take the week off

First four weeks in the NFL are in the books and the BACKDOOR COVER is 13-7 on the year thus far. Big week with 7 games on the slate for us.

I don’t go hard in the paint on college football anymore, but I will let you know I have dropped U.S. currency (the kind that folds, not the kind that jingles) on the Alabama Crimson Tide this weekend. If you like folding money as well, I suggest you get in on that sweet, sweet action.

This is the point in the year where we have to decide if wacky results are a week aberration, or a trend that we don’t want to be late recognizing. Don’t forget to get on social media to dish out EBOLA jokes while the gettins good!

Good luck this week amigos.

On to the games!

NFL


GREEN BAY -8 vs. Vikings – As a Mississippi State fan, I can relate to a group that takes pride in the quality of their cheese. I couldn’t live up there but glad cheddar makes you happy too. As far as the game, I’ll take the home team on a short week against a forecast of murky Bridgewater, with a chance of Ponder.

NEW YORK JETS +6.5 vs. Chargers – This isn’t really about the Jets as much as it is fading the Chargers. They aren’t as good as they’ve seemed and I do not trust them to win by a touchdown. I seem to remember that Rivers isn’t great against Rex Ryan defenses but that could just be a dream I had, who knows.

DENVER -7 vs. Cardinals – America’s team has yet to have a win that is easy from start to finish. I think the offense gets out and the defensive pass rush gets to unleash hell on whoever is taking snaps for Arizona this week. Now’s the time to insert Wes Welker into your lineups gang.

SAINT LOUIS +7 vs. Eagles – Team that runs the ball off a bye week facing team that played on the west coast and lost a heartbreaker. Seems simple but yet it’s still more complex than the plot of Jurassic Park 3.

TENNESSEE -1.5 vs. Browns – Going to try the Titans one more time, even though they break my heart. Too bad George Strait retired, because that line is country gold. I love George but wish he played Heartland in concert. It’s not like he’s lacking for #1 hits though.
JACKSONVILLE +6 vs. Steelers – How bad does everyone think the Jaguars are? /looks at JAX box scores. Never mind, they’ve been awful. But it’s not like the Steelers deserve to be laying this on the road. Banking on the Bortles effect.

CINCINNATI -1 vs. Patriots – One game with the Patriots and I could call it a fluke. Two games are alarming. Three games is a sign that they team needs to be Ole Yeller’d. I’m going to put money on the better team to beat the worse team and see how that works out for me.

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Oct 02, 2014 9:45 am

THE BACKDOOR COVER: WEEK 3

Have I mentioned yet that I went 6-1 ATS in this very column last week? That would be shallow and a pointless ego exercise, so I’m going to not even mention that I picked 6 games right to only 1 game wrong seven days ago.

While capping games this week it occurred to me that I was honing in on mostly underdogs. Sure dogs have raced out to a 19-12-1 ATS mark this season, but even I know that will even out eventually. My goal this week is to find the ones that offer value, but are also not named Raiders or Oakland. I believe I have succeeded.

If you were wondering – UNDERS are beating OVERS at an 18 – 14 clip. That seems about the right pace. If you can’t choose a side and want action, take the UNDER. It’s always a little better than 50% and you get to root for things like: punts, tackling in-bounds, penalties, dumb timeouts, etc. Really just a grand time for the whole family.

Any questions about these games or games I’m not taking, I always have an opinion on sports or Jennifer Anniston on the twitter @bryan_CTP and unlike those celebrities you keep stalking, I’ll answer.

Good luck this week amigos.

On to the games!

NFL

TAMPA BAY +6.5 vs. Falcons –Because why not. My Atlanta Braves have completely nosedived to end the season so I don’t feel like I can trust any team in Georgia at the moment. Think this might be a shootout as well.

WASHINGTON +6.5 vs. Eagles – Too many points. And I’m good at spotting too many points. All I had to do was look at this line to see that it was too many points for a football game that should be close. Book it.

NEW ORLEANS -10 vs. Vikings – Not sure why I can’t quit the Saints. Bet against him past two games but ready for them to get on the cover train now. FYI: that train does NOT stop in Metairie.

NEW YORK GIANTS +2.5 vs.Texans – OH NO, HERE COMES RYAN FITZPATRICK!! BETTER LAY THE POINTS ON THE ROAD!! HE’S SURE TO COVER THREE STRAIGHT WEEKS!! These statements are outrageous yet part of normal society it seems. Stop it.

TENNESSEE +7 vs.Bengals –You know how when you are channel flipping and BOOM! There’s the Hannah Montana movie. Of course you have to watch but in the back of my mind I wonder – Does Miley watch this movie ever? Does she even remember who she used to be? I hope so because that’s the whole point of her visiting Tennessee in the film.

PITTSBURGH +3.5 vs.Panthers – Nothing draws me in to a SNF game like getting the hook. This game has field goal spray-painted across its forehead. While their defense is atrocious, the Steelers don’t deserve to be buried just yet.

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Sep 18, 2014 4:10 pm

THE BACKDOOR COVER: WEEK 2

There are already enough words on the internet.

One of my favorite movies (PURE COUNTRY!!!) has a scene with a grandpa explaining why no one in his family talked during breakfast. Basically everyone knows everything and nothing is gained from people yapping their gums all the time. No reason to state the obvious.

This week we could talk about over-reaction vegas lines and or teams getting value. But I don’t have the time and you don’t care more than likely. You are here for picks and I have them hot’n’fresh from the oven below. Sure you could follow other people’s picks who have a lot more notoriety, but why? If I lose you money you can yell at me on twitter @bryan_CTP and we can work through why I’m an idiot together.

Good luck this week amigos..

On to the games!

NFL

PITTSBURGH/BALTIMORE UNDER 45 –I hope the Steelers win 44-0, the Ravens franchise disintegrates, front office fired and everyone in the stands wearing a Ray Rice jersey catches the stomach flu simultaneously after discovering sugar was poured into their gas tanks.

CLEVELAND +7 vs. Saints – Stop me if you’ve heard this one before. Man walks into bar. Sits down and bets against New Orleans on the road. Wins money. Leaves with hottest girl there. The End.

NEW ENGLAND -3 vs. Vikings – In what should be a trap game ends up being exactly what you thought. New England isn’t starting 2-0 and has been straight cash after a loss then going on the road throughout the years. Don’t go re-inventing the poptart.

NEW YORK JETS +9.5 vs. Packers – Lot of fancy trends at work here say take the Jets and I love fancy. Reminds me of when I used to wear braided leather belts in jr. high. Until the Packers show they can stop the run I can’t trust them at a high number.

CHICAGO +7 vs.49ers – Don’t have reason behind this pick, but it will cover. Remember – you lose 100% of the bets you don’t make involving Jay Cutler.

OAKLAND +3 vs.Texans – I’m not ready to live in a world where the Texans are favored on the road just yet. They beat a bad team at home last week. I’m going with they can’t beat a bad team away from home this week. Or can’t beat two bad teams in a row. Whatever you want.

PHILADELPHIA +3 vs. Colts – I don’t think the Colts are very good. Can’t run, defense is suspect doesn’t equal the lofty post-season expectations I’ve seen from them. Think the Eagles are a better team with a smarter coach.

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Sep 11, 2014 3:53 pm

Waiver Wire Week 2: Ray Rice Fallout

Ray Rice was cut by the Ravens yesterday (you already know the story, so I won’t go into here in a fantasy football column), which was something we alluded to here several months ago.

Rice already was suspended the first two weeks of the season. In his absence, Bernard Pierce was expected to fill Rice’s role in the Ravens’ offense. But after an early fumble, Pierce was benched and that paved the way for an old but familiar name.

Justin Forsett.

Rice’s departure coupled with Pierce’s shaky start certainly does not clarify the situation in Baltimore. Forsett, 29-years-old, is not the future of the running game in Baltimore. But he will be used now that he’s proven to be effective in the Ravens’ offense.

Pierce may still be the heir apparent, but there is another young runner on the roster whom fantasy owners should add to their radar: Rookie Lorenzo Taliaferro, who got a lot of run in the preseason.

I wouldn’t add Taliaferro in shallow leagues (10 teams, 12 teams with small benches). But I would add him in deeper formats as well as long-term formats. Worth a stash.

Plenty of other names making waves this week, which figures to be a busy one of the waiver wire.

Buys

Justin Forsett, RB, Ravens
Bobby Rainey, RB, Buccaneers
Isaiah Crowell, RB, Browns
James Starks, RB, Packers (Eddie Lacy owners especially.)
Lorenzo Taliaferro, RB, Ravens
Markus Wheaton, WR, Steelers

Sells

Jake Locker, QB, Titans (I don’t believe it yet. Stay healthy.)
Allen Hurns, WR, Jaguars (Let someone else overpay for him.)

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Sep 09, 2014 8:01 am

THE BACKDOOR COVER: WEEK ONE

Because just watching football is not enough is it.

Hardly anyone wants to be just a fan of their teams and keep up for the whole season anymore. So we devised a way to care about players instead of team by using their stats as points and playing with friends. But then that got boring as well. So now we have weekly fantasy leagues that you can compete in.

You know what’s never going to get boring?

Making fat stacks on top of fat stacks of theoretical internet dollars. Nothing gets you a prime VIP seat in the club and the ladies headed your way like proclaiming that your betting account is fully loaded with make-believe cash. You know it.

The key to making money is cashing out and having a plan to cash out. Sounds simple but the majority of people who bet put money in and don’t ever really think about stopping until their account is gone. It’s not real money at that point. If you want an action account that you know you’ll eventually lose enough that it’s empty, that’s fine but understand it’s what you are doing. The only way to win is money management. But hey, that’s not as much fun is it.

This is the fourth (I think) year of this column. I might not win every week but I win every year. Refresher – pick teams to win against the current oddsmakers lines, usually have between 5-10 a week. Win money. Be Happy.

Definitely adds the element to watching games that is currently lacking no matter how many fantasy leagues you enter or how much you want your team to win it all.

Good luck to each and everyone of you this season. I’m always available to hold your hands on twitter @bryan_CTP

On to the games!

NFL

SEATTLE -6 vs. Packers – People first look at this spread and think “oh man, with all that offense ain’t no way the cheeseheads can’t keep it close” while getting excited about the almost touchdown spread. Seattle is a weird place where they think mason jars are a new thing, so I’m not going against them at home until they prove me otherwise.

ATLANTA +3 vs. Saints – but tha black and gold have Drew Brees! Look, there are a few certainties in life. I don’t care about news that isn’t on twitter, people who prefer smooth peanut butter profile as serial killers and the Saints on the road don’t deserve my greenbacks.

ST. LOUIS -4 vs. Vikings – No idea who that guy is starting QB for the Rams, but I fully expect that defense to make up for any offense ineptitude. Unlike Seattle, the Rams have the opposite of a home field advantage so I’m not counting on any help in that department.

JACKSONVILLE +10.5 vs. Eagles – Getting double digits? Check. Have a running game? Check. (please God let Toby Gerhart have a great fantasy season, thx) Have a good defense? Check. A team the average fan assumes is a dumpster fire? Check. Everything I look for in a big underdog.

CHICAGO -7 vs. Bills – Speaking of dumpster fires, I think the Bills are overrated. Even for a team that is supposed to be average. I’ve eaten hot dogs for lunch the past two days which means not only am I poors, but I feel like I can relate to the normal Chicago resident’s daily life of processed mystery meats and overwhelming depression.

TENNESSEE +4 vs. Chiefs – You absolutely cannot give Jake Locker more than three points on the road. Absolute cardinal rule in odds-making, yet Vegas seems to be trolling the gamblers of America. I was told today I need to replace a toilet so I’m gonna let Shonne Greene and Co. buy me a new one. It’s that easy.

ARIZONA -3 vs. Chargers – Can’t have a MNF two-game slate and not have action on something, so here is that action. RELATED: I will be starting Carson Palmer in two fantasy leagues I waited juuuuuuuuuuuust a little too long at quarterback for this year. When the experts say wait on a quarterback they don’t mean go in a coma during the draft.

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Sep 04, 2014 3:26 pm

The Hazean’s 2014 Survival League: Supporting St. Jude’s

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Supporting St. Jude is the most charitable thing I do all year, and probably the most important thing I do all year.

Every single dollar we raise for St. Jude goes toward operating the hospital. Every. Single. Dollar.

So we need your help. We’re doing a NFL Survival League in support of St. Jude. We did a similar fundraiser this past spring for March Madness, raising $75 for St. Jude in the process.

That’s a nice start for our fund-raising efforts. Our goal is to raise $500 for St. Jude this year, and we already have raised $125 toward that goal.

We’re going to do the same setup for the 2014 Survival League that we did for the March Madness league. $10 entry fee — five goes toward St. Jude, and the other five goes in the pot for the winner(s).

Sign up using the info/link below and, more importantly, help by spreading the word. Share on Facebook, share on Twitter, share via email.

https://www.paypalobjects.com/en_US/i/btn/btn_buynowCC_LG.gif

After you pay using the the PayPal link above, you’ll get an email with login information for the league.

Thanks for helping to support a great cause. Looking forward to another great football season in the process.

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Aug 02, 2014 8:25 am

World Cup Names To Know: Group H

Previously:

World Cup Preview And Predictions

Group A Names To Know

Group B Names To Know

Group C Names To Know

Groups D, E, And F Names To Know

Group G Names To Know

ALGERIA

Who you know:

Madjid Bougherra – Algerian captain with more than twice as many international caps as anyone else on the team. Bougherra has played his club ball all across Europe and Asia, and at 31 years old, finds himself without a club for the 2014 season. Look for Bougherra to make this a statement tournament as he will have his hands full dealing with a power Belgian attack.

Who you should know:

Sofiane Feghouli – with only 20 international caps, Feghouli has made his claim to fame with Spanish club Valencia, where he has played 136 games. Feghouli is not known as a pure goal scorer, but will can create goal scoring opportunities from anywhere on the pitch. Look for Feghouli to find his way onto the stat sheet in the assist column or perhaps from a free kick or two.

Who you will know:

El Arbi Hillel Soudani – Soudani has the makings of an attacker that just likes to score goals. Having scored double-digit goals for every team he has ever played for (club and country), Soudani will look to keep adding to his goal tally.

*NabilBentaleb – mark this one as a gut call or one for the future, but this 19 year old has a talent that can’t be ignored. If he is given a chance on the pitch, keep a close eye on this little large hell on wheels.

Read More

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Jun 18, 2014 9:01 am

World Cup Names To Know: Group G

Previously:

World Cup Preview And Predictions

Group A Names To Know

Group B Names To Know

Group C Names To Know

Groups D, E, And F Names To Know

GERMANY

Who you know:

Bastian Schweinsteiger – about as rough and tough as the come, Schweinsteiger looks to punish any opponent that dare enter his midfield. Playing in over 100 caps for Germany and over 300 for his local club team Bayern Munich, Schweinsteiger’s over decade long career has made the world take notice of his talents. Dubbed the “midfield mastermind,” Schweinsteiger will slice and dice his way through most opposing defenses.

Philipp Lahm – another nation team member with over 100 caps, this 30 year old German captain still looks like a young man. At only 5’7”, many argue Lahm is undersized as a defender, but he utilizes his speed on the outside to punish teams that dare not respect him. Lahm’s corners and crosses should find their way to awaiting heads of the imposing German attackers

Who you should know:

Mesut Ozil – logging over 100 games for Spanish powerhouse Real Madrid will certainly help a footballer appear on many peoples radar. And that’s exactly what happened last year when he was scooped up by English club Arsenal in a deal which made him the most expensive German football player of all time. Ozil’s presence and creativity in the midfield is hard for most defenses to match and look for Ozil to make some headlines in Brazil/

Lukas Podolski – fellow Arsenal club member for Ozil, Lukas Podolski is another well-known and well respected German midfielder. Podolski will spend his time pushing up the left sideline and will punish other teams with his booming free kicks and surgeon like precision passing.

Who you will know:

Thomas Muller – Germany has never lacked goal scoring ability and this year will be no different. Muller is one of the most deadly headers of the ball in the world and is no stranger to scoring in the World Cup. After scoring 5 goals in 2010, look for Muller to pick up back where he left off and lead the German squad in goals again

Mario Gotze – another young, talented attacking midfielder, Gotze has made the most in his limited role with German club Bayern Munich. Always seeming to find the ball at his foot inside the box, Gotze has lighting quicks speed and finishing capabilities.

Read More

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Jun 17, 2014 9:02 am

World Cup Names to Know: Groups D, E, and F

Playing a little catch-up this morning in advance of today’s matches.

Previously:

World Cup Preview And Predictions

Group A Names To Know

Group B Names To Know

Group C Names to Know

COSTA RICA

Who you know:

Bryan Ruiz – captain, 2nd most international caps, and 2nd most international goals bring Ruiz to the forefront of Costa Rican soccer.  Of course, playing on clubs such as England’s Fulham and the Netherland’s PSV certainly doesn’t hurt his chances of being the go to guy for this up and coming squad

Who you should know:

Celso Borges – the rock in the middle of the Costa Rican midfield, Borges will look to provide stability to both the attack and defense. Having gained most of his international fame while on the U-17 (under 17 years old) national team for Costa Rica, Borges failed to capitalize on that momentum and turn it into a booming career. Borges remains a solid player and will be heavily leaned on if Costa Rica hopes to advance out of this extremely challenging group

Who you will know:

Joel Campbell – the youngest Costa Rican to make to the journey to Brazil, Campbell shows plenty of promise as a 21 year old. He was called up to England’s Arsenal club at only 19, but has spent most of his club career on loan throughout Europe. His most recent stop at Olympiacos produced his best year by far while playing in 32 games and scoring 8 goals. It’s Campbell’s international career which shows the most hope scoring almost 10 goals each for his U17, U20 and current senior Costa Rican teams.

ENGLAND

England will also receive 2 players per category, not that they are on the same level as Spain, Brazil, et al, but rather because the Barclay’s Premier League (which boast almost all of these lads) is the most watched League in the world.

Who you know:

Steven Gerrard – the ageless wonder, Stevie G captains both the English national team as well as England’s club team Liverpool. The heart and soul of the midfield, Gerrard is looking to lead his squad to the ever elusive World Cup title. England is getting younger, but even though he is 34, Stevie G plays with the passion of a 20 year old. Wherever England hopes to go this World Cup, Gerrard will be the one leading them there, proving that You’ll Never Walk Alone.

Read More

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Jun 16, 2014 9:02 am

World Cup Group C Names To Know

Previously:

World Cup Preview And Predictions

Group A Names To Know

Group B Names To Know

Group C

COLOMBIA

Who you know:

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Radamel Falcao- one could argue that this is most devastating injury for any country leading up to the World Cup. Sure there are better players around the world, but the drop off from Falcao to his Colombian counterparts is devastating. Let’s face it: the only Colombians you have ever heard of are Juan Valdez and Pablo Escobar and while both offer their own unique “pick-me-ups,” neither can help Colombia reach the World Cup finals. Will Colombia advance past the group stage? Absolutely. Their 1st knockout stage match against England/Italy/Uruguay will mark the end of the line,

Who you should know:

Teofilo Guiterrez- having scored almost twice as many international goals as his remaining Colombian footballers, Guiterrez has proven his ability to rise to the occasion. His number will be called upon early and often and must prove that he can replace the attacking void left by Falcao.

Who you will know:

Jackson Martinez- Mark this as a “gut call,” but Colombia will have to score if they want to advance. There is no question that their defense is supremely talented and will keep them in most of the games they play. Someone will have to present a threat to opposing defenses and Martinez will be your man. Porto (Portugal) has produced some amazing players from their club (see Colombian striker Falcao) and a betting man should not feel hesitant to let his money ride on Martinez becoming the next B.M.O.C.

GREECE

Who you know:

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Giorgos Karagounis – being the most capped player in the history of the Greece national team (135 to be exact), Karagounis has led an impressive club and international career. After superb 5 years at the local Grecian club Panathinaikos, Kara most recently spent time at England’s Fulham. At 37 years old and currently unsigned by any club, Kara will most likely bid adieu to the football world at the end of this Cup run.

Read More

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Jun 14, 2014 12:35 pm
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The Hazean

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