2011 NFL Playoffs: Backdoor Cover for Bears/Packers, Steelers/Jets

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2011 NFL Playoffs:  Backdoor Cover for Bears/Packers, Steelers/Jets
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“Why are you all sweaty?”

“I was watching Cops.” – Stepbrothers

One more round to go until the big game. Through the playoffs so far, the Backdoor Cover is 11-5 ATS. I will take that every day of the week and twice on Sundays. The problem with this round of the NFL playoffs is that it signals the beginning of the end.

Think of it like your normal weekend. You get off work for Friday, and you couldn’t be more excited. You’ve got places to go, people to see and bad things to get into for the night. Monday morning couldn’t be further away. Saturday comes around, and it’s a whole day of doing whatever you want, like signing up for Twitter and following this website @thehazean for awesome things like Fist Pump Friday!

Sunday seems like it should be just as fun, except somewhere Sunday afternoon the black cloud that is going back to work starts to rain on any fun you might plan. That is how this weekend is to me. Yeah it’s great we have two games this weekend, but the real fun was the last two weekends. Not to mention, after Sunday, we have to wait two weeks to see the next game. To quote my man B.B. King, "The thrill is gone."

It’s not that I’m down on this weekend’s games, I’m just sad to see it go because I never, ever bet on NBA basketball. Don’t do it. It’s more scripted than a Shakespearean play. One weekend—actually two weekends—I will promote though, are the New Orleans Jazz and Heritage festival. You can see the great lineup here.

To get us in the mood for this week’s column, it’s none other than the legendary Tom Jones, "It’s Not Unusual." Also it’s a time for celebration since TV’s best comedy—Parks and Recreation—is back.

This Week Against the Spread:

CHICAGO +3 1/2 vs. Green Bay 

I can’t believe I’m recommending the Bears, but it is what it is friends.

Never in NFL history has a six seed been favored over a two seed in the Championship round. The Bears haven’t been a public team all year. In 16 games, the Packers were favored in 13 of them going 7-6 ATS. Meanwhile, the better-record Bears were only favored once all year against a team with a winning record (one point favorite against the Jets) and a total of 8 going 3-4-1 ATS. However in their last ten games (since the bye week), they are 7-2-1 ATS as people kept betting against them.

Another note, teams that score 40+ points in a game are 7-12 SU and 2-17 ATS the following game. This has already happened once this season with Seattle scoring 41 the first week, then losing last week.

Lastly, teams trying to win their third straight road game in the playoffs are 10-39. Both the Packers and Jets fall into this category. I’m providing a lot of analysis for a game that won’t be easy. Keep in mind that on the last week of the season with their year on the line, the Packers only scored 10 points against Chicago’s defense at Lambeau. Let’s hope all these factors go in the Bears' favor and equal a cover, because on paper, the Packers are a better team.

PITTSBURGH – 3 1/2 vs. NY Jets 

The Jets just played their Super Bowl.

I have never seen a team so psyched up and celebrate so much after a Divisional win. The Patriots are who they had their sights on all year. Now they have won and have to go play a third straight road playoff game at Pittsburgh.

Unlike the Patriots, the Steelers have the defense that can stop a nosebleed. This is what will happen:  the Steelers are going to limit the run game and Mark Sanchez will not be able to make plays in the air. It’s that simple. Were you aware that if Sanchez wins this game he becomes the winningest road playoff QB in NFL history? Wow. Just like last week, Big Ben can improvise against a fierce Jets pass rush enough to keep the chains moving.

It’s extremely difficult to beat the Colts, Patriots and Steelers all on the road in consecutive weeks, and I am betting that doesn’t happen.

 

Over/Under:

Chicago/Green Bay UNDER 43

Pittsburgh/NY Jets UNDER 39

 

PROP BET OF THE WEEK:

I preached against teasers from the beginning, however with both of these games expected to be tight, I will be using a 7-point teaser to give me CHICAGO +10 1/2 and PITTSBURGH +3 1/2.  I am using the 7-point teaser to get over a field goal in the Steelers game. Remember, teasers are dumb. Good luck followers!


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