Category Archives: Sports

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Sports – Covers.com NFL

Category : Sports

NFL, presented by Covers.com

As the 2017 NFL season swiftly approaches, fans & odds-makers alike are looking ahead, attempting to predict the outcome of what will assuredly be another exciting year.  Free Agency will provide new players, the Draft will provide fresh talent, and Training Camp will bring it all together, but only one team will be standing when the Super Bowl ends as the new league champion.  With so much action approaching in the next few months, we take an early look at how our favorite teams might fare.  The first clue; the schedule.  Here is a strength of schedule ranking for each club, based on the overall 2016 records of their opponents.

  1. Denver Broncos: 147-102-2 (.578)
  2. Kansas City Chiefs: 147-108-1 (.576)
  3. Los Angeles Chargers: 145-110-1 (.568)
  4. Oakland Raiders: 144-111-1 (.564)
  5. Buffalo Bills: 143-112-1 (.561)
  6. Miami Dolphins: 140-116-0 (.547)
  7. Washington Redskins: 138-116-2 (.543)
  8. New York Giants: 135-117-4 (.535)
  9. New York Jets: 137-119-0 (.535)
  10. Dallas Cowboys: 134-118-4 (.531)
  11. Philadelphia Eagles: 134-118-4 (.531)
  12. New England Patriots: 135-121-0 (.527)
  13. Atlanta Falcons: 133-122-1 (.521)
  14. Tampa Bay Buccaneers: 132-123-1 (.518)
  15. New Orleans Saints: 130-125-1 (.514)
  16. Carolina Panthers: 129-127-0 (.504)
  17. Los Angeles Rams: 121-130-5 (.482)
  18. Green Bay Packers: 122-132-2 (.480)
  19. Chicago Bears: 122-133-1 (.479)
  20. San Francisco 49ers: 119-132-5 (.475)
  21. Detroit Lions: 119-135-2 (.469)
  22. Cleveland Browns: 119-135-2 (.469)
  23. Arizona Cardinals: 118-135-3 (.467)
  24. Baltimore Ravens: 117-137-2 (.461)
  25. Seattle Seahawks: 115-138-3 (.455)
  26. Houston Texans: 115-138-3 (.455)
  27. Minnesota Vikings: 115-139-2 (.453)
  28. Pittsburgh Steelers: 115-139-2 (.453)
  29. Cincinnati Bengals: 115-141-0 (.449)
  30. Jacksonville Jaguars: 111-142-3 (.439)
  31. Tennessee Titans: 111-142-3 (.439)
  32. Indianapolis Colts: 107-146-3 (.424)

Because of the NFL‘s scheduling system, you’ll notice that divisions are usually grouped together in the strength of schedule rankings.  That’s because each team plays each team in their division twice, those past records combining to give a similar percentage.  The AFC West has, by far, the most difficult road to the playoffs, whereas the AFC South has the easiest.  The Colts, a team led by a quarterback who can carry the entire squad on his shoulders, has the added benefit of a light schedule, and so should be considered an odds-on favorite to read the postseason.  The Broncos, with the hardest schedule in the league, a new head coach, and an anemic offense, should be thought of as a long shot.  The Seahawks don’t need any help but have an easy path, the two Super Bowl teams find themselves in the middle of the pack, and the Dolphins won’t get a break as they try to repeat their surprisingly strong year.  It should be an excellent and entertaining NFL season in 2017, and we don’t have much longer to wait.

Visit Covers.com for all your sports betting needs, as well as expert analysis, picks, odds, and news from around the world of sports.  NFL, NBA, MLB, NHL, NCAAF, NCAAB, & more; Covers has you covered.


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Sports – 2017 NFL Free Agency

Category : Sports

With the 2016 season behind us, the Super Bowl over, and the reality of zero football settling in, it’s never too early to look ahead to next year.  The 2017 season kicks off with the HOF game in Canton in August and the Opener in New England in September, but before that there are two major events that will change your team’s future.  One is the Draft in April, and the other is Free Agency in March.  There are veteran players out there for the taking, and they could help your team right away with their talent and experience.  Here is a look at some of the top NFL Free Agents of 2017:

 

Le’Veon Bell – RB – Pittsburgh Steelers

Eric Berry – S – Kansas City Chiefs

Kirk Cousins – QB – Washington Redskins

Kawaan Short – DT – Carolina Panthers

Chandler Jones – LB – Arizona Cardinals

Alshon Jeffery – WR – Chicago Bears

Melvin Ingram – LB – Los Angeles Chargers

Calais Campbell – DE – Arizona Cardinals

Brandon Williams – DT – Baltimore Ravens

Jason Pierre-Paul – DE – New York Giants

Jamie Collins – LB – Cleveland Browns

Kevin Zeitler – OG – Cincinnati Bengals

Stephon Gilmore – CB – Buffalo Bills

A.J. Bouye – CB – Houston Texans

Dont’a Hightower – LB – New England Patriots

Dontari Poe – DT – Kansas City Chiefs

Martellus Bennett – TE – New England Patriots

DeSean Jackson – WR – Washington Redskins

Terrelle Pryor – WR – Cleveland Browns

T.J. Lang – OG – Green Bay Packers

 

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Sports – Covers.com March Madness

Category : Sports

March Madness, presented by Covers.com

For the first time in its history, the NCAA has given College Hoops fans an in-season look at the projected Top 16 teams one month ahead of the Tournament.  This preview shows us how the rankings translate to seedings by creating a potential bracket, one that will change over the course of the remainder of the regular season and the conference championships, but can at least serve as a guide to where your favorite team currently stands.  Let’s take a look at the sixteen teams who, for now, hold the four most coveted spots in each region.

East: 1) Villanova, 2) Louisville, 3) Kentucky, 4) UCLA

South: 1) Baylor, 2) North Carolina, 3) Florida, 4) Butler

Midwest: 1) Kansas, 2) Florida St., 3) Arizona, 4) Duke

West: 1) Gonzaga, 2) Oregon, 3) Virginia, 4) West Virginia

March Madness is a month away, but college basketball fans all over the country are preparing to root for their teams in each and every round, while they also prepare for four straight days of hoops, in what has become a veritable holiday weekend.  These early projected rankings just fuel the fire even more, giving a taste of victory to the front runners, while those who haven’t cracked the Top 16 look on, with every win between now and the Tourney a major victory.  And although it’s too early to fill in your bracket, this fluid, state-of-the-NCAA ranking system shows you the odds which your team currently holds.  Villanova, Baylor, Kansas, Gonzaga; these four squads stand the best chance of reaching deep into the Tourney, at least as of right now, as the #1 seeds will face easier competition early on, earning them a momentum that could help propel a talented team all the way to the Championship.  For the rest, all spots are up for grabs, as conference competition heats up, seasons come to a close, and the cream rises to the top to compete in what should be another amazing NCAA Tournament.

Visit Covers.com for all your sports betting needs, as well as expert analysis, picks, odds, and news from around the world of sports.  NFL, NBA, MLB, NHL, NCAAF, NCAAB, & more; Covers has you covered.


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Sports – 2017 NFL Coaching Carousel

Category : Sports

Now that the Super Bowl is over, it’s not too early to look ahead to the 2017 season, especially for those teams who have already undergone a lot of change.  Nothing says a fresh start like a new head coach, and many NFL teams made the switch after tough losses or tough years in general.  Here is a look at the new faces and their new teams:

Buffalo Bills – Sean McDermott

Jacksonville Jaguars – Doug Marrone

Denver Broncos – Vance Joseph

Los Angeles Chargers – Anthony Lynn

Los Angeles Rams – Sean McVay

San Francisco 49ers – Kyle Shanahan

 

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Sports – NFL Picks 2016, Super Bowl

Category : Sports

Here is my NFL Super Bowl Pick

(9-1 for the postseason, 156-98-2 for the regular season)

 

NE @ Atl – Here we are, the Super Bowl, and the goddam Patriots are in it once again.  Seriously, most of us kind of hate them, call them cheaters, give them grudging respect, but are probably tired of Belichick & Brady popping up every time our team is trying to make something happen.  As a Broncos fan, I know I love the rivalry but can’t stand how good New England constantly is.  They are historically dominant, Tom never ages, you have to give them credit, and all while gritting your teeth.  They’ll probably win this game, and here’s why; defense wins championships.  It’s a tired old adage, but it’s true, just look at the defenses that have or should have won the SBs over the past few years.  The best defense in the league against the best offense in the league; regular season I might take the offense or perhaps the home team, but here I just have to go with the Pats’ experience.  I’ll be rooting for Atlanta all the way; I love Matty Ice, Julio, Free, & Cole, but I just don’t think they’ll be able to move past this terrific team.  No, I think New England gets another trophy to add to the case, as much as that pisses us all off.

 

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Sports – 2016 NFL Year in Review

Category : Sports

Here is my 2016 NFL Year in Review

(9-1 for the postseason, 156-98-2 for the regular season)

 

AFC Division Winners

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afcpitsteelers

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NFC Division Winners

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nfcgbpackers

nfc

nfcseaseahawks

AFC Wild Cards

NFC Wild Cards

Super Bowl

Champions?

 

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Sports – NFL Picks 2016, Championship

Category : Sports

Here are my NFL Championship Picks

(7-1 for the postseason, 156-98-2 for the regular season)

Bye teams: none

 

GB @ Atl – Wow, what a game this will be.  And what a game that Packers/Cowboys matchup was, Rodgers having to work his magic in the 4th quarter after Dallas made a furious comeback.  Dak & Co. made one fatal flaw, spiking the ball to waste a down and give Rodgers more time to work with, something that cost them the postseason and, in my opinion, should cost Garrett his job.  He’s mediocre at best, doesn’t have that illusive genius that it takes to win championships, and won’t be able to take the ‘Boys to the next level.  But that’s neither here nor there, the Pack won, and now they move on to face the Falcons, the only team that’s as hot as GB right now.  But the difference here is that Atlanta is hot on offense and on defense, playing their best overall football in all phases.  People are calling Dan Quinn’s team Seattle 2.0, but they have a bonus; an aerial attack that can’t be stopped, and I don’t think the Packers are going to be able to slow them down.  Can Atlanta’s D slow Rodgers down, that’s the question, and I’m guessing yes, just enough anyway to make this a 31-27 game and hopefully the most entertaining of the year.

 

Pit @ NE – The Steelers just kicked themselves into the Championship round, and what a tough game that was vs the Chiefs, a team that seemed to be pretty perfect on paper.  They just couldn’t get Hill & their offense in rhythm, so credit Pittsburgh for disrupting that flow.  They’ll have to do the same and more this week vs New England, and will probably have to score more than just a few FGS; Ben is going to have to find Brown in the endzone multiple times in this game if the Steelers are to have a chance.  Because we know that Brady will score, or at least that someone from that team will.  It’s funny, I predicted that someone like James White would come out of nowhere to pop off for 3 TDs or something crazy like that, and that’s exactly what happened, but with Dion Lewis instead.  That’s how the Pats win, by implementing a unique gameplan that highlights one weakness of the opposing defense and exploits it on the way to victory.  Watch Edelman catch 4 TDs this week, or something crazy like that, but look for something wacky that Pittsburgh never saw coming.  Whatever happens, I think New England wins 24-20.

 

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Sports – NFL Picks 2016, Divisional

Category : Sports

Here are my NFL Divisional Picks

(4-0 for the postseason, 156-98-2 for the regular season)

Bye teams: none

 

Sea @ Atl – Now the games really start heating up, after a weekend of predictable blowouts.  Three of the Wild Card games were never in question based solely on injuries to Carr, Tannehill, & Stafford.  The last game, NYG vs GB, should have been close, but it turned into the largest rout of them all, go figure.  I think we can predict the opposite this week though, three excellent & close games, with one lopsided, but we’ll see, any given Sunday, as they say.  This first game of the Divisional Round should be the matchup we’ve been waiting to enjoy watching, a classic strength vs strength game.  Seattle has an amazing defense, Atlanta has an incredible offense, so which one prevails?  They say defense wins championships, but the game is in Atlanta’s home dome, so again there’s a nice balance of power.  The Falcons have had the extra week to prepare, they score an average of 34 points per game, the Seahawks will still be without Earl Thomas, and I just think Hotlanta will be too hard to handle.  Seattle is actually only 3-4-1 on the road this season, 6-5-1 vs the NFC, so that doesn’t scare me, and it shouldn’t scare the Falcons.

 

Hou @ NE – Here’s the lopsided game I was talking about.  I think all the others will be neck and neck, great contests, will make up for the lack of competitive games last week.  But I think the Patriots will blow the Texans out of the water.  Had David Carr been playing last week, I think Houston would have been in a big heap of trouble.  Brock played OK, so did their defense, but Connor Cook just wasn’t ready to play in that game; you can bet that Brady & Belichick will be.  No one prepares better than New England, and they’ll have had an extra week to do so.  Brock isn’t going to be able to score, or even move the ball, and I think he will also have a high amount of turnovers.  Brady won’t find it easy to move the ball vs Houston’s stellar D, but he & Belichick will think of ways to get it done, they always do.  Something random like James White running for 200 yds and 3 TDs will be the story of the game, and the Pats will roll.  New England is 6-2 at home and, get this, Houston is 2-6 on the road.  That’s terrible, especially for a playoff team, and they will not survive this game.

 

Pit @ KC – Wow, what a tough game to pick.  The Steelers are riding a giant win streak and just took it to the Dolphins, showing that they’re a frightening postseason team.  That they have to go on the road in this game and probably one more if they were to win here is a big problem though, since those locations are Kansas City and (probably) New England, two places you do not want to travel to, especially in cold weather.  Pittsburgh just has a tough row to hoe, although if any team can do it, it’s the Steelers.  Ben, Bell, & Brown are killing it right now, although Roethlisberger did just hurt is ankle.  He’ll play, but what if it bothers him, what if it limits him, and what if they need 100% to beat the Chiefs?  Which they will, come on, KC is red hot right now.  Ever since they figured out how to get Hill involved in the game they’ve been unstoppable.  As a receiver, a runner, a returner, this guy is amazing, and can change an entire game around with one big play.  He adds something to what was a mediocre offense, and combining that with a great defense, you’ve got a team that can go far.

 

GB @ Dal – And here’s the game to watch, a matchup that is as unpredictable as it should be entertaining.  What the Packers just did to the Giants was shocking; I never thought they would dominate like that.  The offense got rolling and never looked back, something that they’ll need to carry over in this round if they are to stand a chance against the Cowboys.  If I was a Packers fan, player, or coach, I’d feel pretty confident with Rodgers as my leader right now, a guy who’s seen it all before, someone who stays cool, a QB that can win in so many ways.  On the flip side, as exciting as this season has been for Dallas, if I’m a Cowboys fan I would definitely feel some concern right now.  Not to take anything away from what Dak, Dez, Zeke, the O line, and the defense have done this season, but experience matters, and this is a young team that will have to learn to deal with adrenaline very quickly.  The ‘Boys are great at home, the Pack are only OK on the road, but I have to go with my gut here and choose Green Bay.  They are the team with momentum, the veteran QB, and the best chance to win a close game.

 

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Sports – NFL Picks 2016, Wild Card

Category : Sports

Here are my NFL Wild Card Picks

(10-6 last week, 156-98-2 for the season)

Bye teams: Kansas City, New England, Atlanta, Dallas

 

Oak @ Hou – It’s all over but the music for the Raiders, as a great season looks to come to a disastrous end.  They lost Carr in Week 16, McGloin in Week 17, and will start rookie Cook at QB for the first week of the playoffs.  Oh, and they’ll be on the road vs one of the leagues most physical defenses.  There’s basically no way they walk away from this game alive, let alone with a win, but “any given Sunday” I guess, so maybe it’s too early to give up on Oakland quite yet.  They are 6-2 on the road this season, they are capable of scoring points in bunches, I just don’t see that happening without Carr under center.  And we haven’t even talked about the Texans yet, who might actually have improved after their QB change, but who also might have to change back.  Osweiler benched for Savage, Savage now with a concussion, Osweiler perhaps to start Saturday; we’ll see how it shakes out.  Either way, Houston is 7-1 at home, an advantage that can’t be ignored.  Their offense doesn’t score a ton, which would be a concern against the Raiders in a normal game, but unfortunately for Oakland, this isn’t a normal situation.

 

Det @ Sea – The Lions lost their final game of the season vs the Packers, the only game of the week in the NFL that really mattered, and boy did it.  Instead of hosting a game, they’re heading out on the road, and not just anywhere, but to dreaded Seattle, where few escape alive.  If Detroit wanted to go far this postseason, last week’s matchup was the game to win, and they failed to do that.  I think that spells the end of their chances, but perhaps Matt Stafford will have something to say about that.  He’s been pulling games out in the 4th quarter all season, putting his team squarely on his shoulders, and the Seahawks aren’t invulnerable.  A 7-1 record at home is pretty impressive though, and I can’t see them losing this game.  Detroit might have the offense, but Seattle has the defense, and they’ve proven that they know exactly how to play in January.  I expect them to dominate, to force Stafford to win the game all on his own, and while he can do that, Russell Wilson will also be a factor and can score as well.  I just hope this game is close, as I think it has the potential to be a blow out in the Seahawk’s favor.

 

Mia @ Pit – Oh god, talk about a blowout.  Miami is another team who lost their starting quarterback, and they’ll probably not get Tannehill back this week, it will most likely be Matt Moore in charge of the offense.  The Dolphins were on a nice little win streak, snuck into the playoffs, but may get an early exit.  It’s all up to Moore, who needs to keep this offense scoring, since this defense can’t stop anyone.  I really don’t think the Dolphins have much of a chance at all; I can’t remember when the early rounds of the postseason were this chaotic, had so many QB changes, or were this easy to pick.  The Steelers are the no-brainer choice for this game, and I don’t think it’ll even be close.  Pitt is red hot, has won seven in a row, and gets a home game where they are 6-2 on the season.  Ben, Brown, & Bell are synced perfectly right now, and I know I wouldn’t want to face them if I was any other NFL team, at least not in Pittsburgh.  Also, they’ve been here, done that, so January is their time to shine.  Miami can’t say the same, will be playing in the cold, and will almost definitely lose this game.

 

NYG @ GB – And here’s the first tough game to predict, the only game that should be back & forth.  I didn’t predict much right at the beginning of the year, but here are a couple teams I can take credit for, although they weren’t exactly hard to imagine winning.  I really thought that the Giants would have a hell of a season, and they really have; if not for Dallas and their improbable year, we’d be talking about New York as one of the best teams in the league.  Eli, Odell, this defense; they can do it all.  And I thought the Packers would be a Super Bowl team; they along with the Patriots were my preseason picks.  Again, not a bold choice, but here they are, and for Green Bay, they couldn’t be hotter at a better time.  Rodgers and the Pack won six games in a row to get here, to win the division, to host a playoff game in Lambeau.  Don’t think that they’ll waste that opportunity, not even against a solid team like NYG.  I hate to pick against Eli after I’ve been rooting for him all season, but the G-Men are only 4-4 on the road this season, while the Packers are 6-2 at home and are playing with much more momentum.

 

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Sports – NFL Picks 2016, Week 17

Category : Sports

Here are my NFL Week 17 Picks

(9-7 last week, 146-92-2 for the season)

Bye teams: none

  1. Bal @ Cin
  2. Jax @ Ind
  3. NE @ Mia
  4. Chi @ Min
  5. Buf @ NYJ
  6. Dal @ Phi
  7. Cle @ Pit
  8. Car @ TB
  9. Hou @ Ten
  10. NO @ Atl
  11. Oak @ Den
  12. Ari @ LA
  13. KC @ SD
  14. Sea@ SF
  15. NYG @ Was
  16. GB @ Det