Back Door Cover – Super Bowl XXXIX ]]> include($base_url . “/includes/header.htm”); ?>
| The Back Door Cover
by Max of Doc Sports Picks
The Super Bowl brought about a stern reminderthat wagering on a football game truly is a gamble. Philadelphiaplayed well in the first half and should have had the lead, butsettled for a tie score at seven. The second half was all NewEngland and after they took a 21-14 lead, it appeared that theyhad complete control of this game. Philadelphia then went threeand out and the Patriots had the ball at the Phily 46-yard line.
New England cruised down inside the ten-yard lineand had a first-and-goal at the five. Then the Patriots did somethingthat is not in their repertoire; went conservative by runningthe ball two out of the three downs and played for a chip shotfield goal and a two-score lead. This proved to be the right decisionfor the Patriots to win the game, but it caused numerous headachesfor gamblers all across the nation.
The last seven minutes would not decide who wouldwin the game, but who would cover the spread. If New England hadscored a touchdown, they would have likely held on to their 14-pointlead and at the worst, Patriot bettors would have had a push.Philadelphia got into scoring position quickly with a breakawayreception by Terrell Owens. But then Donovan McNabb did what hehad done all game and overshot a five-yard slant pass that endedup being picked by Tedy Bruschi.
The Philly defense, which played well for mostof the game, responded with a three and out and gave McNabb theball back with just under five minutes to play. The Eagles thenwent to work putting together a time consuming drive that resultedin a 30-yard touchdown pass by Greg Lewis. This is what Eaglebettors had been waiting for; a meaningless touchdown with verylittle time left cutting the Patriots lead to just three points.After New England recovered the onside kick, they went conservativeby running the ball and punted the ball down to the four-yardline.
This brought a little scare into the underdogbettors as New England now had a chance to score. McNabb, whohad been throwing the ball up for grabs all day, held true tohis form, overshooting a receiver. The ball landed right in thehands of Rodney Harrison. Harrison moved inside the 25-yard lineand carried with him the outcome of billions of dollars that wouldaffect millions of people. Does he score and pat his own statsor does he take the conservative rout and fall down insuring nothingcrazy happens?
Harrison did the smart thing by falling down atthe 22-yard and all the underdog bettors breathed a huge sighof relief. One kneel down and the game ended with the Patriotswinning their third Super Bowl by a field goal. This is a classicexample of a back door cover. A team dominates the entire halfand once they get up by two scores, go conservative and allowthe other team to score late.
This is typical in the NFL as most coaches arefriends with one another and do not want to embarrass the opposingside. They realize how fragile one’s job status is in thisleague and will do whatever it takes to help out a colleague.Philadelphia truly covered this game through the back door.
Be sure to check out next week’s articleon betting Arena League football