my recommendation on short term options would be 2:00pm the day before earnings. because they have already soared in price over the last five trading days and are no longer on sale. clearly the market is now expecting a significant move after earnings. so something is not yet "priced in" the common.
don't understand your post. in one sentence you say "sell cover call" then you say "buy call and put at market price.near term". Can you be more specific as to covered calls, length of option, buy puts together with covered calls, etc. Thanks