Last Updated: 2018-12-11
To say that it is coming down to crunch time in the Golden Nugget Ultimate Football Challenge is a little disingenuous. When you’re in a contest like this with next to no margin for error, every week needs to be approached as if it is the most important one. It doesn’t matter if it is Week 1 or Week 17, all seven picks are precious.
We’ve adopted that approach most of the year in the Golden Nugget and it has served us well thus far. With 21 picks left to make, Week 15 is now the important week of the season. We navigated the rocky seas last week with a challenging card that featured only one college football game and now we are moving on to a new set of games in the same place we were in last week.
That’s right, our 4-2-1 record was enough to keep pace and hold onto our eighth place spot and we are still alone in eighth place with three weeks to go. Unfortunately we lost a little bit of ground on the leader and those in second place, but it is going to be an interesting race to the finish.
A huge cover from the Seahawks helped in a lot of ways. We were able to get back a game on some of those in front of us and also maintain our spot in the top 10. Had the Vikings covered, we’d have been tied for 11th. Things are so tight in this contest right now that these swing games are going to be critical over the last three weeks.
Our winners were on the Browns, Bears, Raiders, and Seahawks, with losers on the Bills and Broncos, and a backdoor push on Navy. A lot of people in the contest had takes on Army and Navy and that game canceling out may have been the best-case scenario for us. We are now 61-33-4 on the season with 63 points.
With the push on Navy, our college sides are 33-17-2 and with the 4-2 record in the NFL, those sides are 28-16-2 for the year.
The standings are extremely interesting through 14 weeks. Monsterloc went 5-1-1 and leads with 68 points. Paul Stone Sports-2 and Scottie P-2 are tied for second with 65.5 points. Monsterloc’s lead was only one point going into this week, so it was a great time to pull out a 5-1-1.
Schematic Advantage-1 and Boone-1 are tied for fourth with 65 points. Team Cleveland-1, who is second in the SuperContest, is alone in sixth with 64 points. Bayview Ballers-1 is alone in seventh with 63.5 points. Moving up just a half-point would move us up in the money, as 6th and 7th get paid the same and 8th through 10th get paid the same.
As mentioned last week, the top 20 get something for their efforts in this tournament, but only the top 10 make a profit. Finishers 11 through 20 get their $1,000 buy-in back. After that $10,000 is distributed, the top 10 gets paid based on the leftover money. Given the percentages listed on the sign-up and rules sheet, the breakdown goes like this:
1st: $119,200 (40%)
2nd: $59,600 (20%)
3rd: $29,800 (10%)
4th & 5th: $20,860 (7%)
6th & 7th: $14,900 (5%)
8th-10th: $5,960 (2%)
Here are the week-by-week results for the Golden Nugget Ultimate Football Challenge:
Amazingly, the field had its third-highest success rate of the season, even though there was only one college football game. Apparently everybody was pretty dialed in when it came to the NFL. It may also help that some of the lesser entrants have dropped off for this season, as we only saw 2,037 picks, which means that we started with 308 and are down to 291.
Here are our weekly picks:
Week 1 (5-2):
W: Ball State, Penn State, Vikings, Bengals, Ravens
L: Georgia Tech, Bowling Green
Week 2 (4-3) (9-5):
W: UAB, Buffalo, Chargers, Dolphins
L: Houston, Louisville, Eagles
Week 3 (4-3) (13-8):
W: Michigan State, FIU, Coastal Carolina, Saints
L: Ball State, 49ers, Chargers
Week 4 (5-1-1) (18-9-1):
W: Purdue, Oklahoma State, Northwestern, Bengals, Bears
L: UL Monroe
Week 5 (5-2) (23-11-1):
W: Northern Illinois, Northwestern, UAB, Texas A&M, Steelers
L: Jaguars, Texans
Week 6 (4-3) (27-14-1):
W: Duke, Louisiana Tech, Florida, Broncos
L: Cal, Bears, Patriots
Week 7 (4-2-1) (31-16-2):
W: UTEP, Fresno State, San Jose State, Giants
L: Army, Ravens
Week 8 (3-4) (34-20-2):
W: Iowa State, Buccaneers, Packers
L: Texas A&M, Florida, BYU, Jets
Week 9 (4-3) (38-23-2):
W: Duke, Louisiana, Falcons, Bears
L: Florida, Louisiana Tech, Lions
Week 10 (6-1) (44-24-2):
W: Pitt, Georgia Tech, North Carolina, Browns, Titans, Chargers
Week 11 (4-3) (48-27-2):
W: FIU, Washington State, Colts, Broncos
L: UTEP, Nevada, Cardinals
Week 12 (4-2-1) (52-29-3):
W: Syracuse, Wake Forest, Bills, Browns
L: Liberty, 49ers
Week 13 (5-2) (57-31-3):
W: Washington, Ohio State, NC State, Ravens, Bills
L: Browns, Vikings
Week 14 (4-2-1) (61-33-4):
W: Browns, Bears, Raiders, Seahawks
L: Bills, Broncos
Kudos to BangTheBook Radio guest Brad Powers, who had a huge week to move up from 21st to 11th in the Nugget. He had a 5-1-1 week to climb back into the money at 60-34-4. Ralph Michaels is in 54th place with a record of 57-40-1. He was 61st going into last week. Fellow guest Bryan Leonard sits at 46-49-3 on the season after a 3-4 weekend.
Follow along with our Golden Nugget Ultimate Football Challenge picks and results every Tuesday right here at BangTheBook.com!
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