Only two weeks remain in the Golden Nugget Ultimate Football Challenge. Making up ground at this point in time is extremely difficult because the bowl games are generally pretty profitable for a lot of sharper handicappers out there and you have to be at least somewhat sharp to be at or near the top of the board in a season-long contest such as this one.
The NFL also feels like it gets a little bit more predictable late in the season as some teams go into the tank and others step it up with the playoff implications that are on the line. There is a lot less uncertainty during this portion of the season, even if you are paying a little bit of a mark-up on some of these teams.
Nevertheless, we are hoping to finish strong and see how things play out. A 5-2 week in Week 15 is pretty strong. Certainly, at this point in the season, we’d like to see 6-1 or 7-0, but given that there was only one college football game last week, a 5-1 effort in the NFL was a good way to represent ourselves and the site.
As you can tell, the lone CFB game did end up a loser, as we went ahead and took the points with Army. They never came close to covering, as Navy picked up a rare blowout in that head-to-head rivalry series. Our college sides sit at 25-24 with the bowl season pending.
It was a terrific week for us in the NFL, however. Going 5-1 with our NFL picks now puts us at 34-21-1 on the pro side for the 2019 season. Winners on the Buccaneers, Cardinals, Falcons, Cowboys, and Vikings were more than enough to overcome a loss on the Steelers. With that 5-2 showing, our full-season mark is now up to 59-45-1, which is pretty good, especially considering where we were. Over the last five weeks, our Nugget picks are 24-11. It may not get us into the money, but it is pushing us towards something to be proud of after cashing in the contest last year.
We are tied for 45th and sit 2.5 points out of the money with 14 picks to go. We probably need 13-1 or 12-2 at a minimum to sneak up into the cash, but we’re making a good push.
Speaking of a good push, @NedLanders leapfrogged a lot of entries to take sole possession of first place with 69 points. Sirius-2 and Sirius-3 are tied for second with 68.5 poitns and Sirius-1 is in fourth with 68 points. It will be interesting to see how that contestant protects his or her prize money with three entries in the top five. Team MM rounds out the top five, with Mucked Nuts sixth and also 12th with his two entries.
Friend of the site Brad Powers had a big weekend himself and now sits in 21st place, just a half-point out of a place in the top 20. We certainly wish him the best these last two weeks.
Here are the Week 15 and year-to-date results in the Golden Nugget Challenge:
With only one college football game available for the contestants, it wound up being a really difficult week at 46.40%. That represents the third-lowest win rate of the season. It was a good week for us to go 5-2 to say the least, but it really magnifies how important it would have been to go 6-1 or 7-0. Hopefully we can have some good fortunes this week as a lot of contestants hop on the bowl games.
Here are our weekly picks:
Week 1 (2-5):
W: Bills, Colts
L: Virginia Tech, Nebraska, Southern Miss, FIU, Lions
Week 2 (4-3) (6-8-0):
W: UCF, Duke, Jaguars, Browns
L: Colorado, Steelers, Bears
Week 3 (5-2) (11-10-0):
W: Pitt, Texas, Colts, Giants, Rams
L: Michigan, Chargers
Week 4 (3-4) (14-14-0):
W: Temple, Browns, Saints
L: Nevada, Vanderbilt, Dolphins, Vikings
Week 5 (5-2) (19-16-0):
W: Boston College, Texas Tech, Central Michigan, Raiders, 49ers
L: Miami (FL), Auburn
Week 6 (2-5) (21-21-0):
W: South Carolina, Panthers
L: Georgia Tech, West Virginia, Jaguars, Rams, Titans
Week 7 (4-3) (25-24-0):
W: Pitt, Kent State, Middle Tennessee, Jaguars
L: Oklahoma State, Giants, 49ers
Week 8 (3-4) (28-28-0)
W: Washington State, Colorado State, Dolphins
L: Central Michigan, Northwestern, Buccaneers, Bears
Week 9 (4-3) (32-31-0)
W: Virginia Tech, Bills, Broncos, Chargers
L: Western Kentucky, UL Monroe, Jaguars
Week 10 (3-3-1) (35-34-1)
W: East Carolina, Cardinals, Steelers
L: Louisville, Boise State, 49ers
Week 11 (6-1) (41-35-1)
W: Marshall, South Alabama, Michigan, Broncos, Rams, Chiefs
Week 12 (3-4) (44-39-1)
W: Arizona State, UAB, Bengals
L: Troy, Broncos, Saints, Lions
Week 13 (5-2) (49-41-1)
W: Navy, Liberty, Titans, Chiefs, Steelers
L: Wake Forest, Marshall
Week 14 (5-2) (54-43-1)
W: Appalachian State, LSU, Bengals, Steelers, Rams
L: Memphis, Bills
Week 15 (5-2) (59-45-1)
W: Buccaneers, Cardinals, Falcons, Cowboys, Vikings
L: Army, Steelers
Follow along with our Golden Nugget Ultimate Football Challenge picks and results every Wednesday right here at BangTheBook.com!