NFL Westgate SuperContest Picks & Consensus Week 1

Last Updated: 2018-09-08

The Westgate SuperContest is back and we are honored to be a part of the proceedings once again. This year at BangTheBook.com, we’ve got two entries in the traditional SuperContest and one entry in the winner-take-all SuperContest Gold.

We’ll have coverage of the SuperContest each week, with a Friday segment on BangTheBook Radio dedicated to the picks of host Adam Burke, who will make the selections for the BangTheBook Podcast entry. We’ll also have this Saturday article with our selections, the pick counts, the consensus, and an update on the field. We’ll also have a Tuesday recap article with results, standings updates, and running totals on year-to-date picks overall and for the consensus.

The SuperContest has certainly taken the sports betting world by storm in recent years. Unlikely winners with regular jobs that handicap as a hobby or as a supplement have taken down big prizes and that has led to a Moneymaker Effect with the world’s ultimate handicapping contest. Akin to Chris Moneymaker’s win in the World Series of Poker Main Event in 2003, the growth of the SuperContest has been rather incredible. A total of 3,123 players are in the field this year after a record-setting 2,748 participants entered last year and 1,854 were in the field in 2016.

The rules are painfully simple, but the contest is remarkably complex. Contestants pick five NFL games against the spread from stale lines that are released on Wednesday around 4 p.m. PT. Stale means that they do not move, regardless of betting activity in the markets or injuries. All five picks must be in by the deadlines either set by the contest rules or by the proxy putting in picks. Those outside of Nevada can participate, but they have to sign up in person and then use a proxy to put in the picks.

It sounds so easy, but it isn’t. The margin for error is extremely small, as the winners have come in at or over 70 percent over the 85 required selections. Last year’s winner went 58-22-5 and second place tied at 57-24-4 and 58-25-2, respectively. A point is awarded for a win and a half-point is awarded for a push. Bonuses are available for reaching certain percentage thresholds and there is a Mini Contest over the last three weeks of the season to give those that are out of the running a chance at picking up something for their time.

Dating back to 2005, it has taken at least 53 correct picks out of 85 to win. That is a 64.63 percent success rate. A good season for an NFL handicapper is 54 or 55 percent, so we’re talking about some significant runs. CH Ballers went 64-20-1 in 2014, which remains the record high score.

The entry fee for the SuperContest is $1500, with eight percent taken out of the prize pool for administrative fees and operations. This year’s first-place prize will be over $1.4 million. The top 100 plus ties will get paid this year, which is different from last year when the top 50 plus ties got something.

The SuperContest Gold was added to the mix last year. There were 94 players in the inaugural SuperContest Gold, which is a winner-take-all event. This year, the SuperContest Gold crossed well over 100, so $640,000 will go to the winner with 128 participants.

Here at BangTheBook, we have been waiting to catch fire with one of those runs that gets into contention. Last year, the BangTheBook Podcast entry went 44-40-1 and the BangTheBook.com entry went 42-42-1. It took 52 points to get into the money.

The field posted an overall success rate of 50.53 percent in the traditional and 50.88 percent in the Gold. The consensus, the most selected side in each game, was 121-124-9 (49.39%) and the top-five consensus was 41-42-2 (49.40%). The Gold consensus was 120-119-9 (50.2%) and the top-five Gold consensus was 42-40-3 (51.22%).

Amazing, per Jay Kornegay, 19 entrants failed to submit picks in the traditional and two in the Gold.

With that, here are our Week 1 picks for our two traditional SuperContest entries and our one Gold entry:

BangTheBook (0-0-0)

8 Bengals +3

9 Ravens -7.5

18 Dolphins +1.5

21 Broncos -3

29 Lions -6.5

 

BangTheBook Podcast (0-0-0)

5 Vikings -6.5

8 Bengals +3

21 Broncos -3

24 Cowboys +3

25 Cardinals -1

 

Gold: BangTheBook.com (0-0-0)

5 Vikings -6.5

8 Bengals +3

9 Ravens -7.5

18 Dolphins +1.5

21 Broncos -3

The Gold entry is a joint effort between the two entries, so you will see a lot of carryover from the picks of the two traditional entries.

BangTheBook Radio host Adam Burke talked about some of his thoughts on the Friday edition of BangTheBook Radio and that will be a regular segment throughout the season.

Week 1 is a tough week and there are a lot of weeks when it’s tough to find five games that you really like. The NFL market is tight and these lines have been up for several months. It is always interesting to see how the consensus shakes out and this week is no different.

Here are the lines and pick counts for Week 1 (* denotes home team; Gold pick counts in parentheses):

1 Falcons 283 (13)

2 Eagles* (PK) 191 (13) WIN

 

3 Steelers 548 (23)

4 Browns* (+3.5) 300 (11)

 

5 Vikings* 854 (consensus #4) (24)

6 49ers (+6.5) 275 (10)

 

7 Colts* 201 (11)

8 Bengals (+3) 1218 (consensus #1) (58) (Gold #1)

 

9 Ravens* 907 (consensus #3) (20)

10 Bills (+7.5) 157 (13)

 

11 Jaguars 317 (13)

12 Giants* (+3) 730 (25)

 

13 Saints* 501 (12)

14 Buccaneers (+9.5) 237 (16)

 

15 Patriots* 245 (10)

16 Texans (+6.5) 848 (consensus #5) (36) (Gold #2)

 

17 Titans 479 (12)

18 Dolphins* (+1.5) 433 (28)

 

19 Chargers* 474 (18)

20 Chiefs (+3.5) 458 (21)

 

21 Broncos* 807 (41) (Gold #4)

22 Seahawks (+3) 256 (12)

 

23 Panthers* 777 (26)

24 Cowboys (+3) 263 (13)

 

25 Cardinals* 587 (27)

26 Redskins (+1) 275 (12)

 

27 Packers* 222 (7)

28 Bears (+7.5) 648 (33) (Gold #3)

 

29 Lions* 498 (20)

30 Jets (+6.5) 194 (11)

 

31 Rams 1052 (consensus #2) (31) (Gold #5)

32 Raiders* (+4) 285 (20)

 

The top-five consensus in the traditional SuperContest is the Cincinnati Bengals, Los Angeles Rams, Baltimore Ravens, Minnesota Vikings, and Houston Texans.

The top-five consensus in the SuperContest Gold is the Cincinnati Bengals, Houston Texans, Chicago Bears, Denver Broncos, Los Angeles Rams.

We’ll see how the consensus fares here in Week 1.

Follow along with our SuperContest picks every week at BangTheBook.com in this Saturday article and with the BangTheBook Podcast entry on Fridays during the Westgate SuperContest Selections segment.

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