Last Updated: 2017-11-25
The Thanksgiving week is always busy and challenging, simply in real life. It’s nice to have the short work week, but family obligations that may include hosting the holiday, or planning that Black Friday shopping binge can be stressful. Week 12 in the Westgate SuperContest is always a bit more stressful as well. With three Thanksgiving games, contestants are forced to either get their plays in early or pick from a smaller number of games. This season, it just so happens that we also have one of our worst slates of Sunday games.
The winner of more than $1.3 million in the SuperContest will certainly have earned it this season. A record-setting number of entrants once again jumped from 1,854 to 2,748. Only the top 50 plus ties get in the money, so the odds have gotten longer while the concept remains the same. Pick five games against the spread in the NFL against stale numbers that came out on Wednesday night. As simple as it sounds, the beauty of this contest lies in the complexity of narrowing down the card to pick winners while also playing game theory.
Here at BangTheBook.com, we’ve had plenty of ups and downs, but can’t seem to string together enough of the “ups”. The BangTheBook.com entry entered Week 12 at 29-25-1 with a very respectable total of 29.5 points. The Bang The Book Podcast entry has turned in consecutive 1-4 weeks and now sits at 26-29. After starting 2-8, host Adam Burke on BangTheBook Radio put together a 15-5 run, but is just 9-16 over the last five weeks.
As we discuss every week, this contest really weighs on those that are in it. Second-guessing is the nature of the game and, like any other tournament with a large entry field, staying on the right side of variance is the only way to win. If you don’t run extremely well in those games that come down to coin flips, you’ll spend a lot of Sundays swearing at the TV.
The cut-off for the money is 34 points as we take a look at the Week 12 pick counts, lines, consensus, and display our selections. Grand Dragon reeled off a 5-0 last week to take the lead over Schematic Advantage and Biosoft Sports. Several entries are within mere points of the leaders, so these final 30 picks are going to make somebody a lot of money and make other somebodies wondering what could have been. BKSF still maintains a lead in the winner-take-all SuperContest Gold by 2.5 points.
The SuperContest field gets back into action coming off the best week of the season. A 58.69 percent success rate in Week 11 was extremely impressive. It was a lot more impressive than the previous high of 57.22 percent, which came on a week when we had about a touchdown worth of adjustments on the Colts/Texans game because of Deshaun Watson’s torn ACL. Over 60 percent of the field hit the Colts and Indianapolis won outright as an underdog. Last week’s performance really stood out, as the far and away top three consensus picks, Philadelphia, New England, and Detroit, all cashed.
Both entries were on a Thursday game this week, so the picks had to be sent in early. With the Thanksgiving holiday, the additional games and the early start to Vikings/Lions, our proxy, Matty, at FootballContest.com, requested that picks be sent in by midnight ET on Wednesday. That meant some early decisions without all of the necessary injury information for the weekend, but on a week with a bunch of ugly double-digit spreads, we felt that the edges on the lines for the Turkey Day action were good enough to play.
Here are our Week 12 picks:
10122 BangTheBook.com (29-25-1, 53.70%)
6 GIANTS +7.5 (loss)
12 DOLHPINS +16.5
19 TITANS -3
25 JAGUARS -5.5
28 BRONCOS +5
10124 Bang The Book Podcast (26-29, 47.27%)
6 GIANTS +7.5 (loss)
10 BEARS +13.5
16 BUCCANEERS +9.5
17 PANTHERS -4.5
23 RAMS -2.5
Unfortunately, this is another week where the guys start out 0-1. This time, a horrible coaching decision kept the Giants from getting within the number. Last week, a -4 turnover margin doomed the Thursday Night game. It has been a season of frustrations and these head-shaker games are getting really old.
Per usual, you can hear Adam’s thoughts on his picks, the card, and the contest on this week’s Westgate SuperContest Selections segment, where Wes Reynolds pinch hit for Sports Cheetah. Adam records his thoughts every Friday on the show and discusses the games and the game theory involved in a contest like this.
The consensus heads into this week at 68-86-5 and off of a strong 9-5 week last week. The top-five consensus remains just 23-32, despite a 4-1 success rate last week. Overall, the SuperContest field is just below 49 percent for the season. The SuperContest Gold consensus is at 73-78-5 following a 9-5 week as well. The top-five consensus went 5-0 last week to improve to 25-29-1 on the year.
Here are the Week 12 lines, pick counts, and the consensus:
1 Vikings 395 (12) WIN
2 Lions* (+3) 532 (16)
3 Chargers 425 (13) WIN
4 Cowboys* (+2.5) 426 (14)
5 Redskins* 216 (10) WIN
6 Giants (+7.5) 291 (14)
7 Bengals* 362 (3)
8 Browns (+8) 346 (17)
9 Eagles* 541 (12)
10 Bears (+13.5) 364 (11)
11 Patriots* 266 (8)
12 Dolphins (+16.5) 443 (21) (tie Gold #5)
13 Chiefs* 230 (7)
14 Bills* (+9.5) 568 (21) (tie Gold #5)
15 Falcons* 339 (15)
16 Buccaneers (+9.5) 373 (16)
17 Panthers 967 (consensus #1) (24) (Gold #3)
18 Jets* (+4.5) 322 (12)
19 Titans 654 (consensus #3) (28) (Gold #1)
20 Colts* (+3) 392 (16)
21 Seahawks 436 (9)
22 49ers* (+6.5) 371 (17)
23 Rams* 640 (consensus #4) (27) (Gold #2)
24 Saints (+2.5) 696 (consensus #2) (13)
25 Jaguars 609 (consensus #5) (7)
26 Cardinals* (+5.5) 371 (22) (Gold #4)
27 Raiders* 404 (6)
28 Broncos (+5) 273 (20)
29 Steelers* 331 (6)
30 Packers (+14) 199 (11)
31 Ravens* 456 (10)
32 Texans (+7) 182 (12)
The top-five consensus is the Carolina Panthers, New Orleans Saints, Tennessee Titans, Los Angeles Rams, and Jacksonville Jaguars. For the first time this season, opposite sides of the same game are both in the top five.
A lot of people piled on to the Thursday games, so we’ll have to see how that works out relative to the rest of the card. Those three Thursday games were really high by regular standards, as all three rank among the most selected weeknight games of the season. The consensus was just 1-2 in those games, so we’re off to an inauspicious start, but there was only a discrepancy of one pick in the Chargers/Cowboys game.
Follow along each week with our SuperContest preview article on Saturday and our recap article on Tuesday. Check out our Friday editions of BangTheBook Radio for the Westgate SuperContest Selections segment with host Adam Burke and Sports Cheetah, who is invested in the contest with an individual entry in the regular SuperContest and a team entry in the Gold.
-END OF 2017 WEEK 12 UPDATE-
A new week is here in the Westgate SuperContest and there could be a lot of interesting developments. A trio of Thursday action could have forced the hands of the contestants into filling out the entire five-play card prior to the holiday. When a Thursday side is selected, the entire card must be submitted in order to have a dog in those weeknight fights. The rush to get all five plays together by Thursday is a calculated risk that pays off for some teams and fails miserably for others. This is the most unique week of the season in that respect, so it could be another week of movement at the top of the standings.
Surprisingly, the Thursday plays went very well.
This year, 1,854 brave souls put down the $1,500 required to enter the Westgate SuperContest, which brands itself as the ultimate football handicapping test. It seemed like an innocuous expression, but the fact is that it does test everything. Friendships with your “business” partners. Your patience. Your skills. Your persistence. And, of course, your handicapping. Sometimes the mental side of this pool is harder than picking the games themselves. The margin for error is thin with a small sample size of 85 picks over 17 weeks. It’s hard to make up ground and consistency is the only way to win.
Last week, the SuperContest participants had their best week of the season. That may be due in part to 30 entrants not sending in picks, but the consensus went 10-3-1 and the field hit north of 55 percent. The results so far this year are as follows. Week 1 came in at 52.62 percent. Week 2 checked in at 45.18 percent. Week 3 remains the worst week of the season at 40.19 percent. Week 4 hit at 42.76 percent. Week 5 came in at 53.95 percent and was the best week to date before Week 6 passed it at 55.01 percent. Week 7 checked in at 51.36 percent and Week 8 at 51.5 percent. Week 9 at 45.8 percent and Week 10 at 40.67 percent were two of the lower points in this contest. Week 11 came in at 55.4 percent, so sustaining momentum will be big this week for the teams that made moves or are at the top. The year-to-date record is now 47,956-50,883-2,451 (48.5%).
Here at BangTheBook.com, we had a couple of 3-2 weeks last week. Ryan, our fearless leader and site creator is just two points out of the money with a 31-22-2 record. Adam Burke and Cole Ryan of the BangTheBook Podcast entry finally had a week on the right side of even with a 3-2 mark of their own. They are now 24-31 on the season.
Here are the BangTheBook selections for Week 12 of the SuperContest:
7226 BangTheBook.com (31-22-2, 58.49%)
7 CHARGERS -1.5
13 RAVENS* -4
16 CARDINALS +4
21 GIANTS -7
28 CHIEFS +3.5
7227 BangTheBook Podcast (24-31 43.64%)
9 TITANS -4.5
12 JAGUARS +7.5
24 BUCCANEERS +6
25 RAIDERS -3
30 JETS +8
There are no opposite sides this week, so we can pull for a site-wide 10-0. That would certainly lift a lot of spirits around here, but especially for Ryan, who is clearly within striking distance of some dollars.
For more insight on the BangTheBook Podcast selections, we encourage you to listen to this week’s Westgate SuperContest Selections segment from the November 25 edition of BangTheBook Radio. The guys included additional thoughts on every other game in the Rapid Fire Rundown segment.
BNEV stands alone in first place with 37 points. Their 5-0 last week was good enough to vault over the five-way tie that was at the top in the SuperContest standings going into Week 11. There are four contestants tied for second with 36.5 between Janknation, Mark Davis, Redwine, and skinknee.com. Five entries are tied with 36 points. Three have 35.5 points and eight have 35 points. So, as you can see, the margin for error is virtually non-existent if you want to finish in the money.
Here is how things shake out for Week 12, with lines and pick counts (top-five consensus in bold):
Detroit WIN 265
Minnesota (+2.5) 235
Washington (+7) WIN 405 (consensus #3)
Pittsburgh WIN 306
Indianapolis (+8) 94
San Diego 356
Houston (+1.5) 333
Tennessee 514 (consensus #1)
Chicago (+4.5) 127
Jacksonville (+7) 178
Baltimore 387 (consensus #4)
Cincinnati (+4) 197
Atlanta 480 (consensus #2)
Arizona (+4) 280
San Francisco (+7.5) 198
New Orleans 319
Los Angeles (+7) 181
New York Giants 344
Cleveland (+7) 220
Tampa Bay (+6) 272
Carolina (+3) 347
Kansas City (+3.5) 380 (consensus #5)
New England 288
New York Jets (+8) 264
Green Bay (+4) 204
The top five consensus is the Tennessee Titans, the Atlanta Falcons, the Washington Redskins, the Baltimore Ravens, and the Kansas City Chiefs.
As expected, the Thursday games really altered a lot of dynamics for this week, as players had to decide whether or not to treat those six teams like they were on a bye week or look for opportunities to take advantage of those that were unwilling to pick those Thanksgiving matchups. Contest players picked the right side in all three games and even made Washington a top-five consensus play.
The top-five consensus is just 18-35-2 on the season so far, which is just 33.96 percent. The overall consensus is 73-81-4, which is also a disappointing figure at 47.4 percent. Two games, PIT/WAS in Week 1 and DET/HOU in Week 8 tied in picks, so we’ve actually seen 160 NFL games played so far, but only 158 show up in the consensus.
Follow along with us each and every week at BangTheBook.com and also on BangTheBook Radio. Adam Burke and Cole Ryan share general NFL handicapping analysis and free picks on Wednesdays on The Gridiron Gambling Report and then share their SuperContest thoughts and selections on Friday editions of the show.
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