Last Updated: 2017-12-09
As the games grow in importance in the NFL, the same thing happens in the Westgate SuperContest. Week 14 sort of feels like a turning point in this year’s ultimate handicapping test because of the number of low lines that we have on the board. Picks are going to be split and that means that the entries that fall on the right side are going to be in good shape heading into the stretch run. Only 20 picks remain for the entries that are still participating. It has been an interesting season with the record-setting SuperContest field having a lot of ups and downs. Going into Week 14, we’re on one of those “ups”, and we’re eager to see if it will continue.
In total, 2,748 entrants slapped down the $1,500 to play in this year’s SuperContest. Another 94 hopped in the first annual SuperContest Gold, which is a winner-take-all showcase of handicapping prowess. Things get very, very stressful at this point for the people in the running. This contest is a mental test for all 17 weeks of the season, but every decision is magnified so much more at this time of the game. That should create a lot of drama for those at the top and for those simply looking to cash and grab something for their time and efforts.
Keep in mind that only about 1.8-2 percent of the field actually makes the money in the SuperContest this year with the enormous field. The top 50 plus ties will take home something, which, without ties for 50th, would be $3,792.24 before taxes. The winner will grab $1,327.284, while second place will take home over half a million dollars. We’re talking about a lot of money and every half-point matters. For example, the difference between first and second is nearly $800,000. The difference between eighth and ninth is a little under $10,000. The difference between ninth and 10th is a nice car worth about $38,000. So, every pick, every push, every everything matters these last four weeks. Right now, the cut-off for the money is 40.5 points, with the records sitting at either 39-23-3 or 40-24-1, so it requires 62.5 percent or higher to be in the money this season.
Here at BangTheBook.com, we have no margin for error if we want to get in the cash. The BangTheBook.com entry has a 33-31-1 record, while the Bang The Book Podcast entry is 32-33 on the season. We’ve got a lot of ground to make up, but the Mini Contest over the last three weeks has a $15,000 prize for the best record over those 15 games, so all hope is certainly not lost.
Grannys Boy leads the field with a 44-18-3 record and 45.5 points. That mark is one half-point better than Biosoft Global with 45 points and a 44-19-2 mark. The Ville stands alone in third place with 44 points, with Schematic Advantage fourth with 43.5 points, and a three-way tie for fifth between Biosoft Sports, Andy & Pat, and 3TimeChrm with 43 points. In the SuperContest Gold, BrettFavre444 holds a one-point lead over Stag Capital and Benson with 39.5 points and a 39-25-1 record.
As we roll into Week 14, the field sits at 49.93 percent for the season after a terrific Week 13. The field checked in at 58.26 percent, which was the second-best week of the season. Dating back to Week 8, only one week has been below 50 percent and three weeks have been at 57 percent or higher. The consensus sits at 85-99-6, with a top-five consensus record of 31-34.
The SuperContest Gold field is back up over 50 percent for the season now after the best week of the year at 59.77 percent. The Gold consensus is 88-93-6, while the top-five consensus is 33-31-1, depending on how you have graded games with the same number of pick counts. We’ve had a lot of those this season.
We’ve got some difference of opinion with our BangTheBook entries this week, so this could be the decisive week for site bragging rights.
Here are our Week 14 SuperContest picks:
10122 BangTheBook.com (33-31-1, 51.56%)
6 BEARS (+6.5)
9 JAGUARS (-2.5)
16 BROWNS (+3)
25 RAMS (-2)
30 RAVENS (+5)
10124 Bang The Book Podcast (32-33, 49.23%)
6 BEARS (+6.5)
10 SEAHAWKS (+2.5)
11 CHIEFS (-4)
19 CHARGERS (-6)
26 EAGLES (+2)
The two entries match up with the Bears, but two big disagreements are on the board, with a split on the Jaguars/Seahawks game and the Rams/Eagles game. While the field has really done a nice job lately, neither one of our entries has been able to find some positive momentum and string together a few good weeks in a row. There’s no time like the present, though, especially with that Mini Contest starting up next week.
Favorites have been great for the masses, which may explain why the SuperContest field is doing so well. With such a large field, the expectation was that we would have a lot of public sentiment and the reason that the field has done so well lately is that the top-five consensus has hit at a high rate over the last several weeks.
BangTheBook Radio host Adam Burke discussed his thought processes and his picks on the Friday Westgate SuperContest Selections segment with special guest Joe Everett of NFL Draft Bible, who was brought back on as Adam’s good luck charm after his 4-1 showing last week.
Here are the lines, pick counts, and consensus for Week 14:
1 Saints 183 (4)
2 Falcons* (PK) 243 (16) WIN
3 Lions 261 (5)
4 Buccaneers (PK) 238 (8)
5 Bengals* 257 (4)
6 Bears (+6.5) 394 (13)
7 Bills* 424 (10)
8 Colts (+3) 97 (6)
9 Jaguars* 481 (20) (tie Gold #5)
10 Seahawks (+2.5) 700 (consensus #3) (15)
11 Chiefs* 454 (21) (tie Gold #4)
12 Raiders (+4) 351 (9)
13 Vikings 757 (consensus #2) (11)
14 Panthers* (+2.5) 535 (19)
15 Packers 619 (consensus #4) (13)
16 Browns* (+3) 389 (21) (tie Gold #4)
17 Texans* 260 (13)
18 49ers (+3) 572 (11)
19 Chargers* 379 (10)
20 Redskins (+6) 477 (16)
21 Jets 564 (22) (Gold #3)
22 Broncos* (PK) 285 (18)
23 Titans 222 (6)
24 Cardinals* (+3) 540 (17)
25 Rams* 408 (16)
26 Eagles (+2) 782 (consensus #1) 34 (Gold #1)
27 Cowboys 376 (7)
28 Giants* (+4) 452 (24) (Gold #2)
29 Steelers* 318 (10)
30 Ravens (+5) 583 (consensus #5) (20) (tie Gold #5)
31 Patriots 388 (7)
32 Dolphins* (+11) 301 (14)
The top-five consensus is the Philadelphia Eagles, Minnesota Vikings, Seattle Seahawks, Green Bay Packers, and Baltimore Ravens .
Those that are paying attention to game theory in the SuperContest had some very tough decisions to make. There are a lot of flat numbers out there. There are three pick ‘em games, which obviously can’t push, but there are only three numbers on half-points. If you’re trying to play catch up, playing the flat numbers isn’t a great idea because a push doesn’t do a whole lot of good. If you’re in the running, do you want to play conservatively or look to be on the right side of a number with a hook? That has been a fascinating element of this year’s contest that hasn’t been talked about enough.
With a lot of competitive lines, we see picks spread out once again this week. There are traditionally the one or two really popular picks, but a lot of games are pretty evenly split. That also helps in terms of the success rates lately. You won’t have really bad weeks without lopsided pick counts and if the top plays come in, that’s how you get 57 percent or better.
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 discussing his picks and thought processes for the upcoming weekend.
-END OF 2017 WEEK 14 UPDATE-
It’s hard to believe that there are only 20 picks left to make in the Westgate SuperContest. It seems like just yesterday, we were poring over the Week 1 card and judging those extra stale lines to see what would give us the best possible start in the 17-week test of attrition that is the world’s premier handicapping contest. Alas, here we are in the middle of December already and the lives of a handful of people are going to change in less than a month because they have cashed in a big payday in the SuperContest.
Everything about sports betting should be focused on the long-term. The closest thing to a get rich quick scheme, aside from a lottery ticket parlay, is the Westgate SuperContest. This year, 1,854 entrants signed on the dotted line to join the world’s most recognizable betting pool. The winner is going to get just shy of $900,000 before taxes. The top 50 plus ties will get some money for their efforts. Others are going to have nothing except a season’s worth of bad memories.
With four weeks left, this marathon is now a sprint. The nice thing is that we still have a runner very much in the race here at BangTheBook.com. It has been a roller coaster ride of a season for most, but the lucky ones that are at the top of the hill looking down are starting to get those anxious feelings.
Each week, we like to look at how we got here, so here are the week-by-week results. Week 1 came in at 52.62 percent, which was a good start and the best week of the contest for more than a month. Week 2 came in at 45.18 percent, with Week 3 at 40.19 percent. That is still the low point of the season. Week 4 checked in at 42.76 percent. Week 5 surpassed Week 1 at 53.95 percent, but its time at the top was short-lived because Week 6 checked in at 55.01 percent. Week 7 came in at 51.36 percent and Week 8 had a 51.5 percent showing. Week 9 and Week 10 came in at 45.8 percent and 40.67 percent, respectively. Since then, we have three straight weeks on the plus side, with Week 11 at 55.4 percent, Week 12 at 58.63 percent, and Week 13 at 51.75 percent. The overall SuperContest record this season is 57,509-58,684-3,177 for a 49.5 percent success rate.
Our 7226 BangTheBook.com entry belongs to our site creator Ryan and he’s so close to the money that he can smell it. A 2-3 week last week was a minor setback that took him from 0.5 points out of the money to a full point out of the money. He is 37-26-2 on the season. Our 7227 BangTheBook Podcast entry has not had as much good fortune with a 30-34-1 record on the season.
One entry is playing for cash and pride and the other is really only playing for pride, at least until the Mini Contest kicks off next week. Regardless, we’re still doing a ton of work each and every week and here are the picks that we have come up with for Week 14:
7226 BangTheBook.com (37-26-2, 58.73%)
8 TEXANS +6
10 BROWNS* +5.5
14 CARDINALS +1
16 BEARS +7.5
22 EAGLES* +1
7227 BangTheBook Podcast (30-34-1, 46.86%)
3 TITANS -1
13 DOLPHINS -1
20 SAINTS +2.5
26 PACKERS +2.5
31 PATRIOTS -7
For more insight on the BangTheBook Podcast selections, we encourage you to listen to this week’s Westgate SuperContest Selections segment from the December 9 edition of BangTheBook Radio. The guys included additional thoughts on every other game in the Rapid Fire Rundown segment.
Things are very tight at the top of the SuperContest standings. Mac Sports Inc. has sole possession of first place following a 5-0 showing last week. Mac has 44 points. There is a three-way tie for second place between Mark Davis/Janknation, two separate entries run by the same person, and skinknee.com. BNEV, who was the leader heading into Week 12, is now a point off the pace with 43 points. Pocket Kings also has 43 points. Morley the 15th, who had the lead entering Week 13, is now tied for seventh with four other entries with 42 points. Redwine has 41.5 points and stands alone in 12th place. Eight entries have 41 points. Four entries have 40.5 points. Ten entries have 40 points. Eleven have 39.5 and 19 entries have 39 points, which is the current cut-off for the money. The top 50 plus ties walk away with some cash.
Many of those that have not been sending picks for a while will get back into it for the start of the Mini Contest next week. The best record over the final three weeks of the season with win $20,000. If multiple entries are tied, they will split the money. A record of 14-1 has won in each of the last two years.
Before we get to Week 15, we have to get through Week 14. Here are the lines and the pick counts (top-five consensus in bold):
Kansas City WIN 150
Oakland (+3) 107
Denver (+1) 365
San Diego (+1.5) 171
Houston (+6) 281
Cleveland (+5.5) 305
Pittsburgh 558 (consensus #2)
Buffalo (+1.5) 249
Arizona (+1) 405
Chicago (+7.5) 215
Minnesota 420 (consensus #5)
Jacksonville (+3) 107
Tampa Bay 440 (consensus #4)
New Orleans (+2.5) 282
Washington 481 (consensus #3)
Philadelphia (+1) 182
San Francisco 141
New York Jets (+2.5) 64
Green Bay (+2.5) 408
Los Angeles (+6) 150
New York Giants (+3) 295
New England 155
Baltimore (+7) 577 (consensus #1)
The top-five consensus is the Baltimore Ravens, the Pittsburgh Steelers, the Washington Redskins, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, and the Minnesota Vikings.
The top-five consensus went 3-2 last week to improve to 26-37-2, which is just a 41.27 percent record of success. The consensus, the sides with the most picks in each game, is 91-93-5, which is 49.46 percent. Pittsburgh vs. Washington in Week 1 and Detroit vs. Houston in Week 8 tied in picks.
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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