Last Updated: 2017-09-16
We weren’t on an island with our discouraging start in the Westgate SuperContest, but that doesn’t really make it feel any better. Fortunately, we’ve got a new week of games and a chance at some early-season redemption with the Week 2 slate. Both entries head into Sunday’s action with 1-4 records, but the field hit less than 40 percent winners last week, so the 1-4 week wasn’t nearly as bad as it could have been.
For those that are new to the contest or those that need a refresher, here are the rules. Entrants get to pick five games against the spread on stale lines that come out on Wednesday night. They do not move. A star player could trip over his dog and tear an ACL or get popped for a positive PED test and the line will not move for the SuperContest. Entrants submit picks to a proxy if they live outside of Vegas and then hope for the best.
This year, we have 2,748 entries in the traditional SuperContest field and there are 94 additional entries in the SuperContest Gold. The traditional SuperContest has a $1,500 buy-in and pays the top 50 spots plus ties. The Gold is a winner-take-all showdown that had a $5,000 entry price tag.
Through Week 1 of the SuperContest, the field is 3999-7772-899 for a 39.14 percent success rate. It was a bloodbath, to say the least. There are only nine perfect entries at 5-0 in the traditional SuperContest and the best record in the Gold contest was 4-0-1, with the Chargers and Broncos landing right on 3 for a push. The Gold field came in at 199-230-36 for a 46.39 percent success rate. We’ll have the standings updated in a nice table for your viewing pleasure from here on out, but with only one week of results, that seems unnecessary.
The work has been put in by both Ryan, our site creator, and Adam Burke, host of BangTheBook Radio, to get on the right track in Week 2. Ryan owns the BangTheBook.com entry, which has held site bragging rights for the last four years. The Bang The Book Podcast entry used to be a joint effort, but is now a solo venture for our beloved radio show host. Tough weeks happen in this contest, but 1-4 is not the start that either guy wanted.
Here are the picks for Week 2:
10123 BangTheBook.com (1-4, 20%)
4 JAGUARS +2.5
10 SAINTS +6.5
12 COLTS +7
18 BEARS +7
24 REDSKINS +2.5
10124 Bang The Book Podcast (1-4, 20%)
10 SAINTS +6.5
14 EAGLES +5.5
15 STEELERS -5.5
18 BEARS +7
30 PACKERS +3
To paraphrase the words of Eminem, we’re looking for those loud-ass, mother-effing barking dogs this week. The only favorite pick on the board belongs to the Steelers, who catch the Vikings on a short week. Otherwise, it’s a dog’s life this week. The games have been handicapped to the best of each man’s ability, but we’d be lying if we said that the underdogs have been picked with a purpose. Last week’s top-five consensus went 0-5 and it was very heavy on the chalk side. It makes sense that a field with 2,748 entrants would be square and public, so the guys are looking to go against the grain with that.
For more analysis on Adam’s breakdown of the games and his thought process, check out our Westgate SuperContest Selections segment from the Friday edition of BangTheBook Radio. He will be joined by Sports Cheetah, who has his own entry in the traditional SuperContest and a team entry in the Gold, throughout the season.
The consensus record overall last week was 5-9-1, but the top-five consensus was scorched and seven of the top nine lost with one push in there, so we’ll have to see if the fortunes are better for this week.
Here are the lines and pick counts for Week 2 (top-five consensus in bold for both the traditional SuperContest and the Gold; starred teams are at home):
1 Bengals* 144 (3)
2 Texans (+6.5) WIN 128 (11)
3 Titans 704 (consensus #1) (18)
4 Jaguars* (+2.5) 548 (27)
5 Ravens* 340 (12)
6 Browns (+8) 420 (13)
7 Panthers* 388 (11)
8 Bills (+7) 325 (13)
9 Patriots 627 (consensus #4)
10 Saints* (+6.5) 384 (18)
11 Cardinals 412 (6)
12 Colts* (+7) 293 (14)
13 Chiefs* 503 (18)
14 Eagles (+5.5) 549 (16)
15 Steelers* 662 (consensus #2) (18)
16 Vikings (+5.5) 377 (14)
17 Buccaneers* 346 (7)
18 Bears (+7) 435 (16)
19 Chargers* 366 (8)
20 Dolphins (+4) 480 (17)
21 Raiders* 549 (11)
22 Jets (+14) 174 (21)
23 Rams* 594 (23)
24 Redskins (+2.5) 529 (13)
25 Cowboys 605 (consensus #5) (19)
26 Broncos* (+2.5) 535 (22)
27 Seahawks* 358 (3)
28 49ers (+14) 150 (9)
29 Falcons* 340 (14)
30 Packers (+3) 630 (consensus #3) (19)
31 Giants* 231 (9)
32 Lions (+3.5) 539 (32)
The top-five consensus is Tennessee Titans, Pittsburgh Steelers, Green Bay Packers, New England Patriots, and Dallas Cowboys.
Like with traditional betting, even in this contest format, looking to prey on Week 1 to Week 2 overreactions should be a theme. We see a bit of that in the SuperContest Gold, but not so much in the traditional SuperContest. The split in the Gold on the Bengals/Texans is a bit of a noticeable development, since 14 of the 94 entrants were willing to send in picks early to fade the Bengals. Only 272 of the 2,748 traditional SuperContest entrants jumped in. That is about 15 percent of the Gold field and less than 10 percent of the large field.
Follow along each week with our SuperContest preview article and the picks for our two entries on Saturday. Catch the SuperContest radio show segment on Fridays. On Tuesdays, get a recap of what happened the previous weekend in the SuperContest.
-END OF 2017 WEEK 2 SUPERCONTEST PREVIEW-
Our cards are locked in and we’re ready to go for Week 2 of the Westgate SuperContest. After a site-wide 7-3 performance in Week 1 for the two entries sponsored by BangTheBook.com, expectations are high for the second week of the world’s most difficult handicapping pool. When it’s all said and done, a total of 85 selections will be made and the winners will pose with a comically-large check for just under $900,000. This 17-week grind is exhilarating, frustrating, and fascinating all at the same time.
Site bragging rights for Week 1 went to Ryan, our fearless leader. The 7226 BangTheBook.com entry went 4-1 to kick off the season on a very good note. The lone loser on the New York Giants was a botched first-half PAT away from being a winner. That loss also cost a lot of people last week, as the Giants were the third-most selected team in the field.
It was a good start for the 7227 BangTheBook Podcast entry, which is chosen by BangTheBook Radio host Adam Burke and partner Cole Ryan. The guys went 3-2, but the fourth-down flag on the New Orleans Saints and subsequent touchdown and two-point conversion from the Oakland Raiders turned a 4-1 Sunday into a 3-2. It’s losses like that that can come back to hurt an entrant in a field like this, but it should even out over the course of the season.
The big thing is to get off to a start that allows an entrant to stay above water. With 1,854 entries this year, the margin for error is exceptionally small. That number is up from the 1,727 that participated last season, so we have another new record-high in the Westgate SuperContest. The $1500 entry fee scares some away, but the expectation is that the field will continue to grow in subsequent years.
The field put together a 52.62 percent rate of success in Week 1, which was down considerably from the 59.81 percent success rate in Week 1 of the 2015 season. You can read all about Week 1 in the recap that Adam Burke wrote on Tuesday.
With that, here are the Week 2 selections for our two BangTheBook entries:
7226 BangTheBook.com (4-1, 4 pts., 80%)
4 TITANS +6
8 DOLPHINS +6.5
14 COWBOYS +2.5
26 FALCONS +5
28 JAGUARS +3
7227 BangTheBook Podcast (3-2, 3 pts., 60%)
4 TITANS +6
5 TEXANS -3
8 DOLPHINS +6.5
10 BROWNS +6.5
30 VIKINGS +2.5
To borrow and paraphrase something mentioned by the great Eminem, Ryan, Adam, and Cole are looking for them loud-ass motherf’ing barking dogs this week. Nine of the 10 selections are teams getting points. It should come as no surprise that a lot of cards look like this. The biggest thing from Week 1 to Week 2 is to take advantage of overreactions to one week of live, meaningful football. There are some lines that show those tendencies and those are some of the lines that come up here this week.
Through one week of the contest, there are 78 perfect entries, 60 entries without a win, and 352 entries with a 4-1 record. You’ll hear us talk about the “consensus” a lot. The consensus is the sides most selected in each game. The top-five consensus is the five most-selected teams each week. The consensus went 9-5 last week, as the Steelers/Redskins game had the exact same number of picks. The top-five consensus was 3-2. For 2015, the consensus finished 141-109-6 (56.4%) and the top-five consensus was 46-37-2 (55.4%).
Here are the lines and pick counts for Week 2, with the top-five consensus highlighted:
New York Jets 141 WIN
Buffalo (+1) 94
Tennessee (+6) 395
Kansas City (+3) 419 (consensus #4)
New England 242
Miami (+7.5) 329
Cleveland (+6.5) 350
Cincinnati (+3.5) 401 (consensus #5)
Dallas (+2.5) 207
New York Giants 277
New Orleans (+4.5) 224
San Francisco (+13.5) 144
Tampa Bay (+7) 332
Seattle 541 (consensus #1)
Los Angeles (+4.5) 133
Indianapolis (+6) 303
Atlanta (+5) 258
San Diego 239
Jacksonville (+3) 426 (consensus #3)
Green Bay 507 (consensus #2)
Minnesota (+2.5) 319
Philadelphia (+3.5) 252
The top-five consensus this week is Seattle, Green Bay, Jacksonville, Kansas City, and Cincinnati. It’s a big week for the BangTheBook Podcast entry with two picks against the top-five consensus in Minnesota and also Houston. The BangTheBook.com entry has one consensus pick on Jacksonville, but nothing against the consensus.
As you can see, 141 entrants opened the week 1-0 with a win on the New York Jets and 94 are facing a deficit already with a loss on the Buffalo Bills. The smallest gap of the week is a tie between Denver vs. Indianapolis and Oakland vs. Atlanta. Twenty-six picks separate each side in those games. The biggest game is clearly Seattle vs. Los Angeles, as players grabbed the stale line value on the lower number.
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. Catch this week’s segment from the Friday show right here.