Last Updated: 2017-09-23
Week 3 of the Westgate SuperContest technically started on Thursday night, but with a bunch of injuries popping up on reports league-wide, it is a surprise that anybody bothered with the Thursday Night Football game at all this week. This is a rare card for handicappers across the board, with a vast array of home underdogs, which generally tend to be sharper plays, but the SuperContest participants largely had no choice this week with the few home favorites that were out there laying big prices.
It has been a very fascinating SuperContest to date. For one thing, we have the largest field ever with 2,748 entrants willing to lay the $1,500 buy-in. We had 1,854 last season, so this contest has grown significantly, which follows a trend that we’ve seen over the last few years. After “pops”, a Starbucks barista, won the grand prize last year, it gave a lot of people hope that they could do the same in what amounts to a SuperContest “Moneymaker Effect”. One disappointing thing is that SuperContest officials are still only paying the top 50 plus ties. Last year, that was a much larger percentage of the field. This year, assuming there are no ties, less than two percent of the field will cash.
For another thing, we now have the SuperContest Gold with 94 entrants that put up the $5,000 buy-in for the first annual winner-take-all event. It will be quite interesting to compare the picks and the consensuses from the two contests, given that the Gold should be a “sharper” set of entries.
So far, it has been a struggle for both fields. The traditional SuperContest field is at 45.59 percent overall with a 12,054-14,387-899 record. The SuperContest Gold field is a bit better at 48.99 percent with a 438-456-36 record.
Here at BangTheBook, the struggle bus has been on and hasn’t stopped running. The BangTheBook.com entry, which belongs to our site creator and fearless leader, Ryan, is off to a 3-7 start. The Bang The Book Podcast entry of Adam Burke, our BangTheBook Radio host, is just 2-8 through two weeks of action and owns a -15 turnover margin, as mentioned on our Westgate SuperContest Selections segment for this week.
With that, we look to bounce back and get some positive momentum rolling with what is a very difficult Week 3 card. Injury reports are loaded with key names league-wide and home underdogs are the flavor of the week with 10 road underdogs out of 15 games played at host sites.
Here are our picks for Week 3:
10123 BangTheBook.com (3-7, 30%)
4 JAGUARS +3.5
6 COLTS +1
10 JETS +6
16 SAINTS +5.5
23 TITANS -3
10124 Bang The Book Podcast (2-8, 25%)
4 JAGUARS +3.5
10 JETS +6
16 SAINTS +5.5
18 VIKINGS +3
20 LIONS +3
We need underdogs to be barking this week. Nine of the 10 picks are on underdogs with matching plays on Jacksonville playing a pseudo “home” game in London. The Jets and Saints also line up on both cards. Ryan will go with one favorite in the Tennessee Titans against the beleaguered Seattle offensive line. Adam has two NFC North home dogs in the Vikings and Lions.
Please be sure to tune into this week’s edition of the Westgate SuperContest Selections segment on BangTheBook Radio. Not only did we talk about the games and the card, but we also talked about some interesting game theory strategy for a tournament like this and some of those elements are seen on the card this week.
Through two weeks, the consensus record sits at 11-19-1, with a top-five consensus record of just 3-7. Things did get better with the top-five consensus last week after an 0-5 start right out of the gate.
The consensus in the SuperContest Gold is at 16-14-1, with a top-five record of 4-6. Keep in mind that the Broncos/Chargers game in Week 1 is the push and that we are short one game because the Tampa Bay vs. Miami game was postponed due to Hurricane Irma and will be made up at a later date.
Here are the lines and the pick counts for Week 3 (top-five consensus in bold both for the traditional SuperContest and the Gold; starred teams are at home)
1 Rams 185 (7)
2 49ers* (+2.5) 153 (9)
3 Ravens 487 (9)
4 Jaguars (+3.5) 493 (32)
5 Browns 246 (15)
6 Colts* (+1) 357 (5)
7 Steelers 431 (6)
8 Bears* (+7) 333 (10)
9 Dolphins 440 (8)
10 Jets* (+6) 306 (21)
11 Broncos 795 (consensus #2) (10)
12 Bills* (+3) 489 (19)
13 Patriots* 437 (12)
14 Texans (+13.5) 196 (6)
15 Panthers* 226 (7)
16 Saints (+5.5) 653 (consensus #4) (20)
17 Buccaneers 468 (11)
18 Vikings* (+3) 279 (23)
19 Falcons 475 (9)
20 Lions* (+3) 468 (24)
21 Eagles* 383 (13)
22 Giants (+6) 387 (20)
23 Titans* 395 (11)
24 Seahawks (+3) 586 (consensus #5) (30)
25 Chiefs 665 (consensus #3) (13)
26 Chargers* (+3) 480 (26)
27 Packers* 336 (10)
28 Bengals (+8.5) 404 (30)
29 Raiders 924 (consensus #1) (16)
30 Redskins* (+3) 335 (11)
31 Cowboys 577 (7)
32 Cardinals* (+3) 316 (15)
The top-five consensus is the Oakland Raiders, Denver Broncos, Kansas City Chiefs, New Orleans Saints, and Seattle Seahawks.
We saw a very heavy amount of selections on the obvious public chalk in Week 1. In Week 2, the picks were more spread out. In Week 1, four teams drew over 800 selections. In Week 2, the most popular team was only picked 704 times. There were three teams not in the top-five consensus in Week 1 that were picked over 600 times. It is definitely interesting to see the splits this week, with a lot of bad teams catching points at home, but taking road favorites in the NFL is generally a challenge.
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 guest Sports Cheetah, who has an entry of his own in the SuperContest and a team entry in the Gold.
-END OF WEEK 3 2017 UPDATE-
The picks are in and now we focus our attentions on the gambling gods for Week 3 of the Westgate SuperContest. Picks 11 through 15 will go off this week in the 17-week, 85-pick grind that is the world’s premier handicapping contest. For many in the field, this is a bounce back week. For us at BangTheBook.com, this is a week in which we hope that the momentum of the early season stays on our side.
For those unaware about the SuperContest, the $1500 entry fee drew a crowd of 1,854 brave souls this year. First place will get just shy of $900,000, before those pesky taxes. Entrants pick five games against the spread with lines that come out on Wednesday night and do not move.
Site bragging rights flipped for Week 2, as Adam Burke and Cole Ryan of the BangTheBook Podcast entry picked up a 4-1 week. It was an extra special 4-1 because two of the wins came against the top-five consensus, as the Vikings and the Texans both took care of business. The other two winners were on the Browns and the Titans. The lone loser was the Dolphins, who failed to cover the 6.5-point spread in a seven-point loss. Adam and Cole are off to a 7-3 start in the SuperContest.
Even though bragging rights went to the other entry, it was another week on the right side of 50 percent for BangTheBook.com. Ryan, our fearless site leader, came away with a 3-2 week to also move to 7-3 on the season. The Jaguars were one of the top-five consensus picks, but they were a big loser for the field and for Ryan. The only loss came via the Dolphins, but winners on the Cowboys, Falcons, and Titans led to another week on the plus side.
Week 2 was a bloodbath for the field with a 45.18 percent success rate. Each of the five most selected sides lost and only four of the sides with more picks came through, as the consensus fell to 13-18 on the season, with the Redskins/Steelers game from Week 1 having an equal number of picks.
Here are our picks for Week 3 of the Westgate SuperContest:
7226 BangTheBook.com (7-3, 70%)
3 BENGALS -3.5
16 LIONS +7.5
18 VIKINGS +7
23 STEELERS -3.5
28 CHARGERS +3
7227 BangTheBook Podcast (7-3, 70%)
5 TITANS -1.5
10 JAGUARS PK
16 LIONS +7.5
17 PANTHERS -7
21 BUCCANEERS -5.5
It’s a rare week with some heavy chalk for Adam and Cole, as they discussed on this week’s radio show segment. They’re looking for a bounce back effort from Jacksonville, influenced a bit by the Jaguars’ desire to get a win at home before making the long trek to London. There is one matching pick with the Lions and one pick on opposite sides in that Vikings/Panthers game, so one entry is guaranteed not to go 5-0. A 5-0 and a 4-1 would certainly be nice.
On the season, the SuperContest field is struggling a bit. In Week 1, the field hit at 52.62 percent with a 4,873-4,387 record. In Week 2, it was a 45.18 percent success rate with a record of 4,189-5,081. That puts the field at 9,062-9,468 for a 48.9 percent success rate on the year. There are two perfect entries. Twenty entries are 9-1. There are two entries with zero points and 26 entries with one point.
Here are the lines and the pick counts for Week 3 (top-five consensus in bold):
New England (+1) WIN 126
Denver (+3.5) 391
Oakland (+1.5) 363
Arizona 536 (consensus #2)
Buffalo (+4) 281
Jacksonville (PK) 477 (consensus #4)
Cleveland (+9.5) 84
New York Giants 189
Washington (+4.5) 383
Green Bay 146
Detroit (+7.5) 377
Minnesota (+7) 263
San Francisco (+9.5) 251
Tampa Bay 502 (consensus #3)
Los Angeles (+5.5) 145
Pittsburgh 663 (consensus #1)
Philadelphia (+3.5) 203
Kansas City 212
New York Jets (+3) 319
San Diego (+3) 418 (consensus #5)
Chicago (+7.5) 294
New Orleans 329
Atlanta (+3) 107
The top-five consensus this week is Pittsburgh, Arizona, Tampa Bay, Jacksonville, and San Diego. The top-five consensus went 0-5 last week, so we’ll see how things go this week. It’s very interesting to see two road favorites as the most selected teams, considering that sharper bettors like to take home dogs in the NFL when the line value is there. We’ll have to watch that trend going forward.
The Thursday Night Football game was surprisingly popular with all of the injury concerns across the league. All five plays must be submitted in order to play the Thursday Nighter, so it was quite stunning to see that amount of action on a game that also featured a lot of questions of its own. With New England’s win and cover, 126 entrants were happy to get off to a 1-0 start, though.
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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