Last Updated: 2017-09-30
It is incredible to think that NFL teams will have played 25 percent of their games for the season after Monday Night Football in Week 4. For those participating in the Westgate SuperContest, the end of Week 4 marks the 23.5 percent mark, with 20 of the 85 required selections in the books. The largest field in SuperContest history has been set each of the last three years, but nobody envisioned the contest growing to the heights that it has. There are 2,748 entrants vying for the $1.3M first-place prize or a spot in the top 50 to cash in this year’s tournament.
The added dimension of the SuperContest Gold is intriguing for the 94 entrants that are in it and the countless others that are fascinated to follow along with the SuperContest. One of the growing trends that we will try to watch this season is to compare the two fields to see if we can pick up on some sharp vs. public splits or some other situations where the two contest fields differ.
Something I discussed with Sports Cheetah this week on BangTheBook Radio during our Westgate SuperContest selections segment was to see how the games with differences in consensus opinion between the traditional SuperContest and the Gold SuperContest have fared. Before we dig into this week’s picks and pick counts, let’s take a look at that and try to keep it updated throughout the season.
So far, there have been 23 differences of consensus opinion between the traditional SuperContest and the Gold SuperContest. Obviously there are some sample size concerns, with 2,748 against 94, but here are those games and the weekly records:
Week 1 (4-1):
Falcons/Bears: 819-429; 14-26 – Bears covered
Texans/Jaguars: 863-244; 15-27 – Jaguars covered
Cardinals/Lions: 792-351; 18-19 – Lions covered
Panthers/49ers: 539-484; 9-26 – Panthers covered
Saints/Vikings: 448-336; 16-23 – Vikings covered
Week 2 (6-3):
Bengals/Texans: 144-128; 3-11 – Texans covered
Titans/Jaguars: 704-548; 18-27 – Titans covered
Panthers/Bills: 388-325; 11-13 – Bills covered
Patriots/Saints: 627-384; 10-18 – Patriots covered
Cardinals/Colts: 412-293; 6-14 – Colts covered
Eagles/Chiefs: 549-503; 16-18 – Chiefs covered
Raiders/Jets: 549-174; 11-21 – Raiders covered
Cowboys/Broncos: 605-535; 19-22 – Broncos covered
Seahawks/49ers: 358-150; 3-9 – 49ers covered
Week 3 (5-4):
Rams/49ers: 185-153; 7-9 – 49ers covered
Colts/Browns: 357-246; 5-15 – Colts covered
Steelers/Bears: 431-333; 6-10 – Bears covered
Dolphins/Jets: 440-306; 8-21 – Jets covered
Broncos/Bills: 795-489; 10-19 – Bills covered
Buccaneers/Vikings: 468-279; 11-23 – Vikings covered
Falcons/Lions: 475-468; 9-24 – Falcons covered
Chiefs/Chargers: 665-480; 13-26 – Chiefs covered
Cowboys/Cardinals: 577-316; 7-15 – Cowboys covered
Judging by my math, the consensus has differed 23 times and the Gold consensus has been right 15 times. A few times, that has included top-five consensus plays from the traditional SuperContest field. This is worth watching as we go along to see if we can uncover some possible trends or public perception adjustments that can help those that are just betting regularly on Sundays.
Anyway, back to our regularly scheduled programming. Through three weeks, the traditional SuperContest field is 18,546-21,595-899 for a 46.2 percent success rate. The Gold field is 684-675-36 for a 50.33 percent success rate.
Here at BangTheBook.com, we’re coming off of a terrific Week 3. The BangTheBook.com entry went 5-0 to improve to 8-7 and the Bang The Book Podcast entry was 4-1 to move to 6-9. The Lions fell inches short of giving both entries a 5-0 record. With a renewed sense of confidence and some positive vibes, we head into Week 4 with these picks:
10123 BangTheBook.com (8-7, 53.33%)
3 SAINTS +3
5 PATRIOTS -9
12 TEXANS +1.5
23 CHARGERS -1.5
26 49ERS +6.5
10124 Bang The Book Podcast (6-9, 40%)
3 SAINTS +3
5 PATRIOTS -9
8 RAMS +6.5
14 JETS +3.5
27 BRONCOS -2.5
Balanced cards this week in terms of favorites and dogs, certainly more so than last week, when the only favorite on either card was the Titans, who did cover as short chalk. Last week, the entries matched on three picks a piece. This week, there are only two matching selections on each side, which is interesting because there were a lot of agreements throughout the week, but some last-minute changes of heart. We’ll see if those changes pay off or wind up costing winners. That is the challenge of a contest like this. The mental side of handicapping is generally tougher than physically breaking down the games.
Get more analysis on this week’s Westgate SuperContest Selections segment with host Adam Burke of the Bang The Book Podcast and pro bettor Sports Cheetah, who has an individual entry in the regular SuperContest and a team entry in the SuperContest Gold.
As we head into Week 4, the traditional consensus sits at 19-27-1 and the Gold consensus sits at 25-21-1. We’ll see if those records improve or not with this week’s lines and pick counts:
1 Packers* WIN 292 (13)
2 Bears (+7) 116 (5)
3 Saints 705 (consensus #4) (19) (Gold #5)
4 Dolphins (+3) 244 (9)
5 Patriots* 450 (9)
6 Panthers (+9) 212 (12)
7 Cowboys* 381 (11)
8 Rams 546 (+6.5) (15)
9 Vikings* 413 (13)
10 Lions 430 (+2.5) (12)
11 Titans 481 (22) (Gold #4)
12 Texans* 555 (+1.5) (12)
13 Jaguars 532 (14)
14 Jets* (+3.5) 338 (17)
15 Bengals 595 (consensus #5) (17)
16 Browns* (+3) 220 (11)
17 Steelers 317 (8)
18 Ravens* 572 (+3) (16)
19 Falcons* 498 (15)
20 Bills (+7.5) 274 (10)
21 Buccaneers* 282 (8)
22 Giants (+3) 726 (consensus #3) (30) (Gold #3)
23 Chargers* 774 (consensus #2) (39) (Gold #1)
24 Eagles (+1.5) 376 (12)
25 Cardinals* 235 (4)
26 49ers 422 (+6.5) (12)
27 Broncos* 963 (consensus #1) (37) (Gold #2)
28 Raiders (+2.5) (6)
29 Seahawks* 345 (14)
30 Colts (+13) 316 (13)
31 Chiefs* 575 (18)
32 Redskins (+6.5) 308 (12)
The top-five consensus is the Denver Broncos, San Diego Chargers, New York Giants, New Orleans Saints, and Cincinnati Bengals. Interestingly, the top three consensus plays are the same in the traditional SuperContest and the SuperContest Gold. The Saints are also in the Gold top-five, but fifth behind the Titans, so four of the five top-five consensus plays are on both sides. It could be a huge week or an awful week for both groups.
The games where the consensus is opposite are Jaguars/Jets, Bills/Falcons, Panthers/Patriots, Titans/Texans, and Vikings/Lions for this week.
We have a lower number of home dogs this week, which could mean better fortunes for the traditional SuperContest. Sportsbooks did a number on public bettors last week with a lot of dog covers and unders. Perhaps we see a regression back to the mean for the public this week. We did see pick counts end up very split last week and that appears to be the case again this week. We’ve seen the best and the worst of several teams this season already, so a lot of people may be a bit uncertain about most of the league.
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 2017 WEEK 4 UPDATE-
In some respects, having a short memory in the Westgate SuperContest is one of the best attributes that you can have. Obviously you want to remember certain things about teams, games, and consensus picks from past weeks, but wiping the slate clean to start all over again the next week is essential. That’s the case with us here at BangTheBook.com.
After starting out with a combined 14-6 record over the first two weeks of the season, we combined for a 3-7 record in Week 3. The BangTheBook.com, owned by our site creator, Ryan, entry managed to pull off a 2-3 record, which, amazingly, was the contest average last week. The BangTheBook Podcast entry, which belongs to BangTheBook Radio host Adam Burke and his partner Cole Ryan, had one of those dreaded 1-4 marks. After three weeks, the BangTheBook.com entry is 9-6 and the BangTheBook Podcast entry is 8-7.
Week 2 was a great week for us, but Week 3 was a reminder that you can never get too high or get complacent in the world’s premier handicapping contest. The field struggled mightily in Week 2, as only 45.19 percent of the picks were winners. We had a 4-1 with one entry and a 3-2 with the other. As the field bottomed out at 40.19 percent in Week 3, we couldn’t escape the carnage.
There are 1,854 entries in the SuperContest field this year. The first-place prize is around $900,000 before taxes. For those unaware about the format, entrants pick five games against the spread from lines that are released on Wednesday night by the oddsmakers at Westgate Superbook in Las Vegas. The lines do not move and the stale numbers throw a lot of different wrinkles into this contest. It was especially unique this week because the Buffalo vs. New England game was not lined in the betting market, but a number had to come out for the SuperContest. We’ve seen teams pile on closing line value based on late-week injuries, so the stale lines can be helpful in the right situation.
We’re in search of a bounce back week and here are the teams that we have selected in order to achieve that goal:
7226 BangTheBook.com (9-6, 60%)
6 BROWNS +7.5
16 TITANS +5
17 RAVENS -3.5
25 CARDINALS -8
28 CHIEFS +5.5
7227 BangTheBook Podcast (8-7, 53.33%)
6 BROWNS +7.5
8 BILLS +5.5
15 TEXANS -5
17 RAVENS -3.5
22 49ERS +2.5
For the second straight week, site bragging rights are on the line for one of the games. Last week, it was a split on the Vikings vs. Panthers matchup, which was a Vikings cover for BangTheBook.com. Unfortunately, we can’t post a site 10-0 with the differing opinion on that Texans vs. Titans game, but a 9-1 week would be just fine!
Take a listen to this week’s Westgate SuperContest segment on the Friday edition of BangTheBook Radio to hear Adam and Cole’s thoughts on their card and also picks and quick analysis on every other game in the Rapid Fire Rundown segment.
The SuperContest field is not off to a great start. There are four entries that share the lead at 13-2 heading into this week. Week 1 was a solid 52.62 percent showing, but Week 2 dropped to 45.18 percent and Week 3 checked in at 40.19 percent. Through three weeks, the overall record for picks is 12,786-15,009 for a 46 percent rate of success.
Here are the lines and pick counts for each Week 4 game (top-five consensus in bold):
Cincinnati WIN 95
Miami (+7.5) 98
Jacksonville (+2.5) 289
Cleveland (+7.5) 362
New England 502 (consensus #4)
Buffalo (+5.5) 142
New York Jets (+2.5) 661 (consensus #1)
Carolina 541 (consensus #3)
Atlanta (+3) 230
Chicago (+3) 204
Tennessee (+5) 246
Oakland (+3.5) 440
Denver 592 (consensus #2)
Tampa Bay (+3) 396
San Francisco (+2.5) 460 (consensus #5)
San Diego 191
New Orleans (+4) 209
Los Angeles (+8) 155
Kansas City (+5.5) 270
New York Giants (+4.5) 353
Four entrants did not submit picks.
The top-five consensus this week is the New York Jets, Denver Broncos, Carolina Panthers, New England Patriots, and San Francisco 49ers. The top-five consensus went 0-5 last week and is 0-10 over the last two weeks, accounting for 4,890 of the losses in that span. The consensus (most selected side in each game) has gone 4-12 in back-to-back weeks. The top-five consensus is just 3-12 on the season and the overall consensus is 17-30, with a perfect 322-322 split in the Steelers vs. Redskins Monday Night Football game in Week 1.
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.