Last Updated: 2017-10-07
The Westgate Super(sized)Contest is now in its fifth week. This year’s field of 2,748 entrants, plus another 94 entrants for the SuperContest Gold, will cross the quarter pole of the season this week. Thus far, 20 of the required 85 selections have been made by nearly all of the entrants, at least those that aren’t buried in the standings before the second NFL weekend of October.
We’ve had a lot of wall-to-wall coverage for the SuperContest this season, with two articles each week and then additional analysis throughout the week on BangTheBook Radio, including our segment dedicated to the SuperContest on Fridays. We’ve been looking at a lot of different angles, ranging from the game theory of the contest to the consensus differences between the traditional format and the Gold format.
In this week’s preview piece, we’ll take a look at the picks for our two BangTheBook entries, BangTheBook.com and Bang The Book Podcast, and examine the pick counts for each side of the Week 5 games. One of the things to keep in mind this week and going forward is that the bye weeks present a lot of challenges because you are forced to pick five games no matter what and any time there are fewer options to pick from, the card is inherently more difficult.
We’ve been tracking differences between the SuperContest consensus and the SuperContest Gold consensus. So far, there have been 27 plays through four weeks with a difference of opinion between the two fields. Those picks are 17-10 to the Gold side, so for those that aren’t in the SuperContest, but may be looking for some Sunday betting angles out of the picks, that is something that you can look at.
To date, the SuperContest field is 26,217-27,629-899 for a 48.79 percent rate of success. Last week was far and away the best week of the season at 55.97 percent. The worst week of the season remains Week 1 at 39.14 percent. The SuperContest Gold checks in at 942-882-36 for a 51.64 percent rate of success. Last week was also the best week of the season in the SuperContest Gold and the win rate has gone up each of the four weeks among those 94 entrants.
Here at BangTheBook.com, things have been going well over the last two weeks. The Bang The Book Podcast entry is 8-2 over the last two weeks and the BangTheBook.com entry is also 8-2. On the year, the BangTheBook.com entry, run by our site owner, Ryan, has bragging right by one game at 11-9. The Bang The Book Podcast entry, which belongs to our BangTheBook Radio host, Adam Burke, is 10-10.
Here are the Week 5 picks for both entries:
10122 BangTheBook.com (11-9, 55%)
5 BENGALS -3
9 STEELERS -8
13 COLTS -1.5
16 CARDINALS +6.5
24 PACKERS +2
10124 Bang The Book Podcast (10-10, 50%)
5 BENGALS -3
10 JAGUARS +8
12 DOLPHINS +3
17 LIONS -2.5
21 RAIDERS -2.5
This is the first week that we have seen significant differences on the two cards. An 0-10 week is impossible with a difference of opinion on the Steelers vs. Jaguars game. The only matching pick on both cards if the Bengals. Last week, the entries matched picks on two games. At least they’ll only be rooting for opposite sides on one game, as there are no others with competing teams. We’ve got a good mix of dogs and favorites this week, so we’ll be rooting in a lot of different directions.
You can get more analysis of Adam Burke’s picks on this week’s Westgate SuperContest selections segment. Normally we have Sports Cheetah on that segment with us, but Collin Wilson, a team member of Cheetah’s in the SuperContest Gold, joined us as a pinch hitter. Collin also has his own individual entry.
Heading into Week 5, the traditional consensus is 30-32-1 with a top-five consensus of 9-11. The Gold consensus is 36-26-1, 58.06 percent, with a top-five consensus of just 9-11, so the Gold field has picked a lot of winners, just not all of the right ones.
Here are the lines and pick counts for Week 5:
1 Patriots 259 (3)
2 Buccaneers* (+5.5) 259 (15) WIN
3 Giants* 317 (3)
4 Chargers (+3.5) 560 (28) (Gold #4)
5 Bengals* 847 (consensus #2) (37) (Gold #1)
6 Bills (+3) 650 (consensus #5) (10)
7 Jets 509 (13)
8 Browns* (PK) 371 (23)
9 Steelers* 351 (6)
10 Jaguars (+8) 440 (16)
11 Titans 166 (3)
12 Dolphins* (+3) 509 (26) (Gold #5)
13 Colts* 357 (14)
14 49ers (+1.5) 397 (18)
15 Eagles* 560 (14)
16 Cardinals (+6.5) 424 (15)
17 Lions* 1053 (consensus #1) (22)
18 Panthers (+2.5) 312 (15)
19 Rams* 725 (consensus #4) (16)
20 Seahawks (+1) 571 (18)
21 Raiders* 446 (23)
22 Ravens (+2.5) 296 (7)
23 Cowboys* 604 (32) (Gold #2)
24 Packers (+2) 584 (16)
25 Chiefs 615 (12)
26 Texans* (PK) 778 (consensus #3) (30) (Gold #3)
27 Vikings 336 (15)
28 Bears* (+3) 399 (15)
The top-five consensus is the Detroit Lions, Cincinnati Bengals, Houston Texans, Los Angeles Rams, Buffalo Bills. This is the first time this season that two teams in the same game have been in the top-five consensus.
Well, the consensus is now going to be a game short for the rest of the season with a tie in picks between the Patriots and Buccaneers with 259 each. The SuperContest Gold is already off to a 15-3 start with that game. That was the most-selected Thursday Night Football game of the year, so we can see the impact of bye weeks already. Entrants are willing to lock in their cards early if they have an edge on that weeknight game.
As far as games with consensus differences this week, we’re looking at Rams/Seahawks, Eagles/Cardinals, and Jets/Browns. Remember that those games are 17-10 to the Gold side so far.
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 Collin Wilson, who has an entry of his own in the SuperContest and a team entry in the Gold with Sports Cheetah, who returns to the show next week.
-END OF 2017 WEEK 5 UPDATE-
We’ve always known that the NFL betting market is a tough nut to crack, but the 2016 Westgate SuperContest is almost unbelievable. Through four weeks of the season, the field is at 44.79 percent. If everybody in the field, all 1,854 entrants, posted a 4-1 week, the success rate would barely be on the right side of .500. This contest is challenging for a lot of reasons, but it is stunning to see how bad things have gone thus far.
Four weeks into the season, the results have been mixed here at BangTheBook. Unfortunately, consistency has not been part of the equation. The 7226 BangTheBook.com entry got off to a 9-6 start, but last week’s 0-5 mark turned a decent start into a below average outcome through four weeks. The 7227 BangTheBook Podcast entry started 7-3, but Adam Burke and Cole Ryan are just 3-7 over the last two weeks. It seems like every bad bounce and every unfortunate turnover has gone against each of our entries, but this contest is a marathon and not a sprint and we’re still ahead of a decent amount of competitors.
In Week 1, the SuperContest field had all summer to study the matchups and the numbers and posted a 52.62 percent success rate. That has been the best week of the contest by far. In Week 2, the field was on the right side 45.18 percent of the time. In Week 3, the field dropped to 40.19 percent. Last week, 42.76 percent of selections were winners. For those that are unaware of the rules, entrants pick five games against betting lines that are released on Wednesday night. The numbers do not move, so they are “stale” numbers. That is part of the strategy that goes into this contest, as some numbers move dramatically based on injuries or other factors, so line value becomes a key component in the decision-making process.
As we look to get back on track in Week 5, here are the selections for our two entries:
7226 BangTheBook.com (9-11, 45%)
12 REDSKINS +4
14 LIONS +3
20 BILLS +2
23 BENGALS -1
26 GIANTS +7.5
7227 BangTheBook Podcast (10-10, 50%)
4 TEXANS +6.5
5 DOLPHINS -3.5
8 BROWNS +10.5
11 RAVENS -4
16 BEARS +4.5
Once again this week, there’s a difference of opinion on a game, as the two entries are split on the Redskins vs. Ravens game. There won’t be a 10-0 site record this week, but a 9-1 would erase some of the recent struggles and it would certainly make things a lot more enjoyable around the office.
Check out this week’s BangTheBook Radio Westgate SuperContest Selections segment with host Adam Burke and Cole Ryan, as they covered four of these five games in detail and then also gave picks on the remaining games on the card in the Rapid Fire Rundown.
As the SuperContest field hopes for some better results, here are the lines and the pick counts for Week 5 (top-five consensus in bold):
Arizona WIN 130
San Francisco (+3.5) 78
Minnesota 508 (consensus #3)
Houston (+6.5) 273
Tennessee (+3.5) 332
New England 368
Cleveland (+10.5) 282
Pittsburgh 494 (consensus #4)
New York Jets (+7) 221
Washington (+4) 397
Philadelphia 568 (consensus #2)
Detroit (+3) 443
Chicago (+4.5) 331
Atlanta (+5.5) 314
Los Angeles 325
Buffalo (+2) 430
San Diego (+3.5) 441
Cincinnati 841 (consensus #1)
Dallas (+1) 215
Green Bay 143
New York Giants (+7.5) 476 (consensus #5)
Tampa Bay (+6.5) 224
The top-five consensus for this week is Cincinnati, Philadelphia, Minnesota, Pittsburgh, and the New York Giants. The Bengals are one of the most-selected sides in the history of the contest with 841 picks. Over 45 percent of the entrants in this year’s SuperContest took Cincinnati this week. Ten entrants did not submit picks.
The top-five consensus is just 4-16 on the season through four weeks and the top-five consensus is 1-14 over the last three weeks. Denver was the only winner last week, but there was only a difference of 198 picks in the Broncos vs. Tampa Bay Buccaneers game. The top-five consensus has a record of 592-7,054 (7.7%) over the last three weeks. It has been a real struggle for many teams, especially because the top-five consensus has done so poorly. The overall consensus is just 24-38 with one game (PIT/WAS Week 1) that had an equal number of picks.
The Carolina vs. Tampa Bay Monday Night Football matchup was really unique this week in that the only number out in the market for several hours was the SuperContest line. When it came out that Cam Newton was extremely doubtful, the market opened Carolina -4.5 and it is still in that range with Newton declared out for Monday with a concussion. As you can see, nobody was interested in Carolina with the Newton injury, as they were the team that got the second-fewest picks. Only San Francisco on Thursday got less.
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.