Last Updated: 2017-10-21
Allow me to start this week’s Westgate SuperContest preview piece with a story. On Friday night, this author, the pick-maker for the Bang The Book Podcast entry, knew four of the five plays that he wanted to use. The fifth one always seems to be the hardest, but this week, it was particularly hard. All kinds of thoughts run wild. He’s looking at stats. He’s looking at advanced analytics. He’s looking at the past schedules. The comparable opponents. Scanning all the injury reports. Listening to press conferences. Reading press conference transcripts. Reading all the coverage from blogs that cover those teams. Thinking about schemes. Matchup advantages. Betting percentages. Line movements. Projecting the consensus. Swearing. Sighing. Hanging his head.
It is one pick out of 85 for the 2017 SuperContest, but sometimes one pick is the difference in everything. The difference between a 2-3 or a 3-2. The difference between a 4-1 or a 5-0. The difference between making the money. The difference between winning and finishing second. You just never know how much that one pick matters. Two-and-a-half hours later, a final decision came down and the picks were submitted to our awesome proxy, Matty, over at FootballContest.com. Since the send button was clicked, the second guessing has run rampant.
It’s just another week in the SuperContest.
Perhaps it is like that for every game for the majority of the 2,748 entrants that have thrown their $1,500 hats in the ring for a chance at winning handicapping’s ultimate prize, the more than $1.3 million comically-large check for winning the war of attrition over 85 picks.
Going into this week, the field sits at 39,192-41,294-1,634 for a success rate of 48.69 percent. We’ve also seen the SuperContest Gold for the first time this season, a $5,000 winner-take-all sharp (maybe?) shootout. The win percentage in that is at 51.75 percent with a record of 1,407-1,312-66.
We’ve got you covered this week and throughout the season when it comes to the SuperContest. This particular article goes up every Saturday, with a recap on Tuesday, and a BangTheBook Radio segment with host Adam Burke of the Bang The Book Podcast and Sports Cheetah on Fridays.
Tunnel Vision is the leader with 24 points and a 24-6 record. SL2 ATX and Ponytail Dave are tied for second with 23.5 points with 23-6-1 records. Six entries are tied for fourth with 23 points, including Cali Cappers, who was our leader last week. The top 50 plus ties get paid in the SuperContest, with those that hit the early-bird deadline eligible for the Mini Contest in Weeks 15, 16, and 17.
On the Gold side, BKSF continues to have a comfortable lead with 24 points. Better Odds and Benson are tied with 20.5 points. Insider Trading #3 and Bert Emanuel Rule are tied for fourth with 20 points.
Here at BangTheBook.com, things have been going well, so knock on wood that it continues. Both of our entries are tied for site bragging rights at 17-13. A 17-13 record means a tie for 462nd place in the SuperContest. Last year’s winner was 16-14 at this point last year, so anything can still happen in this contest with 55 selections left to go.
Over the last four weeks, the BangTheBook.com entry owned by Ryan, our fearless leader, is 14-6 and the Bang The Book Podcast entry owned by host Adam Burke of BangTheBook Radio is 15-5. We won’t go 10-0 this week with a disagreement on one game, but here are our picks for Week 7:
10122 BangTheBook.com (17-13, 56.67%)
5 JAGUARS -3.5
9 VIKINGS -5.5
11 DOLPHINS +3
16 BEARS +3
19 RAMS -3.5
10124 Bang The Book Podcast (17-13, 56.67%)
3 TITANS -5.5
6 COLTS +3.5
8 BENGALS +5.5
9 VIKINGS -5.5
27 PATRIOTS -3.5
The last game in question from the opening paragraph was the Colts, as the 49ers and Broncos narrowly missed the cut, which means that those two will probably win and the Colts will not. At least the silver lining would be a win for our other entry in that scenario. This was a fascinating week in the SuperContest with most lines showing half-points and the flat lines mostly being 3, including Thursday Night Football, which was not a push.
You can hear more about Adam’s process and picks on the Friday edition of BangTheBook Radio with Sports Cheetah.
Six weeks into the contest, the year-to-date consensus sits at 42-46-2 in the traditional SuperContest and 49-40-2 in the Gold. One game, New England vs. Tampa Bay in Week 5, had the same number of picks, hence the count being off by a game. The top-five consensus is 12-18 in the regular SuperContest and 15-15 in the Gold.
Here are the lines and pick counts for Week 7:
1 Chiefs 309 (8)
2 Raiders* (+3) 215 (8) WIN
3 Titans 521 (7)
4 Browns* (+5.5) 234 (13)
5 Jaguars 388 (9)
6 Colts* (+3.5) 394 (16)
7 Steelers* 242 (9)
8 Bengals (+5.5) 810 (consensus #1) (25)
9 Vikings* 428 (14)
10 Ravens (+5.5) 372 (20)
11 Dolphins* 490 (27) (Gold #4)
12 Jets (+3) 319 (10)
13 Bills* 588 (13)
14 Buccaneers (+3.5) 251 (18)
15 Panthers 750 (consensus #3) (18)
16 Bears* (+3) 301 (8)
17 Saints 362 (3)
18 Packers* (+5.5) 810 (consensus #2) (40) (Gold #1)
19 Rams 387 (5)
20 Cardinals (+3.5) 607 (35) (Gold #2)
21 Cowboys 320 (9)
22 49ers* (+6.5) 687 (consensus #5) (16)
23 Seahawks 250 (6)
24 Giants* (+5.5) 566 (30) (Gold #3)
25 Chargers* 379 (15)
26 Broncos (+1.5) 729 (consensus #4) (17)
27 Patriots* 294 (9)
28 Falcons (+3.5) 665 (26) (Gold #5)
29 Eagles* 293 (10)
30 Redskins (+5) 681 (21)
The top-five consensus this week is the Cincinnati Bengals, Green Bay Packers, Carolina Panthers, Denver Broncos, San Francisco 49ers.
Plays with a consensus difference between the traditional and the Gold are 20-14 to the Gold side this season and we’ve got a few of those this week with Titans/Browns, Bills/Buccaneers, and Vikings/Ravens. From a game theory standpoint, it was in the best interest of most players to play the games with the hooks (.5s), so we’ll have to see if that works out in their favor with some pushes in the Dolphins/Jets, Panthers/Bears, and Eagles/Redskins game. The Chiefs/Raiders game did not push the 3 and it was a slight loser for the consensus with the Raiders coming out on top.
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 Sports Cheetah, who is invested in the contest with an individual entry in the regular SuperContest and a team entry in the Gold.
-END OF 2017 WEEK 7 UPDATE-
It’s hard to believe that we’re already looking at Week 7 in the NFL, but time flies when you’re having fun. Many of the Westgate SuperContest entrants have not been having fun, but things were looking up for us here at BangTheBook last week. We’re confident in our handicapping of this week’s set of games and a little bit of luck from the gambling gods wouldn’t hurt.
Picks 31 through 35 are in the can for this week, so there are still 50 selections left to make after this week. Anything can happen with so many picks left to go, but the time for making moves is running out. With 1,854 entrants vying for a piece of the $2,620,500 prize pool, gaining ground on the entries in the money gets tougher with each passing week. We haven’t even reached the midpoint of the season yet, so there’s a lot of optimism around these parts.
There’s a renewed sense of confidence contest-wide, as the field is coming off of its best week of the season. The Week 6 success rate came in at 55.01 percent. That topped Week 5’s 53.95 percent mark. Week 1 is next in line at 52.62 percent, followed by Week 2 at 45.18 percent, Week 4 at 42.76 percent, and Week 3 at 40.19 percent. Overall, the SuperContest field is at 46.63 percent.
We have two entries in the SuperContest field this year. Our BangTheBook.com entry belongs to our site creator Ryan and back-to-back 4-1 weeks have put him back in a pretty good position. The same cannot be said for Adam Burke and Cole Ryan with the BangTheBook Podcast entry. After a 7-3 start to the season, the guys have only managed to pick five winners over the last four weeks. It’s been frustrating to say the least, but some changes to their strategy produced a very unlucky 2-3 record last week.
Here are the BangTheBook Westgate SuperContest Selections for Week 7:
7226 BangTheBook.com (18-12, 60%)
14 DOLPHINS +3
15 JAGUARS -1
17 TITANS -2.5
22 CHARGERS +6.5
29 BRONCOS -7.5
7227 BangTheBook Podcast (12-18, 40%)
8 SAINTS +6.5
12 BROWNS +10
17 TITANS -2.5
19 JETS PK
22 CHARGERS +6.5
For more insight on the BangTheBook Podcast selections, we encourage you to listen to this week’s Westgate SuperContest Selections segment from the October 21 edition of BangTheBook Radio. The guys included additional thoughts on every other game in the Rapid Fire Rundown segment.
For those that are unaware of how the SuperContest works, lines are released on Wednesday night and they do not move, regardless of the action in the betting market. Each entry submits five picks by Saturday at 11 a.m. PT and gets one point per correct pick. Half-points are awarded for games that push the number. This year, eight percent of the $1,500 buy-in went to administration fees and an increased payout for the Mini Contest, which happens over Weeks 15, 16, and 17.
Ripsaw currently holds a 1.5-point lead over the rest of the field with 24.5 points. 4ViewsFromVegas and OhioAgainstTheWorld are tied with 23 points. Johnny Vegas and KM Sports have 22.5 points. Redwine, Scorpio, SundayStocks, and Winning Angle have 21.5 points. Those are the teams that people are chasing as we head into Week 7.
As the contest looks for three straight weeks in the black, here are the SuperContest lines and pick counts for Week 7 (top-five consensus in bold):
Green Bay WIN 105
Chicago (+7.5) 89
New York Giants 216
Los Angeles (+3) 287
Minnesota 751 (consensus #1)
Philadelphia (+2.5) 324
Kansas City 302
New Orleans (+6.5) 291
Washington (+1.5) 349
Cleveland (+10) 209
Miami (+3) 489 (consensus #5)
Oakland (+1) 413
Tennessee 562 (consensus #3)
Indianapolis (+2.5) 158
New York Jets 268
Baltimore (PK) 313
San Diego (+6.5) 599 (consensus #2)
Tampa Bay 199
San Francisco (+2) 263
New England 506 (consensus #4)
Pittsburgh (+7) 210
Seattle (+1.5) 412
Houston (+7.5) 112
The top-five consensus this week is the Minnesota Vikings, San Diego Chargers, Tennessee Titans, New England Patriots, and Miami Dolphins.
The top-five consensus went just 1-3-1 last week, but the most-selected side was the Kansas City Chiefs by a large margin and they won comfortably. The top-five consensus is only 8-21-1 through six weeks on the season, which is less than 28 percent.
The consensus, the most-selected side in every game on the board, is 42-47-1 on the season, which is just above 47 percent. Last week, the consensus was 8-5-1. The Monday Night Football game in Week 1 between Pittsburgh and Washington had exactly 322 picks per side.
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.