Last Updated: 2017-10-28
It’s hard to see things getting any worse in the Westgate SuperContest after the debacle that was Week 7. But, you never know. Odds are good, however, that Week 8 will go better than last week, so we’ve got an open mind and a glass half-full as picks 36 through 40 go in the books. While most struggled last week, our two BangTheBook entries made up some ground and one made up some significant ground, so hopefully we can build off of that and move in an even better direction.
The 2,748 entries in the Westgate SuperContest set an all-time record, blowing away last year’s record of 1,854. That means a lot of money at $1,500 per buy-in, so first place will take home over $1.3 million. The 94 entrants in the SuperContest Gold jumped in for the first annual winner-take-all $5,000 tournament. With the crapshoot that the traditional SuperContest has become, the Gold field should increase quite a bit for next season.
As mentioned, picks 36 through 40 will get cataloged for all of the entrants. Right now, the leaders are locked in an eight-way tie with 25 points in the traditional SuperContest and one entrant has 26 points to pace the Gold. Overall, the field is 43,356-49,776-2,443 on the year for a 46.66 percent success rate. Last week’s 33.87 percent (4344-8482-809) was far and away the worst success rate of the season. The Gold field only hit at 31.78 percent (136-292-37) last week and fell below .500 at 1543-1604-103 for the year.
Per usual, we’ve got you covered when it comes to the SuperContest with our Friday BangTheBook Radio segment with host Adam Burke of the Bang The Book Podcast entry and Sports Cheetah, who has an entry of his own in the regular SuperContest and a team entry in the Gold, our Saturday preview piece, and our Tuesday recap.
The recap was ugly overall this week, but the news was pretty good for us. The Bang The Book Podcast entry went 2-3, but that was above the average, so it wasn’t as bad as a 40 percent would typically be. It was our BangTheBook.com entry that grabbed the headlines, though. With a 4-0-1 week, that entry cracked the top 100 and sits in a tie for 79th place at 21-13-1.
As you would expect, things are really crammed at the top. Eight entries are tied for first with 25 points, with four entries tied for ninth, just a half-point behind the leaders. There are four more entries with 24 points and eight more just a half-point behind them. There are 13 entries with 23 points. Creating separation is next to impossible with 2,748 entrants.
There is some separation in the SuperContest Gold, though, as BKSF owns a four-point lead going into Week 8. Of course, that evaporates with a 1-4 or an 0-5 if second place has a big week. There is no resting in this contest.
Last week, we opened our preview piece with an anecdote about the agonizing decision that Adam had with his Bang The Book Podcast entry. It took about three hours to decide between the Colts, 49ers, and Broncos. All three lost, which wound up being the best-case scenario once the Colts lost. The level of second guessing in this contest is hard enough without beating oneself up about leaving off a winner when the field had such a horrible week.
The 2-3 week did stop a 15-5 stretch for Adam, but a 17-8 stretch over five weeks is pretty good. The train kept on rolling for Ryan of the BangTheBook.com entry, with a 4-0-1 and an 18-6-1 over the last five weeks.
With that, we head on into Week 8 with these picks selected for battle:
10122 BangTheBook.com (21-13-1, 61.76%)
3 VIKINGS -9.5
5 SAINTS -9
14 RAIDERS +2.5
18 CHARGERS +7
22 REDSKINS +2
10124 Bang The Book Podcast (19-16, 54.29%)
3 VIKINGS -9.5
5 SAINTS -9
8 JETS +4.5
12 49ERS +12.5
19 SEAHAWKS -5.5
We’ve got a couple matching picks on each entry, but the guys are not on opposite sides this week, so hopefully we can hit that extremely elusive 10-0. The most interesting pick on the board is likely Adam’s call of the New York Jets. Normally, we see a lot of line value grabs with the stale numbers. Here, Adam is gambling against the line move, with the Jets now available at +6 or +7 in the betting market.
You can hear his thoughts on the Jets on the Westgate SuperContest Selections segment, but this is a calculated gamble to go with what he believes is the right side on a game where the line going to +6 or +7 will scare away others in the contest. It’s a bold strategy, Cotton, and we’ll see how it plays out for him. The Falcons are a top-five consensus pick, so it is a decent chance to get one back against the field.
After such a terrible week, a week in which underdogs filled eight of the top 11 spots in the consensus, it will be very interesting to see how things play out. Normally, a lot of bettors won’t go back to a team that just burned them. Well, a lot of teams burned them last week.
Through seven weeks, the consensus is 43-59-3 after a 1-13-1 week last week. The top-five consensus is bad again with a 12-23 record. The Gold consensus went 2-11-1 last week and now sits at 51-51-3, with the top-five record at 15-19-1. The same number of picks came in on the Chiefs and Raiders last week in the Gold to throw the numbers off. The same thing happened in Week 5 of the traditional SuperContest with the Patriots and Buccaneers.
Here are the lines and pick counts for Week 8:
1 Ravens* 165 (11) WIN
2 Dolphins (+3) 257 (7)
3 Vikings 610 (13)
4 Browns (+9.5) 226 (13)
5 Saints* 801 (consensus #2) (22)
6 Bears (+9) 370 (13)
7 Falcons 766 (consensus #4) (35) (Gold #1)
8 Jets* (+4.5) 439 (15)
9 Buccaneers* 299 (13)
10 Panthers (+2) 844 (consensus #1) (31) (Gold #3)
11 Eagles* 343 (8)
12 49ers (+12.5) 538 (21)
13 Bills* 596 (21)
14 Raiders (+2.5) 711 (28) (Gold #4)
15 Bengals* 249 (6)
16 Colts (+10.5) 353 (12)
17 Patriots* 482 (15)
18 Chargers (+7) 746 (consensus #5) (19)
19 Seahawks* 797 (consensus #3) (34) (Gold #2)
20 Texans (+5.5) 513 (14)
21 Cowboys 745 (15)
22 Redskins* (+2) 638 (27) (Gold #5)
23 Steelers 606 (17)
24 Lions* (+3) 643 (26)
25 Chiefs* 512 (7)
26 Broncos (+7) 356 (22)
The top-five consensus is the Carolina Panthers, New Orleans Saints, Seattle Seahawks, Atlanta Falcons, and Los Angeles Chargers.
This was a tough week. With a game in London featuring a big favorite, a nine-point favorite and two double-digit favorites, and six teams on bye weeks, there were a lot of tough decisions to be made. You can see that in the way that the pick breakdowns came together.
We’ve been following traditional vs. Gold consensus differences. With Baltimore’s win on Thursday night, the Gold consensus side is now 23-15 in those games. The others on the board this week are Cowboys/Redskins and Chiefs/Broncos. The Vikings and Browns have the same number of picks in the Gold, but the traditional has a huge swing to Minnesota’s side.
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 8 UPDATE-
A new week means another chance to stress about picks for the Westgate SuperContest. It’s been talked about before in these articles, but it’s a lot harder than you would think to pick five games against a stale spread in the NFL. There’s so much more that goes into it with such thin margins for error and a field of 1,853 other entrants going through the same emotions that you are. But, we welcome the challenge and we’re happy to be part of it once again this season.
Heading into Week 8, the 1,854 entrants will make picks 36 through 40 en route to the magic number of 85 picks that it takes to eventually crown a champion. Things have been looking up for the SuperContest participants, as the last three weeks have all been on the plus side of these un-juiced lines. After a decent start to the season in Week 1, the field would have been better throwing darts off the top of the Eiffel Tower at Paris Las Vegas in Weeks 2, 3, and 4, but, like everything else in this industry, variance and luck seem to have evened out a little bit.
Week 1 was the high point of the season for a while, as the field selected winners at a 52.62 percent clip. Week 2 came down to 45.18 percent and Week 3 dropped even lower to 40.19 percent. Week 4 checked in at 42.76 percent and a lot of people, both those in the Contest and those observers that didn’t put in the $1,500 entry fee, were wondering what the hell was happening. Over the last three weeks, however, success rates of 53.95 percent, 55.01 percent, and 51.36 percent have turned the tide.
Here at BangTheBook.com, we have two entries in the field. Our 7226 BangTheBook.com entry, owned by our fearless leader Ryan, is sitting at 21-14 through seven weeks. Our BangTheBook Podcast entry, which belongs to BangTheBook Radio host Adam Burke and his partner Cole Ryan, is at a disappointing 15-20 for the season after a 7-3 start. Both entries were on the plus side at 3-2 last week, so we’re hoping for big things this week.
Here are the BangTheBook Westgate SuperContest selections for Week 8:
7226 BangTheBook.com (21-14, 60%)
4 REDSKINS +3
5 FALCONS -3
7 TEXANS -2.5
14 BROWNS +3
20 CHARGERS +5.5
7227 BangTheBook Podcast (15-20, 42.86%)
4 REDSKINS +3
10 SAINTS +2.5
15 BUCCANEERS -1.5
20 CHARGERS +5.5
21 PANTHERS -3
For more insight on the BangTheBook Podcast selections, we encourage you to listen to this week’s Westgate SuperContest Selections segment from the October 28 edition of BangTheBook Radio. The guys included additional thoughts on every other game in the Rapid Fire Rundown segment. Initially, the Texans were tipped as a likely play on the show, but the Lamar Miller injury news changed Adam and Cole’s minds on that game.
For those new to the SuperContest, here’s how it works. Lines are released on Wednesday night based on numbers currently in the betting market and with some lines shaded in the direction of future line moves and likely with injury situations taken into account. The numbers do not move after they are posted and entrants have to have picks in by 11 a.m. PT on Saturday.
As we head into Week 8, the field is still chasing down Ripsaw, who has 27.5 points on the season. Entrants get one point per win, so Ripsaw is 27-7-1 through seven weeks. Johnny Vegas stands alone in second with 26.5 points. Redwine and Scorpio each have 25.5 points. Dekkajob, OTMSports1.com, and The DoublePipeClassic have 25 points. Four more entries have 24.5 points. Thirteen entries have 24points, including 4ViewsFromVegas, which belongs to Dave Tuley, and WalterFootball.com, which belongs to Walter Cherepinsky of the site with the same name.
The field is looking for its fourth straight winning week. Here are the SuperContest lines and the pick counts for Week 8 (top-five consensus in bold):
Tennessee WIN 98
Jacksonville (+3) 72
Washington (+3) 260
Atlanta 463 (consensus #4)
Green Bay (+3) 327
Detroit (+2.5) 326
New Orleans (+2.5) 460 (consensus #5)
New England 742 (consensus #1)
Buffalo (+6.5) 241
New York Jets 232
Cleveland (+3) 321
Tampa Bay 276
Oakland (+1.5) 627 (consensus #3)
Kansas City 402
Indianapolis (+2.5) 359
San Diego (+5.5) 631 (consensus #2)
Arizona (+3) 330
Philadelphia (+4.5) 434
Chicago (+6) 304
The top-five consensus this week is the New England Patriots, San Diego Chargers, Oakland Raiders, Atlanta Falcons, and New Orleans Saints.
The top-five consensus was 3-2 last week, but the Minnesota Vikings were the most-selected team and they lost to the Philadelphia Eagles and failed to cover as a road favorite. The other top-five pick that lost was Tennessee, who was the third-most-popular team of the week. The top-five consensus is 11-23-1 on the season.
The consensus, the most-selected side in every game on the board, now sits at 49-55-1 on the year and was 7-8 last week. The Pittsburgh vs. Washington Week 1 Monday Night Football matchup had 322 picks per side, so it is not counted in the consensus. Houston and Detroit from this week also has the same number of picks.
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.