Last Updated: 2017-11-04
A new set of painstaking decisions affectionately known as the Westgate SuperContest has been made by the 2,748 entrants that threw down the $1,500 buy-in to participate in this year’s event. Those same hard decisions fell on the 94 entrants in the SuperContest Gold. With six teams on bye weeks and an injury that sent massive ripple effects through the betting market, we’re looking at an historic weekend in the SuperContest.
The loss of Deshaun Watson to a torn ACL came after SuperContest lines were posted. As you know, these stale lines do not move to reflect activity in the fluid betting market. As a result, the Colts are +13 instead of the +6.5 widely available in the market. That made the Colts the most selected side ever in SuperContest history, which can be taken with a grain of salt because this is the largest field ever, but still. It could be a huge week for those looking to gain ground if they avoided this game and the Texans grab the cover.
Earlier this week, I had a question about the payouts for the SuperContest, so let’s run those down a bit. The top 50 plus ties will catch a piece of the $3,792,240 prize pool. Those doing the math know that 1,500 x 2,748 is not 3,792,240, but an eight percent fee is taken out of each entry for administrative fees and the bonuses. There are bonuses for best record over the first four weeks, the first eight weeks, and the Mini Contest over the last three weeks.
First place will get $1,327,284 before taxes. Second place will get $513,960.60. Third place will get $265,456.90. For those that barely cash, 42nd place through 50th place plus ties will make a little bit for their efforts. If there are no ties, it will be $3,792.24. Because there probably will be, that number will be a little lower.
There are a lot of picks left to make. In fact, more than half of the selections still need to be graded. Through eight weeks, our BangTheBook.com entry is 22-17-1 and our Bang The Book Podcast entry is 20-20. That means that 45 more picks needs to be sent in, so anything can happen. Last week, both entries went 1-4, so we’re looking for a bounce back effort.
The field had a bounce back effort last week. After the worst weekend in SuperContest history at 33.87 percent, the field came back at 50.75 percent. The SuperContest Gold, the winner-take-all $5,000 buy-in, has had back-to-back bad weeks at 31.78 percent and 45.59 percent, respectively. Those are the two worst weeks of the season. The Gold field is at 48.59 percent overall and the traditional SuperContest field is at 47.18 percent.
PHD Sports and Grand Dragon are tied for first with 28 points. Biosoft Sports and Biosoft Global are tied for third with 27.5 points. Tunnel Vision and The Ville are tied for fifth with 27 points. Eight entries are tied with 26.5 points. On the Gold side, BKSF still leads, but his lead was cut in half last week from four points to two. BKSF has 27 points and John_Merlyn has 25 points after making up three games last week.
Two weeks ago, we opened with the anecdote of Adam Burke’s hardships with narrowing down his last pick on the card. He runs the Bang The Book Podcast and you can hear his thoughts on BangTheBook Radio every Friday on our Westgate SuperContest Selections segment with Sports Cheetah.
This week, we have different story. The Colts threw a major wrench into this week’s handicapping. It is really hard to pass on a game with 6.5 points of stale line value, but the Colts represent a point that the majority of the field is expected to get. Game theory would dictate that it’s in most players’ best interests to pass on the game, root hard for a Texans win, and hope to essentially get two points on the field rather than the point that a lot of people will get. Most entries in the running are blindly taking the Colts to mirror the field and not give up a game. Those are the people that we are chasing down.
Ultimately, it was too much to pass on, despite liking five of the games on the card that did not include the Colts. This was a rare circumstance, but it highlights some of the really difficult decisions that must be made week in and week out.
As we look to bounce back, here are our selections for Week 9:
10122 BangTheBook.com (22-17-1, 56.41%)
4 BRONCOS +8.5
9 JAGUARS -5
11 PANTHERS -1
14 COLTS +13
15 TITANS -5
10124 Bang The Book Podcast (20-20, 50%)
4 BRONCOS +8.5
5 RAMS -3.5
9 JAGUARS -5
14 COLTS +13
22 COWBOYS +1
Unfortunately, the Deshaun Watson news broke just after we wrapped up recording for this week’s SuperContest segment, but you can still hear Adam’s thoughts on three of the plays that he likes from this week’s card and also about last week’s tough-luck loss on the Jets and the thought process that went into taking a bad number relative to the market.
The two entries match up with the Broncos and Jaguars and are not on the opposite sides in any game. You see the Colts on both entries and you’ll see the Colts on a lot of entries this week.
The top-five consensus is just 14-26, which was a consideration when putting the picks together. When putting the picks together, trying to determine where the field is going to go is a big piece of the equation, especially with the most popular selections hitting at an awful percentage for the second straight season.
To this point, the consensus is just 49-66-3 and the top-five consensus is a big reason why. In the Gold, the consensus is 55-59-3 with a 17-22-1 record for the top-five consensus. Last week, the traditional field was over 50 percent, but the consensus was just 6-7. The Gold consensus went 4-8 with the same number of picks on the Vikings/Browns game in London.
Here are the lines and pick counts for Week 9:
1 Bills 283 (12)
2 Jets* (+3) 174 (9)
3 Eagles* 420 (9)
4 Broncos (+8.5) 766 (consensus #4) (44) (Gold #2)
5 Rams 944 (consensus #2) (15)
6 Giants (+3.5) 332 (12)
7 Saints* 608 (9)
8 Buccaneers (+7) 517 (29) (Gold #4)
9 Jaguars* 604 (14)
10 Bengals (+5) 423 (17)
11 Panthers* 443 (19)
12 Falcons (+1) 715 (consensus #5) (29) (Gold #5)
13 Texans* 70 (5)
14 Colts (+13) 1,675 (consensus #1) (55) (Gold #1)
15 Titans* 379 (5)
16 Ravens (+5) 471 (24)
17 Cardinals 338 (9)
18 49ers* (+2) 342 (12)
19 Seahawks* 627 (16)
20 Redskins (+7) 241 (10)
21 Chiefs 522 (9)
22 Cowboys (+1) 824 (consensus #3) (40) (Gold #3)
23 Raiders 561 (10)
24 Dolphins (+3) 382 (16)
25 Lions 483 (9)
26 Packers* (+2.5) 426 (22)
The top-five consensus is the Indianapolis Colts, Los Angeles Rams, Dallas Cowboys, Denver Broncos, and Atlanta Falcons.
As expected, the Colts take the top spot with 60.95 percent of the field taking the stale line value to go against Tom Savage. The rest of the top-five consensus doesn’t appear to be all that surprising either, with some notable line moves on the Broncos, Falcons, and Cowboys games that people are looking to follow and the Rams against a severely banged-up Giants squad.
As far as consensus differences, since we’ve been keeping track of those, the sides that are Gold consensus are 24-17 on the season. We’ve got a few of those this week with the Dolphins/Raiders, Lions/Packers, and Bengals/Jaguars.
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 9 UPDATE-
Will there be another changing of the guard this week in the Westgate SuperContest? Last year, rounding again and in first place again and again. It seemed like we could have had the same thing this year, but Ripsaw slipped up and Redwine did not, giving us a new leader for the first time since Week 3. Will Redwine hold on to first or will there be a new leader to chase?
It’s Week 9, which means that picks 41 through 45 are being made. The 1,854 entrants that started this thing are hoping that the recent stretch of good fortune continues. Last week marked the fourth straight week in the SuperContest that the field was on the right side of 50 percent. Many entrants were riding the struggle bus from Week 2 through Week 4, but it’s gotten a lot better and that always hikes up the drama.
Looking week by week, the field started out at 52.62 percent with “bread left out for five months” stale lines in Week 1. Adjustments were not made in Week 2 with a 45.18 percent rate of winners. Week 3 was the same story at 40.19 percent and Week 4 was a similar song at 42.76 percent. Things took a turn in Week 5 when the field hit at 53.95 percent. Week 6 was the high point of the season at 55.01 percent. Week 7 came in at 51.36 percent and Week 8 was similar at 51.5 percent.
The rules are the same as they have been. Entrants pick five games against the spread with lines that come out on Wednesday nights. The lines do not move once they come out. Participants get one point for a win, zero points for a loss, and a half-point for a push.
Here at BangTheBook.com, we have two entries in the field and the roller coaster ride has not stopped since Week 1. Our 7226 BangTheBook.com entry owned by Ryan, our fearless leader, is 23-16-1 on the year. The 7227 BangTheBook Podcast entry belongs to Adam Burke and Cole Ryan of BangTheBook Radio. They are at 18-22 on the season, but it has been a season of streaks. They started 7-3 over the first two weeks and then went 3-12 over the next three weeks. Things have leveled off now.
Here are the BangTheBook Westgate SuperContest selections for Week 9:
7226 BangTheBook.com (23-16-1, 58.97%)
4 JAGUARS +7
13 STEELERS PK
16 49ERS +3.5
18 RAMS +3
26 BILLS +6.5
7227 BangTheBook Podcast (18-22, 45%)
6 LIONS +5.5
7 GIANTS -2.5
13 STEELERS PK
22 TITANS +5
23 BRONCOS PK
For more insight on the BangTheBook Podcast selections, we encourage you to listen to this week’s Westgate SuperContest Selections segment from the November 4 edition of BangTheBook Radio. The guys included additional thoughts on every other game in the Rapid Fire Rundown segment.
There are so many factors to consider when making picks because the margin for error is so small in this contest. There are only so many combinations of picks, particularly during weeks where there are several teams on a bye. Those that pass on the Thursday Night Football game were required to pick five out of the 12 games on Sunday or Monday. That’s not easy to do and most players cross out the Thursday game right away because the entire five-play card needs to be submitted in order to take that primetime affair.
As mentioned, Redwine is your new leader with 30.5 points following a 5-0 showing in Week 8. Ripsaw is in second place with 30 points. Scorpio, who has been near the top all season, stands alone in third place with 29.5 points. Skinknee.com is fourth with 29 points. Johnny Vegas, OTMSports1.com, and TheDoublePipeClassic share a tie for fifth with 28.5 points. Two entrants, boga bro and Lil Zorbas Wildcats have 28 points. Boga Dave and Psalm 86 are tied with 27.5 points. As you can see, the standings gaps are miniscule.
In search of a fifth straight winning week overall, here are the SuperContest lines and the pick counts for Week 9 (top-five consensus in bold):
Atlanta WIN 163
Tampa Bay (+4) 100
Kansas City 422
Jacksonville (+7) 206
Detroit (+5.5) 351
New York Giants 371
Philadelphia (+2.5) 474 (consensus #5)
Cleveland (+7) 404
New York Jets (+3.5) 310
Pittsburgh 604 (consensus #2)
Baltimore (PK) 193
New Orleans 575 (consensus #3)
San Francisco (+3.5) 253
Carolina 525 (consensus #4)
Los Angeles (+3) 306
Green Bay 176
Indianapolis (+7.5) 319
San Diego 329
Tennessee (+5) 422
Denver 695 (consensus #1)
Oakland (PK) 334
Buffalo (+6.5) 236
The top-five consensus is the Denver Broncos, Pittsburgh Steelers, New Orleans Saints, Carolina Panthers, and Philadelphia Eagles. It’s interesting to note that the top two consensus picks simply need to win the game to cover, as both are pick ’em lines. It’s also interesting to note how spread out the picks are, with 18 of the 22 teams playing on Sunday getting over 300 selections each.
The top-five consensus was 3-2 last week to improve to 14-25-1 on the season, which is still below 36 percent for the year. Consensus plays #1 New England, #3 Oakland, and #5 New Orleans won last week, with #2 San Diego and #4 Atlanta falling short.
The consensus, or the most-selected sides in each game, are sitting at 55-60-2, which is 47.29 percent. For the second time this season, we had a game tied in picks. The Pittsburgh vs. Washington game in Week 1 had 322 picks per side and last week’s Detroit vs. Houston game had 326 picks per side. The consensus record was 6-5-1 last week.
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.