The final week in the Westgate SuperContest is here. No Thursday Night Football. No Sunday Night Football. It is all about the 16 games on Sunday. Five of them must be selected and those five picks are going to determine each and every cent remaining in the prize pool. Small payouts have been given for the quarter and half leaders, but the Mini Contest and the full-season prizes are going to be doled out based on what happens with these last five picks.
It is going to be a jubilant day for some and a disappointing day for others. We are talking about some substantial differences in money because of mere half points. Some entries are going to finish just a half-point out of the money. Others are going to miss out on a much bigger payout because of a half-point. Others are going to get a much bigger payout because of a half-point. Things get so bunched up in this contest that every result matters.
To this point, only $30,000 has been handed out from the total prize pool of $4,592,640. The winner will take home $1,469,644 before taxes and everybody in the top nine will take home at least six figures before The Man gets a cut. Over half a million goes for second place. Over a quarter of a million goes to third place.
Obviously there will be a lot of entries tied with the same number of points, so there will be some split prizes and prize amounts will be pooled together and given out equally, but the top 100 plus ties all make some money for their time and efforts in this 85-pick sprint. In all, 3,328 entrants put up $1,500 to join the contest. After the 8% admin fee was removed from the prize pool, we were left with that amount of nearly $4.6 million. Now, after 17 hard weeks of agonizing over NFL sides, those fortunate enough to be in paying positions can say that they cashed in the SuperContest.
As we go into the final weekend, It Aint Breezy is in the driver’s seat with 56 points. Crispr is second with 54.5 points. Tuco is third with 53.5 points. Those are likely the only three entrants that can win. Making up a four-point gap in one week to jump three entries that are all at least 1.5 points ahead is virtually impossible, so those in a five-way tie for fourth will have to hope to finish strong and get as much of the prize pool as possible.
The current cut-off for the money is 48 points and will likely be 51 when all is said and done. Right now, that is a tie for 83rd between a whole lot of entrants.
The SuperContest Gold will also be decided this weekend. That is a winner-take-all contest worth $585,000. Walter Payton has a 2.5-point lead in that contest over IG:ThisIsWalkerAt and @NickelGetter2. There is a three-way tie for third with 47 points. It is fascinating to see that 48 points would mean second place in the Gold and only means 83rd and on the fringe of the money in the traditional, but that’s the way that this works. There were 109 sign-ups in the SuperContest Gold.
Here at BangTheBook.com, we are playing out the string. We never found a good groove to rattle off a bunch of winners in row. The good weeks weren’t great, as we never found one of those elusive 5-0s, and the bad weeks were bad. The BangTheBook.com entry is 42-36-2 going into the final week and the BangTheBook Podcast entry is 38-40-2 for the season. We do have a difference of opinion for the season-long dinner bet, which sits at a 6-4 edge for the Podcast (and -2 in the Circa) entry, though the guys are actually split 3-3 on individual games with a disagreement. The 6-4 record is because games taken in both contests counted twice per the rules set before the season.
Our last set of picks looks like this for Week 17 of the Westgate SuperContest:
BangTheBook.com (42-36-2, 53.85%)
1 Titans -3.5
7 Colts -3.5
13 Saints -13
16 Giants +4.5
17 Steelers -2
BangTheBook Podcast (38-40-2, 48.72%)
9 Falcons PK
16 Giants +4.5
18 Ravens +2
23 Packers -12.5
25 Chiefs -8.5
Road favorites are the theme of the week here, as four of them appear on the .com card and one on the Podcast card. The Falcons are in a road coin flip game against the Bucs, which is an indication that they would be favored on a neutral, so we might as well group them in there as well. Underdogs are not well-represented this week. The Giants match across both cards and then the home dog Ravens appear on the Podcast card as the game to decide the dinner bet.
We’ll see how it all plays out this week. Thanks to all the readers that have followed along with our progress and also the progress of the field as a whole. We greatly appreciate it!
One last time, you can hear BangTheBook Radio host Adam Burke’s thoughts and reasoning behind his picks on the Friday edition of the podcast.
We head into Week 17 with the field at 49.89%, 541 picks below .500. A week similar to last week would get the field well over 50% for the season. The consensus is 109-119-7 and the top-five consensus is 41-36-3.
Over in the Gold, the field is at 50.43% and the consensus is 113-107-5 with a top-five consensus of 41-40-3 thanks to ties for the fourth and fifth-most popular sides over the course of the season.
Here are the lines, pick counts, and the consensus for Week 17 in the 2019 SuperContest:
1 Titans 987 (consensus #2) (30) (Gold #3)
2 Texans* (+3.5) 278 (7)
3 Browns 479 (12)
4 Bengals* (+2.5) 383 (22)
5 Vikings* 438 (16)
6 Bears (+1) 644 (31) (Gold #2)
7 Colts 695 (consensus #5) (22)
8 Jaguars* (+3.5) 149 (5)
9 Falcons 573 (14)
10 Buccaneers* (PK) 380 (11)
11 Cowboys* 262 (11)
12 Redskins (+11) 600 (17)
13 Saints 348 (16)
14 Panthers* (+13) 190 (6)
15 Eagles 413 (10)
16 Giants* (+4.5) 995 (consensus #1) (34) (Gold #1)
17 Steelers 347 (9)
18 Ravens* (+2) 620 (19)
19 Bills* 469 (15)
20 Jets (+1.5) 400 (23)
21 Patriots* 350 (15)
22 Dolphins (+15.5) 448 (16)
23 Packers 278 (7)
24 Lions* (+12.5) 271 (14)
25 Chiefs* 753 (consensus #4) (17)
26 Chargers (+8.5) 263 (13)
27 Rams* 606 (27) (tie Gold #4)
28 Cardinals (+3) 183 (5)
29 49ers 585 (17)
30 Seahawks* (+3.5) 807 (consensus #3) (20)
31 Broncos* 609 (27) (tie Gold #4)
32 Raiders (+3) 397 (7)
The top-five consensus is the New York Giants, Tennessee Titans, Seattle Seahawks, Kansas City Chiefs, and Indianapolis Colts.
Very interesting to see the Giants in there against an Eagles team with something to play for, but that injury report is quite extensive for Philadelphia. The others all make a lot of sense. The Titans are in a must-win spot. The Seahawks are getting a big number at home in a game that matters both ways. The Chiefs have been a popular public team for a while. The Jaguars have all sorts of drama going on and the Colts looked pretty good last week.
The top-five consensus in the SuperContest Gold is the New York Giants, Chicago Bears, Tennessee Titans, Denver Broncos, and Los Angeles Rams.
Follow along with our SuperContest picks every week at BangTheBook.com in this Saturday article and with the BangTheBook Podcast entry every Friday during the Westgate SuperContest Selections segment.