NFL Handicapping – A Look at the SuperContest and My 16-3-1 ATS Start

A record 1,727 entries in the 2015 SuperContest

FairwayJay 16-3-1 ATS and Top-5 through 4 Weeks

I receive many inquiries about my football picks each week. While it’s always gratifying to select more winners than losers and reward clients and members with more victories and value, I take pride in the process and research to provide insight and analysis in support of selections. I’ll provide more insight on handicapping and analyzing sporting events in the near future, but here is an update and some thoughts on the SuperContest in Las Vegas that drew a record 1,727 entries this year.

After going 51-34 (60%) in last year’s SuperContest and finishing top-80 (6%) out of over 1,400 contestants and entries, I decided to enter again this season at the urging of one of my betting partners from last season. Frankly, with just 50 places being paid (less than 3% of all entries), there is hardly much value in participating in this contest. Clearly you can argue that a $1,500 entry fee for a contest/tournament with over a $900,000 first place prize is a value in a return on your investment. But Poker tournaments pay out the top-10 percent of entries and that’s difficult enough to accomplish in making the money.

The SuperContest first-place payout is over $900,000 this year with a very top-heavy structure despite the top-20 finishers likely landing within 4-5 games of each other. As a sports analyst, handicapper, journalist and media member, I correspond with sports writers, analysts and sports book directors including Jay Kornegay and Jeff Sherman at the Westgate SuperBook in Las Vegas. One of their primary goals is to reach the casual sports fan and expand the reach of the contest. The SuperContst has become extremely popular with more articles, posts and social media coverage than ever before.  The Westgate and SuperBook draws much attention and that is good for marketing the contest, property and newly renovated SuperBook, but it’s very hard to get through a field this deep and a flatter payout structure with more contestants getting paid is likely if they listen to more contestant feedback. You have to be skilled in handicapping but also need the ball to bounce your way as just a few bad breaks and unlikely outcomes can mean the difference in even making the money (top-50) or not if you’re contending into the late stages of the contest, which was the case for me and my team last year.

This past week I went 3-1-1 and now stand 16-3-1 ATS at the quarter-pole of the contest through 4 weeks. We’re doing great, despite two fairly tough games last week in which we suffered a push and loss with Pittsburgh (+3) and Dallas (+3). I don’t need to rehash the end game and results. Poker players don’t want to hear about unfortunate losses or bad beats, and neither do sports bettors or handicappers. I’m very pleased with the strong start.

By this time my team name and Alias in the contest is leaking out, and that’s fine despite me also providing selection services to paid clients. Understand these contest selections are based on fixed lines established by the @LVSuperBook on Wednesday each week. The betting market moves throughout the week as oddsmakers adjust lines based on betting action, information, weather or injury news for example (QB Luck last week, QB Brady week 1 for example with line moves of greater than 3 points). While I provide the majority of insight and analysis in identifying 5 selections for the weekly SuperContest card, I do have a partner and certainly we have differing opinions at times. But it’s still more enjoyable and fun to have a contest partner to enjoy the journey while working together and sharing ideas and insight.

This year we’ve been able to get off to a strong start through 4 weeks going 16-3-1 ATS and among the top-5 leaders in the contest. Last year was a slower start and strong late rally that included a 17-3 ATS finish. Perhaps we can sustain our success and have a similar late kick to make a run at the ‘final table’ and have a shot to win in the final week.

I’ve had some strong documented seasons handicapping the NFL including 44-22 (67%) during the 2010 season in which I also won the Wise Guys football handicapping contest selecting two football plays early week competing with 64 top, recognized sports handicappers and analysts. I managed to go 14-3-1 on best bets in that contest and 8-2 for clients that season. I also broke onto the scene in my 2003 debut season as a professional handicapper going 58-30 in NFL point spread prognosis. But all handicappers, bettors and professional go through losing streaks and tough times. Something you learn and understand with more experience in betting and handicapping sports, playing poker or other games or businesses involving a level of skill and thinking – you must be focused, disciplined and determined and also have some good fortune and support along the way. Regardless of how we finish in the SuperContest or my personal service, I’ll enjoy the process and journey in competing to beat the game.

Best wishes as you pursue your passions and point spread winners throughout each sports season.

Author: FairwayJay

FairwayJay is a leading national sports analyst and is recognized as one of the sports industry's most insightful handicappers and professionals. Follow him on Twitter: @FairwayJay