VSiN.com senior reporter
LAS VEGAS – The two high-end NFL handicapping contests at the Westgate Las Vegas Resort & Casino came down to the final games of the 2017 season with the leaders holding on for big paydays.
A contestant using the alias of Grannys Boy won the the long-running and increasingly famous SuperContest Classic to earn a record $1,327,284 after going 58-22-5 (72.5%) against the spread, using 5 NFL picks a week, to top a record field of 2,748 entrants who put up $1,500 apiece.
Grannys Boy had a 2.5-point lead (note: SuperContestants earn 1 point per win and half a point per push) heading into Sunday and went 3-2 to hold off the other top contenders. After winning his sole play of Lions -6.5 over the Packers in the 1 p.m. ET/10 a.m. PT kickoffs as the Lions rolled to a 35-11 rout, he only needed one win to clinch from his other picks on the Bills -2.5 vs. the Dolphins, Falcons -3.5 vs. the Panthers, Saints -7 vs. the Buccaneers and Jaguars 3 vs. the Titans in the 4:25 p.m. ET/1:25 p.m. kickoffs.
He was in great shape most of Sunday afternoon as the Bills built a big lead over the Dolphins, but the Falcons’ 22-10 victory reached the final gun first to officially give him the championship. The Bills play also won while the Saints and Jaguars both lost, but those were academic (or mathematic for those still keeping score).
Stag Capital won $470,000 for finishing first in the inaugural winner-take-all SuperContest Gold. Stag Capital went 51-31-2 (61.4%) against the spread in topping a field of 94 entrants that put up $5,000 apiece.
Stag Capital also was the leader heading into Sunday, but had three contestants within a single point. The SuperContests use static lines that are posted by the Westgate on Wednesday and don’t change even if they do in the betting market. He went 4-1 on Sunday with the Colts -3.5 vs. the Texans (the line was -5.5 by the time contest selections were due at 11 a.m. PT Saturday) and the Browns plus-11 vs. the Steelers (the line was down to 6 by submission time) in the early games. He lost with the Raiders plus-8 against the Chargers in the afternoon games but won with the 49ers -3 vs. the Rams (-4 at submission time and closed -6.5) as the contest came down to his last play on the Buccaneers plus-7 against the Saints (down to 6 at submission time) as he trailed Midwest Square by half a point.
When the Buccaneers pulled the 31-24 outright upset, that gave Stag Capital the title and the entire prize pool.
It would be negligent to not mention that Stag Capital’s victory was set up by a miracle cover last Monday night. He had the Eagles -8.5 while another top contender, BrettFavre444, was on the Raiders plus-8.5 with the winner taking the Gold lead into Week 17. The Raiders were covering the whole game and behind only 13-10 when they started one of those desperation-lateral-plays we’ve seeing all too often this season. The Eagles ran in a fumble for a TD and a 19-10 to cover the -8.5 for Stag Capital. It’s conceivable that if BrettFavre444 had won that pick that he would have used all the advantageous line moves and went 4-1 in the final week to win the title (instead, BrettFavre444 went contrarian to all the line moves and came up short, though he was looking good in the early window when the Texans were leading the Colts and the Steelers were covering against the Colts, but both ended up losing against the spread).
Back to the Classic, two contestants using aliases of HowDoIPlay XX and Schematic Advantage finished 1.5 points behind Grannys Boy and tied for second place and third place with 59 points, so they split the prize money from those two positions for $398,185.20 apiece. HowDoIPlayXX was eliminated from a chance at the title with a loss on the Redskins -3 vs. the Giants in the early games, but they went 4-1 on the day to tie with Schematic Advantage, who was the last threat to Grannys Boy and ended up going a perfect 5-0 on Sunday but it wasn’t enough as he was 3.5 points behind entering the day.
Former leader BioSoft Global was another 2.5 point back in fourth place with 56.5 points to earn $189,612, with Grand Dragon taking fifth place worth $170,650.80 and Golden Soul and The Candiotti Man tying for sixth place and winning $142,209 apiece.
SuperContest Classic pays out to the Top 50 this year with the cutoff at 52 points (just over 60%, which was par for cashing back when the SuperContest only had entrants numbering in the hundreds) for a payoff of $1,137.67, less than the entry fee about being chopped up by all those tying for 50th place. It’s also interesting to note that Stag Capital’s Gold score of 52 points would have barely made the money in Classic.