VSiN.com senior reporter
LAS VEGAS–The same three teams were chosen as the top consensus plays in both the SuperContest Classic and SuperContest Gold for Week 4 of the NFL season.
The Broncos -2.5 vs. the Raiders, Chargers -1.5 vs. the Eagles, and Giants plus-3 at the Buccaneers were the top three picks from the record 2,748 entrants in the long-running Westgate SuperContest where players put up $1,500 apiece. The $5,000 SuperContest Gold, which drew 94 entries in its first year, had the same top three but in slightly different order with the Chargers -1.5 as the top pick, followed by the Broncos -2.5 and Giants plus-3.
The Saints -3 vs. the Dolphins (this week’s early Sunday morning game from London) is the No. 4 choice in the regular SuperContest and No. 5 in the Gold. The No. 5 choice in the SuperContest is the Bengals -3 at the Browns while the No. 4 choice in the Gold is the Titans -1.5 at the Texans.
Links to all of the consensus plays and selections from all contestants can be found on VSiN’s dedicated SuperContest page.
The Top 5 Consensus plays are off to a slow start this year at 5-10 against the SuperContest lines (5-5 after starting 0-5 in Week 1) while the Gold Top 5 have gone 2-3 each week to stand at 6-9.
I’ve covered the SuperContest since 1999 and I’ve seen it all (or at least I’ll keep saying that until I see something new, and then I’ll say “Now I’ve seen it all!). In years when the consensus plays start red-hot, a ton of people believe that’s the secret formula (“because these football handicappers put up $1,500 and must know something”) and talk about how you have to follow and bet the consensus plays.
If they start cold like this year, everyone says the SuperContestants are a bunch of bums who don’t know anything (even when the field was mostly full of sharp bettors in Vegas). In recent years, with the number of entrants exploding, the most common comment is that the SuperContest is now full of a bunch of squares and that’s why the consensus is doing so bad.
We’ll see where it goes from here, but my guess is that the Top 5 Consensus will finish somewhere around .500 even with the slow start.
Last year, the Top 5 Consensus (remember, it was just the regular SuperContest and no Gold) was an even worse 3-12 after three weeks and actually went a little better than 50% at 35-31-4 the rest of the year to finish 38-43-4 (46.9%). The overall consensus started 17-30 (36.2%) and actually finished above .500 at 125-122-7 (50.6%).
You may ask: Are the SuperContest Consensus plays always a losing proposition (below the break-even point of 52.3%)? No. Just two years ago, the Top 5 Consensus started 11-4 and finished a very respectable 46-37-2 (55.4%) and the overall consensus of all games was 141-109-4 (56.4%).
As for the individual leaders heading into Week 4, PHD Sports leads the regular SuperContest at 13-2 (remember, the leader after four weeks will win a $15,000 bonus or share it with the other co-leaders). PHD Sports’ picks for Week 4 are the Panthers plus-9 at the Patriots, Lions plus-2.5 at the Vikings, Titans -1.5 at the Texans, Bengals -3 at the Browns and the Bills plus-7.5 at the Falcons.
Gold leader BKSF (also 13-2) has the Panthers plus-9 at the Patriots, Giants plus-3 at the Buccaneers, Chargers -1.5 vs. the Eagles, 49ers plus-6.5 at the Cardinals and Broncos -2.5 vs. the Raiders.