Las Vegas – The final mini-contest of the 2017 Westgate SuperContest begins this week, and that means a ton of players will come back to life. Amazingly, 90 teams didn’t even bother to make a selection last week because the majority of the field knows they can’t win the BIG money. However, they know that if they get hot over a three-week period, they could win $15,000. That’s 10 times the initial investment, and that’s an incentive that will bring back a bunch of teams this week.
Here are five games that I will be watching this week as potential plays for Team Gamenight (38-29-3). (All lines are from the Westgate SuperBook and subject to change before the official lines are released on Wednesday.)
Denver -2.5 at Indy
Are the Broncos back to life? They just beat the Jets 23-0, and they looked like a team that actually deserves the right to wear a Denver uniform. The Colts, on the other hand, just had to endure playing a road game in the middle of a blizzard and lost in overtime to the Bills. Indy is 2-4 at home, but the Broncos are a disgusting 0-6 on the road this year. Rookie head coach Vance Joseph is going to need to prove he can win on the road if he wants to keep his job. Now, a win over the Colts won’t keep assure him of that, but if the Broncos play well down the stretch, he could get another year. I’ll watch the week closely for injuries, but I think this could be a good spot for Denver.
New England -2.5 at Pittsburgh
If the line stays under 3 officially on Wednesday, I will be all over this game in the SuperContest. Tom Brady owns the Steelers, and it doesn’t really matter where the game is played for that to happen. New England will get Rob Gronkowski back off suspension, and when the chips are down for a big game, Bill Belichick owns Mike Tomlin. The Steelers just got lucky against the Baltimore Ravens, whose offense scored 38 points at Pittsburgh. The Ravens scored nine points in their first meeting at home against the Steelers. I’d be really nervous I were a Steelers fan because of that defense. Pittsburgh has given up 20 or more points in three straight weeks to the Ravens, Bengals and Packers. Guess who has an offense that’s 10 times better than those three teams? The Patriots.
San Francisco -2 vs. Tennessee
I might just pick against the Titans for the rest of the year. I didn’t pick them to lose to Arizona last week like I should have. Instead, I hammered the Cardinals at the window because the Titans are awful. I didn’t love the SuperContest line last week, but it will be interesting to see where Westgate places the number. This game opened as a pick’em and then was bet to -2. The 49ers have won two straight games behind the stud Jimmy G and now return to Levi’s Stadium for Garoppolo’s first career home start. San Fran is 3-9. The Titans are 8-5 and they are underdogs. The gig is up here in Vegas. Tennessee stinks, and we know it now. QB Marcus Marriota has a sprain knee and has taken a massive step back. Plus, his weapons on the roster aren’t playing well. O-Line injuries also will play a role, but I’m probably on this game this week.
Kansas City Pick’Em vs. Los Angeles Chargers
The hottest team in the NFL right now is the Chargers. They blasted the Redskins on Sunday and have won four straight games to get themselves in position to take over first place in the AFC West with a win over the Chiefs. However, three of those four wins came at home, and the only road game was at Dallas on Thanksgiving. Cowboys’ head coach Jason Garrett can’t win on a short week like we talked about in this space when we picked the Chargers in that game. However, LA lost to the Jags and to the Patriots on the road before this winning streak, and I’m just not ready to believe that QB Philip Rivers can beat the Chiefs at Arrowhead. This is just a straight who wins; in December, in a big game, I’m going to take the Chiefs. Kansas City is coming off a 26-15 win over the Raiders last week and has won both games at home against the AFC West. They are also 3-1 against the division, beating the Chargers in Week 3. I don’t think the Chiefs are that dangerous anymore, but I also don’t think they give away the division on their home field. KC wins.
Green Bay +2.5 at Carolina
Is Aaron Rodgers going to play in this game? If so, I’m rolling with Green Bay. Brent Hundley isn’t the world’s most talented quarterback, but he kept the season alive last week with the OT win at Cleveland. The Packers can still make the playoffs as a wild card team, but they need a win here in Week 15 to continue their march toward a berth. The Panthers are currently holding one of those wild card spots, so this game is super important on a bunch of levels. Carolina just beat the Vikings at home and could be in for a letdown. QB Cam Newton made a crucial 62-yard run to win the game, and RB Jonathan Stewart rushed for three touchdowns and 103 yards. However, the Panthers’ defense gave up 280 yards passing to Case Keenum, and the Vikings’ receivers had some really costly drops in the game. I like the Packers’ weapons more than Minnesota’s, and with Rodgers back, I’ll take the Pack to win outright.
Recap of Week 14
Team Gamenight had another big week going 4-1 and pushed my record to 38-30-3 and into first place for our Action Network teams. I’ve got 9-1 over the past 2 weeks to put my team into a legit chance to cash in the event. It won’t be easy with 15 picks to go but it’s better than I was after week one were I went 1-3-1.
Team Beatrix Kiddo (36-31-3) and Team Sports Action (33-35-2) all went 3-2 in Week 14, so the race for our best Action Network team is still tight.
It was a tough week for Team Bet The Process, who went 1-4 to drop their overall score to 37-32-2.
Going into the final 15 picks of the year, Gamenight leads with 39.5 points and Beatrix with 37.5 is in second. Bet The Process has 37 and Sports Action has 34.
It’s still going to difficult for any of our teams to make the top 50, but we are all still eligible for the final mini-contest and the $15,000 prize. That’s the focus for us and many other teams heading into this week.