The biggest entry fee contest for 2015 is not at the Westgate, it’s at the Golden Nugget in downtown Las Vegas and it’s format may make it the most entertaining contest in the state.
With an entry fee of $2000, the Friday Football Showdown will have the highest entry fee in
Nevada. It won’t garner near the numbers the SuperContest will but that doesn’t mean it
won’t necessarily be the best contest for high-end players. It’s format is far superior to that
of the Westgate’s and it’s two stages of play (the bulk of the field is eliminated after the
first eight-week stage) assures a finish that goes down to the final week.
In Stage 1 contestants pick 7 sides and/or totals from all the NFL and college games on the board at the Nugget. Allowing college games along with totals from all NFL and NCAA games makes the Showdown attractive to all types of football bettors. There will be totals experts and college only bettors competing alongside the regular contest players as they choose from
more that 200 possible sides or total most weeks. Compare that to the Westgate contest where a
maximum of 32 possible choices are available some weeks and many weeks less than 30.
Each week all contestants make seven selections against the spread. The first six selections will be worth one point. The seventh, designated as their Best Bet, will be worth two points.
For the first eight weeks standings are kept for the entire field. Prior to week nine, the top eight contestants according to total points will advance to Stage 2 where they will be seeded according to Stage 1 point totals and then go head-to-head in an elimination format starting on Nov 6th. Contest picks will be revealed live at 2pm on “The Las Vegas Sportsline” Fridays on ESPN radio 1100AM/100.9FM.
The Golden Nugget is returning 100% of the entry fees. You must make it to stage 2 to hit the
pay scale. All those making it to the Final Eight get their $2000 back. From that point contestants get $1000 for each bracket win with the eventual 1st and 2nd place finishers splitting the remaining prize money 75% and 25% respectively.
Registration is open until Tue Sept 8th at 2pm. Proxies are permitted and must be present at
time of sign-up. Contest begins that week with picks due by Friday night. Contest cards will
be available each week on Wednesdays at 2pm. Lines for each side/total are static and will be determined by Wednesdays lines at the Golden Nugget. Signing up for the Friday Football Showdown is an agreement to participate in the media portions of the contest should you make the Final Eight.
The Best Bet, two-stage format and inclusion of college football along with totals for all games makes the Friday Football Showdown the most widely appealing contest Las Vegas has ever seen. Here’s hoping it does well this year and stimulates additional and more diverse contests going forward. LVASports will participate and all contest picks will be posted here on Fridays.
FRIDAY FOOTBALL SHOWDOWN 2015
Presented by the Golden Nugget sports book
Hosted by The Las Vegas Sportsline, airing on ESPN Radio (1100 AM, 100.9 FM)
Each Friday throughout the football season, entrants compete in a college football and NFL handicapping contest. The radio broadcast is 2 to 3 p.m from the ESPN Radio studio in Las Vegas.
(Entry fee, bracket and play selection rules)
An unlimited number of contestants are allowed to enter for $2,000 each. One entry per person.
The deadline to register at the Golden Nugget sports book is Tuesday, Sept. 8 at 2 p.m., and the field of contestants will be announced on radio Wednesday, Sept. 9.
For the first eight weeks of the NFL schedule, each contestant makes seven selections against the spread, from all college and NFL sides and totals – excluding first-half lines – posted on the Golden Nugget board. The weekly card will be available at 2 p.m. Wednesdays.
Six of the plays are worth one point. One of the seven plays is designated as a Best Bet, which is worth two points and also is used for tiebreaking purposes.
After eight weeks, the top eight contestants according to point totals advance to the second round and a head-to-head bracket portion of the contest, which begins with Week 9 of the NFL schedule.
(Winners and tiebreakers)
A winning pick is worth one point, a Best Bet winner is worth two points, and a point-spread push is worth a half-point.
The eight contestants with the highest point totals on 56 plays advance to the head-to-head bracket. If there are ties, the contestants’ Best Bet point total for eight weeks is used as the first tiebreaker.
The second tiebreaker is the contestants’ Best Bet result in Week 8; the third tiebreaker is the Best Bet in Week 7; and that tiebreaking procedure continues in reverse order to Week 1 as the final tiebreaker.
The head-to-head bracket portion of the contest begins with Week 9 of the NFL schedule. At that point, the winner of the head-to-head matchup advances, and that remains true for the rest of the contest. In the bracket contest, each contestant makes seven selections per week with one play designated as a Best Bet, which is worth two points for the duration of the contest and also is used for tiebreaking purposes.
In the event of a tie after seven selections in the head-to-head bracket, these tiebreaking rules will apply: The seventh selection – designated as the Best Bet – is the first tiebreaker. (For example, if each contestant finishes 4-3, the one who wins the seventh play advances.) The sixth selection will be used as the second tiebreaker, and that tiebreaking process continues in reverse order to the first selection.
Throughout the contest, any point-spread push is worth a half-point. All standings for the duration of the contest are determined by point totals – not winning percentages – with the Best Bet and overall Best Bet point total serving as tiebreakers.
If bracket contestants remain tied after seven tiebreakers, the contestant who cleared the point spread or total by the most points with his seventh selection advances as the winner. (For example, if Contestant A picked a 21-point favorite that won by 35 points, he cleared the spread by 14 points. If Contestant B picked a 14-point favorite that won by 24, he cleared the spread by 10 points. In that case, Contestant A would advance as the matchup winner.) Losing selections are tossed out in this tiebreaking procedure, and only winning selections are used to grade tiebreakers. This tiebreaking process begins with the Best Bet and continues in reverse order to the first selection.
Registration opens at the Golden Nugget sports book on Friday, June 26. The deadline to register is Tuesday, Sept. 8 at 2 p.m. Contestants are allowed to designate one proxy who has the authority to enter weekly plays. The contestants agree to participate, or name a replacement, in the media portion of the contest for ESPN Radio (1100 AM, 100.9 FM).
The Golden Nugget will record the contestants’ plays, with lines posted on 2 p.m. Wednesdays, on an official contest form. The deadline for submitting plays is 2 p.m. Fridays.
The first round consists of eight weeks: Sept. 11, 18, 25 and Oct. 2, 9, 16, 23, 30.
The second round is the beginning of the bracket contest. Eight contestants compete, with two going head to head each week. This round consists of four weeks: Nov. 6, 13, 20, 27.
The contest semifinals are Dec. 4 and 11.
The championship match will be held Dec. 18.
College football bowl games posted on the board are eligible contest plays in the Dec. 18 championship match.
(Seeding the bracket)
The bracket will be seeded after the first round. The contestant with the highest first-round point total gets the No. 1 seed; lowest point total to advance is the No. 8 seed.
The top-seeded contestant gets first choice for which week he will participate in the second round. The No. 2 seed gets second choice and No. 3 gets third choice.
If point totals match for two or more contestants, the overall Best Bet point totals will be the tiebreaker; if Best Bet point totals match, aforementioned tiebreaking rules will be used to seed the bracket, beginning with the contestants’ Best Bet selection in the previous week.
The bracket is reseeded for the final four, with the contestants’ overall contest point total being used, and the same tiebreaking rules apply, beginning with overall Best Bet point totals and continuing with the contestants’ Best Bet selection in the previous week. The top-seeded contestant gets first choice for which week he will participate in the semifinal round.
(Summary and prize money distribution)
The Golden Nugget is returning 100 percent of the entry fees to the contestants, but only the contestants who survive the first round receive any prize money.
All eight contestants who advance to the second round receive $2,000.
The winner of each head-to-head matchup in the second round will receive $1,000. (After two completed rounds, a total of $20,000 will be returned to contestants, and at this point, four contestants will remain in the semifinal round.)
The remaining money in the prize pool will be distributed to the contest champion (75 percent) and runner-up (25 percent).
By signing the registration form, contestants agree to participate, or name a replacement, in the media portion of the contest for ESPN Radio (1100 AM, 100.9 FM). The weekly contest show will be held from 2 to 3 p.m. Fridays at the ESPN Radio studio, 8755 W. Flamingo Road, Las Vegas.
For the first eight weeks of the contest – prior to the head-to-head bracket matchups – last year’s contest semifinalists (champion Scott Kellen, runner-up Bryan Leonard, Ron Boyles and Marco D’Angelo) will be selected to rotate weekly radio spots to announce their contest plays.
If any ties exist and cannot be broken after the scheduled conclusion of the contest, the surviving contestants will divide the prize pool equally.
Contestants are prohibited from submitting opposing sides or totals of any one football game as contest plays.
Any contestant whose actions threaten the integrity of the contest, as ruled by Golden Nugget sports book director Tony Miller, can be eliminated from the contest without a refund.
* Official rules available at the Golden Nugget sports book.
The contest schedule and weekly plays will be posted at the Golden Nugget sports book, ESPN1100.com and TheLasVegasSportsline.com.