This past Friday was the seminar for the Super Contest at the Westgate Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas. For those making football picks and looking a huge prize, this is a great contest to enter.
My guess there was upwards of 1,000 people at the seminar to listen to three different panels and moderators make predictions about the upcoming season and they gave out several sports picks which I will cover shortly.
Among the more notable names on the various panels were Marc Lawrence, Dave Cokin, Todd Fuhrman, Steve Fezzik, Bruce Marshall, Erin Rynning and Kelly from Vegas. One person not from the sports wagering field who was extremely knowledgeable was ESPN senior research analyst Chris Fallica, who regularly gets air time on College Football Game Time and is known as "The Bear".
Another of other notable football handicappers were also in the audience, including Tony George, Sean Higgs (watch both their interviews), Teddy Covers, Marco D'Angelo, Bryan Leonard, Warren Sharp and yours truly along with others.
Because the pace was much faster (and better), it because difficult to keep pace with who was making the various predictions, thus I will let you know what was said, not who said it.
College Football Picks
It was a consensus that everyone thought Ohio State should be the No.1 team coming into the season, but not everyone thought they would end up there again at the end of the season. Even in the Big Ten, Michigan State is given a chance to displace the Buckeyes as conference champions.
Louisville was talked about with a realistic chance to win the ACC, with value plays on UCLA in the Pac-12 and Oklahoma in the Big 12.
Among the most overrated teams talked about were Auburn, USC and Notre Dame. One person on the panel whose named escapes me but is a regular on Ken Thomson's show on Yahoo Sports from Vegas (Joe was first name), thought Alabama could lose as many as five games this season, which raised a lot of eyebrows.
NFL Football Picks
In big boy football, most agreed Atlanta was going to have a bounce back season and was the right pick for the NFC South and an Over 8.5 play for win totals at sportsbook.
Seattle's schedule was deemed too tough to take Over 11 and most believed a 10-win season was in store. Also in the AFC West, San Francisco was called to win two, maybe three games and not everyone was onboard with Arizona, who despite making the playoffs were outgained by 54 yards a game last season.
Most thought Philadelphia and Green Bay would win their divisions, but watch out for Minnesota late in the season.
New England was presumed to be a force again, but Indianapolis was the choice for the Super Bowl. Opinions were mixed on the other divisions, but both San Diego and Kansas City were discussed as teams that could knockout Denver in the AFC West.
Bottom Line Thinking
Overall, most said to follow the oddsmakers numbers and not listen to polls or television talking heads, particularly in the early season. Having an open mind was widely discussed, specifically in the NFL because any numbers of events could change things quickly.