The early Week 17 NFL betting trends 

December, 27, 2011

Every Tuesday during the NFL regular season, Dave Tuley of will provide an update on the Hilton SuperContest.

LAS VEGAS -- Earlier in the year, we described the Hilton SuperContest as a horse race. Sans Souci set the early pace, Pagermager made a big move to take seemingly take command, but then Sans Souci came on in the stretch. Now they're neck and neck heading to the wire.

Sans Souci and Pagermager. Pagermager and Sans Souci. Who's it going to be?

Usually it's a cavalry charge to the finish line with a dozen or so having a chance to rally for the victory, but these two have separated themselves from the field, so it's fitting that they're battling it out for the title in the closing week of the 17-week SuperContest that runs the entire NFL season. Each contestant -- and there were a record 517 entries putting up $1,500 apiece in this year's field -- makes five plays a week against the spread. SuperContestants receive one point for each win and half a point for each push.

In the opening week of the season, Sans Souci was one of just three to post a perfect 5-0 mark with Pagermager right behind at 4-0-1. They were tied for first after Week 2 at 8-1-1 before Sans Souci bolted to the lead with another 5-0 to improve to 13-1-1. Pagermager was the talk of the tournament as he came back to take the lead in Week 10 and continued to hit around 75 percent until going 1-4 in Week 15, allowing Sans Souci to regain the lead by one point.

They both went 4-1 in Week 15, so Sans Souci still has that lead heading into the final Sunday with a record of 54-22-4 (71.1 percent after pushes are disregarded) for 56 contest points, while Pagermager is 53-23-4 (69.7 percent) for 55 contest points. They're the only two SuperContests that are above the 67 percent threshold that pays an aggregate $10,000 bonus. The only other contestant within striking distance of the leaders is Texasex91, who is 52-26-2 (66.7 percent), and could still steal the $310,200 first-place prize if Sans Souci and Pagermager were to post losing records -- he trails Pagermager by 2 points and Sans Souci by 3.

Note: In a little-known rule, the tiebreaker for first place is best record over the final three weeks. Sans Souci, 8-2 the past two weeks, would win a tie with Pagermager, 5-5 going into final week. Texasex91, 7-2-1, would win the tiebreaker if he were to close from the clouds.

Note No. 2: I haven't mentioned them previously because it's so far-fetched, but there are three SuperContestants who are technically not eliminated from a chance at the title. Kokomo, O.T.B. and Daynamites have 51 points apiece. If one of those goes 5-0 while Sans Souci goes 0-5, Pagermager goes no better than 1-4 and Texasex91 goes no better than 2-2-1, that person would pull off the impossible.

Now that would be a wild finish!

Where is the money going in Week 17?

Dave Tuley

ESPN Staff Writer
Dave Tuley has covered the Las Vegas race and sports book scene since 1998 and runs his own website,