Jan. 5, 2020
Patrick Everson | Covers.com
*Link to full article at Covers.com is at the bottom of the post*
David Baker and Mark Gregorich knew they were in for a wild Week 17 of NFL betting on Sunday. The two, along with a silent third partner, entered the day leading not only The SuperBook’s SuperContest, but the Circa Sports Million NFL picks contest, as well. They were looking squarely at a potential $1,435,623 payday.
As the sun set on Las Vegas, it appeared Baker and Gregorich would have to settle for just The SuperContest title – no small feat, mind you – as they needed the Seahawks to cover to remain alive for the Circa Million crown. And Seattle had been awful all afternoon. The Seahawks got a Tyler Lockett touchdown catch with 2:20 remaining in the fourth quarter against San Francisco, but that gave the Seahawks just a three-point lead at 19-16, short of the 6-point spread.
Two plays later, though, 49ers quarterback C.J. Beathard was sacked and fumbled, giving the Seahawks the ball at the Niners’ 17-yard line. With the two-minute warning and San Fran having timeouts, Seattle was all but compelled to score, and did so on Alex Collins’ 8-yard TD run to go up 26-16, covering the number in the process.
That would’ve given ODBMG-2 – the name of Baker and Gregorich’s Circa entry – a 3-1 record to put the entry a half-point behind new leader DSR90-1. And Baker and Gregorich had Washington in the Sunday nighter, at -2.5, no less, while DSR90-1 was done for the day with a strong 4-1 finish.
“It’s crazy, because we’d pretty much written it off. Seattle was in pretty bad shape,” Baker said. “But the way the timeouts broke at the end of the game, we were in a good spot.”
One small problem: there was 1:49 left in the Seahawks-49ers game, and Seattle wasn’t interested in playing serious defense. San Francisco scored a TD with 40 seconds left to pull within 26-23, and Seattle then ran out the clock.
That knocked Baker and Gregorich out of the running for the $1 million top prize in the Circa contest. But there was certainly some consolation in the $435,000 top prize for the SuperContest, plus $200,000 from tying for second in the Circa Million.
“I’d be on cloud nine if we didn’t have that second sweat. But we’re still super pumped,” Baker said. “Obviously, when you join these contests, you just hope to have a shot to cash. But the SuperContest has always been the premier football handicapping tournament, with a long history. It’s amazing to win that.”
Baker and Gregorich went into SuperContest Week 17 with a half-point lead over second-place entry Yugo77 and went 3-2, winning on the Steelers, Ravens and Washington, and losing on the Panthers and Cowboys to finish the season with 56.5 points. Yugo77 went 2-3 to finish second with 55 points.
In addition, the Baker-Gregorich team pocketed $100,000 by winning the first quarter of the SuperContest and $50,000 for taking second in the first quarter of the Circa Million. So all told, the gang of three won $785,000.
“Those guys were up there the whole year and deserve the crown,” said Jay Kornegay, who runs The SuperBook as vice president of race and sports for Westgate. “I know they had some heartache in Week 17, but I can tell they’re good people, and I’m very happy for them. The SuperBook looks forward to awarding them the big check and ordering their championship rings.”