Updated on 12/29/2011 6:08PM

Chicago bettor collects $75,000 first prize in Cantor Football Contest


The Hilton SuperContest is coming down to the wire with two contestants using the aliases of Sans Souci and Pagermager hitting more than 70 percent of their NFL picks against the spread to pull away from the field and seemingly headed for a photo finish for the first-place prize of $310,200.

The other big season-long ATS handicapping contest in Las Vegas – the Cantor 2011 Football Contest – was a relative walkover.

While the SuperContest has had a $1,500 entry fee for more than 20 years and this year attracted a record field of 517, Cantor’s entry fee was $10,000 this year after being $100,000 last year and $3,000 the year before that. This year’s Cantor field had just 15 entrants, but the $75,000 winner’s share of the $150,000 purse isn’t chump change.

DRF SPORTS: Latest betting lines, StatFox matchups, and handicapping news for every game

Another difference in the contests is that while the SuperContest allows aliases in its standings, Cantor only lists a contest number, so the player that cantered (see what I did there?) out to an early lead, pulled away from the field with a five-game cushion most of the season, and clinched last Saturday with more than a week to go has been unidentified.

Until now.

A 34-year-old from Chicago, David Frohardt-Lane (he said the hyphenated last name is a combination of his parents’ surnames), is the runaway winner as he has compiled a record of 54-32-4 (71 percent after pushes disregarded) against the spread in winning the Cantor contest. His nearest competitor is 47-31-2.

Frohardt-Lane said it was a bit of an accident that he even entered the Cantor contest.

“I used to bet more offshore before that got harder to do,” he said. “I wanted to be involved and have weekly action. I’ve known about the SuperContest for years and always wanted to enter it. When I was coming out here I heard about the Cantor contest and decided to try that, too.”

Vegas contests allow the use of a local proxy to put in weekly plays as long as the entrant shows up and registers in person. Frohardt-Lane used Vegas Matty of footballcontestproxy.com for both contests.

Frohardt-Lane said his handicapping isn’t too much different than what a lots of others do. He said he does power ratings at the start of the season and then has a math model that incorporates in-season stats. From there he said he goes with what his system tells him while not taking the worst of the line (as contest lines are set on Wednesday).

He said he started 14-6 after the first four weeks of the Cantor contest and decided to use his five best plays each week in chasing that title, though he now wishes in retrospect that he had used all the same plays with his Hilton entry, which is just a few games over .500.

Frohardt-Lane said he doesn’t have a great story about wrapping up the title last week.

“I went 0-2 in the early games with the Chiefs and Cardinals,” he said, “but then Matty called and said my nearest competitor lost with the Texan and the Broncos and that I clinched. It was as anti-climactic as it gets.”

But a win is a win.

Frohardt-Lane’s second Cantor entry is just two wins out of fifth, which pays 5 percent of the purse or $7,500. But he said his main goal is to finish with a better record than the SuperContest winner just for bragging rights. His record is the exact same as Sans Souci, who has a 1-game lead on Pagermager. Texasex91 is another game and a half back and the only other one with a shot at the Hilton title.

Note: the SuperContest will technically no longer be the “Hilton” SuperContest as the hotel’s leasing agreement of the Hilton brand name with Hilton Hotels & Resorts expires on Tuesday when it will be officially renamed LVH – Las Vegas Hotel & Casino. However, we expect most people will still refer to it as “the Hilton contest” for years to come.

Back to the betting board

I went 1-2 with my plays posted here last week, winning with the Browns against the Ravens but losing with the Buccaneers against the Panthers and the under in the Falcons-Saints game on Monday. It has been a disappointing year (at least as far as these picks go), but hopefully the change of the calendar will bring a change. Here’s hoping we all have a happy, healthy, and profitable new year.

Panthers +8 vs. Saints

Here I go again fading the Saints at home (they’re 7-0 SU and ATS), but I think I have the right reasons. The Panthers have also been a very good bet all season (9-5-1 ATS), including covering the first meeting when they lost just 30-27. They’re building for next season and should see this as a big test and be competitive again. The Saints still hold out hope for a first-round bye, but there’s a chance they could pull their starters in the second half if the 49ers rout the Rams in game going on at the same time and it becomes apparent that the Saints will be playing next weekend. Adding that to the fact I think the Panthers will keep this close regardless gives me the confidence to go against the Saints.

PLAY: Panthers for 1 unit.

Bills +11 vs. Patriots

This is a similar situation as above with the Bills covering in Week 3 against the Patriots in a 34-31 loss and getting big points again. Of course, the Bills aren’t playing as well as they were at that time, though the 40-14 rout of the Broncos last week at least shows they’re putting forth the effort. I’m usually always looking to the under for value, but this could be an over game (the total is 51 despite 65 points in their last meeting) with the Patriots’ high-scoring offense and sieve-like defense.

PLAY: Bills for 1 unit.

Last week: 1-2 for a net loss of 1.2 units (based on risking 1.1 units to win 1). NFL season record: 18-26-1 for a net loss of 10.8 units.