I’ve noticed that in Final Jeopardy betting during the Tournament of Champions that the second place player often bets enough to beat the leader’s total at that point of the game. They should be betting to try to beat double the leader’s lead if they have it. Are they betting this way so that they will, at least, qualify for a wild card slot?
That's what I was thinking. Historically (and I could be WAY off here), the average for the wild card spots is about $18000 to $20000.
If one was in second with that amount of money and is close to the leader, they might bet conservatively - just so they could stay around a good amount to have the chance of grabbing one of the wild card spots. Or, hope that the leader gets the question wrong, and loses a significant amount. That way, the one in second would win the game.
EDIT : While I'm here:
I'm surprised they haven't mentioned anything about Brayden as of yet. Don't know if they're waiting for when he would have played?