Another round of picks have been sent in for the Circa Sports Million III. The third year of the contest has 4,087 entries vying for the $1 million top prize and the other cash prizes along the way.
Five picks against the spread are required from each entrant. The lines come out on Thursday morning and do not move. While picking winners is the ultimate goal, there are a lot of other strategic elements to the Circa Million and similar contests.
Some contestants are simply focused on picking the right five teams for that week. Others may look to project the top-five consensus and look to go against those picks. A win against a top-five consensus team is effectively a two-game swing. With only 90 possible points, those opportunities can be golden.
A lot of contestants will look to prey on stale line value. Injuries and betting action cause lines to move between Thursday morning when the contest lines are released and Saturday afternoon’s pick deadline at 3 p.m. PT. Because the contest lines are fixed numbers, crossing over a key number or getting any kind of line equity is appealing.
We’ll have plenty of examples to talk about throughout the season.
A quick recap of Week 1:
- 196 entries went 5-0 and are tied for first
- Top-five consensus picks (five most popular sides) went 3-2 (Washington, Panthers, 49ers, Raiders, Packers)
- Consensus picks (most popular side in each game) went 11-5
- Overall record was 11391-8939 (56%)
Many expected an overlay in the contest with a guaranteed prize pool of $4 million, but a late rush of entrants exceeded the guarantee, so the extra $87,000 went to the first-place quarter prize, which is worth $171,750. The first quarter will be halfway over following this weekend’s action, as the quarters run from Weeks 1-4, 5-9, 10-13 and 14-18.
Here are the Week 2 Circa Million lines and pick counts (* denotes home):
1 Washington* 128
2 Giants (+ 3.5) 115 WIN
3 Saints 429
4 Panthers* (+ 3.5) 1,385 (consensus #1)
5 Browns* 437
6 Texans (+ 12.5) 420
7 Bears* 691
8 Bengals (+ 2.5) 564
9 Steelers* 1,197 (consensus #2)
10 Raiders (+ 6) 364
11 Bills 874
12 Dolphins* (+ 3.5) 714
13 Rams 1,153
14 Colts* (+ 3.5) 554
15 49ers 604
16 Eagles* (+ 3) 848
17 Broncos 762
18 Jaguars* (+ 6) 373
19 Patriots 1,169 (consensus #4)
20 Jets* (+ 5.5) 196
21 Cardinals* 1,166 (consensus #5)
22 Vikings (+ 3.5) 481
23 Buccaneers* 258
24 Falcons (+ 12.5) 344
25 Seahawks* 571
26 Titans (+ 6) 723
27 Chargers* 530
28 Cowboys (+ 3.5) 1,036
29 Chiefs 1,187 (consensus #3)
30 Ravens* (+ 3.5) 359
31 Packers* 437
32 Lions (+ 11) 211
The top-five consensus is the Carolina Panthers, Pittsburgh Steelers, Kansas City Chiefs, New England Patriots and Arizona Cardinals. The Cardinals with 1,166 picks narrowly beat out the Rams with 1,153. Seven teams were taken by over 1,000 entrants.
We’ll be following along with the Circa Million III all season long with the pick counts, consensus, results and more.
We’re also keeping an eye on the Circa Survivor, where 3,397 entries out of 4,080 survived Week 1. There were nine outright upsets in the first week of the season, but the Rams, 49ers, Panthers, and Bucs all took care of business and were the four most popular picks in the field.
This week, the top Circa Survivor pick is the Cleveland Browns with 1,180 selections. Green Bay is second on the list as a big favorite over the Lions with 778 selections. Tampa Bay is third with 532 picks, followed by the Steelers with 252 and the Patriots with 225.
The Eagles, Saints and Ravens were all only picked once. The 49ers were picked twice. The Bills, Chiefs and Texans were picked three times. Nineteen different teams were picked. The Jets, Giants, Bengals, Jaguars, Titans, Vikings, Lions, Falcons, Panthers, Cowboys, Dolphins, Colts and Raiders were not picked at all.