This is a big week in the Circa Million III. The prize winners for the first quarter will be decided based on this weekend’s results. The top point total will get $171,750, while the second-highest will win $50,000, the third-highest will win $25,000 and the lowest point total (to pick all 20 games) from the first four weeks will take down to $25,000 “Booby Prize”.
This will be the first round of dollars taken from the prize pool, which came in at $4,087,000 with 4,087 entries at $1,000 each.
DeadMoneyMedia.com entered this week as the only entry at 15-0. Ten entries went 14-1 over the first three weeks. The prize amounts are split in the event of ties.
The lines have been posted since Thursday morning, so everybody has had a lot of time to stare at them and handicap the games for this vital week. Every week is vital with a maximum of 90 picks in the contest, but this week is especially important for those near the money.
We’ll see what happens in Week 4 and see how the money shakes out at the top on a week with a lot of big favorites.
Here is a quick recap of Week 3:
- Top-five consensus picks (five most popular sides) went 4-1 (Raiders, Rams, Packers, Dolphins, Cardinals); the Raiders and Dolphins played each other, so one loss was guaranteed, but the other three were all victorious
- Consensus picks (more popular side in each game) went 11-5
- Week 3 record was 11,458-8,867 (56.4 percent)
For the year-to-date:
- Top-five consensus picks are 9-6
- Consensus picks are 30-18
- Overall record is 33,081-27,854 (54.3 percent)
The quarter prizes are one of the big draws of this contest because everybody has a chance to win, even with a bad start or a bad record. All it takes is a really good run over a four or five-week stretch.
The second quarter starts with Week 5 and runs through Week 9, as the extra week added to the back of the NFL season leaves us with two quarters of five weeks and two quarters of four weeks.
Here are the Week 4 Circa Million lines and pick counts (*denotes home):
1 Bengals* 166
2 Jaguars (+ 7.5) 122
3 Washington 795
4 Falcons* (+ 1) 292
5 Bears* 298
6 Lions (+ 3) 839
7 Titans 680
8 Jets* (+ 7) 825
9 Browns 689
10 Vikings* (+ 2) 980 (consensus #4)
11 Dolphins* 624
12 Colts (+ 2.5) 467
13 Cowboys* 847
14 Panthers (+ 4.5) 693
15 Saints* 405
16 Giants (+ 7.5) 742
17 Chiefs 929
18 Eagles* (+ 7) 237
19 Bills* 294
20 Texans (+ 16.5) 233
21 Rams* 687
22 Cardinals (+ 4.5) 657
23 49ers* 300
24 Seahawks (+ 3) 1173 (consensus #2)
25 Broncos* 772
26 Ravens (+ 1) 1019 (consensus #3)
27 Packers* 870
28 Steelers (+ 6.5) 491
29 Bucs 1347 (consensus #1)
30 Patriots* (+ 6.5) 319
31 Chargers* 962 (consensus #5)
32 Raiders (+ 3) 496
The top-five consensus is the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Seattle Seahawks, Baltimore Ravens, Minnesota Vikings and Los Angeles Chargers.
Check back each week with a Saturday preview of the Circa Million III to keep up with the pick counts, consensus, standings and more.
Over in the Circa Survivor, a lot of entries had a major sigh of relief with Cincinnati’s comeback win over the Jaguars on Thursday night. We entered this week with 2,917 of the 4,080 that signed up. At $1,000 each, those entries made up a prize pool of $4,080,000, however the Survivor had a guaranteed prize pool of $6 million, leading to what we call an “overlay”.
A late rush of sign-ups entered the fray with the prospects of more than $2 million in “free money” in the pot, but not enough to cover the guarantee. With each passing week, survivors get more and more equity with their entries.
This year’s contest features an extra wrinkle with the “Christmas Week”, which consists of the Thursday game and the two Saturday games in Week 16. Those games are 49ers vs. Titans, Browns vs. Packers and Colts vs. Cardinals. The Thanksgiving holiday remains its own week as well, so there is some extra planning involved.
Adam Burke wrote about Survivor options for Week 4 and you can read that here.
As far as what the field decided to do, with a massive favorite on the board in the Buffalo Bills, a lot of the field went ahead and took them against the Texans. Of the 2,917 entries, 1,133 took Buffalo. The Bengals were the second-most popular pick with 942. The heavily-favored Saints, Titans and Chiefs were all also popular, with 409, 151, 150 selections, respectively.
Nineteen entries failed to make a pick and have been eliminated.
We’ll see how it all goes in Week 4. Dave Tuley will have contest updates in his Tuley’s Takes column on Monday and also Tuesday, so keep an eye out for those.