Thanksgiving had a huge impact on the Circa football contests as the rest of the selections for NFL Week 12 were released on Saturday afternoon.
Circa Survivor – which drew a record 6,133 entries for a record $6.133 million prize pool and requires contestants to pick one NFL straight-up winner a week without using any team more than once – is down to 71 live entries after a special “Thanksgiving Week” in which players had to use a team from one of the three Thursday games and then pick another winner by Saturday’s 4 p.m. PT deadline on the rest of the Week 12 schedule.
The Top 5 Most-Selected teams in Survivor this Sunday are the only five that were chosen as 35 used the Dolphins, 16 took the Jets, 11 went with the 49ers, 6 chose the Commanders and 3 opted for the Chiefs.
Point spreads don’t matter in Survivor as only the straight-up result matters (and ties count as a loss), but obviously the biggest favorites each week are usually the teams that are used the most. The Chiefs are this week’s biggest chalk (around -15 to -16 vs. the Rams when most contestants were putting in their plays), but only 10 Survivors still had them available. The Dolphins are the next-biggest fave at -14 vs. the Texans and 53 of the 71 remaining entries had them available.
Circa Sports owner Derek Stevens, who appears each Saturday on VSiN’s “The Football Contest Show” at 8 p.m. ET/5 p.m. PT along with Mike Palm and Jeffrey Benson, expressed surprise that more Survivors didn’t use the Dolphins. However, Benson countered by saying some were probably saving the Dolphins for the extra “Christmas Week” on Dec 25-26 when they host the Packers (the only other choices that Sunday and Monday are Broncos-Rams, Buccaneers-Cardinals and Chargers-Colts, so pickings are pretty slim, especially for those who have already used the Bucs).
The holiday also threw a monkey wrench into Week 12 for contestants in the more traditional ATS contest, Circa Sports Million, which drew 4,691 entries this season at $1,000 apiece. In a normal week, it’s usually just a few hundred players that put in picks that use the Thursday Night Football game, but on Thanksgiving there were more than 800 using the Bills-Lions game, more than 900 using the Giants-Cowboys game and more than 1,000 using Patriots-Vikings.
The majority of those putting their picks in early fared pretty well as the Lions +9.5 were picked by a 547-290 margin over the Bills, the Giants +9.5 were picked 486-430 and the Vikings -2.5 were preferred 671-389.
As for the overall Top 5 Most-Picked Teams for Week 12 (28-23-4, 54.9%, on the season), the Jets -4.5 vs. the Bears was the No. 1 choice as the real-world line was up to Jets -7 on Saturday with Chicago QB Justin Fields looking more doubtful to play. Seahawks -3.5 vs. the Raiders was the second choice, followed by the Titans +1.5 vs. the Bengals, the Bengals -1.5 at the Titans (yes, the opposite side of the previous play) and the Ravens -4 at the Jaguars.
This is the second straight week in which two teams playing each other have landed in the Top 5. Last week, the Cowboys won as the No. 2 choice over the Vikings at No. 5. In that case, the Steelers +4 was the No. 6 choice, but since both lost, we graded it as one loss for the Top 5. This week’s No. 6 pick is the Buccaneers -3.5 at the Browns.
Circa Sports Million’s co-leaders, Enut34-1 and TAIL PARTY-2, both went 3-1-1 last week to remain tied atop the season-long standings at 39-14-2 (73.6%). In Week 12, they’re both on the Jets -4.5 and the Colts -2.5 vs. the Steelers. Enut’s other plays are the Buccaneers -3.5, Dolphins -13.5 vs. the Texans and Seahawks -3.5 vs. the Raiders. TAIL PARTY’s other plays are the Cardinals +4.5 vs. the Chargers, Saints +9.5 at the 49ers and Packers +7 at the Eagles.