Circa Survivor final 3 going for $6.133 million
(Update: BROWNA-1 is in the clubhouse with Saturday night’s come-from-behind 20-16 victory vs. the Jaguars and will win at least $2,044,333.33 and can scoop the entire pool if both the Colts and Seahawks lose or tie on Sunday; the original story below was filed after NFL Week 18 picks were announced and before the Jaguars-Titans result was known.)
Circa Survivor’s three remaining players are on three different teams in NFL Week 18 as the record $6.133 million contest comes down to the final day of the season.
The contest, in its third year run by Circa Sports in downtown Las Vegas, drew 6,133 entries this season at $1,000 apiece and players pick one NFL winner a week without using the same team twice with 6,130 entries falling by the wayside in a season of upsets.
The entries using the contest aliases of BROWNA-1, JED-4 and THE ENEMY WITHIN-2 navigated the minefields to put themselves in position for a life-changing score.
The three finalists’ plays:
BROWNA-1: Jaguars vs. Titans on Saturday night (WIN)
THE ENEMY WITHIN-2: Colts vs. Texans at 1 p.m. ET Sunday
JED-4: Seahawks vs. Rams at 4:25 p.m. ET Sunday
THE ENEMY WITHIN-2 (Mike Barth, 60, a custom auto racing trophy supplier from Houston) and JED-4 (Mike Buchmiller, 50, a dean of athletics at a school in Las Vegas) both went on VSiN’s “The Football Contest Show” to talk about their Week 18 picks and the overall experience of sweating out games the first 17 weeks of the season (plus two bonus “Thanksgiving” and “Christmas” weeks).
Barth said his THE ENEMY WITHIN-2 entry stayed with his year-long approach of avoiding vulnerable favorites, so he passed on the Jaguars (lack of “playoff experience” in must-win game vs. the Titans) and Vikings (“they have to pull their starters, right?”) and land on the Colts with an underrated defense and against a Texans teams that isn’t as good as the teams the Colts have been losing to.
Buchmiller said his JED-4 entry (named after his wife Jessica, who said her older brothers wanted another boy but when she came home from the hospital they nicknamed her Jed and it stuck) also had the Jaguars and Vikings available before landing on the Seahawks.
Circa Sports owner Derek Stevens told VSiN that BROWNA-1 is in town but has opted to not do any interviews at this time. That’s understandable with their game kicking off during the show.
But even though the Titans led most of the game (and all three Survivor finalists have multiple scares during the course of the season), it worked out for BROWNA-1 when, trailing 16-13 late in the fourth quarter, Jacksonville EDGE rusher Josh Allen returned a Joshua Dobbs fumble 37 yard for a scoop-and-score TD with 2:51 to play.
That guaranteed BROWNA-1 with at least a share of the jackpot pending the plays of THE ENEMY WITHIN-2 and JED-4 on Sunday. Follow all the action here at VSiN.com as well as the Twitter accounts @VSINLive and @CircaSports as well as my personal account @ViewFromVegas.
Circa Sports Million also down to wire
Circa’s traditional NFL handicapping contest – 4,691 entrants paid $1,000 apiece and pick 5 NFL games against the spread each week – also has a guaranteed $1 million first-place prize on the line.
Enut34-1 is the leader heading into Sunday at 57-25-3 (69.5%) for 58.5 contest points (wins are worth 1 point while pushes are worth 0.5, including the canceled Bills-Bengals game on Monday Night Football that Enut34-1 and three other top contenders used). Enut34-1’s plays are the Dolphins +1 vs. the Jets, Steelers -2.5 vs. the Browns, Buccaneers +4 at the Falcons, Saints -3.5 vs. the Panthers and Packers -4.5.
There were three (CHIEF-3, KING BRUTUS-1 and Look Ma No Hands-1) tied for second place with 57.5 points (either 55-25-5 or 56-27-3) heading into the weekend, but as Stevens announced on “The Football Contest Show,” KING BRUTUS and Look Ma No Hands were already 0-1 on the week after using the Raiders +9 in their 31-13 loss to the Chiefs.
CHIEF-3 (Brian Koesterning, Anthony Coratti, John Miller and Zack Zoltowski from the Detroit area) also went on the show to give out their play and discussed how they each pick one game a week and then come up with a consensus group play. They have a common play with Enut34-1 on the Dolphins +1 and are on the opposite side in the Sunday nighter with the Lions +4.5. CHIEF-3’s other plays are the Browns +2.5 at the Steelers, Bengals -7.5 vs. the Ravens and Rams +6 at the Seahawks.
The Top 5 Most-Selected Teams (40-36-4, 52.6%, on the season) for Week 18 are the Dolphins +1 vs. the Jets, Steelers -2.5 vs. the Browns, Rams +6 at the Seahawks, Titans +6 at the Jaguars and Lions +4.5 at the Packers.