Comparing Week 2 Circa Million NFL odds to the betting markets

By Adam Burke  (VSiN.com Managing Editor) 

September 14, 2023 01:15 PM
 

Circa Million Week 2 odds

The fifth-annual Circa Million is off and running, as the prize pool features $6 million and the field features 5,274 entries, so there is an overlay of $726,000. That means each entry is “worth” about $1,138, so there is a little bit of “free money” in the prize pool. Of course, that also means running good enough to catch a piece of it.

Anyway, the function of this weekly article is to showcase where lines sit in the betting markets at the time the Circa Million odds are released and where the contest numbers are. That can serve as an indicator of where a line could potentially move, given that the contest odds are “static” and do not move with the market. What gets announced on Thursday is what contestants will pick from, even if a major injury or something else necessitating a line move occurs.

The “stale” lines are up for roughly 52 hours before the Saturday 4 p.m. PT deadline for picks and a lot of news can happen in that span, so it can be a fun exercise to see what the crew at Circa is thinking.

Here is a side-by-side of the Circa lines and the betting market odds as of Thursday morning for Week 2:

Away Team

Home Team

Circa

Consensus

Vikings

Eagles

-6

-6

Chargers

Titans

+3

+3

Packers

Falcons

-1

-1

Colts

Texans

-1

-1

Seahawks

Lions

-4.5

-4.5

Bears

Buccaneers

-2.5

-2.5

Raiders

Bills

-8.5

-8.5

Chiefs

Jaguars

+3

+3.5

Ravens

Bengals

-3.5

-3

Giants

Cardinals

+4.5

+4.5

49ers

Rams

+7.5

+7.5

Jets

Cowboys

-8.5

-9

Commanders

Broncos

-3.5

-3.5

Dolphins

Patriots

+2.5

+3

Saints

Panthers

+3

+3

Browns

Steelers

+2.5

+2.5

Most of the Circa Million numbers mirror the market, but there are a few little differences:

Chiefs (-3 / -3.5) at Jaguars: For the second straight week, there is a difference in a Jacksonville game. Last week, the Circa line was a half-point lower than the market and this week is the same, albeit with Jacksonville in an underdog role. The Jags are right on the key number of 3 here, which is interesting for two reasons.

The first is that Circa Sports had +3.5 at -120 on Jacksonville at time of release, so they must be assuming that +3 is where their line ultimately goes. The second is they’re really putting contestants to a decision since 3 is such an important number. As I talked about in my Contest Strategies write-up, the equity of getting a half-point instead of going for a full point in a contest of this size with 90 available points is something that contestants have to weigh heavily.

Travis Kelce did return to practice on Thursday, but we weren’t given much of an indication as to what that means for his status. Given about a 2.5-point line move in Week 1, that could dictate where this line goes.

Ravens at Bengals (-3.5 / -3): This is the most notable one for me. Any move off of a key number says a lot and this one is 3.5. This is another one where the market is telling us a move towards 3.5 could be imminent with -115 or -120 vig on the Bengals at that price. Some shops tailored towards recreational bettors in the US markets have hit 3.5 already. The Circa Million is largely a publicly-driven contest, so it makes sense to move to 3.5. Also, the Ravens injury report is ugly and I think this line has some foreshadowing to it.

Jets at Cowboys (-8.5 / -9): While the shock of losing Aaron Rodgers is still very much apparent, most of the markets in the US had -9, while Circa and some prominent offshores had 8.5. Recreational books need to be aware of teaser protection here, as 8.5 opens up an avalanche of money on Cowboys -2.5 in a six-point teaser, but the Circa Million odds don’t have to worry about that. Circa is unafraid as well, sitting 8.5 at time of release. The Jets still have an excellent defense and that seems likely to condense the scoring here and the total of 38 or 38.5 reflects that. The difference between 8.5 and 9 is rather nominal, but it is a discrepancy between the market and the contest.

Dolphins (-2.5 / -3) at Patriots: Home divisional dogs are popular picks and Bill Belichick usually game-plans well for young quarterbacks, so I think there is a perception that this line could come down off of 3. Circa was also shaded that way at time of release with Miami -3 (-105), so this could be a bit of foreshadowing into the expected action as we get closer to Sunday. Also, Jaylen Waddle and Raheem Mostert were on the injury report for the Dolphins and that factors into the equation to some degree as well.

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