- Week 3 of the NFL season is in the books with only three undefeated teams and four winless teams remaining.
- The week was particularly brutal for Circa Survivor contestants with over half the field wiped out on Sunday.
- Sharp bettors with a contrarian bent love to follow betting data in an effort to fade the ‘public’.
One of the first sports cliches I learned as a boy was the now iconic ‘on any given Sunday any NFL team can beat any other NFL team’. The problem with this cliche as opposed to many others is that it’s actually true. Unfortunately, recreational bettors have a hard time remembering the little tidbit. When I was doing a radio show in Las Vegas we were fortunate to have some of the top sportsbook mangers in the biz as guests during NFL season to give a ‘betting postmortem’. Every year, the pattern was the same–there were two or three weeks during the season where the ‘public’ won big when favorites and/or the OVER did well. Every other week, the public lost–in some cases lost big–but all sportsbook managers would offer is that they had ‘a decent week’.
That was only a few years ago but post PASPA it’s a different world. Now I don’t even need to track down bookmakers for betting recaps–I get them via press release in my email. Let’s start in Southern Nevada with Circa Sportsbook. As you’re probably aware, they’re one of the top sportsbooks in town now for NFL contests along with the Westgate Superbook. One of their most popular contests is the ‘Circa Survivor Pro Football Contest’ which offers winners a guaranteed $8 million USD top prize. Entry fee is $1000 with a maximum of ten entries. You probably know all of the survivor rules: every week you have to pick one NFL team. If they win, you continue in the contest. If they lose, you’re done. The tricky part is that you can use each NFL team only once.
There were 9,267 entries at the start of the season and as of last Sunday morning 5,916 remained. How did they do on Sunday? Not so great–sports betting media leader VSIN called it a ‘bloodbath’ and that’s a pretty fair description. More specifically, fewer than 50% of the contestants that started the day were around at the end of the day. Only 23 entries were still pending for the two Monday night games and the outcome wasn’t very eventful with only two poor souls that backed the Los Angeles Rams having to clean out their locker for the year.
Here’s the rundown of how it happened: the biggest blow was dealt by the Jacksonville Jaguars, who lost outright to the Houston Texans 37-17 as -7.5 home favorites. That knocked out a whopping 2,421 entrants. The Baltimore Ravens were responsible for the demise of 621 contestants as they lost to the Indianapolis Colts 22-19 in overtime as -7.5 home favorites. The Dallas Cowboys did in 367–a surprisingly low number IMO given how dominant they look in their first two games–losing 28-16 as -11 point road favorites. When the smoke cleared on Sunday, only 2,481 remained. After two more eliminations on Monday the field stands at 2,479.
The Circa Survivor contest saw a lot of entries eliminated early last year with 67% gone as of Week 3. This year has seen 73% eliminated at the same juncture. Just brutal. Next up, we’ll look at the Week 3 betting recap from Tipico.