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Circa still faces $4.5M overlay in football contests

Five days before Saturday’s entry deadline, Circa Sports is a long shot to meet its $6 million in guaranteed prize money for its $1,000-entry Circa Million IV contest.

The downtown sportsbook needs 6,000 entries to meet its guarantee, up from $4 million last year. It had 3,160 on Monday for a $2.8 million overlay, or the amount of money the book must add to the prize pool in addition to the entry fees.

“I have a better chance of making the NBA than we do of reaching the guarantee in the Circa Sports Million,” said 5-foot-8, 130-pound Circa sportsbook operations manager Jeff Benson. “Our players can look forward to a huge positive expected-value opportunity, with us not getting anywhere close to the 6,000 required entries to break even.”

The book also was on the hook for $1.7 million Monday in its $1,000-entry Circa Survivor contest for a combined $4.5 million overlay. It needs 6,000 entries to meet the $6 million guarantee and had 4,290, surpassing last year’s total (4,080).

Circa paid $1.9 million last year to cover a Survivor overlay, but Benson projects the contest to draw 7,100 entries.

The entry deadlines for both contests is 2 p.m. Saturday.

William Hill college overlay

William Hill is still facing a six-figure overlay for the second straight year in its $1,000-entry College Pick’em football contest. After the book paid $548,000 last year to cover an overlay, it lowered the guaranteed cash prizes from $1 million to $500,000.

The book needs 500 entries to meet its guarantee and had only 223 entries Monday for an overlay of $277,000. The entry deadline is 8 a.m. Saturday.


The Westgate SuperBook has guaranteed $1.1 million in prize money for 11 in-season contests in its $1,ooo-entry SuperContest. It needed 1,100 entries to meet the guarantee and had topped that total Monday with 1,178 entries. The SuperContest had 1,972 entries last season.

The $5,000-entry, winner-take-all SuperContest Gold had 55 entries. The $500 SuperContest Reboot, which covers Weeks 10 to 18, had 68. The $200-entry NFL Season Wins Challenge had 123.

Circa Friday Football Invitational

Circa owner Derek Stevens is putting up $25,000 in prize money for the new Circa Friday Football Invitational, a VSiN-produced event inspired by the old Stardust Invitational.

Sixteen handicappers will compete, with no entry fee required, in a season-long, 18-week contest running from Friday through Jan. 6. The handicappers will make five weekly picks from college and NFL sides and totals, with one designated as the best bet.

After NFL Week 9, the contestant with the lowest point total will be cut. That elimination process will continue through Week 16, after which the eight remaining contestants will compete to the end.

The field includes RJ sports betting contributors Brian Edwards, Doug Kezirian, Randy McKay, Erin Rynning, Paul Stone, Jeff Whitelaw and Cris Zeniuk.

The other contestants are Bobby Brubeck, Chuck Edel, Chris Fallica, Steve Fezzik, Marc Lawrence, Mike North, Dan Saley and James Salinas.

College line moves

Circa is the first book to post lines on college football at 11 a.m. each Sunday.

Here are a few notable line moves in the first 24 hours: Michigan moved from 46-point favorites to -51 over Hawaii; Alabama moved from -18 to -20 over Texas; and Stanford moved from 12-point underdogs to +9 against Southern California.

Contact reporter Todd Dewey at tdewey@reviewjournal.com. Follow @tdewey33 on Twitter.

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