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Handicapping contest tracker: Circa Survivor entries fear ‘Big One’

In NASCAR, drivers fear “The Big One” — a crash that ensnares a large portion of the field.

The same goes for Circa Survivor contestants.

The Big One nearly happened Sunday, when more than 57 percent of the entries (1,343 out of the 2,333 remaining) were on the Minnesota Vikings to defeat the Detroit Lions.

The Vikings blew a 10-point lead in the final minutes and trailed 17-16 with 37 seconds to play. Luckily for those Circa Survivor entrants, Greg Joseph kicked a 54-yard field goal on the final play to keep their shot at the $6 million prize alive with a 19-17 victory.

The New England Patriots saved another 443 entries when they rallied from a 22-9 second-half deficit to beat the Houston Texans 25-22.

Another Big One is shaping up for the 2,268 entries alive for Week 6. Indianapolis is a 10-point favorite over the Houston Texans, and there are few other obvious spots to use the Colts later in the season. (Each team can be used only once.)

The only other teams favored by at least seven points are the Los Angeles Rams and Tampa Bay, whom entrants have likely either already used or would prefer to save for later in the season.

If the Texans pull off the upset, the Circa Survivor field will surely be a lot smaller.

Each week, I’ll track the major handicapping contests and detail my progress (thank you, Greg Joseph). Here’s how the contests stand after Week 5:

Circa Sports Million III

Format: Contestants pick five NFL games against the spread each week ($1,000 per entry).

Field: 4,087 entries.

Leader: One entry (Hannibal Barca) at 22-3.

Barnes’ status: 1-3-1 last week, 11-13-1 overall, tied for 2,961st. Winner on Texans +8½, losers on Panthers -3, Browns +2 and Chiefs -2½, and a push on Bengals +3.

Circa Survivor

Format: Contestants pick one straight-up NFL winner each week (each team can be used only once) and are eliminated with a loss ($1,000 per entry).

Field: 4,080 entries, but Circa added $1.92 million to the prize pool to reach the $6 million guarantee.

Leaders: 2,268 survivors advance. Week 5 eliminated 65 entries — 54 on the Raiders, six on the Panthers and one each on the Bengals and Jets, plus three entries who forgot to make a selection.

Barnes’ status: Alive, but drenched in sweat with everyone else who took the Vikings.

Westgate SuperContest

Format: Contestants pick five NFL games against the spread each week ($1,000 per entry).

Field: 1,972 entries.

Leader: One entry (Wolfgang) at 20-4-1.

Barnes’ status: 1-3-1 last week, 13-11-1 overall, tied for 661st. Winner on Texans +9, losers on Panthers -3½, Browns +1½ and Chiefs -2½, and a push on Bengals +3.

Westgate SuperContest Gold

Format: Same as the SuperContest, but with a $5,000 buy-in and the winner taking all.

Field: 87 entries.

Leader: One entry (MilesToGo) at 17-7-1.

Barnes’ status: Not entered.

Station Last Man Standing

Format: Contestants select one game against the spread each week. Entries cost $25, but the maximum $100 gets five entries. There are separate pro and college contests. Winner takes all — $150,000 in the pro contest, $100,000 in the college.

Entries: Pro — 160 alive out of starting 6,241; college — 54 alive out of 3,075.

Barnes’ status: Done. Lost with Chiefs -2½ on final entry in pro contest; eliminated from college in Week 3.

William Hill College Pick’em

Format: Contestants pick eight college games against the spread each week ($1,000 per entry).

Field: 452 entries, but an extra $548,000 added to the prize pool to reach the $1 million guarantee.

Leader: One entry (Micash) at 29-11.

Barnes’ status: Back to .500 after going 5-3 last week to get to 20-20 overall. Winners on Ohio State -20½, Oklahoma -3½, Wisconsin -10½, Nebraska +3½ and Utah +3½, and losers on Mississippi -5½, Rutgers +5½ and West Virginia +3½.

William Hill Pro Pick’em

Format: Contestants pick 15 NFL straight-up winners (or selected totals) each week ($25 per entry). There are weekly and seasonlong prizes.

Field: 7,316 entries.

Season leaders: Three entries at 57-18 (no names given).

Weekly winners: Four entries (no names given) went 15-0 and split $10,000 ($2,500 each).

Barnes’ status: 9-6 last week, 46-29 overall.

Golden Nugget Ultimate Football Challenge

Format: Contestants pick seven NFL and/or college games against the spread each week ($1,000 to enter).

Field: 149 entries.

Leader: One entry (Captain Kent 33) at 27-8.

Barnes’ status: Not entered.

Contact Jim Barnes at [email protected] or 702-383-0277. Follow @JimBarnesLV on Twitter.



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