A few weeks ago, we posted an article on the NFL handicapping contests in Las Vegas, namely the Westgate and Circa competitions, which are considered the two most prestigious spectacles.
We wondered – what would happen if we take the consensus picks of these two contests and bet them across the board? Supposedly, these are the best NFL handicappers in the world. So, getting the consensus opinion of all these great minds should bear rewards.
Well, in one contest, that doesn't seem to be the case – so far. But then, maybe in the other contest, there's some truth to the "wisdom of crowds."
The Westgate Las Vegas SuperContest is the biggest and most challenging pro football handicapping contest in the country. The entry fee is $1,000.
Contestants must pick five NFL games against the spread each week for the entire 18-week season. A win is worth one point while a push earns a half point. The individual that has the best record after the season will be deemed the winner.
The Circa Sports Book in downtown Las Vegas showcases its Million II contest with 4,087 entries. This is a much newer competition, only in its second year. But it's expected to rival the Westgate in both numbers and prestige in coming years.
We've examined the results of both contests through four weeks, and here's what we found:
The Westgate contest appears to have zero value insofar as consensus opinion having any value. Picks have gone 9-11 this season.
Of course, this is a small sample size. Things could turn around. However, the results by "sharps" and so-called "experts" is embarrassingly underwhelming.
With the vig, flat betting the top five Westgate picks each week would land you at minus -3.1 units.
Now, on to the Circa contest:
The overall Circa results are not only much better, but they've also been more consistent.
Circa's 12-8 win-loss record, to date, is quite impressive. Flat betting Circa consensus picks, to date, would have produced a profit of +3.2 units.
If this 60 percent win percentage continues, that's an important source to look at if you're into betting picks culled from outside other handicappers. If you can find any source that picks 60 percent over the long run, you can make a lot of money betting sports.
That said, we're doubtful that Circa's consensus picks will achieve this mark over a full 18 weeks of the regular season. But it will be interesting to watch and follow along how these contest participants fare, especially when contrasted with the Westgate contest.