Circa Sports has turned a Super Bowl watch party staple into one of the sportsbook’s staples.
For the second straight year, Circa is offering a bettable version of football squares for the Super Bowl.
“The popularity blew me away (last year),” Circa sportsbook manager Chris Bennett said. “It was maybe the most fun thing we put up for betting since we opened for business.”
In football squares, bettors are randomly assigned a square with a single-digit number for each team. If their numbers match the last digit of the teams’ scores at the end of a quarter or the game, they win. (For example, a bettor with Kansas City Chiefs 3, Tampa Bay Buccaneers 0 wins if the Chiefs lead 3-0 after the first quarter or 13-10 at halftime or 33-30 at the end of the game.)
The problem is, you might not like the numbers you receive in a random draw. (If you draw 5 and 5, you can generally forget about winning.)
In the Circa version, bettors pick their own squares, with the prices reflecting their odds of occurring. Chiefs 0, Buccaneers 7 is the favorite for the final score at 20-1; 5 and 5 is the biggest long shot at 235-1.
The square odds work like any other sportsbook offering. Bettors lock in their wager at the listed price, and they receive that price whether the line moves or not.
“I learned a lot from doing it last year and roughly what the odds should be on every given square,” Bennett said, “because the sharp bettors, they’ll comb through this and tell you if you’re wrong.”
Bennett said Circa puts the squares up mostly for fun and doesn’t want to worry about the outcome for the house. However, he said the sportsbook will have liability on some long shots, especially in the first quarter when scores ending in 2, 5 and 8 are unlikely.
In the first quarter, Chiefs 2, Buccaneers 8; Chiefs 5, Buccaneers 2; and Chiefs 5, Buccaneers 5 are 10,000-1.
“People are going to take a shot on those, and we’re going to have pretty big liability,” he said. “Safeties in the first quarter could be pretty bad for us.”
Bennett said he hopes the squares bring in people who normally don’t bet on games.
“It’s pretty simple to understand, and best-case scenario is it gets them more into the other types of sports betting,” he said.
Contact Jim Barnes at [email protected] or 702-383-0277. Follow @JimBarnesLV on Twitter.