Circa Oddsmaker Chris Bennett Talks Betting Limits, Linemaking, and More Ahead Of Super Bowl 56

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Circa Sportsbook Manager Chris Bennett

Circa Sports Manager Chris Bennett is preparing for his longest day of the year. Bennett, who will arrive at Circa by 5 a.m. Super Bowl Sunday, will finish his day with a radio appearance to discuss how his book fared. He expects to be home no earlier than 9 p.m.

“I’m definitely sleeping in on Monday morning,” Bennett said with a laugh.

Bennett started his bookmaking career as a ticket writer at the Las Vegas Hilton and spent more than a decade all totaled with the property, including time after it became the Westgate. He’s worked in his current role since Circa’s inception in 2019.

Sportsbooks differ when it comes to imposing limits on certain customers. Circa is known for taking on all comers no matter how sharp the bettor may be. Its standard limits for all players are viewable on Circa’s mobile app. For the Super Bowl, the maximum bets are $200,000 on the point spread, $50,000 on the game total, and $100,000 on the moneyline.

“We just want to be crystal clear on what the limits are,” Bennett said. “If you want to bet more (at the counter), we’ll have that conversation and see what we can do to accommodate. But we can’t make any promises up front.”

Circa’s Standard Limits Vary By Sport

Bennett noted that college basketball is a different animal with as many as 150 games being played on some Saturdays. The standard posted limits for college basketball on Tuesday were $5,000 on the spread, $1,000 on the total, and $2,000 on the moneyline.

In college hoops, sharp bettors often find greater edges thanks to the sheer number of teams competing at the mid-major and even lower levels, prompting the bookmakers to decrease limits. To cite one example, an extra game was added Tuesday featuring Lipscomb vs. Liberty. The limits at Circa were dropped to $500 on the total and money line for that contest.

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Working For A Market Maker

Circa and the Westgate SuperBook are market makers in the sports betting industry, meaning they are often first to post an opening line and the action they are willing to accept from sharp bettors influences the entire sports betting market.

“It makes the job fun, and it makes the job challenging,” Bennett said. “You only want to do it if you have a reasonably sharp opinion on the given market. It’s not fun if you feel like you’re kind of in the dark and don’t have a good sense of what the number should be. We pick and choose those markets that we feel we have the level of expertise and confidence to do that.”

For reasons he can’t explain, baseball is Bennett’s forte. He typically posts the lines for MLB games at Circa. Back in his younger days, Bennett spent more time on personal betting (at sportsbooks other than his own for obvious reasons). He delved into analytics and focused much of his efforts on baseball, where he developed a knack for identifying division winners, value in season win totals, and more.

“Since I’ve been working at Circa, I’ve dedicated a lot less of my time and energy to making bets for myself,” Bennett said. “But going back to my early 20s when I was working at the Hilton, now the Westgate, I was obsessed with it.

“You still have to use the same skills for oddsmaking and bookmaking, so it’s all tied together.”

Future Of The Sports Betting Industry

Some people out there might have romantic notions about working in the sports betting industry, which is going through a period of exponential growth with more and more states legalizing. There was a time early in his career when Bennett left the industry for a couple of years. There simply weren’t as many well-paying career paths available and more barriers to entry. That was then and this is now. But for how long?

“The opportunities have definitely increased at least in the short term because right now there’s just so much competition with the evolving regulated sports betting landscape,” he said. “I don’t know how long it’s going to be like this, where you’ve got so many entities trying to compete. It can’t be like this forever. But currently, it’s certainly better than it was 15 years ago when only Nevada had this special privilege of offering sports betting.”

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About the Author

Kris Johnson

Writer & Contributor
With more than 15 years of experience as a sports journalist, Kris Johnson’s work has appeared in Sports Business Daily, Sports Business Journal, NASCAR Illustrated, and more. Kris also wrote a sports-betting novel entitled The Endgame.

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