Bear Market: Fallica wins Circa Friday Football Invitational

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A veteran sports bettor knows to never count his winnings too soon. Still, early in third quarter of the college football title game mismatch Monday night, Chris Fallica said, "OK, now I can exhale."

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Fallica needed Georgia -12 — his designated Best Bet in Week 18 — to cash for him to clinch the inaugural Circa Friday Football Invitational championship. "The Bear" exhaled after the Bulldogs took a 45-7 lead en route to a 65-7 embarrassment of TCU.

Georgia’s win capped a 1-4 week for Fallica, but that’s all he needed to hold off Las Vegas professional bettor Chuck Edel, who went 3-2 in the final week. Fallica and Edel each finished 52-38 ATS for the season, and the Fox Sports analyst won by virtue of the tiebreaker — his Best Bet record of 13-5 easily topped Edel’s 6-12.

The $25,000 event presented by VSiN was funded by Circa owner Derek Stevens. "The Bear" scooped the $15,000 grand prize, a Stevens-designed green jacket and trophy, plus the Brooklyn’s Best MVP Award (free dinner from the contest’s pizza sponsor) for posting the top Best Bet mark in the 16-handicapper field.

Edel earned $7,000 for second place and Colorado pro bettor James Salinas, who went 5-0 in the final week to finish 50-36-3, gets $3,000 as the third-place finisher.

Texas-based handicapper Paul Stone took fourth and ESPN sports betting analyst Doug Kezirian rounded out the top five.

Final contest results and standings:

1. CHRIS “THE BEAR” FALLICA

Browns 2 L
Colts -2.5 L
Broncos -3.5 L
TCU-Georgia Under 63.5 L
(BB) Georgia -12 W
Record (points): 52-38 (52)
Best Bets: 13-5 (12)
 

2. CHUCK EDEL

Colts -2.5 L
Falcons -4 W
Vikings-Bears Under 42.5 W
Lions 4.5 W
(BB) Browns 2.5 L
Record (points): 52-38 (52)
Best Bets: 6-12 (6)
 

3. JAMES SALINAS

Titans 6 W
Rams 6 W
Panthers 3.5 W
Bills -7 W
(BB) Steelers -2 W
Record (points): 50-36-3 (51.5)
Best Bets: 9-9 (9)
 

4. PAUL STONE

Jaguars -6 L
Falcons -4 W
Cowboys -7 L
Georgia -12 W
(BB) TCU-Georgia Over 63 W
Record (points): 51-38-1 (51.5)
Best Bets: 8-10 (8)
 

5. DOUG KEZIRIAN

Chiefs-Raiders Over 52.5 L
Jets-Dolphins Under 37 W
Browns-Steelers Under 40 L
Ravens-Bengals Under 39.5 L
(BB) Lions-Packers Under 49 W
Record (points): 50-38-2 (51)
Best Bets: 9-7-2 (10)
 

6. JOEY “TUNES” FORTUNA

Raiders 9 L
Bengals -9 W
Rams 6 W
Georgia -12 W
(BB) Titans 6 W
Record (points): 50-38-1 (50.5)
Best Bets: 10-8 (10)
 

7. RANDY MCKAY

Browns-Steelers Under 40 L
Colts -2.5 L
Chargers-Broncos Under 40 L
North Dakota State 5 L
(BB) North Dakota St-South Dakota St Under 47.5 L
Record (points): 45-43-2 (46)
Best Bets: 8-10 (8)
 

8. JEFF WHITELAW

Colts -2.5 L
Cardinals 14 L
Panthers 3.5 W
Packers -4.5 L
(BB) Raiders 9 L
Record (points): 43-43-3 (44.5)
Best Bets: 8-7-2 (9)
 

MARC LAWRENCE (eighth eliminated)

Record (points): 40-38-2 (41)
Best Bets: 10-6 (10)
 

DAN SALEY (seventh eliminated)

Record (points): 36-37-2 (37)
Best Bets: 7-8 (7)
 

BRIAN EDWARDS (sixth eliminated)

Record (points): 33-37 (33)
Best Bets: 7-7 (7)
 

BOBBY “BUCKETS” BRUBECK (fifth eliminated)

Record (points): 29-34-2 (30)
Best Bets: 4-9 (4)
 

CRIS ZENIUK (fourth eliminated)

Record (points): 26-32-2 (27)
Best Bets: 4-8 (4)
 

ERIN RYNNING (third eliminated)

Record (points): 24-30-1 (24.5)
Best Bets: 3-7-1 (3.5)
 

STEVE FEZZIK (second eliminated)

Record (points): 21-27-1 (21.5)
Best Bets: 6-3-1 (6.5)
 

MIKE NORTH (first eliminated)

Record (points): 16-26-3 (17.5)
Best Bets: 3-6 (3)
 
 
———————
 

MIKE PALM

Titans 6 W
Seahawks -6 L
Steelers -2.5 W
Packers -4.5 L
(BB) Browns-Steelers Under 40 L
Record (points): 46-41-3 (47.5)
Best Bets: 9-8-1 (9.5)
 

MATT YOUMANS

Raiders 9 L
Steelers -2.5 W
Colts -2.5 L
Panthers 3.5 W
(BB) Titans 6 W
Record (points): 44-44-1 (44.5)
Best Bets: 10-8 (10)