Graded Week 7 selections for Circa Friday Football Invitational

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On Friday nights in the fall for more than a decade, football bettors would crowd a small, smoky sportsbook on the Strip to see two handicappers go head to head in a $10,000 winner-take-all contest. The contestants’ names were lit up outside on the marquee, adding an element of prestige to being a part of the Stardust Invitational.

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The contest concluded after the 2005 season — the Stardust closed on Nov. 1, 2006 and its two hotel towers were imploded in March 2007 — and it has been missed.

So it’s time to bring back memories of an old friend. In a tip of the cap to the Stardust Invitational, Circa owner Derek Stevens is putting up his money and putting his support behind a new VSIN-produced event, the Circa Friday Football Invitational.

The theme is the same, but the contest format is slightly different and improved. While there are still 16 handicappers in a bracket, all contestants are involved each week in a season-long competition, as opposed to the Stardust format that pitted only two handicappers a week in a head-to-head elimination duel. Stevens has boosted the prize money to $25,000.

The 16-handicapper field is officially set. Here are the contest details:

Sixteen handicappers compete — with no entry fee required — in a season-long contest with $25,000 in prizes awarded.

When: Friday, September 9 through Friday, January, 6, 2023 (18 weeks)

Where: VSIN studio at the Circa sportsbook

Contest plays: Five plays, college and NFL sides and totals (no props, team totals, first-half plays etc.) with one designated as the Best Bet (BB).

STANDINGS

GRADED WEEK 7 SELECTIONS

(Updated through Week 7, Oct. 24)

BOBBY “BUCKETS” BRUBECK
Kansas State %plussign% 3.5 L
Duke %plussign% 10 W
Arizona State %plussign% 2.5 W
Mississippi State-Alabama Under 61 W
(BB) Texas A&M-South Carolina Under 45 L
Record (points): 19-16 (19)
Best Bets: 3-4 (3)

CHUCK EDEL
Georgia Southern-Old Dominion Over 66 L
Syracuse-Clemson Under 49.5 W
UCLA-Oregon Over 70.5 W
Jaguars -3 L
(BB) Indiana-Rutgers Over 48 L
Record (points): 21-14 (21)
Best Bets: 2-5 (2)

BRIAN EDWARDS
Texas A&M-South Carolina Over 45 W
Oklahoma State %plussign% 6 W
LSU -1.5 W
Missouri -14 L
(BB) Giants %plussign% 3 W
Record (points): 15-20 (15)
Best Bets: 4-3 (4)

CHRIS “THE BEAR” FALLICA
UL Monroe %plussign% 6.5 L
South Carolina %plussign% 3 W
Arizona State %plussign% 2.5 W
Texas Tech -6 W
(BB) Broncos %plussign% 1 L
Record (points): 21-14 (21)
Best Bets: 5-2 (5)

STEVE FEZZIK
James Madison -11.5 L
New Mexico State %plussign% 21.5 L-ppd
Texas-Oklahoma State Under 60.5 L
Cincinnati-SMU Under 60 W
(BB) Kansas State-TCU Under 54.5 L
Record (points): 15-19-1 (15.5)
Best Bets: 4-2-1 (4.5)

JOEY “TUNES” FORTUNA
UCF-East Carolina Over 63 L
Texas -6 L
Vanderbilt-Missouri Under 50 W
Northwestern %plussign% 14 W
(BB) Duke-Miami Over 57 W
Record (points): 17-18 (17)
Best Bets: 4-3 (4)

DOUG KEZIRIAN
Wake Forest -20 W
Colorado-Oregon State Under 48.5 L
UCLA-Oregon Over 70.5 W
LSU -1.5 W
(BB) Hawaii-Colorado State Under 46.5 W
Record (points): 20-15 (20)
Best Bets: 4-3 (4)

MARC LAWRENCE
Kansas State %plussign% 3.5 L
Marshall %plussign% 11.5 W
UCLA %plussign% 6.5 L
49ers %plussign% 2 L
(BB) Lions %plussign% 7 L
Record (points): 18-15-2 (19)
Best Bets: 5-2 (5)

RANDY MCKAY
Kansas State %plussign% 3.5 L
Kansas State-TCU Under 54.5 L
Texas -6 L
Texans-Raiders Under 45.5 L
(BB) Minnesota-Penn State Over 43 W
Record (points): 18-15-2 (19)
Best Bets: 5-2 (5)

MIKE NORTH
Tulane -7 W
Wisconsin -2 W
Texans %plussign% 7 L
Bears %plussign% 8 W
(BB) Texas -6 L
Record (points): 15-19-1 (15.5)
Best Bets: 2-5 (2)

ERIN RYNNING
Indiana-Rutgers Over 48 L
Colorado-Oregon State Under 48.5 L
Lions-Cowboys Over 49 L
Steelers-Dolphins Over 45.5 L
(BB) Giants-Jaguars Over 43 L
Record (points): 14-20-1 (14.5)
Best Bets: 1-5-1 (1.5)

DAN SALEY
Kansas State %plussign% 3.5 L
Missouri -14 L
Texas-El Paso %plussign% 4 W
Giants %plussign% 3 W
(BB) Buffalo %plussign% 7.5 W
Record (points): 15-18-2 (16)
Best Bets: 3-4 (3)

JAMES SALINAS
Titans -2.5 W
Falcons %plussign% 6.5 L
Browns %plussign% 6.5 W
Steelers %plussign% 7.5 W
(BB) UCLA %plussign% 6.5 L
Record (points): 21-13-1 (21.5)
Best Bets: 2-5 (2)

PAUL STONE
Indiana-Rutgers Under 48 W
UTSA -10 L
Oklahoma State %plussign% 6 W
LSU -1.5 W
(BB) California %plussign% 7.5 W
Record (points): 18-16-1 (18.5)
Best Bets: 3-4 (3)

JEFF WHITELAW
Titans -2.5 W
Bengals -6.5 W
Browns %plussign% 6.5 W
Texans %plussign% 7 L
(BB) Chiefs -2 W
Record (points): 18-16-1 (18.5)
Best Bets: 5-2 (5)

CRIS ZENIUK
Mississippi %plussign% 1.5 L
Cincinnati -3 L
Seahawks %plussign% 5 W
Steelers %plussign% 7.5 W
(BB) Jaguars -3 L
Record (points): 17-18 (17)
Best Bets: 2-5 (2)

(Unofficial contestants)
MIKE PALM

Arizona State-Stanford Under 53 W
Penn State -5 W
Titans -2.5 W
Chiefs -2 W
(BB) Cincinnati -3 L
Record (points): 25-9-1 (25.5)
Best Bets: 6-1 (6)

MATT YOUMANS
Kansas State %plussign% 3.5 L
UCLA %plussign% 6.5 L
Wisconsin -2 W
49ers %plussign% 2 L
(BB) LSU -1.5 W
Record (points): 19-16 (19)
Best Bets: 6-1 (6)