Graded Week 9 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 9 SELECTIONS

BOBBY “BUCKETS” BRUBECK
Kansas pick W
Texas -2.5 W
Baylor-Oklahoma Over 61.5 W
Washington State-Stanford Under 49 L
(BB) Bills-Jets Under 46 W
Record (points): 26-19 (26)
Best Bets: 4-5 (4)

CHUCK EDEL
Navy-Cincinnati Under 43.5 W
Ohio State-Northwestern Under 55 W
Georgia -8 W
UCF-Memphis Over 58.5 W
(BB) Middle Tennessee-Louisiana Tech Over 63.5 W
Record (points): 29-16 (29)
Best Bets: 4-5 (4)

BRIAN EDWARDS
North Carolina -7 L
South Carolina -6.5 W
Tennessee +8 L
TCU -8 W
(BB) LSU +13.5 W
Record (points): 21-24 (21)
Best Bets: 5-4 (5)

CHRIS “THE BEAR” FALLICA
Virginia +7 W
Texas -2.5 W
Arizona State +11 L
Vanderbilt +6.5 L
(BB) Georgia Tech +3 W
Record (points): 26-19 (26)
Best Bets: 6-3 (6)

STEVE FEZZIK
Iowa +3.5 W
Florida +3 W
UAB pick L
Bengals -7 W
(BB) Stanford +4.5 L
Record (points): 19-25-1 (19.5)
Best Bets: 5-3-1 (5.5)

JOEY “TUNES” FORTUNA
Florida State-Miami Over 54 L
UCF-Memphis Over 58.5 W
South Alabama-Georgia Southern Over 60.5 W
Texas State-UL Monroe Under 53 L
(BB) Florida-Texas A&M Under 55.5 L
Record (points): 22-23 (22)
Best Bets: 4-5 (4)

DOUG KEZIRIAN
Wake Forest-NC State Under 54.5 W
Brigham Young +8.5 W
Texas Christian -8 W
Alabama-LSU Over 56.5 W
(BB) North Carolina-Virginia Under 60.5 W
Record (points): 28-17 (28)
Best Bets: 6-3 (6)

MARC LAWRENCE
Georgia -8 W
Texas Tech +8 L
Notre Dame +3.5 W
Raiders -2 L
(BB) James Madison +7 L
Record (points): 22-21-2 (23)
Best Bets: 5-4 (5)

RANDY MCKAY
Iowa-Purdue Under 39.5 W
Indiana +13 L
Stanford +4.5 L
Florida-Texas A&M Under 55.5 L
(BB) Rams-Buccaneers Under 42.5 W
Record (points): 22-21-2 (23)
Best Bets: 6-3 (6)

X-MIKE NORTH (first eliminated)
Bills -11.5 L
Falcons +3 P
Cardinals -2 L
Rams +3 P
(BB) Dolphins-Bears Under 45.5 L
Record (points): 16-26-3 (17.5)
Best Bets: 3-6 (3)

ERIN RYNNING
UCLA-Arizona State Over 66 W
Clemson-Notre Dame Under 43.5 L
Panthers-Bengals Under 42.5 L
Raiders-Jaguars Over 48 L
(BB) Rams-Buccaneers Over 42.5 L
Record (points): 19-25-1 (19.5)
Best Bets: 2-6-1 (2.5)

DAN SALEY
North Carolina -7 L
Wake Forest -3 L
Baylor +3.5 W
SMU -3 W
(BB) Memphis +3.5 L
Record (points): 21-22-2 (22)
Best Bets: 4-5 (4)

JAMES SALINAS
Texas-San Antonio pick W
Colts-Patriots Under 40.5 W
Falcons +3 P
Seahawks +2 W
(BB) Ravens-Saints Under 48.5 W
Record (points): 27-15-3 (28.5)
Best Bets: 4-5 (4)

PAUL STONE
Army +7 W
Air Force-Army Under 40.5 W
Pittsburgh -4 W
LSU +13.5 W
(BB) Kansas State +2.5 L
Record (points): 23-21-1 (23.5)
Best Bets: 3-6 (3)

JEFF WHITELAW
Penn State -13 W
Missouri pick L
Georgia -8 W
Raiders -2 L
(BB) Vikings -3 P
Record (points): 24-19-2 (25)
Best Bets: 6-2-1 (6.5)

CRIS ZENIUK
Vikings -3 P
Lions +3.5 W
Seahawks +2 W
Titans +12.5 W
(BB) Bears +4.5 W
Record (points): 21-23-1 (21.5)
Best Bets: 3-6 (3)

———————

MIKE PALM
Wake Forest -3 L
Clemson -3.5 L
Vikings -3 P
Raiders -2 L
(BB) Purdue -3.5 L
Record (points): 26-17-2 (27)
Best Bets: 6-3 (6)

MATT YOUMANS
Iowa +3.5 W
Stanford +4.5 L
LSU +13.5 W
Buccaneers -3 P
(BB) Raiders -2 L
Record (points): 23-21-1 (23.5)
Best Bets: 6-3 (6)