A Saturday schedule with more than 100 college basketball games can be the craziest whirlwind in the world of sports betting. The madness actually starts well before March, so it’s time to start a handicapping contest in January.
Riding the coattails of the popular Circa Friday Football Invitational is a new VSIN-produced event, the Circa College Hoops Challenge.
Eight handicappers will compete each Friday night—tipping off this week and continuing through March 17—and play for bragging rights, a trophy and a prize package put up by Circa owner Derek Stevens.
This season’s inaugural $25,000 football contest was won by Chris “The Bear” Fallica of Fox Sports. Maybe it helps to have a nickname, so is Greg “Hoops” Peterson the favorite to win the basketball contest?
Peterson and four other VSiN analysts will compete with three professional handicappers who each offer their five top plays on the Saturday college basketball card. With the field officially set, here are the contest details:
CIRCA COLLEGE HOOPS CHALLENGE
Eight handicappers compete—with no entry fee required—in a Friday night college basketball contest with prizes awarded.
When: Friday, January 20, 2023 through Friday, March, 17 (8 weeks, 9 rounds)
Where: VSIN studio at the Circa sportsbook
Contest plays: Five plays, college basketball full-game sides and totals only, from the Saturday schedule with one designated as the Best Bet (BB).
—Plays will be graded as one point for a win and a half-point for a push. If a game is canceled, it’s graded as a push (worth a half-point); a postponed game must be played by the following Thursday or it’s also graded as a push.
—The Best Bet (BB) point total will be used as a season-long tiebreaker if needed.
Use the best available Circa Sports and DraftKings lines posted on Fridays between 3 p.m. and 5:30 p.m. Contestants must send the Circa or DraftKings number posted at the time plays are submitted. Plays can only be submitted once, no changes allowed, and use the proper line.
—Five plays must be sent to Matt Youmans no later than 5:30 p.m. each Friday.
Prize structure: This is a winner-take-all event. Circa owner Derek Stevens is awarding a Stadium Swim cabana with a $1,000 credit (to be used by the end of August) and a Circa sportsbook VIP booth for one day to the contest winner, who also receives a trophy.
Contest format: The contest begins on Friday, January 20, 2023, and continues each Friday through March 17. There will be seven rounds (Jan. 20 and 27, Feb. 3, 10, 17 and 24 and March 3) prior to the first week of the NCAA Tournament, which will consist of two rounds (games played on March 16 and 17).
—In mid-March, the final week of the contest will be the first round of the NCAA Tournament and a total of 10 plays must be submitted on Wednesday, March 15. Each contestant will submit five plays for the Thursday tournament games and five more plays for the Friday tournament games.
Elimination rounds: None. Unlike the Friday football contest, all eight contestants compete from start to finish.
Media participation: All contestants are invited to join the Matt Youmans-hosted show in studio or by phone/video each Friday night when the plays are announced. The contest will be broadcast on VSiN and in the Circa sportsbook, with plays published on VSIN.com.
(Derek Stevens has the authority to make a final ruling on any contest rules disputes.)
Introducing the elite eight contestants:
Rex Beyers, oddsmaker at PlayUp USA @Rex_Beyers
William Hill, VSiN analyst @NotTheeWillHill
Aaron Moore, VSiN analyst, sports media professor @pubrelationprof
Tim Murray, VSiN host @1TimMurray
Greg “Hoops” Peterson, VSiN host @GUnit_81
Wes Reynolds, VSiN host @WesReynolds1
Jim Root, professional handicapper @2ndChancePoints
Paul Stone, professional bettor from Texas @paulstonesports