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Semifinals under way in $190,000 Friday Football Showdown at Golden Nugget; picks inside

By Dave Tuley  ( senior reporter) 

December 22, 2017 05:10 PM

LAS VEGAS – The semifinals of the $190,000 Friday Football Showdown at the Golden Nugget is already off to a rousing start with early Friday bowl action.

Tha Good Playa, the alias of professional sports bettor and WSOP bracelet winner Brandon Wittmeyer, is facing Mucked Nuts (aka Chris Kozak, who is also known at the defending champion) in one semifinal while DMill, the alias of Las Vegas advantage player, is taking on Ed From Vegas, another Vegas pro bettor though he’s preferring to just go with his alias. They all submitted their seven contest plays for the weekend and the winners will advance to the finals next Friday, Dec. 29, on The Las Vegas Sportsline radio show at 2 p.m. PT here in Vegas on ESPN AM-1100 and and playing for the $60,000 first-place prize.

The final four are all pretty sharp as evidenced by Wittmeyer, Kozak and Miller (let’s switch to their last names) all putting in their plays early Friday to take advantage of the contest over/under of 59 points in the Bahamas Bowl between Ohio and Alabama-Birmingham (scheduled kickoff at 9:30 a.m. PT) as it was getting bet down all over town and closed at 55 at most books and as low as 54 at Caesars Palace. Actually, Ed From Vegas said on today’s The Las Vegas Sportsline show that he was trying to get downtown to the Golden Nugget but got pulled over (he didn’t say if he received a speeding ticket).

With Ohio’s 41-3 victory, the game stayed well under the total of 59 (and all those lower totals) to lift Wittmeyer, Kozak to Miller to 1-0 starts. Miller used it as his best bet (the last pick listed is used as a tiebreaker and, if opponents match with a win or loss, works backward toward first pick), so he took the early lead on Ed From Vegas, who said he replaced the UAB-Ohio under with Central Michigan as a 3-point dog against Wyoming in the Famous Idaho Potato Bowl. That play lost to put Ed in an early hole at 0-1.

In the other semifinal, while both used UAB-Ohio under, Kozak gained an early edge as he used it as best bet. Wittmeyer then lost with Central Michigan to fall further behind at 1-1.

There’s a long way to go in each matchup, though it should be pointed out that with relatively few bowl games this week, the players landed on several common plays in addition to the UAB-Ohio under. All four of them took the Bengals and the Titans while DMill and Ed From Vegas matched on the Packers, so that does shorten these contests.

Here are their plays for the weekend:


#1 Tha Good Playa/Brandon Wittmeyer (1-1)


UTAH -6½



BENGALS plus-4½


TITANS plus-7


#5 Mucked Nuts/Chris Kozak (1-0)


PURDUE plus-3½

PACKERS plus-9


BENGALS plus-4½

TITANS plus-7



#3 DMill/David Miller (1-0)

COLTS plus-13½

BRONCOS plus-3½

TEXANS plus-9½

PACKERS plus-9

BENGALS plus-4½

TITANS plus-7



#7 Ed From Vegas/Ed From Vegas (0-1)

GIANTS plus-3½

PURDUE plus-3½


PACKERS plus-9


TITANS plus-7

BENGALS plus-4½

The Friday Football Showdown drew 95 entries this year at $2,000 apiece with the top 16 records from the 12-week preliminary rounds advancing to a bracket-style tournament the rest of the football season. All playoff qualifiers earned $3,000 with the top four records earning an additional $3,000. Tha Good Playa earned an additional $2,000 (for a total of $8,000) for being the No. 1 seed. The top four records also received double-byes through the first two weeks of head-to-head matchups to land in the quarterfinals while the winners of the first two playoff rounds earned an additional $1,000 per victory.

This weekend’s losers will earn $6,000 with the winners advancing to next Friday’s finale with $60,000 going to the winner and $30,000 to the runner-up.

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