Week 18 NFL and college football selections for Circa Friday Football Invitational

January 7, 2023 01:59 AM
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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.

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).

CIRCA FRIDAY FOOTBALL INVITATIONAL
WEEK 18 SELECTIONS

CHUCK EDEL

Colts -2.5

Falcons -4

Vikings-Bears Under 42.5

Lions +4.5

(BB) Browns +2.5

Record (points): 49-36 (49)

Best Bets: 6-11 (6)

CHRIS “THE BEAR” FALLICA

Browns +2

Colts -2.5

Broncos -3.5

TCU-Georgia Under 63.5

(BB) Georgia -12

Record (points): 51-34 (51)

Best Bets: 12-5 (12)

JOEY “TUNES” FORTUNA

Raiders +9

Bengals -9

Rams +6

Georgia -12

(BB) Titans +6

Record (points): 46-37-1 (46.5)

Best Bets: 9-8 (9)

DOUG KEZIRIAN

Chiefs-Raiders Over 52.5

Jets-Dolphins Under 37

Browns-Steelers Under 40

Ravens-Bengals Under 39.5

(BB) Lions-Packers Under 49

Record (points): 48-35-2 (49)

Best Bets: 8-7-2 (9)

RANDY MCKAY

Browns-Steelers Under 40

Colts -2.5

Chargers-Broncos Under 40

North Dakota State +5

(BB) North Dakota St-South Dakota St Under 47.5

Record (points): 45-38-2 (46)

Best Bets: 8-9 (8)

JAMES SALINAS

Titans +6

Rams +6

Panthers +3.5

Bills -7

(BB) Steelers -2

Record (points): 45-36-3 (46.5)

Best Bets: 8-9 (8)

PAUL STONE

Jaguars -6

Falcons -4

Cowboys -7

Georgia -12

(BB) TCU-Georgia Over 63

Record (points): 48-36-1 (48.5)

Best Bets: 7-10 (7)

JEFF WHITELAW

Colts -2.5

Cardinals +14

Panthers +3.5

Packers -4.5

(BB) Raiders +9 

Record (points): 42-39-3 (43.5)

Best Bets: 8-6-2 (9)

———————

MIKE PALM

Titans +6

Seahawks -6

Steelers -2.5

Packers -4.5

(BB) Browns-Steelers Under 40

Record (points): 44-38-3 (45.5)

Best Bets: 9-7-1 (9.5)

MATT YOUMANS

Raiders +9

Steelers -2.5

Colts -2.5

Panthers +3.5

(BB) Titans +6

Record (points): 41-42-1 (41.5)

Best Bets: 9-8 (9)

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