Updated on 09/17/2011 6:53PM

Only eight standing in football contest


LAS VEGAS - The Stardust Invitational's field of 16 is down to the elite eight in its single-elimination tournament. Each week, two football handicappers go head-to-head with seven selections, including a best bet to be used as a tiebreaker. The composite record for all contestants in the first round was 67-43-2 (61 percent) and an even better 11-5 (69 percent) on best bets.

The program takes place live in the sports book at 9 p.m. Pacific. It is broadcast on KDWN AM-720 in nine Western states and worldwide on the Internet at kdwn.com.

This Friday's matchup pits Trace Fields vs. Brent Carter. Fields went 6-1 in his first-round win over Rob Veno; Carter is the only contestant to advance with a losing record. He was 3-4, but he won his best bet to defeat David Malinsky, who was also 3-4 but lost his top play.

The other quarterfinal matches are between famed oddsmaker, bookmaker, and handicapper Jimmy Vaccaro and independent oddsmaker Cesar Robaina on Nov. 12, Cal State-Hayward math professor Mike Orkin and radio host "Papa" Joe Chevalier on Nov. 19, and professional gambler Fezzik and handicapper Al McMordie on Nov. 26. McMordie defeated Ted Sevransky last weekend, when they both went 4-3 but McMordie advanced on the tiebreaker.

Handicapping contest updates

There has been another change atop the leaderboard in the Las Vegas Hilton SuperContest. A contestant using the alias "What a Lousy Call" (actually a handicapper named Steve McLaughlin, who made an appearance on Wednesday morning's "Stardust Line" radio show) moved into first after going 4-1 to improve his record to 27-12-1. "Clark Kent" went 5-0 to move into second place at 26-13-1 along with "Steelers."

* "JRBuck" regained the lead in the Golden Nugget's Ultimate Football Challenge with a 3-2 record, including a best-bet win that is worth two points. His overall record is 27-13 for a total of 32 points, and he is one game ahead of former leader "Detroit Handicapping Spec" and Tony Salinas.

* "4 Aces" went 4-1 to move into a first-place tie with "Colts" in the Station Casinos' Gambler's Challenge with overall records of 26-13-1. "J & L Sports" and "The Untouchables" are half a game back with 26 points. Also of note, Salinas is in a three-way tie for sixth place in this contest and is in a nine-way tie for 14th in the SuperContest.

* Selections for all of the above handicappers, along with consensus plays of all contestants, will be available in the respective sports books this weekend (Friday afternoon at the Las Vegas Hilton, late Saturday morning at Station Casinos, and by 6 p.m. Saturday at the Golden Nugget).

Speaking of hot handicappers ...

College football analysts Ron Frazier and Dave Cokin have been on fire on the Sunday night edition of the "Stardust Line" (10 p.m. to midnight Pacific). Both give out three plays against the spread using lines available at the end of the show. This season, Cokin is 20-7 (74 percent) and Frazier is 19-7 (73 percent). Frazier has one less selection because a game he picked was canceled.

This week, Cokin used Akron +9 1/2 vs. Marshall in Friday night's ESPN2 game, Clemson +17 vs. Miami-Fla., and BYU -8 1/ 2 vs. San Diego St. Frazier's plays are Wisconsin -6 1/2 vs. Minnesota, Virginia -14 vs. Maryland, and UCLA -13 1/2 vs. Washington St.