PointsBet Invitational Preview, Picks and Betting Advice
Imagine a “March Madness” style tournament for curling. That is right. From Sept. 21-25, curlers from all over Canada will compete in teams for the PointsBet Invitational. The women’s opening round matches start on Wednesday and Thursday afternoons. The men get underway Wednesday and Thursday night. All the action comes from Fredericton at Willie O’Ree Place.
Four matches will take place during each session. During the “Sweep 16”, teams get $3,000 for a win and $5,000 just for appearing in the tournament (to cover travel and expenses). After that, money is determined as such.
- $6,000 for an Elite Eight win
- $12,000 for a Final Four win
- $24,000 for the Championship
The triumphant curling teams could win $50,000 from this tournament. Talent in this tournament is probably the highest among Canadians. There is an array of Olympic, World, Tim Horton Briers Champions, and more.
Where Can One Watch, Fun Stuff, And Some Particulars
OK, curling fans, where can one watch this fine Invitational? That is simple. TSN/RDS will televise all tournament rounds, including the Celebrity Invitational Game. The Celebrity event will have two four-end games. That will take place on Friday night after the Women’s Elite Eight. These games will feature Canadians from hockey, singing, Olympians, and other Canadian Champions.
The tournament has 19 minutes of thinking time in each half (five ends). If there is a tie, there will be a single throw-off. One member of each four-person team is chosen as they essentially have “the hammer.”
The most fun tournament of the Canadian Curling Season starts today. There is no round-robin and no second chances. A team wins, or they go home.
Even better for the fans is this. PointsBet Canada is offering $1,000,000 for anyone who can conjure up a perfect bracket. There is also a slew of prizes to be given away in the free Sweep 16 Bracket Challenge.
So, those are just a few ways Canadian sports fans can make a little money or win prizes. Now, the real question might be this: Who are some possible contending teams to win this tournament?
Women’s Contenders And Picks For This Tournament
Like the men, the 16 teams consist of the Top 12 ranked teams off the “World Ranking System.” Then, there is one team from the fan vote, one host committee selection, the junior champion, and finally, the reigning Canadian club champions.
It is challenging to sort out the contenders. A few bad ends can derail a match. No one gets a second chance in a tournament like this. One has to embrace the madness of this invitational.
How safe are the top four seeds? Kerri Einarson and Tracy Fleury’s teams stand at 2.50 and 3.50, respectively. After that, five more contenders range from 7.00 to 11.00. The reigning Canadian champions could face their biggest challenge from Jennifer Jones at 11.00.
Our picks to win the Women’s PointsBet Invitational are Team Jennifer Jones (11.00) and Team Einarson (2.50).
Men’s Contenders And Picks For This Tournament
All right, the men’s portion of the tournament, err invitational, may feature a slightly better chance for long shots to thrive. Time will tell on this, however. Team Gushue and Team Bottcher are both on minus money at 1.66 and 1.80. That makes them a coin flip. In terms of talent, Gushue’s team has a slight edge and a few more trophies.
Brendan Bottcher’s team stands at 1.80 but remains our favourite against all odds. Team Gushue is capable of winning, but Bottcher in a knockout format is a slightly better bet among the two top teams. Among the somewhat longer shot, Glenn Howard’s team stands at 8.00 and could sneak past a couple of rounds, putting them in a position to win.
Finally, Team Carruthers is our other long shot at 8.00. Again, the single knockout format involves taking more risks and looking for teams that can simply win four straight matches. It is why the typical top contenders do not always pan out here.
Good luck, everyone, as the PointsBet Invitational expects to be a fun five-day tournament.
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