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Vegas veteran Benjamin Eckstein, author of America’s Line, brings three decades of experience to make weekly picks in his 'Ecks & Bacon' column.

Las Vegas — It’s pushing 112 degrees here in Vegas, which is like what, 44 Celsius. But it’s a DRY heat. Yeah, dry like sitting in a FREAKIN’ OVEN! Before my keyboard melts, gotta throw this golf story at you, which sounds almost too INSANE to be true.

There’s a guy over in England, Jordan Baker, who claims to have placed a two-pound bet, which is like $2.50 over here, on the four major winners. If he hits all four, his payback is like over TWO AND A HALF MILLION! Guess who he had in the Masters? Yup, Sergio Garcia. Guess who he had in the U.S. Open? Yup, Brooks Koepka. Two down, two to go. He has Rickie Fowler in the British Open, and Justin Thomas in the PGA.

He posted a screenshot of the ticket on his Twitter, and it looks like he made the wager at Bet365. It looks real, but gonna do some checking and see if it’s kosher. Seems like a nice enough guy. Told Golf Digest that he would “buy my mom a house, take Dad on a golfing trip around the U.K., buy myself a nice Ferrari and then take all the lads on holiday to Vegas.” Yo, J. Baker, if you win, and come to Vegas, I WANNA be one of the lads!

Not a fan of New Jersey, but will be rooting for Chris Christie and the Garden State on Monday when the Supreme Court will announce which petitions it is granting and which it is denying. Jersey is all in on the Christie vs. NCAA et al. Not sure who the ‘al’ is, but if the Supremes in the black robes give thumbs up to the Jersey petition, I’ll be singing one of the Supremes’ songs all day long. You know, Diana Ross and the Supremes, and the song is “You Keep Me Hangin’ On.”

Not really up to speed on the CFL just yet, so we’ll take a look at the bases and try the Indians over the Twins. A 6-5 pitcher with a 5.54 ERA usually doesn’t jump onto my radar screen, but Trevor Bauer is starting to heat up. After a lousy start, losing two of his first six, Bauer has won four of his last five decisions. And he enjoys a 3-0 mark against the Twinkies this season. On the other side of the field, Minny rookie Adalberto Mejia is starting to sink like a rock in a barrel of feathers. He has only one W in nine outings, and his last two starts have been batting practice for the Mariners and Indians. He was rocked for 14 hits and 10 earned runs in only eight innings of work. That translates to an 11.25 ERA, and that also translates to an easy win for Cleveland.

And if you’re one of those who says percentages be damned because parlays are an awful percentage play, you can throw down the Rays and Chris Archer to beat the Orioles with Ubaldo Jimenez, combine it with the Indians and have a fabulous weekend!

Benjamin Eckstein is a nationally syndicated sportswriter/oddsmaker. His column, America's Line, with the Ecks & Bacon appetizer, has run in the New York Daily News and over 100 other papers since 1988. You can follow him online at www.americasline.com. He is beloved by most, when he picks winners, and detested by others, when he picks the occasional loser. If you wanna piece of Eck, hit his Email...ben@americasline.com.

Archived Articles

Vegas veteran Benjamin Eckstein, author of America’s Line, brings three decades of experience to make weekly picks in his 'Ecks & Bacon' column.

Las Vegas — For all you hockey heads that think HARO, HARD or HART stats are important, or that Corsi and Fenwick are crucial to the outcome, or maybe that even the old plus/minus is a legit rating to look at when you are handicapping a game, THINK outside the proverbial box. Going down to Smashville for Game 6, and THE most IMPORTANT question is, WHO will sing the national anthem? Of course we have come up with a list of odds, and the window to wager is now open. Not sure where, but someone, somewhere in the world will take action.

On my list, we’ve got Dolly Parton, Tennessee’s own, as the favorite at 2/1. If Dolly does come out onto the ice, the roof would blow off Nashville’s Bridgestone Arena (and just in case you wanna see something AMAZING in a Bridgestone swimsuit, plz hit my website, www.americasline.com). The only possible way to surpass Dolly would be if Elvis stepped up to the mic.

Can’t make odds because I believe he is still dead. Next up is Tim McGraw at 3/1, Blake Shelton at 4/1, Miranda Lambert at 5/1, Faith Hill and Taylor Swift both at 8/1, and another Tennessee native, Justin Timberlake, at 10/1. My money is on Dolly!!!

Sadly, there is no Triple Crown on the line at the Belmont Stakes and people have not even been talking about it, but if there’s a few bucks to be made, we’re GONNA talk. Or my man Martin Calia is. Here’s what Marty thinks. Irish War Cry should get a better trip than he had in the Derby, but don't see him winning. The pick is Twisted Tom. Why? He is trained by Chad Brown, who is hot as a waffle iron hitting 33% winners, has the top jock in Javier Castellano, winning at 21%, and is 3-3 in 2017 since the addition of blinkers. And for the exacta, try Double T and Irish War Cry.

The only question on the NBA hardwood tonight is, can LeBron avoid the BROOM? Probably not, but at +6, gotta think that we see another fairly tight game. Might be wishful thinking but gimme half a Benjamin on King James. Hitting the bases, we’re gonna roll out west and try the Dodgers with Rich Hill over the Reds.

Every pick we rocked cashed in last week’s column, and looking for another perfecto, gotta try the Predators on Sunday night to give us what we all want, the two best words in sports…GAME SEVEN.

With a 9-1 record on home ice in the playoffs, gotta go with the Preds as they face the ULTIMATE MUST-WIN game in Nashville. As long as it’s not Kelly Clarkson singing the anthem. The Predators lost ONLY one game at home in the playoffs, on May 18 against Anaheim, when Clarkson was behind the mic. If it actually IS Dolly Parton, DOLLY FREAKING PARTON, we go ALL IN on Nashville. Push ALL our chips to the center of the table. If it’s anyone other than Dolly, still like the Predators. If it’s Elvis, I’ll be CRYING like a two-year-old for at least a month, and really could care less who wins!

Benjamin Eckstein is a nationally syndicated sportswriter/oddsmaker. His column, America's Line, with the Ecks & Bacon appetizer, has run in the New York Daily News and over 100 other papers since 1988. You can follow him online at www.americasline.com. He is beloved by most, when he picks winners, and detested by others, when he picks the occasional loser. If you wanna piece of Eck, hit his email...ben@americasline.com.

Archived Articles

Vegas veteran Benjamin Eckstein, author of America’s Line, brings three decades of experience to make weekly picks in his 'Ecks & Bacon' column.

Las Vegas — Before we rock the hardwood and the ice, gotta direct your attention to my man Sean Corbett, who has started a new religion, "Pastafarianism." As you might suspect, it has everything to do with pasta. Never heard of it? Neither had we.

But when we saw a picture of a dude, Corbett, with a metal colander on his head in a driver’s license photo, it was time to investigate. Sean said he went to a few Arizona motor vehicle locations for two years before he found one that would let him take the photo with the strainer on his head.

Corbett says "Pastafarianism" is part of the Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster, which was created 5,000 years ago by a flying spaghetti monster. That’s where he LOST me. And apparently the officials at the Arizona Department of Transportation. They told a local TV station that while some exceptions are made for religious headwear, Corbett’s colander chapeau probably shouldn’t have been allowed. So, the state is going to void the photo and driver’s license. OOPS!!!

On to some Sunday hoops. Hopefully you didn’t miss my Golden State pick in Game 1, but if you did, I’m coming right back with the Warriors in Game 2. Why? Kinda similar to what I wrote in my Ecks & Bacon column at www.americasline.com for the second game of the Stanley Cup. Check it out:

HISTORIC!!! And NOT for a good reason. For the first time in the history of their glorious playoff runs, the Penguins were held WITHOUT a shot on goal for the ENTIRE second period in the opening game of the Stanley Cup final. The Predators skated circles around Sid the Kid and his crew, yet the Pens skated into the tunnel with a 5-3 W. What? Yeah, if you’re thinking that Nashville is gonna get a boatload of confidence, and rock the party tonight, lemme blow out the candles.

Pittsburgh played almost the perfect LOUSY game, after the first period, and still won by a deuce. The Preds played almost the perfect FANTASTIC game and still fell by a pair. Nashville AIN’T gonna play that well again, and the Pens AIN’T gonna look that discombobulated again. Crosby and company will rock Game 2, and head down to Music City halfway to a second straight Stanley Cup.

So, just take out the Penguins and replace with the Warriors. Then take out the Predators and replace with the Cavaliers. Totally feel the same way about this game and expect the Dubs to take a 2-0 series lead back to Cleveland.

On the Saturday night ice, we gotta go with the Preds as they face a MUST-WIN game in Smashville. We might make one of our biggest wagers of the year, but it depends on who sings the national anthem. If it’s Dolly Parton, DOLLY FREAKING PARTON, we go ALL IN on Nashville. Push ALL our chips to the center of the table. If it’s anyone other than Dolly, still like the Predators, but we would scale back the investment.

Benjamin Eckstein is a nationally syndicated sportswriter/oddsmaker. His column, America's Line, with the Ecks & Bacon appetizer, has run in the New York Daily News and over 100 other papers since 1988. You can follow him online at www.americasline.com. He is beloved by most, when he picks winners, and detested by others, when he picks the occasional loser. If you wanna piece of Eck, hit his email...ben@americasline.com.

Archived Articles

Vegas veteran Benjamin Eckstein, author of America’s Line, brings three decades of experience to make weekly picks in his 'Ecks & Bacon' column.

Las Vegas — Loaded up on NyQuil and ready to rock.

You probably heard that Vegas is gonna join the NFL club. When the Oakland Raiders transition to the Las Vegas Raiders, I WILL be bringing my cellphone to the games, and I WILL have the sportsbook betting apps on my phone, and I WILL bet like a crazy man. Maybe. Are you listening ROGER??? Last week, the Las Vegas Stadium Authority unanimously approved a conditional lease agreement for the Raiders. On Tuesday, NFL owners approved the lease agreement. The lease includes language that prohibits “any Gaming or Gambling, the maintaining or operating of a Gaming Establishment and/or sports wagering or any wagering on racing or other non-sports events.”

HA! Now, here’s the rub. According to the stadium authority and Nevada gaming officials, NOTHING in the lease blocks access to the mobile sports betting apps offered by the majority of the state’s regulated sportsbooks. Nevada books have been offering mobile sports betting for several years, allowing bettors to place wagers on their mobile devices from anywhere inside state lines. Next time the commish is in Vegas, I’ll lend him a phone!

We have a minor league team here in Vegas, the Triple-A affiliate of the New York Mets, and they are called the 51s, after the SUPER SECRET test site, Area 51, in the middle of freakin’ nowhere in the Nevada desert. You might or might not like the 51s, but the BABY CAKES. WHAT!!! We’ve heard this used before between people in a relationship, but for a baseball team, a FREAKIN’ baseball team. Are you KIDDING ME! This could be one of the worst EVER team names, falling into a tie with the old Anaheim MIGHTY Ducks! How about either the Babies, or, the Cakes. CAN NOT keep both together. By the way, the Cakes are from New Orleans and are the Triple-A affiliate of the Miami Marlins. I’m calling Marlins manager Donnie “Baseball” Mattingly right now, to see if he can help with the name change.

Now let’s get to the action.

All set for the NBA trilogy and we’re gonna rock the Warriors to win the series. C’mon. Last year, the Cavs squeezed past the Dubs in seven games, but now Golden State has Kevin Durant. Good enough for me.

On the ice, gotta go with Sid the Kid and the Penguins to hoist Lord Stanley’s Cup for the second straight year. The Predators have been phenomenal, but the loss of star center Ryan Johansen will take its toll as the series goes along. And we’re still not sure if Preds captain Mike Fisher will skate, and when, or for how long. Pens in six.

Also got a baseball game for you tonight, and it’s the Indians with Mike Clevinger over the Royals.

In case you missed last week’s column, here’s a little tennis. On the red clay of Roland Garros, we’ll drop a few francs — do they still use francs? — on the “King of Clay,” Rafael Nadal, to secure his 10th French Open title. And on the women’s side, two long shots, Lucie Safarova and Irina Begu.

Benjamin Eckstein is a nationally syndicated sportswriter/oddsmaker. His column, America's Line, with the Ecks & Bacon appetizer, has run in the New York Daily News and over 100 other papers since 1988. You can follow him online at www.americasline.com. He is beloved by most, when he picks winners, and detested by others, when he picks the occasional loser. If you wanna piece of Eck, hit his email...ben@americasline.com.

Archived Articles

Vegas veteran Benjamin Eckstein, author of Americas Line, brings three decades of experience to make weekly picks in his 'Ecks & Bacon' column.

Las Vegas — So much on my plate this weekend, including hoops, ice, tennis and the ponies. Before we pick up the knife and fork to dissect all the action, gotta shout out a BRAVO to the Swedish Football Association that stepped up to cancel a soccer game when they heard about a player trying to fix a match. The SFA claims an AIK player was "offered a considerable sum" if he contributed to losing Thursday's game against Gothenburg. General secretary Hakan Sjostrand described it as a "very serious attack against Swedish football", adding: "We will never let this happen." WAY to go over in Sweden, and, by the way, LOVE your MEATBALLS!!!

You remember me saying that I AIN’T a horse guy. That hasn’t changed since the Kentucky Derby, so, we leaned on Martin Calia, a talented writer from Bloodhorse.com, a very well-respected horse racing site. Here’s how Martin rolls in the Preakness.

Of course everybody loves Always Dreaming and, to be honest, what's not to like? He crushed the field in the Derby and according to trainer Todd Pletcher the horse is doing great. But, this is a race with a two-week turnaround from the Derby, a different track, and he has not really trained, only galloped. Also the horse will be doing something he hasn't done, which is run on two weeks’ rest. Plus as the heavy favorite of at least 4/5, I’m looking elsewhere. My pick is the two-year-old champ, Classic Empire.

He looked as if he came out of a prize fight in the Derby. He was bumped hard at the start, almost losing his rider Julien Leparoux. He sustained cuts on his legs, and his eye was closed shut from whatever kicked into it. And he still finished a respectable fourth. I feel with a fast track, a cleaner and closer trip, he will go by Always Dreaming in the stretch.

Let's see how the Derby winner responds with a little adversity, or, maybe pressure on the front end from Conquest Mo Money. So far he has had everything his own way. The pick is # 5 Classic Empire to win, # 4 Always Dreaming to place, and # 10 Conquest Mo Money to show.

IMPOSSIBLE to handicap the Spurs/Warriors game tomorrow night since we don’t know if or how long Kawhi Leonard will play. Golden State is a -6 point favorite on the road, and if anybody, as in the SCAMDICAPPERS out there, tells you they have this game on lockdown, after you throw up a little in your mouth, IGNORE every word. Will Kawhi start? Maybe. How long will he play? Who knows. When does he twist that ankle again? First quarter? Again, IMPOSSIBLE to know, so we take a hall pass.

On the ice, gotta believe that the Ducks have figured out how to stop the speed of the Predators, and should post a W in front of the home crowd in Anaheim.

And on the red clay of Roland Garros, we’ll drop a few francs — do they still use francs? — on the “King of Clay,” Rafael Nadal, to secure his 10th French Open title. And on the women’s side, two long shots, Lucie Safarova and Irina Begu.

Benjamin Eckstein is a nationally syndicated sportswriter/oddsmaker. His column, America's Line, with the Ecks & Bacon appetizer, has run in the New York Daily News and over 100 other papers since 1988. You can follow him online at www.americasline.com. He is beloved by most, when he picks winners, and detested by others, when he picks the occasional loser. If you wanna piece of Eck, hit his email...ben@americasline.com.

Archived Articles

Vegas veteran Benjamin Eckstein, author of Americas Line, brings three decades of experience to make weekly picks in his 'Ecks & Bacon' column.

Las Vegas — Before we get to the ponies, gotta ask you a question. Has anyone ever heard of an “Experience Specialist?” Me & Mrs. Ecks & Bacon are rolling to the ocean in California next week, and made a reservation at a nice little boutique hotel. It’s a few notches above Motel 6 and a few below the Ritz-Carlton. So, I get an email from a gal, and her title is, yes, Experience Specialist. Have a bunch of questions. Has anybody out there had an Experience Specialist? What exactly do they do? How do you apply for that job? What the hell do you list on the resume? If you have any answers, hit my email PLZ, ben@americasline.com.

Get out your mint julep. It’s time to go racing.

You know that we love TRANSPARENCY & HONESTY here at E & B, so right up front, I’ll admit that I AIN’T a horse guy. Coulda blown some smoke up your nostril and made a big deal about how I actually know and sat next to Andy Beyer at the Saratoga racetrack in New York, but nah, we are all about the truth. With that being said, for my people, I go to one of the top guys in the horse space.  

Ladies & gentlemen say hello to former racing editor at the N.Y. Daily News, and current handicapper at the Meadowlands, Dave Little. With a mint julep in one hand and a daily racing form in the other, the next graph is all Dave.

For 20 consecutive years from 1980-99, chalk players took it on the chin in the Kentucky Derby. So don't bet the favorite, right? Well, since then, the public choice has clicked in eight of the last 17 Derbies, including the last four straight. I'm looking for that trend to continue. Classic Empire raced in traffic throughout in the Arkansas Derby before swinging wide for a victorious stretch drive with superb handling from Julien Leparoux. Should be fine racing in a bulky field. He's the top pick. Can you make a score if the chalk wins? In a 20-horse field, absolutely! Here are five more to consider when playing the exotics, in order of preference: Always Dreaming (perfect trip in Florida Derby), Irish War Cry (Wood winner could be in good striking position late), Thunder Snow (game score in UAE Derby), Gunnevera (will be gobbling up ground late) and McCraken (didn't fire in Blue Grass but had won four in a row prior).

Tough sledding on the NBA board tonight. The Raptors look like a YUGE mess, but if they’re ever going to put one in the win column, it’s gotta be Game 3. Not sold on the Raps, and not sure I wanna lay 5 points with the Rockets.

So, that leaves the ice and the bases. Gonna roll with the Blues this evening in St. Louis to extend the series one more game, and try the Braves over the Cards down in Atlanta.

Benjamin Eckstein is a nationally syndicated sportswriter/oddsmaker. His column, America's Line, with the Ecks & Bacon appetizer, has run in the New York Daily News and over 100 other papers since 1988. You can follow him online at www.americasline.com. He is beloved by most, when he picks winners, and detested by others, when he picks the occasional loser. If you wanna piece of Eck, hit his email...ben@americasline.com.

Archived Articles

Las Vegas — Last week, we told you about Burnley midfielder Joey Barton, who was charged with misconduct by English football’s governing body. Why? Joey B made a few bets on soccer, like ONE THOUSAND TWO HUNDRED SIXTY while an active player. Well, we just heard that Mr. Barton has been fined £30,000, which is about $38,000 and change over here in the States. He was also warned about his future conduct after being charged with breaking FA rules.

Barton said that since 2004, on an account with Betfair, he placed over 15,000 bets across a whole range of sports. Barton said he is addicted to gambling. SHOCKER! But as with all the folks who inhabit my world of sports wagering, we wish Joey the best. And yo J.B., keep reading the Ecks & Bacon column here at OddsShark where we are pumping out winners every week.

Speaking of winners, my man ‘Soup’ Campbell talked about the HUMONGOUS $$$$ that the Nevada sportsbooks won in March on hoops, but if you missed Jon’s OddsShark Live Episode #36, check out these numbers. According to the Nevada Gaming Control Board, more money was bet — and lost — on basketball at Nevada sportsbooks this past March than in any other month in the state’s regulated sports betting history.

The key word there being HISTORY! A record $439.5 million was wagered on basketball, both college and pro, last month. The sportsbooks held a record $41.2 million of the amount bet on basketball, destroying the previous mark set in March 2015 by more than $13 million. So, March of 2017 became the most delicious month of hoops, EVER, for the stinkin’ sportsbooks!

This rest of this space is reserved for cash money baby, cashing some WINNING tickets like we did last week.

First up on the NBA board, we’re gonna drop some change on the Jazz in Salt Lake City tonight over the Clippers. NO way Utah wants to head back to Los Angeles for a Game 7, so it’s time to shut the front door. If you have not watched the Jazz play, check out Gordon Hayward. Loved him when he was at Butler, and love him in Utah.

So smart, so talented, such a HIGH basketball IQ. With NO Blake Griffin for the Clips, and Rudy ‘The Stifle Tower’ Gobert back in Utah’s lineup, ya gotta walk with me to the betting window and tickle the Jazz. And, as we say in the biz, this just in. The superb staff at OddsShark found this little gem. Utah is 10-1 straight up in the last 11 at home, so if you’re thinking moneyline, rock on!

Looking at the bases on Friday, if you don’t mind laying a pretty hefty price, we like the Indians with Carlos Carrasco over the Mariners, and also got the Royals with Ian Kennedy to post a W over the Twinkies.

Benjamin Eckstein is a nationally syndicated sportswriter/oddsmaker. His column, America's Line, with the Ecks & Bacon appetizer, has run in the New York Daily News and over 100 other papers since 1988. You can follow him online at www.americasline.com. He is beloved by most, when he picks winners, and detested by others, when he picks the occasional loser. If you wanna piece of Eck, hit his email...ben@americasline.com.

Archived Articles

Vegas veteran Benjamin Eckstein, author of Americas Line, brings three decades of experience to make weekly picks in his 'Ecks & Bacon' column.

Las Vegas — AMAZING!!! We have the NBA playoffs rocking, the NHL beards have started the long, long, LONG march toward Lord Stanley’s Cup, baseball is in full swing, the UEFA Champions League is heading toward the semifinals, and yet, the LEAD stories on most of the sports websites is the NFL. WOW! Totally understand that the NFL is the CASH COW for the betting public, and attracts almost twice as much money as the next sport, but C’MON, it’s just the release of the schedule, and everyone is FREAKING out.

Kudos to the NFL marketing machine, which has NO peer. If you’re ready to handicap the opening week, the Patriots have opened as a 7-point favorite over the Chiefs with an OVER/UNDER total of 50. I’m not ready to jump in yet, but if you need a taste of all the openers, check out Jon “Soup” Campbell’s take on the numbers right here.

Speaking of football, the one they actually play with their feet, there’s a knucklehead over in England that laid a few bets down. Like ONE THOUSAND TWO HUNDRED SIXTY bets. OK, it was over a 10-year period, but still. The player is from Burnley, midfielder Joey Barton, and he was charged with misconduct by English football’s governing body. Joey B could be facing a long ban, or, play Sunday against Man U. Ah, ya gotta love the English!

Split my picks on the ice in last week’s column, and tonight, if you don’t mind the HEAVY chalk, we’re gonna roll with the Caps at home over the Leafs.

On the NBA board, we cashed a ticket with the Pacers +8.5 points over the Cavs in Game 1. This evening, we’re gonna throw down a little 6-point two-team teaser. We know all about Rondo’s broken thumb, but the line has moved from Chicago -1 or -2 on the overnights, to Boston now -2. We will stay with the tease, and get a better number, taking the Bulls from +2 to +8 points over the Celtics, then grab the Jazz, and take ’em from +2 to +8 points against the Clippers.

Closing out a sweet Easter weekend, we put some more cash in the wallet when we dropped a few pennies on Julio Teheran and the Braves, who rolled over the Padres 5-2 (tell me that ‘rolled over’ in the same graph as Easter was not a little Hemingway-esque.) Looking at the Phillies tonight with Jeremy Hellickson over the Braves and Bartolo Colon.

Benjamin Eckstein is a nationally syndicated sportswriter/oddsmaker. His column, America's Line, with the Ecks & Bacon appetizer, has run in the New York Daily News and over 100 other papers since 1988. You can follow him online at www.americasline.com. He is beloved by most, when he picks winners, and detested by others, when he picks the occasional loser. If you wanna piece of Eck, hit his email...ben@americasline.com.

Archived Articles

Vegas veteran Benjamin Eckstein, author of Americas Line, brings three decades of experience to make weekly picks in his 'Ecks & Bacon' column.

Las Vegas — Not a great week for some prominent Vegas bettors. Billy Walters, or Uncle Billy to those of us in town, was convicted of federal insider-trading charges in a case that could send him to the Big House for a few years. According to Bloomberg News, jurors in Manhattan returned the verdict after hearing weeks of testimony that Walters earned $43 million over six years trading on tips from Tom C. Davis, the former chairman of Dean Foods Co. Davis, who was Walters’ friend, business partner and golfing pal of more than 20 years, was the government’s star witness. Testimony featured golfer Phil Mickelson and billionaire investor Carl Icahn, as well as a seamy world of gambling debts, stock tips delivered on burner phones and charity money used for prostitutes. The jury found him guilty of all 10 counts of fraud and conspiracy after about five hours of deliberations. OUCH!

Another Vegas guy, “Vegas Dave,” was indicted by a federal grand jury on charges that he used phoney social security numbers to open accounts at sportsbooks around town. OOPS! This is a guy who claims to SQUASH the bookies in Vegas with his betting prowess. Took a look at his website, and saw this. SERIOUSLY, word for word!

“Known as the ‘Baseball King,’ Vegas Dave’s biggest money makers are the MLB packages with 4 straight winning seasons in the books. This year, Dave is launching both the MLB System 1 & 2 packages, the upgraded Exotic Parlay Package, and the MLB future package. The System 1 & 2 combo plays are Dave’s bread and butter with a stellar 159-4 record over the last four seasons.” C’MON Dave, 159 and FREAKIN’ 4. If he went 159-4, which is possible (insert a CHOKING sound right here), then it’s also possible that I have six TESTICLES, nine private ISLANDS in the Pacific, and a HAREM of eight women. One for each day, and of course, TWO on Sunday.

Lemme come back down to earth with some of my own winning picks. Not gonna tell you that I’ll hit at 98% like my man Dave has posted, but should be able to squeeze out a few winners. 

On the ice tonight, Ecks & Bacon is gonna feast on the Wild and the Oil. On the NBA board, the only series upset we see in the first round is the Jazz over the Clippers, but at +8.5, we’ll tickle the Pacers over the Cavs in the opener. And we dropped a few pennies on the Braves tonight with Julio Teheran over the Padres.
 
Hope all your Easter eggs are filled with WINNERS!!!

Benjamin Eckstein is a nationally syndicated sportswriter/oddsmaker. His column, America's Line, with the Ecks & Bacon appetizer, has run in the New York Daily News and over 100 other papers since 1988. You can follow him online at www.americasline.com. He is beloved by most, when he picks winners, and detested by others, when he picks the occasional loser. If you wanna piece of Eck, hit his email...ben@americasline.com.

Archived Articles

Las Vegas — When I fell down the stairs at my house a few years ago, it cost me like 37 bucks for some bandages and those Salonpas patches. Dustin Johnson, the world No. 1, fell down the stairs, and it could cost him close to a couple of million. DJ was the betting favorite heading into the Masters, and if past history was any indication, even if he didn’t win, he probably woulda had at least a top-10. He had a fourth last year and a sixth in 2015. And even the 10th guy walks away from Augusta with $270,000. So, we’ve had a ton of emails asking what happens to the future bets made before the Masters started because more cash was bet on DJ than on any other golfer. Well, it’s a mixed bag, depending on where you bought a ticket. You’re a happy camper if you opened your wallet at the Wynn, my absolute favorite joint in town, or the Westgate, South Point, Golden Nugget and Station Casinos. You get to suck wind if you stepped to the counter at Caesars, William Hill, MGM, Boyd Gaming, or CG Tech. Hope you were in the right place.

In case you wanna follow my picks, my future tickets were on Jordan Spieth at 7/1, Rory McIlroy at 8/1, Jason Day at 20/1, Hideki Matsuyama at 20/1, Jon Rahm at 25/1 and Paul Casey at 40/1. Also took a flyer at 10/1 odds that there would be a hole-in-one on the 12th hole. For $20, why not.

Why do they keep paying people to do polls that EVERYONE knows the answer to? Just gimme the cash and I’ll tell you what’s what. Morning Consult, a non-partisan digital media survey company, did a poll for the American Gaming Association that asked how you felt about legalizing sports gambling. Of course, I am biased, TOTALLY BIASED, since this is how I’ve kept the lights on and the pool full for the last 30+ years. But the results were pretty interesting. It was a SLAM DUNK for my crowd, my people, the Ecks & Bacon Nation. Some 44 percent favored it strongly, 23 percent favored it, eight percent opposed it strongly, seven percent just opposed, and 19 percent said they didn’t know or had no opinion. By the way, that 19 percent was my wife, Mrs. Ecks & Bacon, and her weekly mah-jong crew. So, almost 70 percent are in favor, a thin 15 percent not, and the rest could care less. Now that the U.S. Senate is done squabbling about the latest Supreme Court nominee, maybe they can roll over to sports betting. C’MON!!!

Sliding over to the bases, we dropped some cash on the Pirates today in the home opener. If they lost to the Braves today, then we will drop a little more cash on the Bucs in the Saturday matchup.

Benjamin Eckstein is a nationally syndicated sportswriter/oddsmaker. His column, America's Line, with the Ecks & Bacon appetizer, has run in the New York Daily News and over 100 other papers since 1988. You can follow him online at www.americasline.com. He is beloved by most, when he picks winners, and detested by others, when he picks the occasional loser. If you want a piece of Eck, hit his email...ben@americasline.com.

Archived Articles

Vegas veteran Benjamin Eckstein, author of Americas Line, brings three decades of experience to make weekly picks in his 'Ecks & Bacon' column.

Las Vegas — Don’t know how many of you have been following the Phil Mickelson/Billy Walters adventure, but just saw that Lefty ladled over almost two million bones to Uncle Billy to pay off his gambling debts. We knew that Phil liked to dabble in my world, but had no idea that he was on his way to becoming a WHALE-sized bettor. Just a few words of advice to Lefty, CALL ME! Might not win you millions, but we WILL grind out a profit.

On to Phoenix and the Final Four. In the early game, it’s gonna be Carolina +7 if you drop by the Westgate, Caesars, the Stratosphere or any of the Station Casinos here in Vegas. Forget about the Gonzaga blowout over Xavier, but rather look at the struggle against West Virginia. “Press Virginia” ranked fourth in adjusted defensive efficiency in the KenPom ratings, while the Carolina D was No. 2. And yes, Gonzaga rolled in at No. 1. So, aside from taking the dog, we’re gonna look to go UNDER the posted total of 138.5 with these two defensive beasts.

However, we’re thinking that South Carolina’s No. 2 ranking is more impressive than the ’Zags’ No. 1 ranking because of the strength of their respective conferences. The SEC posted an 81.27 Sagarin rating (No. 5), while the West Coast Conference was down at 72.97 (No. 11). Gonzaga squeezes out a W, but it’s the Gamecocks and UNDER at the betting window.

Next up, we got Oregon +5 points over North Carolina. Think that the Ducks have been undervalued here because of the Tar Heels’ rep. Look at the Sagarin Ratings, and there’s just a three-point differential between the teams. UNC checks in at 93.50, and Oregon is at 90.52. Everyone is always puffing up the ACC, but last time I looked, they had only one team in the Final Four, and SO DOES the Pac-12. Sure, the Heels are a fabulous team, but if there is one weakness, it’s their hot ’n’ cold outside shooting.

And when Oregon throws the matchup zone at ’em, it could be a bit of trouble. Carolina gets WAY more TV face time than the Ducks, because of the late starts out west, but PLZ do not sleep on this team with the bizarre Day-Glo uniforms. They are well coached, relentless and have a YUGE chip on their shoulder. Putting the Tar Heels back in the final, but only by a field goal.

If you don’t have them yet, here are all the SPREAD stats. The ’Zags come in with an overall 24-10-2 record against the spread, 24-10-2 as a favorite and 12-4-2 on the road. As for the totals, Gonzaga went OVER 17 times and UNDER 18 times. The Gamecocks posted a 15-18 record against the spread, 6-4 as an underdog and 8-9 on the road. As for the totals, South Carolina went OVER 14 times, UNDER 18 times and pushed once.

And in the nightcap, the Tar Heels posted a 19-17-1 record against the spread, 19-15-1 as a favorite and 7-12-1 on the road. As for the totals, the Heels went OVER 15 times and UNDER 22 times. The Ducks posted a 22-14-1 record against the spread, 3-1 as an underdog and 11-6-1 on the road. As for the totals, the Ducks went OVER 18 times and UNDER 19 times.

Benjamin Eckstein is a nationally syndicated sportswriter/oddsmaker. His column, America's Line, with the Ecks & Bacon appetizer, has run in the New York Daily News and over 100 other papers since 1988. You can follow him online at www.americasline.com. He is beloved by most, when he picks winners, and detested by others, when he picks the occasional loser. If you want a piece of Eck, hit his email...ben@americasline.com.

Archived Articles

Vegas veteran Benjamin Eckstein, author of Americas Line, brings three decades of experience to make weekly picks in his 'Ecks & Bacon' column.

Las Vegas — Don’t know if you heard about this one. A Kenyan woman won 31 million shillings, about $300,000 USD, at a sports betting site by predicting 16 of 17 games. Understand that men across Kenya are reaching out to her. Damn, we’re reaching out as well. What is it that my daughters always tell me???

Boys DROOL, Girls RULE!!!

Not sure how addicted you all are to hockey, college hockey, but we have a play for you tomorrow in the men’s regional semifinals in Cincinnati. We’re gonna take Union over Penn State. The Dutchmen are sitting at -$120, which is a pretty reasonable price, and they should have no trouble skating past the Nittany Lions.

Some spread stats you’ll need before stepping up to the counter to wager. In the Baylor-South Carolina game, the Bears finished at 15-15 against the spread, 11-13 as a favorite and 8-6 on the road. And for you totals lovers, Baylor went OVER 15 times and UNDER 16 times. The Gamecocks posted a 13-18 record against the spread, 4-4 as an underdog and 6-9 on the road. As for the totals, South Carolina went OVER 13, UNDER 17 and pushed once.

In the Florida-Wisconsin game, the Gators put together a 20-13 spread record, 18-13 as a favorite and 8-7 on the road. As for the totals, Florida went OVER 14 and UNDER 19. Wisconsin had a 17-16 record, 1-3 as an underdog and 8-10 on the road. As for the totals, Wisky went OVER 13, UNDER 18 and pushed twice.

In the North Carolina-Butler game, the Tar Heels posted an 18-16-1 record, 18-14-1 as a favorite and 6-11-1 on the road. As for the totals, the Heels went OVER 14 and UNDER 21. Butler finished with a 20-12 record, 4-1 as an underdog and 10-6 on the road. As for the totals, the Bulldogs went OVER 14, UNDER 18 and pushed once.

In the UCLA-Kentucky game, the Bruins posted a 17-18 record, 13-12-2 as a favorite and 6-9 on the road. As for the totals, UCLA went OVER 17, UNDER 15 and pushed three. Kentucky closed with a 17-17-2 record against the spread, 0-1 as an underdog and 6-9-2 on the road. As for the totals, the Wildcats went OVER 17 and UNDER 19.

Oh yeah, the picks. Gonna play a total and rock under 167 in the UCLA/Kentucky game. Then gonna drop a little 6-point three-team teaser on you. Start with South Carolina, and bump the Gamecocks up from +3.5 to +9.5 points against Baylor. Take North Carolina and drop the Tar Heels from -7.5 to -1.5 points against Butler. Close with Kentucky and bump the Wildcats up from +1 to +7 points against UCLA.

As for tomorrow’s regional finals, been looking at the lines, but gonna need a bit more time to study, so PLZ hit my website, www.americasline.com, to check out the selections. And make sure to rock all the FABULOUS OddsShark stats so you can be armed with the info you need to cash.

Benjamin Eckstein is a nationally syndicated sportswriter/oddsmaker. His column, America's Line, with the Ecks & Bacon appetizer, has run in the New York Daily News and over 100 other papers since 1988. You can follow him online at www.americasline.com. He is beloved by most, when he picks winners, and detested by others, when he picks the occasional loser. If you want a piece of Eck, hit his email...ben@americasline.com.

Archived Articles

Vegas veteran Benjamin Eckstein, author of Americas Line, brings three decades of experience to make weekly picks in his 'Ecks & Bacon' column.

Las Vegas — Had everything ready for a phenomenal first day of March Madness, great mood, ready for some winners, then some marketing coordinator from Louisville posts stuff like this:

‘As the nation's elite college basketball teams dream of cutting the nets at the end of March Madness, a lot of men are working on cutting something else: their vas deferens.’

OK, first of all, I did NOT even know we had ‘VAS DEFERENS!’

What are they? They are the tubes that carry sperm from a man's bizness to his urethra. Apparently, according to First Urology of Louisville, a bunch of men schedule vasectomies so they might enjoy a few days of uninterrupted basketball. Some call it Vas Madness, yeah right, and urologists have run specials that include pizza coupons. You're on doctor's orders to not only skip work but to restrict movement. You have everyone's sympathy because a cauterizing gun was employed, you know, down there — and no more babies.

 "For the last maybe three weeks we've had a flood of inquiries online," said marketing coordinator Angie Marnell of Louisville's First Urology. “We have 27 urologists available to do vasectomies, so we can spread those guys out and get them all taken care of." And this happens in other areas of the country, too. The Cleveland Clinic reported a 10% increase in the number of vasectomies right before March Madness between 2014 and 2016, according to Men's Health magazine.

Doctors recommend keeping a supply of frozen peas handy for the pain and swelling. I’m thinking of throwing a bag of frozen peas at these folks for bringing me down.

Speaking of down, Derek Stevens, who owns “The D” in downtown Vegas, and loves to bet on sports, went on VSiN, the new Brent Musburger network, and did a segment where he wagered $10,000 on every first-round game. Don’t know how he is doing today, but his Thursday was brutal, as in 3-14-2. In order to make any money, Stevens needs a sweep of every game today. YIKES!

Cross the pond, and come with me to Middlesbrough, where we’re gonna open the wallet and grab the Smoggies, yeah, the Smoggies, against a depleted Manchester United team. How depleted? Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Ander Herrera are suspended, and Paul Pogba will sit because of a hamstring strain.

Oh yeah, a little Madness, huh. Looking at Middle Tennessee State +4 points over Butler, and not just because the Blue Raiders have a kid with THE BEST name in college hoops, GIDDY POTTS, but it helps. Also dropping a few bucks on Arizona -4 points over Saint Mary’s.

Benjamin Eckstein is a nationally syndicated sportswriter/oddsmaker. His column, America's Line, with the Ecks & Bacon appetizer, has run in the New York Daily News and over 100 other papers since 1988. You can follow him online at www.americasline.com. He is beloved by most, when he picks winners, and detested by others, when he picks the occasional loser. If you want a piece of Eck, hit his email...ben@americasline.com.

Archived Articles

Vegas veteran Benjamin Eckstein, author of Americas Line, brings three decades of experience to make weekly picks in his 'Ecks & Bacon' column.

Warren Buffett told me there was no position for an oddsmaker/handicapper at the moment, but once sports betting is legalized across the country, the Buff man told me to give him a call.

Gotta vent. You got a second. For years, like forever, like since the Renaissance, I have been warning people off parlays and teasers. For those not into the minutiae of the Renaissance, you might wanna know that it was from 1300 to 1600, and according to some ancient textbooks, they had some fierce handicappers. You think all Leonardo da Vinci did was paint, Michelangelo sculpt, Columbus sail, Shakespeare write. UH UH. We have it on good authority that they all were handicapping sporting events with metrics that were WAY ahead of any we are using at the moment.

Back in the day, you could wager on sports like swimming, archery, and a thing they called ‘mob football.’ Still a little hazy on the specifics of ‘mob football,’ but heard through the grapevine that Columbus was particularly adept, and had a record of 92-3 before he set out for the Americas. Also heard that he was gonna start a sports handicapping service, but even back then, NO ONE believed he was THAT good. And don’t even get me started on jousting.

Back to me being an IDIOT. So, what do I do this week. Picked five games on Wednesday and Thursday, had three winners, two losers, and did NOT show a profit. Why? TEASERS! OK, yes, I’m an IDIOT. Don’t even listen to my own words of wisdom. Good thing that you all were not along for the ride.

However, the ride you HAVE been along for here in the Ecks & Bacon column for OddsShark the last few weeks has been super profitable. After hitting five of six two weeks ago, we followed with four of five on the college hoop board. And also collected a few bucks over in England when Leicester City beat Hull.

Speaking of England, we’ll drop over for a quick taste of Everton over West Brom. With Romelu Lukaku hitting the net at an amazing rate, gotta open the wallet and throw a few euros at the Toffees.

Don’t have all the tournament matchups as we sit at the keyboard, so PLZ check out my website, www.americasline.com, for all the updated picks.

But we will give you SMU against either Central Florida or Memphis. Tim Jankovich has the Mustangs playing out of their minds. Timmy J took over as interim coach last season, and posted a 9-0 record. Southern Methodist is 28-4 this season, so at 37-4 overall, you kinda get the feeling that this guy CAN coach ’em up. Would also take Notre Dame plus the points if the Irish get to the ACC final against either North Carolina or Duke.

Benjamin Eckstein is a nationally syndicated sportswriter/oddsmaker. His column, America's Line, with the Ecks & Bacon appetizer, has run in the New York Daily News and over 100 other papers since 1988. You can follow him online at www.americasline.com. He is beloved by most, when he picks winners, and detested by others, when he picks the occasional loser. If you want a piece of Eck, hit his email...ben@americasline.com.

Archived Articles

Vegas veteran Benjamin Eckstein, author of Americas Line, brings three decades of experience to make weekly picks in his 'Ecks & Bacon' column.

Sadly, this will be my last column for OddsShark. When you stop crying, lemme tell you why. I will be applying for a job at Berkshire Hathaway, Warren Buffett’s company. Why? The billionaire business mogul said that any company employee who can accurately predict the NCAA men's basketball "Sweet 16" tournament bracket will receive $1 million every year…FOR LIFE!!! Buffett said, "We also have a prize of $100,000 for whoever goes the furthest. Last year, we had two guys that tied. One of them knew a lot about basketball, the other didn't know anything, but they each got $50,000 out of it." Not sure which of his companies I will apply to, because my skill set doesn’t really fit with Fruit of the Loom, GEICO or Dairy Queen. However, I do LOVE a DQ banana split blizzard. Thinking about a position as lead oddsmaker/handicapper for the BH Media Group which owns the Roanoke Times, the Tulsa World, the Waco Tribune-Herald and about 60 other papers. Not sure when my application will process, or when I’ll get an answer, so you might see another Ecks & Bacon next week.

And, if I get turned down by Warren Buffett, I’ll lace up my Adidas sneakers and try breaking the record for the fastest 40-yard dash at the NFL combine. Why? They are giving away an island. Yeah, a FREAKIN’ ISLAND!!! Adidas is offering an island to any prospect who breaks the 4.24-second time clocked at the combine by Chris Johnson in 2008 — as long as it is done in the company's 2017 Adizero 5-Star 40 cleats — and agrees to endorse the company’s shoes for the entire 2017-18 season. I’m TOTALLY down.

Quick trip across the pond for some EPL action, and I’ll grab Leicester City over Hull City. Apparently, the Foxes were thrilled to get rid of Claudio Ranieri, and blew away Liverpool 3-1 for acting manager Craig Shakespeare. Don’t think he’s related to Willy, but I’m still checking. Leicester still needs a few more points to stay out of the ‘Relegation Zone,’ so look for the Foxes to post another W.

Before we get to the college board, gotta throw some light on……ME. Never like to brag, but after hitting five of six last week in this space, why not.

Got a handful of tourneys and the last huge Saturday card of the regular season, and we’ll kick it with North Carolina over Duke. The Tar Heels came up on the short end of an 86-78 loss at Cameron, and will be MORE than ready to extract their pound of flesh in the final home game. Also like Ohio State over Indiana, Notre Dame against Louisville and Colorado over California.

Benjamin Eckstein is a nationally syndicated sportswriter/oddsmaker. His column, America's Line, with the Ecks & Bacon appetizer, has run in the New York Daily News and over 100 other papers since 1988. You can follow him online at www.americasline.com. He is beloved by most, when he picks winners, and detested by others, when he picks the occasional loser. If you want a piece of Eck, hit his email...ben@americasline.com.

Archived Articles

Vegas veteran Benjamin Eckstein, author of Americas Line, brings three decades of experience to make weekly picks in his 'Ecks & Bacon' column.

My MAN, goalkeeper for the Sutton United Football Club in London, Wayne Shaw, provided an AMAZING betting moment when Sutton hosted Arsenal in the fifth round of the FA Cup. A little bit about the Wayner. He’s only the backup goalkeeper, or, the ROLY POLY GOALIE. The RPG is 46 years old, six-foot-two and somewhere north of 300 pounds, or 23 stone as the British like to say. If you’re interested, a stone equals 14 pounds.

The Gunners were a YUGE favorite in the game, and wound up with a 2-0 win, but the bookies, looking for yet another way to take your money, came up with some prop bets.

Sun Bets, a small bookmaker in England, wanted to stand out from the crowd, and offered up a prop bet that Shaw would eat a pie on the sideline during the match. The odds were 8/1. In the 83rd minute of the match, Shaw was caught on camera dining on a meat and potato pie on the sideline.

Unfortunately, Shaw’s meal spurred a formal investigation into gambling. The Wayner said that he had not profited from his pie, but knew that others had. An honest guy, right. They have this term called “spot fixing,” where some bad guys take advantage of the side bets offered by bookies. The bookie, Sun Bets, apparently enjoyed the publicity, saying it had lost a five-figure sum on the bet. Hmmmmmmmm. Have not heard back from Sun, but will try and confirm.

Before we get to the big fat college hoop board, drive with me down to Florida for a look at the Daytona 500. Just so you know, Dale Earnhardt Jr. is my guy, my favorite driver. So of course, I have to throw down a few bucks on the kid at like 7/1. Then we would look at Denny Hamlin and Joey Logano both at 10/1, Chase Elliott at 15/1, and if you need a long shot, try Ryan Blaney at 50/1.

Kickin’ it over in England, we’ll take a little taste of Watford at home as the Hornets look to sting the visiting West Ham United Hammers. With 472 games on the college hoop board, well, maybe not quite, we’ll step into the Conference of Champions, as Bill Walton calls the Pac-12, and take Arizona to wipe the floor with UCLA, like by at least a dozen. Then move to the ACC and try Pittsburgh as a nice-sized dog at home against North Carolina.

Stay in the ACC, and grab Miami-Florida as a home dog against Duke. In the Big East, if you can take a few points with St. John’s at home over Georgetown, grab it. In the SEC, gotta try Kentucky over Florida in a YUGE revenge game, and close out in the Big Ten with Michigan State as a home dog against Wisky.

Benjamin Eckstein is a nationally syndicated sportswriter/oddsmaker. His column, America's Line, with the Ecks & Bacon appetizer, has run in the New York Daily News and over 100 other papers since 1988. You can follow him online at www.americasline.com. He is beloved by most, when he picks winners, and detested by others, when he picks the occasional loser. If you want a piece of Eck, hit his email...ben@americasline.com.

Archived Articles

Vegas veteran Benjamin Eckstein, author of Americas Line, brings three decades of experience to make weekly picks in his 'Ecks & Bacon' column.

Here’s his latest selections:

Las Vegas – Just saw something that actually made me fall off my chair. For real. Tumbled over on my head and was staring up at the ceiling. Kinda obvious that I have been a stat & numbers freak for many, many years, but this one is just INCREDIBLE. And it’s all about Wayne Gretzky. No wonder why they call him the GREAT ONE. Of all the records that Gretzky holds, the 2,857 career points is virtually unbreakable. But the most amazing part of that number is, his career assists, 1,963, are MORE than ANY OTHER player’s TOTAL points. Yeah, NUTZ right. The ancient Jaromir Jagr just moved into second place on the all-time list, with over 1,900 points, and he is STILL short of the Great One’s assists. I am IN AWE!!!

Before we get to the massive college hoop board, gotta throw some Vegas your way. Tons of people come to my town looking to get married, and sometimes are just priced out. Well, we finally have the answer, and it’s Taco Bell!!! Yeah, you heard me, Taco FREAKIN’ Bell. You can tie the knot in the fast-food chain’s Las Vegas Cantina restaurant as part of its “Love and Tacos contest.” To enter the contest, simply tell what role Taco Bell played in your love story in a photo or a short 30-second video, and post it to Twitter or Instagram with the hashtag #LoveAndTacosContest. Starting March 1, fans will vote on their favorite couples, and judges will choose the finalists.

No, they have NOT asked me to judge. The winning couple will get free airfare to Las Vegas, a Taco Bell-catered dinner at the chain's Las Vegas Cantina restaurant, Taco Bell T-shirts, champagne flutes, and a slew of other perks like wedding photography, a private pool cabana and a VIP table at Drai’s nightclub. For couples who don’t win the contest, but still dream of saying “I do” while munching on some tacos, the window is still open. This summer, couples can purchase a $600 Taco Bell wedding package and walk up to the counter and order a wedding right off the menu at the Vegas location. Yeah, that’s VEGAS, BABY!!!

If you’re not planning on a wedding this weekend, but are planning to open your wallet, here are a few little tasty appetizers. Jumping across the pond, we’re gonna try a three-team parlay in the FA Cup on Saturday, using Middlesbrough, Manchester City and Leicester City.

Then dribble over to the college hoop board, and take Miami-Florida over Clemson, West Virginia over Texas Tech, and UCLA over USC, as long as the line is less than 10.

Enjoy, and make sure to come back next week for some Daytona 500 action.

Benjamin Eckstein is a nationally syndicated sportswriter/oddsmaker. His column, America's Line, with the Ecks & Bacon appetizer, has run in the New York Daily News and over 100 other papers since 1988. You can follow him online at www.americasline.com. He is beloved by most, when he picks winners, and detested by others, when he picks the occasional loser. If you want a piece of Eck, hit his email...ben@americasline.com.

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