LAS VEGAS — PRIME THE PUMP!!!

This is something my wife does when she goes to hit the slot machines. “Prime the pump” bettors are thinking that the wins will not come right away. So, like Mrs. Ecks & Bacon, they start with small bets, work up to larger bets and hope to be betting very large when the wins come.

Told my beauty that you’re as likely to win early as later on, and starting small will miss some winners. The payback percentage will be the same as if you had bet the same amount on every spin.

We heard about Chuck Flick, a slot player who tested many systems and tried “priming the pump.” It’s a small sample size, but in five trials, he had four losing sessions and only one winner. Tried telling that to the Mrs. and she just huffed and said, “I’m gonna trust a guy named Flick?” Point taken!

DRINK UP, OR NOT!!!

If you’re planning on a trip to Qatar to watch the World Cup, drink up on the plane, because drinking alcohol in public in Qatar is illegal. However, the powers that be have decided to bend the rules for those attending the tournament. They’re planning on sending drunk fans to special zones to allow them to sober up. Raise your hand if you’re gonna be standing next to me.

What will the SOBER-UP ZONES look like? And will they be sponsored by Budweiser? Don’t have those answers yet, but continuing to explore.

Heard that the England wives and girlfriends are looking into booking cruise ships to get their drink on. According to the UK government’s official website, drinking in a public place could result in a prison sentence of up to six months in Qatar. The tournament’s CEO, Nasser Al Khater, has hinted that alcohol will be available in fan zones and outside of stadiums during the World Cup, although drinking will not be allowed inside the grounds.

But don’t freak all the way out. Alcohol is available at licensed hotel restaurants and bars, and expatriates living in Qatar can obtain alcohol on a permit system.

Also, be very careful what swear words you use, and DO NOT throw out the middle finger. Making rude gestures are considered obscene acts and offenders can be jailed and/or deported. And finally, don’t DARE kiss your wife/girlfriend in public because that can lead to an arrest as well. The moral of this story is STAY HOME!!!

WINNERS ONLY!!!

Looking out west tomorrow and gonna try UCLA +6.5 points over Oregon. OK, OK. I know the first thing you’re gonna tell me is that the Ducks have not lost at home since 2019. That’s 22-0 and that’s AMAZING.

But that’s straight wins, NOT against the spread. Over that 22-game stretch, the Ducks covered 10 and failed to cover nine times. The other three were games against cupcakes with no line.

Now they face a SUPER solid UCLA squad that is 6-0 straight up and 4-1 against the spread. Chip Kelly, the old Oregon coach, seems to have the Bruins heading in the right direction. An arrow straight UP! They have the BEST defense in the Pac-12 and the most efficient passing game with Dorian Thompson-Robinson at QB. They are physical and don’t mind packing a bag, covering eight of the last nine on the road.

We understand that Autzen Stadium is one of the toughest places to play, but gotta have UCLA for the money! And of course, PLZ buy the hook to +7!

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.

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