LAS VEGAS — FREE MONEY, BAABBBEEE!!!

When we first moved to Vegas, my wife would scour the casino floor for slot machines that had some money left, or, some coins in the drop bucket/drop box. Obviously, I would walk the other way for fear of being seen SCROUNGING for nickels.

That was 30 years ago. Now, most of the slot machines will give you a TITO voucher when you finish playing, and you’ll bring it to the redemption machine or the cage. What is a TITO voucher? It’s not the former president of Yugoslavia, Josip Broz Tito, but rather ticket in/ticket out

So, you’re walking to the buffet to get a little nosh after winning a few bucks, and you lose your ticket. No biggie. It was only worth $2.75. Yeah, but you know how much those little TITOs added up to last year? How about $22 million. Did you hear me? If not, I’m screaming, TWENTY-TWO MILLION!!! Found out that these TITO vouchers expire after 180 days. Nevada collects 75 percent and the casino grabs the other 25 percent. So, now, I walk RIGHT NEXT TO MY WIFE looking for TITOs, and don’t care who sees me!

Speaking of slots, apparently, Brian Christopher is THE slot guy. According to his website, Brian is a top content creator in the casino gaming world. Originally from Toronto, he is now based in Palm Springs, California. He publishes daily videos playing slots in casinos and online, showing millions of fans how to have a great time using an entertainment budget.

When you hit the website, you’ll find the various events he is rocking, including a seven-day cruise to the Mexican Riviera via Carnival Panorama in September. In November, you get to step aboard the Carnival Mardi Gras and get involved in a MILLION-DOLLAR tournament. Christopher also has a meet & greet here in Vegas at the Plaza in November. There is something called a GROUP PULL. Not sure what that is, and NOT even gonna speculate!

Told you that we would have a TASTY pick for you to start the college football season, so get out your forks & knives and open the wallet. And get out your frequent flyer miles ‘cause we’re goin’ to Hawaii.

The Rainbow Warriors welcome Vanderbilt to Honolulu and Vandy is now a -9 favorite. You might have seen a trend floating around that Hawaii has covered 11 of the last 12 home openers. It’s TRUE! Major problems last season in Honolulu with head coach Todd Graham, and they took his lei away. Enter Timothy Kealii’okaaina Awa Chang, or Timmy, who was a record-setting QB in Honolulu from 2000 to 2004. If you don’t remember, he passed for 17,072 yards, and only Case Keenum from Texas Tech finished with more (19,217).

Sadly, Timmy AIN’T gonna QB the Warriors, so we’re gonna pass on the +9 but play an OVER/UNDER total. When you find it, no matter what the number, probably around 12, we’re FLYING OVER on the first-quarter total. Both teams will be jacked and both will look to move the ball fast. Vandy gave up an average of 12.2 points per game in the 1st Q last season. WORST in the FBS! So, we’re banking on at least 14 points in the 1st Q, and you can take that to the BANK!!!

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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