Cal Ripken Jr.'s Orioles are featured in Ecks-Rated Tales From Vegas

Ecks-Rated Tales From Vegas: Double Down ... OK In Blackjack, But NOT Baseball!!!

LAS VEGAS — Back in the late 1980s, my head was so large I couldn’t fit it through the front door.

My ego was SO YUGE that I was always walking in a shadow. Seven years of working at the New York Daily News as the lead handicapper/oddsmaker will puff up your brain.

My FREAKIN’ picture was in the paper every day. People would come up to me on the subway and ask me to autograph my column. There were radio shows every week, TV spots on all the morning shows and even famous directors from Hollywood calling to get my advice.

What Could Go Wrong

So, being the GUY, the genius, the man who walked on the third rail without getting electrocuted, I decided to go NUTZ with a baseball wager. This was the start of the 1988 season, and coming out of the gate, the Orioles had already lost 10 in a row.

So being the ultimate GENIUS, I advised my millions of readers to start with game 11 and double up until the O’s won.

I mean, C’MON, how many games could they lose in a row? Fourteen? Fifteen? Sixteen? Seventeen? Well, it turned out that Baltimore lost 21, yes, TWENTY-ONE games in a row before posting a win.

If I had kept doubling till they won, the bet on the 22nd game woulda been $51,200. Didn’t get that far because I swallowed my pride, and all my losses, after game 16.

Yes, I was an IDIOT! And a gigantic lump of you know what, and BOY, did I hear it from the public. Was called every name in the book, some I didn’t even know existed, with some VERY detailed threats to my well-being. 

Losses Are Simply A Bump In The Road

I went from an IDIOT to a GRINDER and have not had a losing season since. Actually KILLING it on the baseball diamond. You might not believe these numbers, because there are now SO many SCAMDICAPPERS telling you how great they are, but mine are all DOCUMENTED in the papers, every day.

In 2020, the COVID year, it was just a mediocre 31-21 record. In 2021, jumped all over the bookies with an 84-50 log and last year I went crazy, posting an 88-39 record.

An idiot no more. If you wanna follow, my picks are posted every day on my website at

Final Four Bets

Gotta throw some cash at the Final Four, and despite making a bundle off Connecticut last weekend, we’re turning to Miami +5.5 points. You know that we love Jim Larranaga, my guy from the Bronx, and think the Hurricanes can hang with anyone.

But Eck, UConn has been DESTROYING the opposition, winning and covering all four games. And the final margins of 24 points, 15 points, 23 points and 28 points have been very impressive. The Hurricanes have also pitched a PERFECTO at the Big Dance, winning and covering all four games. The only difference is the margins have been smaller (7, 16, 14 and 7 points).

I like what the ’Canes have done on the road all year long, covering 10 of the last 11. Tough to buck a 91 percent cover rate. Not calling for the outright upset, but think that Miami is a gonna bark all the way to the bank. Of course, if you can, buy the hook to +6 and enjoy!

Looked at the Florida Atlantic/San Diego State matchup, and after an extensive study session, neither side spoke to my wallet, so it’ll be a pass in the early game.   

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 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

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