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 — Quite a three-day weekend for Ecks & Bacon, and heck yeah, I’m still counting my money after nailing a Tiger prop. We had Tiger to three-putt at +$800 and Tiger did. WOOOOOO HOOOOO! Totally blew the call on the Michigan/Ohio State game on Saturday, but then bounced back Sunday with the Patriots as a BEST BET Sportsbook.
No Tiger props this week, so we’ll start off with the Big 12 title tilt. First some numbers. Fifty-six, forty, forty-seven, forty-six. Those are the points that the Oklahoma defense has given up the last four weeks. And you can throw in a FORTY-EIGHT, which was the total points scored by the Longhorns back in October at the Red River Showdown in a 48-45 win. Unless I’m missing something, the +8 looks like a Phabulous buy. Looked over Texas’ body of work this season, and 9-3 ain’t terrible. Also looked at the three losses, and they came against Maryland, 34-29, Oklahoma State, 38-35, and West Virginia, 42-41.
Of course you noticed that NONE of the losses was by more than five points. And gotta throw in this last gem. Under Tom Herman, the Longhorns have turned a MASSIVE profit as an underdog the last two years, covering seven of eight with one push. At 88%, the only thing left to say is, HOOK ’EM HORNS.
Got a little championship teaser for you as well. In the American Athletic Conference title game, we’re gonna take Memphis, and bump the Tigers up from +3 to +13 points over UCF. Then move to the SEC, take Georgia and raise the Bulldogs from +13.5 to +23.5 points against Alabama. Close it out in the Big Ten with Ohio State, and drop the Buckeyes from -14 to -4 points over Northwestern.
On Sunday, we’re gonna have some fun and double up the BEST BETS. Kick it off with the Packers -14 points over the Cards. Didn’t let the double-digit line scare me away from a best bet last week with the Patriots (bought it at -10) and not gonna let it scare me up in Cheese Land this week. Sure, Green Bay is below sea level at 4-6-1, but Aaron Rodgers told us that he was gonna run the table again. He did it last time he made the promise, so why not again, starting against the sad-sack Arizona team.
The Cardinals were destroyed by the Chargers last week, 45-10, and we’re expecting a similar score this week. Why? Oh, we have reasons. The last time the Packers lost against a high-profile team, 31-17 to the Patriots in Week 8, they came back home against a lousy team the next week, the Dolphins, and breezed to a 31-12 victory. So, we’re gonna go a little crazy. Not only will the Pack be, yup, my BEST BET, BABY, but also doubling down and BEST BETTING the Cheeseheads in the first half. And would not protest if you wanted to parlay the BEST BETS!
And plz, PLZ hit me on Twitter over the weekend, @vegasvigorish, just in case anything else pops.
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 Sportsbooks, and detested by others, when he picks the occasional loser. If you wanna piece of Eck, hit his email...email@example.com.