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Las Vegas Expert Picks: Boxing, NCAAF & NFL

Carson Wentz leads our Las Vegas Expert Picks this week

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 — Been living in Vegas for almost 35 years, but still not a huge fan of the local teams, unless we can make some money.

Think that UNLV, at plus YO ELEVEN, might be the path to add a little love to the bank account. The Rebels lost their first eight games to open the season, but did not go into vacation mode and came back with two wins in a row.

They beat New Mexico 31-17 and Hawaii 27-13. Not earth-shattering news, and teams that DO NOT compare to San Diego State, but still, two wins is two wins. They’ve also covered five of the last seven, and second-year coach Marcus Arroyo might have some secret sauce in his prep for the Aztecs in the final home game of the season.

If you’re wondering about Arroyo, before coming to Vegas, he was the offensive coordinator/QB coach at Oregon for three years. Part of Arroyo’s secret sauce is running back Charles Williams. He’s not on any Heisman list, but if you look at the top RBs in the country, Williams is sitting at No. 12, with 1,089 yards and 13 rushing touchdowns.

Last week against Hawaii, Charles EXPLODED for 266 yards on 38 carries, with three TDs. And just a little useless info: Williams broke the Rebels’ record of 37 carries by the GREAT Elbert L. “Ickey” Woods.

How many of you remember the “Ickey Shuffle”? Raise your hands, baby! We should also tell you that UNLV is a sandwich game for the Aztecs, who are coming off a gigantic win over Nevada, and hosting Boise State next week to close the season. Should also tell you that State has covered only one of the last five, and while we’re not suggesting betting on an outright upset at your local sportsbook, gimme Vegas and YO ELEVEN, BAABBBEEE!!!

College Football Pick - Utah State

Rolling out west tomorrow, the Mountain West to be specific, and taking Utah State over Wyoming. This game is the perfect example of teams going in the OPPOSITE direction. Utah State opened the season with an OK 3-2 record, but since losing to BYU back in October, the Aggies have ripped off FIVE wins in a row. The Cowboys from Laramie are struggling. They jumped out of the starting gate with a gorgeous 4-0 log, but have ONLY one win in the last six games.

And if you’re looking for the reason, or reasons, that Utah State is rocking, lemme present QB Logan Bonner and WR Deven Thompkins. Bonner has completed 61 percent of his passes for 2,749 yards and 25 TDs. Thompkins, a surefire NFL kid, has been amazing, and he LEADS the country with 1,441 receiving yards. Gotta have the Aggies in their final home game of the season.   

Boxing Pick - Crawford/Porter

Getting into the ring tomorrow night for the Terence Crawford/Shawn Porter fight, but do NOT plan on laying $800 to win back $100. However, do have a wager on the OVER/UNDER, which is 10.5 rounds, and we’re going LOW. “Bud” Crawford KNOWS how to hit. In his 37 fights, 28 have been LIGHTS-OUT. Understand that “Showtime” Porter has a really good chin, but this matchup has UNDER written all over it. And, you’ll be getting a SWEET underdog price, like +220. BOOK IT!!!

NFL Pick - 10-Point Teaser

After laughing all the way to the bank last Sunday with my BEST BET, Dallas over Atlanta, gonna come back with a DELICIOUS three-team, 10-point teaser for your wagering pleasure. Start out with Cleveland and drop the Browns from -11 to -1 point over Detroit. The Baker might not be 100 percent, but he gets Nick Chubb back this week, and that is a major weapon for the offense. Then we roll up north to Buffalo, grab the Colts, and plump Indy up from +7 to +17 points against the Bills. Close up shop down south and drop Tennessee from -10 points to a pick’em against Houston.


And if you want more picks this weekend on the college and NFL board, PLZ hit me on Instagram. I will be doing quick 15-second picks at www.instagram.com/vegasvigorish!

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.