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 — Before we win a TON of money on a couple of soccer matches in the Bundesliga, gotta throw an NBA Mount Rushmore question at you.
Paul Pierce just gave his ALL-TIME top five, and it’s very interesting. He has Michael Jordan, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Bill Russell, Magic Johnson and Kobe Bryant.
OK, now it’s my turn and your turn. Gimme your Mount Rushmore +1 and we’ll post the results down the road. Here’s mine, and my truth is way different than Double P. Kareem gets the George Washington slot as the BEST ever. And do I need to remind you of his STAGGERING numbers? OK, here:
- 6x Champion
- 6x MVP
- 19x All-Star
- 10x All-NBA 1st Team
- 4x NBA Blocks Leader
- 2x Scoring Champ
- 38,387 Career Points
- 17,440 Career Rebounds
Put that up against Air Jordan, and Mr. SkyHook is my top dog. Then you combine that with college, where he WAS THE BEST PLAYER EVER, and it’s MY GUY from NYC with the largest slab of granite on the mountain. MJ gets the Abraham Lincoln slot as the #2. Giving the Teddy Roosevelt bust to Bill Russell at #3. And #4, the Thomas Jefferson slab, goes to King James. Had trouble with the +1, so I’m going with a dead heat, and using a +2. Hey, it’s my column. In no particular order, got Kobe and the Big Fundamental, Tim Duncan, looking over the shoulders of the top four.
VERY curious to see who you all have as NUMERO UNO!!!
Hit me at the usual spot, email@example.com.
Back to the German Bundesliga and we’re taking a look at Bayern Munich vs Eintracht Frankfurt. NO ONE in their right mind is gonna lay $700 to win back $100 on Bayern, well, almost no one, so we have found another way to make you money. The OVER/UNDER goal total is listed at 3.5, and we’re going OVER, WAY OVER. Why? OH do we have a WHY! And its name is REVENGE! Bayern is at the top of the Bundesliga table, but The Bavarians were HUMILIATED the last time they played the Hot Dogs in Frankfurt, losing 5-1.
Frankfurt’s actual nickname is the Eagles, but tell me that the HOT DOGS ain’t perfection. SO, now, Bayern catches the Hot Dogs in Munich, with revenge on the table and a scoring machine that never stops. Bayern has scored 75 goals in 26 games, while the Hot Dogs have managed just 39. Look for The Bavarians to net at least four goals, maybe five, or even six. O...O...OVER BAAABBEEE!!!
Also looking at Borussia Dortmund vs VFL Wolfsburg OVER 3 goals. The game is at Wolfsburg but the kids from Dortmund need a W here to keep up with Bayern before this coming Tuesday’s match at home, which could determine the Bundesliga champion. Borussia, or The Black and Yellows, came back from the lockdown with a 4-0 bagel against Schalke 04 last week, and will look to fill the net again.
In their last match back in November, Dortmund fed Wolfsburg a 3-0 bagel, and they love to push the envelope. Actually, if you want some really geeky soccer stat, The Black and Yellows’ work creating chances is top-shelf. It’s THE BEST in the league, with an 82.4 percent pass completion rate in the attacking third. Might drop a very light play on Dortmund to get a road win at -135, but the big pile of chips is all over the OVER BAAABBEEE!!!
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...firstname.lastname@example.org.