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The Los Angeles Lakers are featured in this week's Las Vegas expert picks.

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 — A little afternoon action down in Texas at the AAC Tournament between Temple and Tulane. The Owls opened at -1 and in a hour, the Green Wave went to -1. I understand that two of the Owls, Jeremiah Williams and Quincy Ademokoya, are both listed as questionable, but neither kid played in Temple’s 75-70 win in Philly back in February.

The Owls fly in with a solid 17-11 record, while Tulane struggled to a 13-14 mark. Temple has won four of its last six, with the two losses coming against Houston and Memphis, two LEGIT tourney teams. The owl is my favorite bird and the Owls are my favorite play today.

NCAAB Pick

Staying in Vegas tonight for a Pac-12 matchup between Arizona and Colorado. No doubt the Wildcats are gonna be a No. 1 or 2 seed at the Big Dance, but this herd of Buffaloes can hoop. The Buffs just smoked a pretty good Oregon team last night 80-69, and the last time they hooked ’Zona, it was a 79-63 W up in Boulder. Colorado has covered seven of the last eight, and if you can get double digits, 10 or more, ride with the Buffaloes!

NBA Pick

One win in the last seven games, two wins in the last 11. What team am I talking about? The 17-50 Magic or the 17-49 Rockets? Nope. Actually the 28-37 Lakers. WHAT! Yeah, times are very UGLY out in Los Angeles, even with LeBron and Russell Westbrook. Gotta believe that the Lakers will be ready to inflict some pain on a Washington team that has lost 14 of the last 20. And is without all-star guard Bradley Beal. Gimme the Purple & Gold in a blowout!

UH-OH! Just saw King James is now listed as questionable with some knee issues, so we’ll wait to see what happens during warm-ups. If LeBron is in street clothes, it’s a NO play. If he is in the starting lineup, we BANG!

English Premier League Pick

What would a weekend be without a quick trip across the pond to wager on some Premier League action. BORING! Got an early-morning tilt between Liverpool and Brighton & Hove Albion. The Reds are chasing Manchester City for the top spot in the EPL and MUST HAVE a win here to stay on track.

Here’s a stat that will BLOW your mind. Liverpool has outscored its Premier League opposition 19-2 in the last seven games. Yeah, that’s NINETEEN to TWO! And if you’re wondering about Brighton’s recent work, the Seagulls have lost four in a row and been outscored 9-1. Yeah, that’s NINE to ONE! Gonna jump on the Reds and trust ’em to turn my bank account a little GREENER!!!

NCAAB Pick

Gonna look to bump my IQ up a few points, jump into some Ivy League Tournament action and rock Princeton over Cornell. The Tigers’ last loss was AT Cornell, so revenge is certainly one of the dishes on the table. Since that loss, Princeton has ripped off seven straight wins and should have no problem sending the Big Red back home to Ithaca.

And if you want some more winners over the weekend, PLZ hit me on Instagram. I will be doing quick 15/30 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.