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 – Only 75% last week. I'll try and do better.
Nothing like a little rest to prepare for the old triple option. Tulsa hosts Navy and the Golden Hurricane KNOW how to keep the Midshipmen from getting off the dock.
They did it last year in a 19-6 win at Annapolis. Looked at the box score from that game and the Navy had 53 rushes for 126 yards. The calculator tells me that is 2.37 yards per run. Yea, TWO POINT THREE SEVEN.
That AIN'T gonna get it. If you're looking for a solid ground game, the Hurricane have two kids who can rumble. Shamari Brooks (145) and Deneric Prince (110) combined for 255 yards in the last game, and should have no problem shredding the Middies defense.
And when you take a peek at Tulsa's 3-4 record, you're probably thinking, what the ECK! Well, there is no shame is losing to Ohio State, Oklahoma State and Houston.
Before I let you go, lemme throw this on the table. The Golden Hurricane have covered 10 of the last 13 coming off a bye week, and 77% is a number that my bank account loves!
On to the World Series, and it looks like Atlanta's Ian Anderson will fight Houston's Luis Garcia in game three. Anderson has been pretty sharp in the postseason the last two years with three wins and ZERO losses.
There were four games where Ian did not figure in the decision, with the Braves winning three of those. So, since you know that I'm a math wiz, that's six wins for Atlanta in Anderson's last seven playoff outings (86%).
Garcia has been a strange dude in the playoffs. He looked like me back in high school in his first two outings, getting rocked for 7 hits and TEN earned runs in just 3.2 innings of work. Then he bounced back in his last start against the Red Sox, and looked kinda like Bob Gibson, allowing only 1 hit and throwing only bagels on the board thru 5.2 innings.
The obvious question is, which Luis do we see? Not sure, but he WILL have to pick up a bat. National League park, National League rules, so, NO DH! That's a bigger problem for Houston because they'll have to keep one of the big sticks out of the lineup.
The Astros were brilliant at home this season with a 51-30 record, 5-2 postseason, but just a bit above average on the road at 44-37, and just okay in the playoffs at 3-3. Atlanta was not that strong at home during the season with a 42-38 mark, but it's a TOTALLY different story in the playoffs.
And the title of that story is PERFECTION! Yup, a FIVE & OH run so far in the ATL with two wins against the Brewers and three against the Dodgers. Gotta have Atlanta for the money and a 2-1 series lead!
College Football Pick
Tomorrow, gonna take a look at Miami-Florida +10 points over Pittsburgh. We have seen mostly 9.5, but there are a few 10s out there.
Of course you can buy the hook up to +10 as well. Like the Hurricanes for a couple of reasons, not just because Pitt had a GINORMOUS win last week against Clemson.
But letdown IS certainly one of the reasons. Took a look at Miami's recent work, and while the 'Canes have won just one of the last three, they have been VERY competitive in the ACC.
They lost to Virginia 30-28, lost to North Carolina 45-42 and then beat NC State last week, 31-30. Everyone thought that losing D'Eriq King would be fatal for Miami, but redshirt freshman Tyler Van Dyke has been an eye-opener.
And if his last outing is any indication, 25 of 33 for 325 yards with FOUR TDs and NO INTs, then we gotta send out a buy on the Hurricanes.
Not thrilled about laying double digits, but in this spot, gotta have the Rams -14 over the Texans. After beating the pathetic Jaguars in the 2021 opener, Houston has been sliding downhill faster than Jean-Claude Killy.
For all you young punks, if you're not familiar with the name, just Google the 1968 winter Olympics in Grenoble.
The Texans have lost six in a row, and have been outscored 127-30 in the last four games. That's an average loss of almost 25 points per game. More than enough to cover the 14 point spread.
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/vegasvigoris
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.
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