LAS VEGAS – LOVE the Air Force. My Dad was Air Force in WWII. But MINUS 18 points over UNLV. UH UH! We picked up a nice little bundle of cash last Friday when the Rebels played a very good San Diego State team and covered a +11 point spread in a 28-20 loss. Despite an ugly 2-9 overall record, Vegas has been a YUGE money-maker, covering three in a row and six of the last eight. The Force is humming at 8-3 overall and should post the W, but asking the Falcons to win by 18 is a stretch. They have covered only two of six at home this season, so we'll roll the dice with Vegas!
NCAA Football Pick
High noon in Ann Arbor for the entire ball of wax. A win for Ohio State and the Buckeyes go to Indy next week to battle for the Big Ten title (either Wisconsin or Iowa). Then on to the College Football Playoffs. A loss and they're GONZO! But it AIN'T gonna be a loss. The Buckeyes lead the world in scoring (47.2 ppg), total offense (559.9 ypg) and TDs (67). They have a QB, C.J. Stroud, who is the favorite to win the Heisman Trophy.
Why? Last week, against the seventh ranked Michigan State Spartans, he completed 32 of 35, which computes to a RIDONKULOUS 91%, for 432 yards and SIX TDs. His season numbers are, as you might imagine, exceptional. C.J. has hit on 246 of 346 (71%), for 3,468 yards, 35 TDs and just 5 INTs. Michigan's QB Cade McNamara is having a very nice season, but he is not on the same planet as Stroud. Expecting Ohio State to roll over that team from up North!
Then we're off to Stillwater and BEDLAM between Oklahoma State and Oklahoma. Mike Gundy hasn't been on the right side of this rivalry since a win back in 2014. However, this season, he might have his best team. A team that actually plays defense. What kind of D are we talking about?
Talking about a stop unit that has allowed only 23 points in the last four games, which is an average of SIX points per game. Want more? Of course. The Cowboys have outscored the opposition 165-23 the last four. Yea, that's ONE HUNDRED SIXTY FIVE to TWENTY THREE! Sorry for yelling, but that's an average winning margin of 35.5 points per game, which is probably more than enough to cover a tiny 4-point spread. One other little factoid for you, and you might wanna cover your ears, 'cause I'm gonna yell.
State comes into the final Saturday of the regular season with a 9-0 spread perfecto, yea, NINE & OH! Cowboy UP BAABBBEEE!
On to Sunday, and looking at the Colts +3 points over the Bucs. Always tough to go against Tom Brady, but Indianapolis has a chance to rock this party. Did a deep dive on Tampa's schedule this season, and a couple of things jumped off the page. TB12 and his crew are OH & THREE against the spread vs. teams with winning records (Cowboys, Rams, Patriots). The Bucs are OH & FIVE against the spread on the road so far.
Now you look at the Horseshoes and find that after an 0-3 start to the season, they've won & covered six of the last eight. And are on a FOUR & OH roll ATS as an underdog. Against Tampa, you wanna keep Tommy Terrific off the field and run the ball. Guess who is leading the NFL in rushing yards? Yup, Indy's Jonathan Taylor (1,122) and rushing TDs (13). Gonna throw down with the Horseshoes all the way to the bank!
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...email@example.com.