Vegas veteran Benjamin Eckstein, author of America’s Line, brings three decades of experience to make weekly picks in his “Ecks & Bacon” column.
English Premier League Picks
LAS VEGAS — Taking a quick mid-afternoon trip across the pond where we’ll drop a few euros on Leicester City over Southampton. Leicester has been on a sweet little roll, winning three in a row, and should make it four at St. Mary’s Stadium. The Foxes beat the Saints at home back in January 2-0, then just threw another bagel at Southampton (1-0) in the FA Cup semifinal at Wembley. And now the Saints will have to face the hungry Foxes without their leading scorer, Danny Ings. So, we’re gonna roll with Lester!
Got a little soccer for you tomorrow over in England and we’re dropping some cash on Chelsea over Fulham. The Blues are sitting in fourth place, which is good for a ticket to the UEFA Champions League, but West Ham is just three points adrift, so expect a gigantic effort. You’ll have to lay a big number, around -220, but it’s worth the effort. Why? Chelsea is unbeaten in 18 home games, yeah, EIGHTEEN, against Fulham in all competitions since a second-tier defeat in October 1979. All in on the Blues for the GREEN!!!
Back in the States for the evening, we head out west for a taste of the Padres over the Giants. You with me? I’m asking, YU with me? OK, it’s all about Yu – Darvish, that is. After a gorgeous 8-3 record last season and a SKINNY 2.01 ERA with the Cubs, Darvish has picked it up without missing a beat in San Diego. He has started five games, won two (the Padres have won four of the five) and is rocking a 2.27 ERA. Once again, I’ll ask, YU with me???
Kentucky Derby Pick
Of course, everyone in the horse world is focused on the Kentucky Derby tomorrow, but there’s a spot to make some cash later today with the ladies. That would be the Kentucky Oaks. My secret horse maven – let’s just call him Martin C. – tells me it’s hard to look past undefeated Malathaat.
She came roaring down the stretch in the Ashland Stakes at Keeneland to catch Pass the Champagne in her first start this year as a three-year-old. Although I’m not too thrilled with post 10, this horse has tactical speed and should sit right behind Pass the Champagne. Feel Travel Column will try to go gate to wire with Pass the Champagne sitting right behind her.
It’s a short run to the first turn and Florent Geroux will take full advantage on Travel Column. As long as Johnny Velazquez doesn’t get caught wide on Malathaat, it should be her race to win. Her last work leading into this race was exceptional and her Thoro-Graph numbers say she might be in for a big race. Gimme $50 across the board on No. 10 Malathaat and a $5 exacta where we wheel the No. 10 with all the rest.
And if you’re looking for winners during the week, or the Derby tomorrow, we got ’em 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.
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