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 — Gonna start out west on the baseball diamond tonight, then shift to a glorious weekend of soccer.
Gonna try the Dodgers with Clayton Kershaw over the Padres. Sure it’s gonna be expensive, but L.A. is the BEST team in baseball at 60-29 and a RIDICULOUS 37-9 at home. And Kershaw CAN pitch a little. The Dodgers get to face San Diego’s Eric Lauer, and this kid has not won a game since June 3. All-in on La La Land.
FIFA Women’s World Cup Pick
Now to the pitch, the soccer pitch, and we’ll start with the FIFA Women’s World Cup final between the USA and the Netherlands. Good news for the Stars & Stripes, who will be getting back Megan Rapinoe and Rose Lavelle.
And that’s gonna be a problem for the Dutch ladies. So, what do we know about the Oranje Leeuwinnen? First we know that Oranje means Orange, and second, that Leeuwinnen means Lionesses. We also know that these teams have met seven times, and the Dutch have just one win. The USA has won the last six meetings, including bagels or clean sheets in four. If you’re interested in the most recent scores, the Red, White & Blue have won the last two by 3-1 scores.
We also know that the star of the Oranje, Lieke Martens, has a toe problem that forced her to come off at halftime of the semi against Sweden. How important is Martens? She was only the FIFA and Europe player of the year in 2017.
While we LOVE the Dutch spirit, and their fans, OUR, yes I said OUR, girls just do not know how to lose. And one thing you DON’T wanna do is lay down a challenge. Give ’em bulletin board material. Danielle van de Donk has dropped the challenge to the USA, saying she believes the reigning champions underestimate her side — and they can hold Alex Morgan without a goal. Well, guess what? Morgan is gone DUNK on van de Donk and take a sip of tea. And the USA is gonna hold another trophy in Lyon.
Also gonna drop some cash on England over Sweden in the third-place game tomorrow.
CONCACAF Gold Cup Final Pick
Back to Sunday, and the CONCACAF Gold Cup final, where we’re expecting the USA men’s squad to stand tall against Mexico. And with a tasty underdog price of around +250, depending on where you shop, gonna get on ALL my phone apps, and bet the Stars & Stripes to pull off a gorgeous double at Soldier Field in Chicago.
PLZ hit me on Twitter over the weekend, @vegasvigorish, just in case anything pops on the baseball diamond.
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 protected].