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 — C'mon with me to the Windy City for a tasty intracity battle between the White Sox and Cubs.
Am I worried that Dallas Keuchel gave up six earned runs in his last start against the Rays? Not really. Every time Keuchel has allowed four or more earned runs, he has bounced back in the very next start with a W with one exception. Also not worried because the White Sox have THE BEST HOME RECORD (42-23) in the American League. Gotta pay a premium, but the Sox are worth the money, and, you can BOOK IT!
Australian Football Pick
Not totally in sync with Australian Football, but someone who is, told me that the Sydney Swans -5.5 points are the play against the Greater Western Sydney Giants. If you find a place to throw down, keep it light.
College Football Pick
Week ZERO. Okay. With just four games this Saturday, it's week zero instead of week 1. Okay, I'll play. As always, there are a couple of interesting games on the board, and we're gonna look at Utep vs. New Mexico State. Not saying that Texas-El Paso is gonna be the cream of the USA Conference crop, but as usual, New Mexico State, now an independent, will have trouble finding a W anywhere on the schedule.
Actually looking forward to the line on November 13 when they play a game AT Alabama. Expecting the Crimson Tide to be at least -50 something, maybe even, yes, the first ever MINUS SIXTY! That would be DELICIOUS.
Right now, Bama is on top of my ratings at 100, while the Aggies from Las Cruces are sitting at 40. That's 60 baabbbeee!!! Back to this game. New Mexico State DID NOT PLAY last season, so they decided to schedule a couple of spring games against mediocre FCS competition.
The Aggies played that POWERHOUSE, Tarleton State, and were BLOWN AWAY 43-17 and managed to rush for a PALTRY 54 yards. And, and, AND, they PAID Tarleton $150,000! OUCH! The next spring game was against Dixie State, and the Aggies bounced back with a 36-29 win. If you're not familiar with Dixie, they live in St. George, Utah, go by Trailblazers and play in the WAC. Not impressed. So, gimme the Miners from El Paso for the money!
Premier League Pick
Jumpin' across the pond for some Premier League action tomorrow and gonna drop some chips on West Ham United over Crystal Palace. Both teams are based in London, but it's the Hammers that have everyone talking. They're sitting on TOP of the Premier League table with six points. They opened on the road at Newcastle with a solid 4-2 win, then hosted Leicester City and rolled to a 4-1 victory.
Palace has played two league games. They ate a 3-0 bagel at Chelsea and could only manage a 0-0 draw at home against Brentford. They also ate a 1-0 bagel in an EFL Cup game at Watford. So, three games and they HAVE NOT SCORED! Lemme get the calculator out and figure their average goals per game. Zero divided by zero is FREAKIN' ZERO! Crystal might not eat another bagel, but the Hammers know where the back of the net is and should stay on top of the EPL ladder for at least one more week.
And if you’re looking for more picks this weekend, PLZ hit me 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 protected].