Ecks and Bacon August 28, 2020 Jayson Tatum

Las Vegas Expert Picks: MLB, NBA And NHL

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 -- Not sure when they'll play, but they WILL play, so let's take a look at some hoops.

NBA Picks

In the first game of the Eastern Conference semifinal between the Celtics and Raptors, we'll have to throw an either/or at you. And it all depends on Kyle Lowry. The Toronto Raptors announced that guard KLow7 has been diagnosed with a left ankle sprain. If you're interested in his numbers, Lowry averaged 19.4 points, a team-high 7.5 assists, 5.0 rebounds, and 36.2 minutes in 58 games this season.

Looking back at the regular season, Boston (-2.5) beat Toronto at home 112-106 and the game went Over the posted total of 213.5. The Celtics (-4) picked up a W in Toronto, beating the Raptors 118-102 and the game went Over the total of 214. The Raps (+7) flew down to Boston and beat the Cs 113-97 with the game going under the posted total of 217. They played one game in the bubble, and it was the Celtics (+1.5) posting a 122-100 win with the total falling right on the number (222) for a push.

So, bottom line. Boston is SMOKING hot, winning eight of the last nine, so we're gonna rock the Shamrock. Without Lowry, it's a YUGE bundle, but if KLow7 plays, pull back half of your chips.

In the Clippers/Mavericks showdown, Dallas might be without Luka, Kristaps Porzingis and Trey Burke. These three guys account for OVER HALF of the Mavericks offense. Luka has averaged 29.6 in the playoffs, the Unicorn 23.7 and Burke 13.6. The calculator tells me that adds up to 66.9 and the team has averaged 121 points per game.

Where are the Mavs gonna find almost SEVENTY points? It AIN'T gonna be BOBAN! If the Clips get up big again, by like 20/25/30 points, they'll bring on the bench, and it could result in a back door cover for Dallas. Actually, too many questions, too many unknowns, so we'll take a pass.

MLB Picks

On the baseball board tonight, looking at the D'Backs with Zac Gallen over the Giants. Been tracking Gallen since the season started back up and he has been VERY sharp.

His record is sitting at 0-0, but he has not allowed more than two earned runs in any of his six starts. He is pitching to a 2.25 ERA, which is even skinnier than last year's 2.81 ERA. Zac started AT San Francisco just last Saturday, and allowed just 3 hits, 1 earned run and posted 6 Ks. Gimme the Snakes!

NHL Picks

NO ice tonight, but got a triple-header on tap tomorrow, and we're spying the Vegas/Vancouver matchup. The Golden Knights fed the Canucks a 5-0 BAGEL in the first game and probably thought the series would be a breeze. UH UH. Vancouver roared back in game two with a 5-2 win but the kids from Sin City will be ready for game three. They have not lost back-to-back games since back in February. They've won 19 of the last 23 and will probably have the Flower, Marc-Andre Fleury, back between the pipes. YO VEGAS!

Nevada Casino Winnings

Thought you might like to see a list of the Nevada casinos' net winnings in the month of July from the Nevada Gaming Control Board. Note the last spot in the list, sports, which turned a small negative into a small positive. The numbers inside the brackets are from June.

  • Penny slots $241.9 ($174.7) million
  • Blackjack $53.9 ($54.5) million. 
  • Craps $26.7 ($19.9) million
  • Roulette $21.7 ($16.5) million
  • Sports $6.3 million (-$483,000)

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 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].