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Las Vegas Expert Picks: MLB, Preakness, NBA, NHL, FA Cup

Sean Newcomb Atlanta Braves MLB Betting Odds Las Vegas Expert Picks Predictions

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 — If you need some baseball tonight, try the Braves with Sean Newcomb over the Marlins. Who? The who is Newcomb, a 4-9 scrub last season but a 180-degree turnaround in 2018 that is quite amazing. Newcomb is 4-1 for Atlanta, the FIRST-PLACE BRAVES, and he has NOT given up an earned run in the last three starts. Actually, his numbers in those starts are INSANE. How about 19 innings, ZERO earned runs and 20 Ks. That’s a whole lotta WOW! 

Preakness Pick

Now we take a look at the ponies. The Preakness Stakes, the second jewel of the Triple Crown, will be run Saturday at Pimlico Race Course in Maryland. Ecks & Bacon is not the master of the horse universe, so I got a guy, in Jersey, and he’s pretty good. Check his roll. Justify, the winner of the Kentucky Derby, is the favorite in the race. He is a monster of a horse, has Beyer Speed Ratings over 100 in all four wins, has tactical ability, and should trounce this field by numbers alone! However, there are some chinks in the armor. Justify had a foot problem that was a rash, that turned into a bruise, and was said to be a quarter crack in his hoof. The trainer, Bob Baffert, said the horse is OK and the foot should be no problem. He will also be racing for the fifth time in 13 weeks, so maybe, just maybe, since not having a foundation as a two-year-old (he didn’t race until this year), he might not be as strong. So, the pick here is Good Magic to upset Justify. And if you’re into exotics, take Good Magic to win, with an exacta and trifecta box of Good Magic, Justify and Quip.

NBA picks

Weekend hoops look kinda crazy, with LeBron in a 2-0 hole, and the Warriors in a 1-1 knot with the Rockets. Can NOT see the King losing three straight games, but can NOT see the Cavaliers covering the phat 6.5-point spread. Also not thrilled about laying 7 with Golden State on Sunday. So, what to do? How about a gorgeous two-team, 6-point teaser. Take the Cavs, and look for a -6, then drop ’em down to pick’em. Then swing out west, grab the Dubs, and drop ’em from -7 to -1 point over the Rocks. Winner, winner, chicken dinner.

NHL pick

If you wanna skate, we would advise a small buy on the Lightning over the Capitals in Game 5. Yeah, yeah, I know all about the road teams winning EVERY game in this series, but Tampa is gonna break that cycle, and post a W down in Florida.

FA Cup pick

And, of course, after watching the wedding over in England, we’ll take a little taste of the FA Cup final. It’s Manchester United +165 vs Chelsea +185. Neither side thrills me, but will take a bite out of the draw after 90 minutes, which is +200.

And PLZ hit me on Twitter over the weekend, @vegasvigorish, ’cause ya never know when we’ll find another gem 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...ben@americasline.com.