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Las Vegas Expert Picks: MLB, Wimbledon

Serena Williams of USA in action during her semifinal victory over Barbora Strycova of Czech Republic during Day Ten of The Championships - Wimbledon 2019 at All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club on July 11, 2019 in London, England.

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 — Kick it off with some baseball, and gonna use the A’s over the White Sox. Oakland sends Mike Fiers to the hill, and he has been fabulous. Fiers is on FIRE – he’s won six straight games and has not lost since May 1, starting his hot stretch with a NO-NO on May 7.

MLB Pick

Fiers’ last five starts have been a touch of MAGNIFICENCE, allowing only three earned runs over 25 innings for a MICROSCOPIC 1.08 ERA. Chicago’s Ivan Nova is heading in the opposite direction, and does not have a win since May 22. He’s lost his last two and was rocked for 15 hits in just 12 innings. Dropping my cash on the first letter of the alphabet. Or, as they say in Canada, EH!

Wimbledon Pick

Breakfast at Wimbledon and it’s Serena Williams vs Simona Halep. Sitting at the keyboard, we’re looking at Serena mostly -190 with Simona at +170. You can find Serena at -180 at the Coast properties here in Vegas if you’re looking to scalp a few pennies. So, Eck, what have these ladies done against each other? They’ve played 11 times, and Serena leads Simona 9-2 heading into this final. And it just so happens that I have the head-to-head matchups.

They’ve played only once on grass, all the way back in 2011 at Wimbledon, and Serena posted a 3-6, 6-2, 6-1 victory. In 2013, Serena won 6-3, 6-0 in Rome (clay), and 6-0, 6-4 in Cincinnati (hard court). All the rest of their matches were played on hard courts. In 2014, they played twice in Singapore at the WTA Championships, with Halep beating Williams in the first match, 6-0, 6-2, then losing to Serena, 6-3, 6-0.

In 2015, Simona had a walkover against Serena at Indian Wells, then Serena beat Halep at Miami, 6-2, 4-6, 7-5, and at Cincinnati, 6-3, 7-6. In 2016, Serena beat Simona 6-4, 6-3 at Indian Wells, and then 6-2, 4-6, 6-3 in New York City at the U.S. Open. They played earlier this year at the Australian Open, and Serena posted a 6-1, 4-6, 6-4 W.

Now you and I have all the information we need, so what’s the pick? Picking a little with my head, and a TON with my heart. Wanna see Serena sit at the top of the women’s tennis ladder with major No. 24, and the only thing that gets me a little nervous is the price. Normally, Serena is a gigantic favorite, but not here. Serena is my play, but gonna stay on the light side.

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...ben@americasline.com.