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Las Vegas Expert Picks: Navy-Notre Dame, Raiders Season Win Total

Las Vegas Expert Picks: Navy-Notre Dame, Raiders Season Win Total

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 — Is it too early to start handicapping college football??? NAH! We all have a few extra minutes during the day, so gonna give you a STONE COLD – 1000 STAR – LOCK OF THE CENTURY in the Notre Dame/Navy matchup on August 29!

Notre Dame/Navy Pick

Oops, forgot that I have NEVER EVER used the word lock. The game will be played on a neutral field in Dublin, Ireland, and we’re looking at Notre Dame -14.5 to -16.5 points over Navy depending on where you shop.

If you wanna get technical, they call it the Aer Lingus College Football Classic. Obviously, the Fighting Irish, key word being IRISH, should have a little edge, but can we just mention that the Navy KNOWS how to travel. So, first, we would look at creating a 3-point middle. Would buy the hook and drop Notre Dame to -14 at one joint, then find the other shop that has the Navy +16.5 and buy the hook up to +17. Of course, 3 (14.5%), 7 (9.2%) and 10 (5.6%) are the best KEY numbers, but after that, 14 (4.8%) and 17 (3.1%) are pretty solid.

We’re also talking about double revenge in Ireland. The Irish and Midshipmen will be making their third visit to Dublin. In 1996, Notre Dame rocked Navy 54-27. Then the Irish blasted the Middies again, 50-10, in 2012. However, Navy has two wins and four covers over the last decade at neutral sites. The Sailors beat the Irish 35-17 in 2010 at the Meadowlands in New Jersey as a 6.5-point underdog.

In 2014, Navy lost to Notre Dame 49-39 at Landover, but covered as a 14-point dog. In 2016, the Midshipmen cashed again on a neutral, this time in Jacksonville, squeezing by the Fighting Irish 28-27 as a 7-point dog. In 2018, the Irish rolled to a 44-22 win in San Diego, but guess who covered the 22.5-point spread? Yeah, the Water Boys. So, this past decade, Navy is working on a 4-0 neutral-site spread PERFECTO against Notre Dame! Do some early shopping, go forth and find your MIDDLE!!!

2020 NFL Season Pick

If you’re tired of betting on darts and video football games, let’s take a look at an exceptionally cool prop we found here in Vegas. It lists odds on the Las Vegas Raiders for every win. Think Jon Gruden is gonna lead the Silver & Black to an undefeated season? The odds are STAGGERING at +50000. AIN’T gonna happen but might be worth a $10 bill. The Raiders OVER/UNDER total for season wins at most sportsbooks is right around 7.5, and exactly seven wins is the lowest return at +400.

If you want a little history, in Chucky’s first stint with the Raiders, he went from 8-8 in his second year to 12-4 in his third season. However, at Tampa Bay, Gruden slipped from 7-9 in his second year to 5-11 in his third campaign. In his latest incarnation with the Raiders, he posted a 4-12 log in his first season back, and improved to 7-9 last year. The new kids on the block in Vegas have also been extremely busy in the offseason, adding Marcus Mariota (QB), Nelson Agholor (WR), Jason Witten (TE) and Cory Littleton (LB).

Don’t have dates yet for the games, but the Silver & Black get the Chiefs, Chargers and Broncos from the AFC West at the gorgeous BILLION-DOLLAR Allegiant Stadium. Or the DEATH STAR, as we locals are calling it. Pencil in two wins. Then the Bills, Dolphins, Saints, Bucs and Colts also come to the Strip. Pencil in two more wins. When the Raiders pack their bags, they’ll visit the Chiefs, Chargers, Broncos, Falcons, Panthers, Browns, Jets and Patriots. Pencil in another two wins. So we’re at six wins and we will buy a ticket getting +600 odds.

All the Ecks & Bacons here in Vegas are well & strong, and we wish the same for ALL of YOU ALL!!!

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.