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Las Vegas Expert Picks: NBA, MLB, NHL, Tennis

Vegas veteran Benjamin Eckstein, author of America’s Line, brings three decades of experience to make weekly picks in his “Ecks & Bacon” column.

NBA Playoffs Pick

Las Vegas - One more Play-In and we're gonna roll with Golden State -3 over Memphis. If you see -3.5, PLZ buy the hook down to -3. The Warriors came into the game on Wednesday night against the Lakers on a gorgeous 6-0 roll, straight up and against the spread. Sure they lost to L.A., but did cover a +5.5 point spot. And nothing wrong with a loss AT Los Angeles, when both LeBron and Anthony Davis are in the starting five. Last time we looked, the Grizzlies did NOT have anyone named LeBron or A.D.

And the last time we looked, the Dubs beat the Grizz in San Francisco, 113-101. Steph Curry exploded for 46, Andrew Wiggins had 21 and Draymond chipped in 14. The Warriors might have a tough time again with Jonas Valanciunas who went for 29 with 16 boards. But they held Ja to just 16 points, and should put the clamps on him again. Since GSW is on a 6-0 spread run at home, we're riding Steph, and you can BOOK IT!!!

MLB Pick

Playing baseball down in the ATL this evening and gonna use the Braves over the Pirates. This is the battle of the Andersons. Ian (Atlanta) against Tyler (Pittsburgh). And we're rocking the big I. Both Andersons have been throwing well, but Ian's advantage is the better team. Both teams are under water at the moment, with Atlanta at 20-24 and Pitt at 18-25, but the Braves simply have more talent.

NHL Playoffs Pick

On the ice, Dave Tippett, Edmonton's coach, needs to play 'The Way We Were' in the locker room before tonight's game. Specifically, these lyrics. 'Can it be that it was all so simple then, or has time rewritten every line. If we had the chance to do it all again, tell me, would we? Could we?' Tippett could use the standard Barbra Streisand version, or, try a very cool effort from Gladys Knight & all the PIPS!

And it IS all about memories. What memories are we talking about? Talking about the last six regular season games against Winnipeg when the Oilers posted SIX STRAIGHT WINS! The Oil also have to remember that they have maybe the BEST player in the WORLD, Connor McDavid. McD is a YUGE favorite to win the Hart Trophy, the NHL MVP, after scoring 105 points in ONLY 56 games. If Connor played the full 82 game slate, he probably woulda come close to Great Gretzky numbers. C'mon with me for an OIL strike!   

Tennis Pick

GAGNANT!!! Yea, getting my French on and taking a quick look at the Open in Paris starting on Monday. And for all my friends outside of Canada, Gagnant means WINNER! You could also say vainqueur, and of course, we're talking about the KING OF CLAY, Rafael Nadal. Rafa goes for his MIND-BLOWING 14th title and if his knees hold up, just give him the trophy. You'll have to lay a small price, around -$115, but this is as close to a lock as you'll ever find. Just in case one of the young guns decides to go crazy, gonna tickle Stefanos Tsitsipas at around +$700.

If you need a money-maker on the women's side, try defending champion Iga Swiatek from Poland at around +$350. Why Iga? Well, she just won the Italian Open and lost ONLY 13 points in the final as she DOUBLE-BAGELED world #10, Karolina Pliskova.

And if you're looking for winners over the 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...ben@americasline.com.