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Las Vegas Expert Picks: NBA, NCAAB, NHL, PGA Tour

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 — Had a blast in last week’s column, hitting on five of my six selections for the Oscars. Might have to change my name to HOLLYWOOD & BACON! Also dropped a college hoop Sportsbook and an NHL W into the bank.


Gonna try and stay hot with a little two-team 6-point teaser on the college board. Start with Buffalo, not the Bills, but the Bulls, at -11 over Kent State, and drop them down to -5 points. Why? The Buffs are clearly the class of the MAC with a gorgeous 24-8 record, while Kent just barely moved over the .500 mark, 17-16, with yesterday’s win over Ball State.

Then we’ll look at the ACC and grab Clemson at +8 and bump ’em up to +14 points against Virginia. No doubt that the Cavaliers, with maybe one of the best logos in ALL of sports – Google the swords – will wind up with the W. However, there is some serious bad blood here from a regular-season game at Charlottesville. Why? The Cavs EMBARRASSED the Tigers 61-36, yeah, THIRTY-SIX! Totally get that UVA is a phenomenal defensive team and probably gonna be a No. 1 seed at the Big Dance, but we’re talking about REVENGE, baby!!!

NBA pick

Speaking of two-team teasers, we got one for you tomorrow in the NBA, and we’ll take Oklahoma City from -4 to +2 points against San Antonio. These two teams have met twice so far, and each game landed on 3. The Thunder beat the Spurs at home 90-87 and lost down in Texas 104-101. So, expect another tight fit, with OKC winning at home.

The second part of the tease is the Mavericks over the Grizzlies. Both teams suck but we’re on Dallas, and taking the Mavs from -7 to -1 point against the Grizz. Why? Because Dallas has had four days off and Memphis is HORRIBLE. What does horrible look like? It looks like OH AND FIFTEEN, yes, 0-15. That is not including the late Friday night game at Utah, where we’re probably looking at 0-16.

PGA Tour pick

Now, dust off your golf clubs, and let’s drop a little love on Mr. Tiger Woods. Not sure who Tiger will be matched up against on Saturday, but no matter who it is, grab some Woods. He was head-to-head with Jordan Spieth on Friday as a +$125 dog, and cashed a ticket. Even if Tiger is a favorite tomorrow, he is ready to ROAR!

NHL pick

If you wanna ride the Zamboni with me, I’m looking at the Kings over the Blues on Saturday afternoon. Why? Simple. St. Loo has managed ONLY one win in the last 10 outings.

And PLZ hit me on Twitter over the weekend, @vegasvigorish, ’cause ya never know when we’ll find a gem on the college hoop board.

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 Sportsbooks, and detested by others, when he picks the occasional loser. If you wanna piece of Eck, hit his