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’re looking for a baseball pick for tonight’s Yankees-Rays Game 5, stop reading. Can NOT give you anything without a GIGANTIC BIAS! If you’ve never been in this space, just know that I was born in the Bronx, and BLEED pinstripes!!! End of story.
NBA Finals Prop Pick
A quick look back at a bad beat and a look ahead to a few props this evening. Live by the hook, die by the hook.
For those who had the Lakers -6.5 on Tuesday night, you were screaming for joy when LeBron went to the line and made both free throws with 10.9 on the clock to extend the lead to 102-93. Nine points, no problem. The only thing we DIDN’T want was a bomb from downtown. With 1.1 left on the clock, we all watched helplessly, those of us that bet the Lakers, as Tyler Herro tickled the net to make it 102-96.
If you bought the hook and took a push, bravo! If not, UGH, and WELCOME to my world! However, as you might remember, my big wager was against Jimmy Butler having another monster game. Jimmy Buckets was able to manage just 22 points after going off for 40 in Game 3.
So, where do we look tonight? We’re taking the train to Prop City. The first one up is total points for LeBron and we’ll go OVER 27.5. King James to get a triple-double? No is -290, Yes is +230, and we’re ALL over YES! Then we found a LeBron/Jimmy Buckets matchup on who will score more points. James is -160 with Buckets at +140, and yeah, we’re ROCKING the King once again. Just hand him the silver basketball, Mr. Silver!
NFL Pick No. 1
Spying Sunday, and gonna rock the Bengals +13 points over the Ravens. Forget about his Tiger King nickname, because we have another one for Joe Burrow. Mr. ATM!!! Burreaux, for all my fans down in the Bayou, is still pitching a PERFECTO in his first NFL season, with a 3-0-1 spread record. And that put him at 12-3-2 the last year and change. How are you gonna argue with an 80 percent cover rate? You CAN’T. We were gonna roll with Burrow in any case, then just got a little hit from the NFL that said Lamar Jackson did NOT participate in Baltimore’s Wednesday practice due to a knee injury.
The Ravens said it was a “minor injury,” but you know how these guys like to be all stealthy and shade the truth. Just imagine taking 13 points and seeing Robert Griffin III or Sam Koch under center. Might not happen, but ya never know. We have seen Griffin, but third-stringer Sam Koch. What? He played at Nebraska, that school known for producing great QBs, wink, wink. As long as Mr. ATM is on the field, there’s only one thing left to say. This IS my BEST BET, BAABBEEE!!!
NFL Pick No. 2
Also rolling with the Falcons -1.5 points over the Panthers. Coming in at 0-4, there’s no doubt that Atlanta head coach Dan Quinn MUST have a win to keep his job. And Carolina coming to town is exactly the team that should provide the best shot at a W. Why? History, baby. Last season, the Falcons (-3.5) smoked the Panthers down in the ATL, 40-20. They also smothered them in Charlotte, posting a yuge 29-3 victory as a 3.5-point underdog. We’re giving Matty Ice one more shot.
Football Teaser Pick
And if you need a three-team, 10-point teaser – doesn’t everyone? – try this. Start out on the college board tomorrow, and take Georgia from -12 down to -2 points over Tennessee. Then step to Sunday, grab Baltimore, and drop the Ravens down from -13 to -3 points against Cincy. Close it out in Dallas and take the Cowboys from -9 to +1 point over the Giants.
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...email@example.com.
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