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Las Vegas Expert Picks: NBA, NHL, MLB

Shea Theodore #27 of the Vegas Golden Knights in action against the San Jose Sharks during Game Three of the Western Conference Second Round during the 2018 NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs at SAP Center on April 30, 2018 in San Jose, California.

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 — Since we’ve been knocking a few bucks into the bank account on a weekly basis, decided that I would go a little HIGH end in Santa Monica next week, getting a fancy-SCHMANCY hotel overlooking the Pacific Ocean. When I say fancy-SCHMANCY, I mean it comes with an EXPERIENCE SPECIALIST! Yeah, raise your hand if you have never heard of it. My hand is WAY UP! Not quite sure what the EP does, but I’m gonna call my man Joshua and ask. Will let you know next week.

NBA Pick

Talked about buying the Jazz as an underdog once they flew back to Salt Lake City, and that’s exactly what I’m gonna do. Houston coach Mike D’Antoni gets a ton of credit for his work with the Rockets, and it’s well deserved, but don’t sleep on Utah’s Quin Snyder. He played at Duke, was an assistant under Coach K, and has put the Jazz in the playoff conversation the last two years. But the reason for buying the dog is a MONSTER home-court advantage. Salt Lake ain’t a mile high like Denver, but it does sit at 4,226 feet elevation, and all the visitors have a rough time. How rough? The Jazz are a PERFECT 3-0 so far in the playoffs, and won 15 of 19 down the stretch during the regular season.

Then we looked at Houston, which, by the way, is just 80 feet above sea level, and found out that the Rocks have covered only five of the last 14. Actually spent a few days in Salt Lake, and paid a visit to the phenomenal Temple, but that’s a story for another time. Droppin’ some love on the Jazz.

MLB Pick

On the baseball board, looking at a pair of games, starting with the Braves and Mike Foltynewicz over the Giants. Yeah, that last name is a mouthful, but the kid is rocking. His ERA is sitting at 2.53 and if you have not been following the NL East, Atlanta is in FIRST place. Also like the Brewers with Junior Guerra over the Pirates. If we’re talking ERA, Junior’s is basically microscopic at 0.82. You want more? How about a 0.00 ERA at home so far this season! Yeah, ZERO point ZERO ZERO!

NHL Pick

On the ice, GOTTA show some love for my hometown Vegas Knights. After a rough go for the Knights up in San Jose, we’re predicting that the Sharks are gonna get a little case of the VEGAS FLU tonight. And would also expect a big rebound from the Bruins after losing Game 3 in Boston.

And PLZ hit me on Twitter over the weekend, @vegasvigorish, ’cause ya never know when we’ll find a gem on the baseball diamond, the NBA hardwood or the NHL ice.

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.

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