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 — LeBron is the GREATEST player of this generation. Agree. LeBron is now on MY Mount Rushmore with Kareem, Michael and Bill Russell. Posted this in one of my columns last week, and caught a ton of flak. Well, tough. That’s my call. Some have screamed what about Wilt Chamberlain? Magic? Bird? Yeah, all top 10, but they AIN’T on MY Mount Rushmore. Yell at me if you agree, or scream at me if you disagree.
As for tonight, hmmmmmmm. LeBron is tired. He’s reading books at practice instead of practicing at practice. If that sounds a little like the famous Allen Iverson rant ... guilty as charged. The Cavs just got whipped up in Boston, again, so where does that leave us? It leaves me baffled. Think that Cleveland is gonna be able to post a W and push the series to a Game 7, but not thrilled about laying 7 points. So, what to do? How about a sweet two-team 6-point teaser. Take the Cavs from -7 down to -1, then swing out west, take the GSW/Houston game total down from 212.5 to 206.5, and play the OVER.
Looking at the Stanley Cup, and admitting that my track record with the hometown Vegas Golden Knights is kinda sketchy. Was not a believer before the season started, but oh boy, what a story. And you all know the deal with the odds prior to the start of the season. This will make you cry.
Got an email from Jim H. in New Jersey, and it was not pretty. In his own words...
“Hey big Ben, just read your spot today in NYDN about futures, had to chime in; back in September put down $10 small on the Golden Knights to win the Cup at 500-1; also had ’em at 250-1 to win the West, again $10 small. My guy got pinched just before the Superbowl...MAJOR OUCH!!!”
Thinking about taking the WELL-RESTED Knights in the opener on the Strip, and when I say well-rested, we’re talking over a week. If Vegas is able to shake the rust, it could be a good spot for a Game 1 winner.
Got a little baseball for you tonight, out west, where we’ll try the Dodgers with Ross Stripling over the Padres.
UEFA Champions League Pick
Can’t forget about the UEFA Champions League final between Real Madrid and Liverpool. Looking forward to a fabulous game, but not sure which side to back. However, TOTALLY sure about taking OVER 3 goals.
And PLZ hit me on Twitter over the weekend, @vegasvigorish, ’cause ya never know when we’ll find another gem on the baseball diamond.
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...firstname.lastname@example.org.