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Las Vegas Expert Picks: NCAAB Final Four Saturday

Lucas Williamson #1 of the Loyola Ramblers shoots against Xavier Sneed #20 of the Kansas State Wildcats in the second half during the 2018 NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament South Regional at Philips Arena on March 24, 2018 in Atlanta, Georgia.

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 - Joe DiMaggio's 56-game hitting streak might never be broken, but out here in Vegas, it's about to be tied. Just got my monthly Email from the Nevada Gaming Commission and the sportsbooks here in the state had another winning month, the FIFTY FIFTH in a row. The sportsbooks, of course, were doing their usual WHINE & CRY because they won ONLY $10.6 million. Why cry? Because they dropped almost 50% from last February. ONLY TEN MILLION in their pocket. Cry me the Hudson River. Once the Supremes legalize sports gambling, and I open up the "BET BENJ SPORTSBOOK" in NYC, I'll take a PLUS 10 mill every stinkin' month, and will not shed one single tear. Not sure where we're gonna open, but have my eye on one of the piers in downtown New York City.

Saturday Final Four picks

For those who might not have heard, I'm in a pretty SWEET spot heading into the Final Four with a Villanova ticket sitting on my desk, actually, it's on my phone, at 25/1. What would you do? Buy Kansas +5? Take the Jayhawks on the money line at +$190? Hedge with a taste of Michigan to win it all at 5/2? Maybe tickle Loyola at 12/1? Maybe YOU wanna buy my ticket? You know where to find me if you have any last minute thoughts, ben@americasline.com.

Think that my strategy is set. I've decided to throw down a few Benjamins from the personal phone account on Kansas +5 points against Villanova. This is all based on my 'Nova futures ticket at 25/1, and a way to hedge my action. However, here's what scares me. The Wildcats from Philly had one of their WORST shooting games in quite a while against Texas Tech, dropping only 4 of 24 (16.7%) from 3-point land, or downtown as the GREAT Marv Albert would say, and 'Nova STILL won by ELEVEN! Just imagine if the Wildcats come close to their season average from beyond the arc, which is 40%, it could be a blowout. Just like the last time Villanova was in the Final Four, and CRUSHED Oklahoma in the semi-final, 95-51. Don't see that kinda final score, because the Jayhawks DO have some arrows in the quiver. Would advise everyone reading to maintain the money units you have been betting all season. This is NOT a best bet by any means, but either way, my bankroll is gonna grow.

In the early game, I'm thinking about a light play on Loyola-Chicago +5.5 points over Michigan. Why? Because Sister Jean just sent me a bobblehead, and it's tough to go against the Lord.

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 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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