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 wanna know where the REAL MONEY is in Vegas, it’s PENNIES, BAABBBEEE!!! Don’t believe me? Here’s a list of the Nevada casinos’ net winnings in December from the Nevada Gaming Control Board.
- Penny slots: $185.4 million
- Baccarat: $63.2 million
- Blackjack: $48.4 million
- Sports: $40.6 million
- Craps: $19.6 million
- Roulette: $14.8 milliion
Actually, pennies have been the biggest money-maker for the casinos for the past couple of years. So, when COVID-19 is gone and you make plans to come back to Vegas, put a GIANT sack of pennies in your carry-on.
If you’re wondering why the numbers are so low, Vegas visits dropped from 42.5 million in 2019 to a tick over 19 million last year. The last time Vegas was down in the range of 19 million to 20 million visitors was back in 1990. THIRTY-ONE YEARS AGO!
Looking at the college hoop board tonight, we’re gonna try Colorado State over Boise State. These two played on Wednesday night, and the Rams posted a rather easy 78-56 victory. These kids from Fort Collins can hoop. They have a gorgeous 12-3 record, but even more gorgeous, SEVEN & OH at home.
With Niko Medved drawing up the X’s and O’s, the Rams are getting better every year. In Niko’s first season, the Rams were ugly, finishing up at 12-20. Then last year, they improved to 20-12. And now they’re sitting at 12-3. The arrow is definitely pointing UP!
Boise’s 13-2 record is a hair better than Colorado State’s, but the Broncos have built their glossy record with a bunch of wins against the bottom-feeders (San Jose State, New Mexico, Air Force) of the Mountain West Conference. Gimme the Rams +3 for the money.
Super Bowl 55 Prop Picks
My winning Super Bowl pick is coming your way next week, but there are a couple of prop wagers that I’m excited about and I couldn’t wait another minute to throw them at you.
Obviously, 2020 was the wackiest year ever, and so are some of the props. Gonna start you out with some of the more traditional props and lock in a couple of wagers for the first touchdown scored.
Not gonna bother with the favorites, because that’s no fun. Looking to maximize my bankroll, I’ll throw down Tampa Bay TE Cameron Brate at +2000 or +2500, depending on where you shop. Also gonna hit Patrick Mahomes at right around +2000, because, well, because he’s FREAKIN’ PATRICK MAHOMES!
Also will throw down a few chips on the game going into OT. Why not. The last Super Bowl that went to OT was LI – or 51 for those not down with roman numerals – and of course, you remember who the QB was? Yup, TB12. The odds are lower than years past, but still, +600 is not a bad take.
Gonna have an array of props over the next 10 days, and you can now catch me on Instagram Reels, under Vegasvigorish!!!
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 protected].