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Las Vegas Expert Picks: NCAAF, MLB

Juwan Washington San Diego State Las Vegas Expert Picks NCAAF football

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 — My $204,800 gambit did not work out. Came up like $198,400 short. Back to the grind.


And that means jumping on the college football board tonight for San Diego State +14.5 points over Stanford. We bought it at +15, so you might wanna buy the hook if it’s available. Why SDSU? It’s not just because they BEAT the Cardinal last season 20-17, although that’s one of the reasons. It just seems like Aztecs head coach Rocky Long gets his kids super-amped for games against the Pac-12. Along with the Stanford win last season, San Diego State also whipped Arizona State 30-20. And in 2016, the Aztecs posted a 45-40 W against California.

And if you wanna talk perfection, lemme YELL at you. The Aztecs were 5-0 on the road last season, straight up AND against the spread, and own a 5-0 perfecto as an underdog since 2015. Thinking that Stanford is gonna squeeze out a W, but the final margin should come in under double digits. And plz keep an eye on the Tree, the mascot of the Stanford band, because some of the past Tree mascots have been known to cause a RUKUS. 

Big college football board tomorrow, and we’re gonna throw down a parlay of the North. Start with Northern Illinois +10.5 points against Iowa. As long as QB Marcus Childers is pitching darts for the Huskies, and DE/LB Sutton Smith is terrorizing the Hawkeyes, it’ll be a great day. Childers was the MAC Frosh of the Year and Smith is an All-American who led the nation in sacks (14) and tackles for a loss (29.5).

Then you have Northern’s AMAZING record against the Big Ten since Rod Carey took over as head coach. In his first season, the Huskies drove into Iowa City as a 1.5-point underdog and beat the Hawkeyes 30-27. A few weeks later, they went to Purdue as a 3.5-point favorite and whipped the Boilermakers 55-24. In 2014, they went to Northwestern as a 7-point dog and beat the Wildcats 23-15. In 2015, they went into Columbus as a 34-point underdog and lost to the Buckeyes 20-13 but OBVIOUSLY had no trouble covering the spread. Didn’t play the Big Ten in 2016, but last season they rolled out to Nebraska as an 11-point dog and beat the Cornhuskers 21-17. Five games against the Big Ten, and a 5-0 spread PERFECTO.

The second part of the parlay of the North is North Texas at home -4 points over SMU. Seth Littrell took over the Mean Green in 2016 after they suffered through a 1-11 nightmare in 2015. Littrell’s first squad posted a 5-8 record, then last season they rocked a 9-5 mark. QUITE a turnaround. One of the blemishes on the Mean slate was a 54-32 loss at SMU. So, revenge is the main course on the table in Denton. With nine players returning on offense and eight on the defensive side, this North Texas team, which posted a 6-0 PERFECTO at home, should have no trouble with the visiting Mustangs.

MLB Pick

If you need some baseball action tonight, playing against Homer Bailey is about as sure a thing as there is in this world. Bailey has started 18 games for Cincinnati and posted one win. Yeah, ONE WIN. His record is 1-12, and the Reds have lost every other game he has started. St. Loo sends Austin Gomber to the hill, and his work as a starter is the polar opposite of Bailey. He has allowed just three earned runs in 22 innings for a tasty 1.23 ERA. Droppin’ some love on the Cardinals.

And PLZ hit me on either Instagram, punch in...americasline, or 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 ... ben@americasline.com.