Vegas veteran Benjamin Eckstein, author of America’s Line, brings three decades of experience to make weekly picks in his “Ecks & Bacon” column.
College Football Championship Game Picks
LAS VEGAS — Gonna roll up to Ford Field in Motown and check out the MAC championship game between Buffalo and Ball State. Behold these scores: 49-30, 42-10, 42-17, 70-41, 56-7. That is how the Bulls have absolutely DESTROYED every one of their MAC opponents.
The Cardinals from Muncie, Indiana, have come on strong, winning five in a row after losing their opener. However, David Letterman’s alma mater just lost its best player, RB Caleb Huntley, who has declared for the NFL draft. Thirteen would normally be a big ask, but the way the Buffs are rumbling, this should be another blowout.
In the Conference USA title tilt, gonna jump on Marshall over UAB. The Thundering Herd get to play this game on their home field in Huntington, West Virginia, with a defense that has not allowed more than 20 points in a game. The Herd D is second in the nation against the run, second in total defense and No. 1 in scoring D. You impressed? Gimme some Thunder!
Then, we’ll drop a three-team 10-point teaser into the bank, taking Buffalo from -13 to -3 points and Marshall from -5 to +5 points. Close it out in the Pac-12 championship game, grab Oregon and bump the Ducks up from +3 to +13 points against USC. Quack quack!
Double dip on the NFL board tomorrow and we’re gonna invest in the Packers, but it’ll be a halftime prop.
Green Bay has outscored its last two opponents 41-13 in the first half at home. So, we’re BUYING Cheese -4 or -5 to win the first half. As for the Broncos vs Bills, not interested.
Still working on a few college games for tomorrow, so PLZ hit my website, www.americasline.com, for updates.
Moving to Sunday, gonna rock DA Bears +3 points over the Vikings. Mitchell Trubisky is your guy, Eck? You’re putting all your chips on Mitchell Trubisky? And Da Bears? Well, yes. Lemme expand. The Vikings rolled into Chicago back on November 16 and posted a 19-13 victory. That was with Nick Foles at QB, and NO David Montgomery.
Foles was 15 of 26 for only 106 yards, NO TDs and one INT. Cordarrelle Patterson was the lead rusher with just 30 yards. Since Mitchell – yeah, I call him Mitchell now – stepped back in, he has thrown for 242, 267 and 267 yards, with seven TDs and only two INTs. And his QB ratings have gone from 74.7 to 108.3 to 126.7. Looks like he has figured something out.
Since missing a few weeks, Montgomery has roared back with 103, 72 and 113 yards the last three times out. And with the Kahlil Mack-led defense, we’re expecting big things from the visitors from the Windy City. There’s just one thing left to say. This IS my BEST BET, BAABBEEE!!!
And while we’re still talking Sunday, how about another 10-point three-team teaser. Start with Tennessee and drop the Titans from -11 to -1 point over the Lions. Take the Ravens down from -13 to -3 points against the Jaguars. Close up shop in Cincinnati on Monday night, and slice the Steelers up from -13 to -3 points against the Bengals.
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.