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 - Sure, BYU's 7-0 looks gorgeous, it even glitters, but lets step back and take a look at the teams they've run over. Navy, a 3-4 team that is basically offensively challenged. Troy at 4-2 from that POWER conference, the Sun Belt. Louisiana Tech at 4-3 from Conference USA. UTSA at 4-4, and if you're not familiar, it's the University of Texas-San Antonio. Houston at 2-2, Texas State at 1-7 and Western Kentucky at 2-5. The highest rated team BYU played was Houston, with a power rating of 73. Boise is FIFTEEN points better at 87. In other words, a REAL football team. If you've never seen Boise's home field, the BLUE TURF, it might the UGLIEST field in the history of sports, we can tell you that BYU is 0-5 all time on the 'SMURF TURF!' We can also tell you that ducks fly into the turf mistaking it for the river. Of course, we have no physical video evidence, but it IS Idaho, so we're checking YouTube. And did anyone say revenge??? BYU beat Boise last year IN PROVO, 28-25, which was the Broncos only loss during the regular season, and kept 'em from a New Year's Day bowl invite. OUCH!!!
So, we spent a few minutes, went all the way back to 2008 and checked on how Boise does at home on the 'Smurf Turf.' How about 71-7. Very tough to buck 91%. Did I say NINETY ONE PERCENT??? OH YEA!!!
Got a double dip for you in the NFL on Sunday starting with the Texans -7 points over the Jaguars. First thing you do is PLZ check the Covid 19 list for each team. They update daily and you'll find some very important names on the list. After you've finished, c'mon down to Jacksonville and lemme tell you why the Texans will rock. First, have you ever seen a ROAD team with a 1-6 record listed as a SEVEN POINT FAVORITE? That's the first clue. The second clue is some recent history to fall back on. These teams played in October down in Houston, and the Texans rolled to an easy 30-14 win.
Deshaun Watson was EN FUEGO, hitting on 25 of 35 for 359 yards and 3 TDs. Third clue is Houston has won 11 of the last 13 games against the Jaguars. The fourth clue is, NO MUSTACHE. The Jags will be switching to rookie Jake Luton at QB, his first ever NFL start. The fifth clue is, these words coming from J.J. Watt. “I’m angry. It sucks.” That's one guy you don't want lining up breathing fire balls. Put all the clues together and Colonel Mustard says, this IS my BEST BET BAABBEEE!!!
Also gonna throw down on the Broncos +4 points against the Falcons. Congrats to Raheem Morris who has won two of three since taking over for Dan Quinn. But there are problems. Like 0-4 straight up at home and as a favorite. Watching last week's game, we saw TWO Drew Locks at QB for Denver. In the first three quarters, he was 13 of 25 for 98 yards and an INT.
The Broncos were in a 24-10 hole starting the fourth quarter, and the OTHER Drew Lock started to play some serious ball. He hit on 14 of 18 for 155 yards and 3 TDs. Not sure which Lock we're gonna get, so here's how we roll. Taking the Falcons to win the first quarter because why? Because they've started strong all season and all you have to do is lay 0.5 points, more commonly known as a hook. Then, with the ATL most likely in the lead, we'll switch sides, and ride the Broncs to win the 4th Q because why? Because they'll be an underdog, and as we all know, the Falcons defense is prone to BLOWING a lead.
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].