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 — Gonna take the train to teaser city for a 10-point, three-team beauty. Start out up in Boston, and drop Notre Dame from -13 to -3 points over Boston College. Totally understand that the Irish had one of the most historic wins in the history of the program, but if they can’t beat these Eagles by more than a FG, it will have all been a waste.
Then we move south and take Mississippi down from -12 to -2 points over South Carolina. After doing an exhaustive amount of research, we found out that Ole Miss – are you sitting? – LEADS the SEC in rushing. Yeah, Alabama nah. Georgia nah. Florida nah. Auburn nah. Texas A&M nah. The Rebels are fourth in the SEC in passing, but they have averaged 215 yards on the ground to top the best conference in the country. WHAT! Next up is A&M at 189 yards per game.
Then we’ll close the party out west and bump Colorado up from +7.5 to +17.5 points against Stanford. The Buffaloes were almost perfectly balanced last week against UCLA, running for 264 yards and passing for 261. Stanford might squeeze out a win here, but it AIN’T gonna be by 17 points.
UEFA Nations League Pick
If you like the beautiful game, we’re talking soccer, take a taste of Portugal tomorrow at home over France in the UEFA Nations League.
On to the NFL, and we’ll start off with the Browns -3 points over the Texans. Give Romeo Crennel some props for kinda turning the Houston team around. After Sportsbook 0-4, the Texans have posted a 2-2 effort under Romeo.
But gotta take away most of those props since BOTH wins came against one of the WEAKEST the NFL has to offer, the Jacksonville Jaguars. Look across the field and Cleveland’s three losses have come against the Steelers, Ravens and Raiders. The Brownies have won seven of the last nine at home, and just have to cover a FG.
Now, swing out west with me and grab the Cards -2 points over the Bills. Hold up on the MVP chatter for Buffalo QB Josh Allen. Yeah, he was OFF the charts last week against the Seahawks, hitting 31 of 38 for 415 yards and 3 TDs. But, and OH it’s a YUGE one, guess which team has the UGLIEST defense in the NFL? Guess which team is giving up a STAGGERING 455.8 yards per game? You probably answered those questions already, and of course, it’s Seattle.
And if you wanna look at the Buffs D, it ain’t all that. They were rocked by Russell Wilson, a smallish QB with quick feet and tremendous escapability. Probably not a word, but guess who else has that same escapability factor? You know it’s my guy, Kyler Murray. This kid has accounted for TWENTY-FOUR TDs so far this season (16 passing, 8 rushing) in just eight games.
And since the Bills have covered only one of their last six on the road, there’s only one thing left to say. This IS my BEST BET, BAABBEEE!!!
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 Sportsbooks, and detested by others, when he picks the occasional loser. If you wanna piece of Eck, hit his Email...email@example.com.