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 — Before I get into another Twitter beef with Antonio Brown, lemme roll out some Sportsbooks.
Gonna head to the mountains of Colorado tonight, and take a look at San Jose State +20 points over Air Force. The Spartans have a senior QB, Josh Love, who knows how to sling it. They went down to Fayetteville last week and beat Arkansas 31-24, with Love hitting on 32 of 49 for 402 yards.
Even if the Razorbacks are one of the worst teams in the SEC, they’re STILL in the SEC. And beating an SEC team on the road is quite an accomplishment. Air Force lives in the Mountain West and has not blown away any of the teams in the conference.
Last season, the Falcons were just 3-5 straight up and against the spread in conference play. Looking at the wins, they beat UNLV 41-35, New Mexico 42-24 and Colorado State 27-19. Very few teams stop the triple option, and the Air Force will gobble up yards, but San Jose will keep slinging, and should have no problem staying close enough to cover the gigantic TWENTY-point spread. May the Force NOT be with you!
Tomorrow, you can also put me down for some cash money on Toledo +2.5 points over BYU and Nevada -2.5 points over Hawaii.
On to Sunday, and I’ll rock the Browns +7 points against the Ravens. If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it. Not sure who coined that phrase, but in any case, we’re back on Baltimore, or actually against. Thinking that the +7 is too much. Why? First, let’s look at the two games last season. In the first matchup, the Browns (+3) posted a 12-9 win in Cleveland. Joe Flacco played almost the entire game, while Lamar Jackson threw just one pass.
In the second game, at Baltimore, the Ravens (-7.5) squeezed out a 26-24 W. Lamar did play in that game, and was 14 of 24 for 179, with 90 yards rushing, 0 TDs and 0 INTs. Not great, not terrible. The Brownies are hurting all over the field, especially in the secondary, but they did hang with a pretty solid Rams team last Sunday night. And since the Ravens have covered only six of the last 18 as a home favorite, yup, just one thing left to say. This is my BEST BET, BAABBEEE!!!
Also looking strong at the Bills +7 points over the Patriots. 3-0 vs 3-0. Which way do we turn? Gotta turn to the home dog. So, you’ve probably seen all the trends and stats that say New England will beat the Bills like a drum. Let’s examine the stats. The Patriots are allowing an NFL-low 5.7 points per game.
They also lead the league in total defense (199 yards per game), allowing the fewest passing yards (162.3) and rushing yards (36.7) per game. Amazing. Props to Double B and his staff. OK, now we look at who they played.
The Dolphins, Jets and Steelers, who are a combined 0-9. Then you can take a look at the Buffs defense, which is top-five and has not allowed a team to go over 400 yards on offense in the last 15 games.
That includes two games against the Pats last season. If you see New England’s ALL-WORLD LB Dont’a Hightower in street clothes, the Buffs’ top-five rushing attack could go off, and we would suggest Sportsbook the wallet VERY wide! Maybe even BEST BET wide!
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 protected].