Vegas veteran Benjamin Eckstein, author of America’s Line, brings three decades of experience to make weekly picks in his “Ecks & Bacon” column.
NCAAF Week 9 Picks
LAS VEGAS — Get out your gloves and down jackets because we’re rolling up to Wyoming and riding with the Cowboys -1 point over Hawaii. First, we have to go to the weather channel, and let you know that the temps in Laramie tonight are gonna tickle freezing at around 37 degrees by kickoff.
Also expecting a little breeze, maybe 10-15 miles per hour. Wyoming lives this every day, while the Rainbow Warriors from Honolulu left their dorms and their surfboards where the temps were in the mid-80s. Think a difference of 40-plus degrees matters? Just watch the kids’ teeth chatter on the Hawaii sideline.
Does this really affect the visiting teams? Well, Wyoming was 6-0, SIX & OH, at home in Laramie last season, including a sweet win against Missouri from the SEC. Cowboy UP!!!
Tomorrow, we gotta jump on Clemson at ONLY -24 points over Boston College. Apparently, Trevor Lawrence, who will sit after a positive COVID-19 test, is worth 7 points. The Tigers opened at -31 and have dropped to -24.
Thinking that Dabo will put this on the defense to lock down Boston College, kinda like they did last year when they SQUASHED the Eagles 59-7. You’ll see D.J. Uiagalelei at QB for Clemson, and this FIVE-STAR kid is gonna be special!
NFL Week 8 Picks
Looking to Sunday, we’re on the Steelers +4 points over the Ravens. No offense to the Eagles, but praying that this game moves to the late Sunday night window. Maybe the best rivalry in the NFL at the moment.
If you wanna look back at last season for some perspective, Baltimore won at Pittsburgh 26-23 in OT in the first meeting, then 28-10 in the rematch at home. In the first game, Lamar Jackson had some issues, throwing three interceptions and getting sacked five times.
The Steelers had Mason Rudolph at QB for that game, and he managed just 131 air yards. In the second game, Pittsburgh had Devlin Hodges under center, and he was awful, hitting on nine of 25 for 95 yards. What you DIDN’T see was the name Ben Roethlisberger. Big Ben missed both games, but he’s BACK, and the Steel is perfect at 6-0, 5-1 against the spread.
And since the Steelers have covered eight of the last 10 (80%) as a road underdog, there’s only one thing left to say. This IS my BEST BET, BAABBEEE!!!
And if you need one more, try the Bills -4 points over the Patriots. New England has won seven in a row and 35 of the last 40 against Buffalo. Just like last week, throw it in the GARBAGE! This New England team is REALLY BAD. Are you sitting?
Because I’m gonna tell you that they might not make it to .500 by the end of the season. They had the most opt-outs of any NFL squad, lost All-Pro LB Dont’a Hightower, and have to rely on Cam Newton (9/15 for 98 yards and THREE INTs last week), who can barely lift his right arm above his shoulder.
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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.