Vegas veteran Benjamin Eckstein, author of America’s Line, brings three decades of experience to make weekly picks in his “Ecks & Bacon” column.
2021 NFL Season Pick
LAS VEGAS — NFL is here, BAABBBEEE!!!
Well, at least the lines for Sportsbook week. Feel like speculating? There are a ton of delicious spots to explore, but we’re staying right here in Vegas and looking at the Raiders-Ravens game. Baltimore opens as a 5-point road favorite, which seems fair after looking at last year’s records. The Ravens were 11-5 while the Raiders were just 8-8.
But, and it’s a BIG ONE, what if, what if Mr. Discount Double Check decides to bring his talents to Vegas? Oh boy! How much is Aaron Rodgers worth? Maybe 4-5-6 points? So, you grab Vegas at +5, then watch the line plummet when Aaron comes to town, and you have a sweet middle. And if you’re able to shop a few different sportsbooks, you can find the Ravens as low as -3.5 and as high as -7. So, you don’t even have to wait to see if Rodgers is gonna move from the frozen tundra in order to find a middle.
Playing baseball inside the dome at Tropicana Field in Tampa and worrying about what happens when the ball hits one of the catwalks is not my cup of tea. But Tyler Glasnow should fill my cup and your cup with dollars.
Normally a pretty solid home team, the Rays have been scuffling this season at the Trop. But with the Glass Man on the hill, a W looks inevitable. Especially against the Mets’ David Peterson, who has just one win in six starts and last time out was POUNDED for three hits and three earned runs in ONLY TWO-THIRDS of an inning. BIG OUCH! Gimme Tampa for the money and you can BOOK IT!!!
FA Cup Final Pick
Flying over to England for the FA Cup Final at Wembley tomorrow, and will throw out a delicious OVER/UNDER prop on the Chelsea/Leicester City match. And we’re going UNDER 3.5 goals, which will be a hefty price, around -350, but your bank account will be smiling. Since these two play a very tight conservative game, gonna drop some coin on a draw/draw at +400. For those soccer betting newbies, that would be a draw at halftime and a draw after 90 minutes of regulation time.
NHL Playoffs Pick
Jump on the Zamboni with me, start growing that beard as the NHL playoffs get started and stay right in my hometown. Vegas opens up against Minnesota on Sunday, and the Golden Knights should be MONEY in the first game at home. You think home cookin’ ain’t important? Well, lemme throw this on the ice. Since the start of April, the Knights have been golden, winning seven of the last eight. At 88 percent, you GOTTA love Vegas!
And if you’re looking for Sportsbooks during the week, we got ’em on Instagram. I will be doing quick 15-second picks at www.instagram.com/vegasvigorish!
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].