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Las Vegas Expert Picks: NFL, NBA, NHL, MLB

Victor Oladipo LeBron James Expert NBA playoff predictions

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 — Thanks for asking, the stitches are healing very nicely. A little itchy, but all good.

So, we’re in the middle of the NBA playoffs, the Stanley Cup is rocking all across North America, baseball has started and the UEFA Champions League is set for the semifinals. And what gets the primo spot on every website and sports screen. The NFL schedule. WOW! Of course they have posted lines already, and while it’s WAY too early for us to go deep into the numbers, the Eagles -3.5 over the Falcons could be a sweet little appetizer.

NBA picks

You all are probably too young to remember the old show Dragnet. Jack Webb played Sgt. Joe Friday, and his go-to line was, “just the facts, ma’am.” Before we get to the facts, if you wanna see something HILARIOUS, hit YouTube and type Jack Webb/Johnny Carson, and click on the “Classic, Copper, Clapper, Caper.” Guarantee that you will laugh your A$$ off.

Back to the facts. The Pacers stunned the Cavaliers in Game 1 at Cleveland 98-80. Then the Cavs squeezed out a 100-97 win in Game 2 with an UNREAL effort and 46 points from King James. Now the series moves back to Indianapolis where the Pacers have won 16 of the last 20.

Could be wrong, and it happens occasionally, but Indy looks more athletic, faster and hungrier than the Cavs. And if you think LeBron is gonna gobble up 46 again, I’ll take the UNDER. Gotta lay just one point, but right here, right now, calling it a double-digit W for the Pacers.

Not quite sure why the Bucks are -5 points over the Celtics after dropping the first two games, and while we lean toward Giannis and his crew, the number does look a little strange. After much consideration and a little more study, we WILL take a little taste of Milwaukee, but it’s only Bud Light, oops, I mean Bucks Light.

NHL pick

And there’s NO doubt, NO doubt that the Penguins ARE gonna close out the Flyers in Pittsburgh tonight, but the number, -240, is a bit rich. If you don’t mind laying the wood, grab the Sidney Crosbys.

MLB pick

Moving over to the baseball diamond, we’re on the Orioles with Dylan Bundy over the Indians tonight. If you look at Bundy’s 0-2 record, you might be saying, what the ECK! Well, Bundy’s ERA is almost microscopic at 1.40, and he has posted 31 Ks in just 25 innings of work. Gimme the Birds, baby!

And PLZ hit me on Twitter over the weekend, @vegasvigorish, ’cause ya never know when we’ll find a gem on the baseball diamond, the NBA hardwood or the NHL ice.

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...ben@americasline.com.

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