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Las Vegas Expert Picks: NFL, NCAAF, MLB

Dorian Thompson-Robinson #7 of the UCLA Bruins celebrates after the Bruins scored a touchdown against the California Golden Bears at California Memorial Stadium on October 13, 2018 in Berkeley, California.

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 — After clinching a spot in the World Series, the Red Sox will be the favorite to win it no matter who they face. If it’s the Dodgers, we’re looking at Boston around -130, and if it’s the Brew Crew, the Sox would be at least -200.

MLB pick

More baseball? Gotcha. Is an EPIC comeback in the Cards tonight? Or, in the Brewers? The National League Championship Series rolls back to Suds City, and the Dodgers are a small favorite with Hyun-Jin Ryu on the hill. Wade Miley gets the start for Milwaukee, again, after throwing to only one batter in Game 5. The good news is, Miley has NOT given up an earned run in 10 innings of playoff action. Impossible to buck a 0.00 ERA, right? Ryu has been pretty solid, allowing just two earned runs over 11 innings. But the obvious key is the Brewer bats. Gotta have some heat coming from Lorenzo Cain (.194), Christian Yelich (.179), Jesus Aguilar (.172) and Mike Moustakas (.188). If those numbers don’t get fatter REAL quick, the golf clubs are waiting. And the last piece of good news is, Milwaukee was THE BEST home team (51-30) in the National League. Gonna drop some love on the Brew Crew.

NCAAF pick

Posted up a college pick in my column on Wednesday, and this is what the millions were reading. Got a little college football action, and it’s UCLA -7 points over Arizona. We know you’re crazy, Eck, but how you gonna lay a touchdown with a 1-5 team? Watch me. With an 0-5 start, everyone was getting a little antsy in Westwood, and there was even talk about buying out Chip Kelly’s contract. Hold on. It’s gonna take a while for the Bruins to get up to speed, but against mediocre teams like Arizona, the road to victory gets much easier.

Sure, the Chipster is known for his high-scoring offenses back at Oregon, but they were always well balanced, and ran exceptionally well. If you take a look at last week’s box score against Cal, UCLA gobbled up 207 yards on the ground, with RB Joshua Kelly eating up 157. Then look at the Arizona box score against Utah last week, and guess what, the Wildcats gave up 230 yards on the ground to the Utes. And the Bruins’ hyphenated QB, Dorian Thompson-Robinson, is truly flourishing in Kelly’s scheme. The coach, not the RB. DT-R hit on 27 of 38 for 272 yards against a tough Washington D a couple of weeks ago, and even better, 13 of 15 last week against the Golden Bears. Looking for his first home W in Los Angeles, Kelly, yeah, the coach, not the RB, will not let his foot off the gas, and we’re expecting the Uclans by at least a dozen. 

Of course, since we put the pick out into the wagering universe, UCLA has jumped all the way to -10. So, I’m gonna buy back some Arizona at +10, and look for the middle. Still recommend the Bruins, but at -10, would play lighter.

NFL pick

Normally, we jump across the pond for soccer, but this Sunday, it’s the NFL and we like the Chargers -6.5 points over the Titans. Why the Lightning Bolts in this spot? If you have not looked, Anthony Lynn is doing an amazing job since taking over. The Bolts have won 14 of 18, and should have an easy time in London against a Tennessee team that is averaging only 13.5 points per game on the road. Only one thing left to say. Yup, this is my BEST BET, BABY!!!

And plz, PLZ hit me on Twitter over the weekend, @vegasvigorish, just in case anything else pops.

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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