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 — Gotta take the train to teaser city again this week for 10-point three-team beauty.
Kick it off, just like last week’s winning tease, with Indiana. Gonna take the Hoosiers and drop ’em down from -12 to -2 points against Maryland. Watched Indiana QB Michael Penix last week against Ohio State, and the kid can BALL! Then we roll into the Big House and take Michigan from -1 to +9 points against Penn State. Not sure what is happening in Happy Valley, which I’m renaming UGLY VALLEY, but at 0-5, it AIN’T good.
Even though it’s not easy, gotta show Jim Harbaugh and the Wolverines some love. Close it out down south in the Egg Bowl, take Mississippi and slice ’em from -9 to +1 point against intrastate rival Mississippi State. Just in case you’re wondering, we’ve done our homework, and Ole Miss QB Matt Corral has been OTHERWORLDLY the last two games. How else can you explain – are you sitting – a 92 percent completion rate for 925 yards with 10 TDs and ZERO INTs. Well, you can explain it in two words, LANE KIFFIN!!!
If you’re looking for some action on the college hoop hardwood, look toward the Arch and take Saint Louis over LSU this afternoon.
On to the big boys and it’s the Rams -6.5 points over the 49ers. If you’re wondering why we’re SO strong on Los Angeles after losing the first game at San Francisco, lemme rant for a few seconds. The Niners beat ’em up in San Francisco 24-16, but here’s the skinny. Jimmy Garoppolo was under center for that game and threw three TDs. To George Kittle, Deebo Samuel and Brandon Aiyuk.
What’s changed? Jimmy G is out on IR, Kittle is GONE for the rest of the season, Deebo has a hamstring injury and is questionable, while Aiyuk is on the COVID-19 list. And even though the 49ers had a bye last week, they were basically locked out of their practice facility with NINE players on the COVID list.
That’s gonna be a YUGE problem for backup QB Nick Mullens and the Niners since the Rams own the NUMBER ONE defense in the NFL in yards allowed per game and are No. 2 in points allowed per game. And since the Rams are pitching a 4-0 PERFECTO in their new home, there’s only one thing left to say. This IS my BEST BET, BAABBEEE!!!
And as long as I have your attention, how about another 10-point three-team teaser. Start with the Giants and take the New Yorkers from -6 to +4 points against the Bengals. Then move up to Buffalo, but grab the Chargers and bump Los Angeles, the AFC version, up from +5.5 to +15.5 points over the Bills. Keep moving up north where we’re gonna focus on the Chiefs and take Kansas City from -3 to +7 points against the Patriots.
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.