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 — Jumping back on the Zamboni again tonight right here in Vegas and rocking the Golden Knights over the Los Angeles Kings.
Do you want the good news or the bad news first? OK, let’s get the bad out of the way. The Knights have been BAGELED twice, back to back, by the Avalanche (2-0) and Flames (6-0).
The good news is they have only been shut out two other times this season, and came back with a win each time in the very next game. And not just any old win. After losing 2-0 to the Islanders, Vegas posted a 3-1 win at Colorado. Then after getting blanked by the Maple Leafs, the Knights smoked Ottawa 5-1 the next time out. So, after two bagels, Vegas outscored its opponents 8-2. Actually, the Knights have come back SUPER strong after eating a bagel with a 7-1 mark in the following game over the last two seasons. And that’s GOLDEN, BAABBBEEE!!!
C’mon over to London with me tomorrow morning as we splash some cash on Arsenal in the match against Brentford. Sure you’ll have to pay a high price, but IT IS worth the investment. The Gunners are sitting in sixth place at the moment with 39 points, just four points off Manchester United and the fourth spot. But Arsenal has played only 22 games while Man U has already played 25.
The Gunners do not score loads of goals, but they are EXCEPTIONAL at home against teams that have been promoted. How exceptional? The Gunners HAVE NOT LOST to a promoted team in the last THIRTY-TWO GAMES! This is also a revenge game for Arsenal after a 2-0 loss at Brentford way back in August. Of course, you know that the Gunners are MY TEAM, and I’m a little biased, so handle this wager with care.
College Basketball Picks
On the college hoop board, we’re gonna throw a few games your way, starting with Alabama around +9 against Kentucky. These two met in Tuscaloosa back on February 5, and the Wildcats posted an impressive 66-55 win. That was the last time that ’Bama lost. The Crimson Tide beat Ole Miss 97-83, Arkansas 68-67 and Mississippi State 80-75.
Not saying that the Tide are gonna spring the upset, but Kentucky could be without superb PG TyTy Washington. Lemme say that TyTy is Mrs. Ecks & Bacon’s favorite player, and if he sits, we BULK up our Alabama wager. Even if he plays, he AIN’T gonna be 100 percent, and with revenge on the table, we’re rolling with the Tide.
We also like Pittsburgh over Georgia Tech. The Panthers have perked up down the stretch, winning and covering three in a row – a W at Florida State (56-51), a home win against NC State (71-69) and a YUGE road win at North Carolina (76-67). Tech has dropped five of its last six and has won just once in the last seven outings on the road. Pitt for the money.
Close out the day with a tickle against the No. 1 team in the nation, Gonzaga. NO DOUBT that the Zags will beat Santa Clara, NO DOUBT, but laying around TWENTY points might be a stretch. Sure, they beat the Broncos by 32 in California, but Santa has covered six of the last eight and should hang. The Bulldogs have covered just four of the last eight and might take their foot off the gas after building a yuge lead. Just a Clara tickle.
And if you want some more winners over the weekend, PLZ hit me on Instagram. I will be doing quick 15/30 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 winners, and detested by others, when he picks the occasional loser. If you wanna piece of Eck, hit his Email...email@example.com.