Vegas veteran Benjamin Eckstein, author of America’s Line, brings three decades of experience to make weekly picks in his “Ecks & Bacon” column.
NHL Playoffs Pick
LAS VEGAS — On the ice tonight, gotta try Vegas over Colorado. The Golden Knights outplayed the Avalanche in Game 2 in every statistical category except the most important, the final score. The Avs posted a 3-2 OT victory in Denver, but man, it wasn’t easy. The Knights had 41 shots on goal compared to 25 by the Avalanche.
Vegas won 36 faceoffs to Colorado’s 28 and had a 28-17 advantage in blocked shots. The only stat where the Knights came up short was penalties. The Avs had six power plays while Vegas had just three. Fall into a 3-0 hole and the series is OVER, so the Golden kids GOTTA have this game.
Gonna be a FULL house in Vegas and it’s GONNA be crazy. Understand that Colorado is playing better at the moment, but with the Flower, Marc-Andre Fleury, in goal, what happens in Vegas tonight stays in ... the WIN column!!!
On the baseball board this evening, rolling out to Suds City and gonna use the Brewers over the Diamondbacks. There are a few Peraltas in MLB at the moment, but the one we’re interested in is Freddy. He is sitting at 5-1 and one of the reasons that Milwaukee is sitting just two games behind the Cubs in the NL Central. Peralta was pretty good in April, but in May, he was OFF the hook.
Actually, his last four starts have been close to magnificent. How about 24 innings and just three earned runs, which translates to a SKINNY 1.13 ERA. Oh yeah, don’t forget about his 30 Ks in those 24 innings. So, that’s better than a K per inning, which is why we’re ALL-IN on this Peralta!
NBA Playoffs Pick
On the NBA board tomorrow, thinking that Brooklyn’s big three (Kevin Durant, James Harden and Kyrie Irving) is better than Milwaukee’s big three (Giannis, Khris Middleton and Jrue Holiday). And at -4, we’re gotta throw a few chips at the Nets.
On Sunday, we’re wondering how much is Joel Embiid worth? Maybe $35 million to $40 million, give or take a few bucks, but we’re talking point spread. The Sixers opened up at -2.5 over the Hawks in Game 1 of the series, which tells us that Joel will probably not play. In the two regular-season meetings at the Wells Fargo, the 76ers were -9 and -7.5. Embiid was in the starting lineup for both games.
So, we can say that Joel is worth between 5.5 and 6.5 points. Check out the pregame stuff and see what Joel looks like. If he is in street clothes, we pass. If he’s ready to roll, we’re ready to roll, but just a tickle.
If you’re looking at the silly match between Floyd Mayweather and Logan Paul, and thinking about a prop wager, we have one.
The prop asks, will Paul be knocked down? You have to lay around $350, but I think that Money Mayweather is SO ticked at all of Logan’s shenanigans that he will drop him at least once. Enjoy!
If you need more winners over the weekend, PLZ hit me on Instagram. I will be doing quick 15-second picks at www.instagram.com/vegasvigoris
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.
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