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Ben Eckstein likes the Rangers to beat the Lightning in Game 2 of their third-round series.

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 – On the MLB board tonight, gonna roll down to Florida and grab Tampa Bay over the White Sox. The Rays send Shane McClanahan to the mound, and he has been GINORMOUS. He has won four in a row with one no-decision (a Tampa win), but he is throwing a WHOLE bunch of BAGELS. How about only two earned runs over 26 innings for a 0.69 ERA, and oh yeah, you can throw 34 Ks into the stew. Swimming and cashing with the Rays.

NHL Pick

From Florida to the ice at Madison Square Garden. If you follow hockey, you musta heard about the Lightning’s 17-0 streak since the start of the 2020 playoffs coming off a loss. New York coach Gerard Gallant was asked yesterday about the 17-0, and he responded: “They didn’t beat us 17 times! It doesn’t affect what we will do tomorrow!”

If you’re lacing up your skates in the locker room, that’s EXACTLY what you wanna hear from your leader. Once again, not able to open the wallet, but if someone asked about taking the underdog, I would not talk you off the Rangers.

MLB Pick

If you need a little Saturday baseball action, try the Rangers with Glenn Otto over the Mariners.

Tennis Pick

Looking ahead to a delicious Sunday, and we’ll have breakfast in Paris at the French Open where Rafael Nadal will be looking for his 14th crown. Doesn’t matter if it’s Casper “The Ghost” Ruud or Marin Cilic. They might wanna get on the phone and plead for MERCY!

Rafa will be an ENORMOUS favorite, maybe because of his 111-3 record in Paris, yeah, ONE HUNDRED ELEVEN and THREE! And Nadal played only two sets on Friday and will have almost two full days of rest before taking the court for the final. Not in the habit of laying GIGANTIC money on the favorite, but in this case, GOTTA GO RAFA! VAMOS!!!

NBA Pick

Bouncing out to San Francisco for Game 2 of the NBA Finals and thinking, what the hell happened in the fourth quarter of Game 1? The Celtics outscored the Warriors 40-16, shooting 9-for-12 from downtown, which was the most by any team in the fourth in Finals history.

Al Horford hit six of eight from beyond the arc, and you KNOW that AIN’T gonna happen again. NO ONE hits 75 percent two games in a row, NO ONE! Gotta believe that Golden State is gonna tighten up the defense so the C’s don’t hit 51 percent from deep. Apparently, the full week off hurt the Dubs because they looked awful.

So, got an Al Horford prop for you. Al has been on the court for like 15 seasons, regular and post, and played in 1,092 games. He has NEVER EVER hit six treys in a game. NEVER!!! I’ll make the OVER/UNDER 3.5 threes and buy the UNDER all day. Anyone wanna jump in? If not, just gimme a little taste of the Dubs at -4.


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.