Las Vegas Expert Picks

Las Vegas Expert Picks: Stanley Cup Final, NCAAF, Week 3 NFL

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 — So, you are me for a few hours and deciding what to do about the Game 5 hoop wager. If you have not been in my space since the start of the series, here are the particulars.

Had the Heat to win the series. Had the Heat to cover in Games 1 and 2. Win. Win. Skipped Game 3, phew, then bounced back with Miami in Game 4. Win. With a nice little bundle sitting in the bank, what’s the next step? Do I just sit back and watch? Do I drop a few chips on the Celtics just in case they extend the series? Open to any and all suggestions.

If you hit my email,, or Twitter, @vegasvigorish, before the game goes, I might just print your response on the America’s Line website and the Twitter account as well.

Stanley Cup Final Pick

Gonna skate out to Edmonton for the Stanley Cup and throw a few loonies on the Stars. And if you’re wondering, a loonie is like our dollar, only it’s worth about 75 cents at the moment. And if you’re wondering why it’s called a loonie, just look at the back of the coin.

Now that you’re versed in everything Canadian, why Dallas? The Lightning are sitting with a 2-1 series lead after an emotional effort that saw captain Steven Stamkos come back after six months, and score the first goal! BRILLIANT! Sadly, Stamkos appeared to get hurt again, and didn’t play the second or third periods. They say it’s a “lower body” injury. Leg? Ankle? Foot? Toe? Thigh? Other stuff?? These hockey guys NEVER tell, so who knows. In any case, he is listed as questionable for tonight. So is Alexander Radulov, one of the best players and top-five scorers for Dallas. If Radulov skates, nice-sized bundle on the Stars. If he is a scratch, make the bundle much thinner.

News flash: just saw that Radulov was upgraded to probable, so, naturally, we UPGRADE this wager!

College Football Pick

A quick look at the SEC, and we’re rolling with Mike Leach and Mississippi State +16.5 points against LSU. Of course, buy the hook to +17 if you can.

NFL Week 3 Pick

You need some LOVE for Sunday’s NFL card? Gotcha. 

Gonna try the Falcons -3 points over the Bears. Yeah, Mitchell Trubisky was all that in the opener against the Lions, completing 20 of 36 for 242 yards and 3 TDs, with no INTs. But then Mitchell turned back into Mitch against the New York Giants last week, completing 18 of 28 for just 198 yards, 2 TDs and 2 INTs.

Heard that some of the Bears are calling Trubisky, “Money-makin Mitch.” Guess that they have NOT looked at the spread logs where there were only two covers in the last nine games (22%). Now turn to Matt Ryan, and we’re talking MAGNIFICENT! Matty Ice has thrown for 731 yards with 6 TDs and just 1 INT, and owns a gorgeous 109.6 rating.

And if you’re wondering about Chicago’s 2-0 vs Atlanta’s 0-2, lemme tell ya that the 2-0 came against the Giants and Lions, two of the WORST, while the 0-2 came against the Seahawks and Cowboys, two of the best. EASY money, and that’s why there’s only one thing left to say, this IS my BEST BET, BAABBEEE!!! 

My guy, the Other Silver Brother, is back and flush with cash. He hit his best bet and teaser last week, pushing his record to 3-1. This week, he’s looking at the Falcons as his lock. Guess he just read my last paragraph!  

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 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