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Las Vegas Expert Picks: Super Bowl 53

A General View of the Super Bowl LIII Logo at State Farm Arena during Super Bowl Opening Night for the Los Angeles Rams on January 28, 2019 at State Farm Arena in Atlanta, GA.

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 — First, gotta talk about the DUMBEST person on either team. And that distinction belongs to Rams cornerback Nickell Robey-Coleman. Here’s what he said: “Age has definitely taken a toll. For him to still be doing it, that’s a great compliment for him. But I think that he’s definitely not the same quarterback he was. Movement. Speed. Velocity. Arm strength. He still can sling it, but he’s not slinging it as much. Whatever he was doing – because of his age and all that – he’s not doing as much of that anymore. And sometimes, it’s not the sharpest.” Yeah, exactly what you wanna do is give Tom Terrific some bulletin board material.

And just to put it in perspective, this was the knucklehead who got away with the pass interference, helmet-to-helmet, whatever you wanna call it, against the Saints. He might be dumb, or did a dumb thing, but at least he is honest. Here’s the quote from N R-C, when asked about the NON-CALL in the NFC championship game: “Came to the sideline, looked at the football gods and was like, ‘Thank you. I got away with one tonight.’ ”

So, the New York Giants had the formula to beat Brady and Belichick. They did it twice, 17-14 in Super Bowl 42 and 21-17 in Super Bowl 46. The formula was constant and wicked pressure from the D front four. Can the Rams do the same? Not sure. Wade Phillips was Denver’s D coordinator in 2015 and 2016. The Broncos played the Patriots three times, won twice, lost once. However, not sure if Wade has enough overall talent to get a hand or even a fingernail on Tommy. Why? Mr. Brady has dropped back 92 times in the postseason, and has been sacked how many times? You know what’s coming. ZERO! NADA! NIL! ZILCH!

As you know, there are stats for EVERYTHING. Next-Gen stats, Future-Gen stats and Past-Gen stats. And an array of stats that look at the referees. John Parry gets the call as top dog and BOY OH BOY, do the stats skew HEAVILY in favor of the Rams. Since getting his zebra stripes back in 2007, Parry has been the lead in seven Rams games. And you know what’s coming. The Rams are SEVEN & OH! Johnny P. also got the head job in Super Bowl 46 and you know what’s coming. The Patriots lost to the Giants.

More Parry? Gotcha. He worked one New England game this season, Week 15, and you know what’s coming. The Brady Bunch lost at Pittsburgh, 17-10. And the Pats were nicked for the MOST penalties called against them (14) in any game this season. Parry had one regular-season and one postseason Rams game. And you know what’s coming. In Week 13, L.A. beat the Lions 30-16. In the divisional round against Dallas, the Rams won 30-22. Parry has whistled 14 games for the Patriots, and the Belichicks posted a 9-5 record. Not terrible, but NOT perfect!

Expecting an offensive show, and since five of the last six Super Sundays have hit the OVER, we’ll go 31-28.

Super Bowl 53 pick

Oh yeah. Who wins?

You know that I’m a Brady Basher, and despise what he and Belichick have done to BEND the rules (Deflategate and Spygate) over the years, but gotta admit that he IS the GOAT as far as QBs go. So, the GOAT playing in his ninth Super Bowl against the Jared Goff kid in his first? Gotta lean to the Bradys, but keeping it kinda light. Gonna have way more cash on the props, and the IN-PLAY wagers throughout the game. Check me out on Twitter, @vegasvigorish.

Rocking a few more props, starting with, will there be a pick-six? The no is -800 vs the yes at +600. Gonna take a shot with the yes. Will there be a missed FG? No is -150 vs yes at +130, and with the nerves at the highest level, gotta try yes.

Turn to some Todd Gurley props, and after two weeks of rest, thinking that Gurley will be ready to go full tilt. So, gonna go OVER 30.5 on receiving yards for Gurley, and also OVER 3.5 receptions. And while we’re working on TG, also gonna drop a few pennies on Gurley to score the 1st TD at +1200.

If you’re out in VEGAS, yell at me. I’ll be casino-hopping and would be happy to say hey. But if you can’t join me, have a SUPER, profitable and SAFE Sunday.

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.