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Las Vegas Expert Picks: Tiger King Edition

Las Vegas Expert Picks: Tiger King

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 — “Tiger King,” the you’ll-never-believe-this docuseries, is sweeping the world and has put its paws in my living room. We’ve watched four episodes, and while it is truly compelling, wacky & weird, it AIN’T all that and a bag of chips. If you wanna sink your teeth into some really fabulous stuff, try binging “The Valhalla Murders” or “Dogs of Berlin.” More about Berlin in a minute, and trust me, you will NOT be disappointed!

However, since Tiger King is trending, of course we have stuff you can wager actual dollars on. If you have not seen any of this cultural phenomenon, STOP reading right now. Otherwise, let’s get busy.

Tiger King is Filled With Twists and Turns

Carole Baskin’s husband Don disappeared last year. If he turns up dead and you think that Carole the Cat Lady was the guilty party, the odds are heavily skewed toward, oh No she didn’t, at -2000. You wanna wager on, oh Yes she did, you can get +1000. You think they’re gonna find Don’s body? The rumor is that Baskin’s tigers had a midnight snack, and the No wager on finding the body is -2000, while the Yes is +1000.

Another far-fetched rumor has Joe Exotic, the Tiger King himself, getting a pardon from Donald Trump. Joseph Allen Maldonado-Passage, Joe Exotic, was convicted on 17 federal charges of animal abuse (eight violations of the Lacey Act and nine of the Endangered Species Act), and two counts of murder for hire, for a plot to kill Big Cat Rescue CEO Carole Baskin.

He is currently serving 22 years in federal prison. Will Trump pardon Joe Exotic? Bet the Yes and you gotta put up $1,600 to win back $100, while the takeback on the No is $800 for a $100 bet.

Is A Show On The Horizon?

You can expect a miniseries in 2021 or 2022, and a number of the A-list Hollywood names are scratching and clawing to grab a part. And NATURALLY, we’re gonna have some odds in a few seconds. 

However, if you want a really AMAZING series to binge, and don’t mind subtitles, try “The Dogs of Berlin.” Think there’s like 10 episodes, and it has more twists and turns than a game of, yes, TWISTER! Lemme warn you that there is some nasty language, gruesome violence and a sprinkling of nudity. So, send the kids to their rooms and tell ’em to watch “Shaun the Sheep”! 

Need odds on who’s gonna play who in the miniseries? GOTCHA!!!

Odds on who will play Joe Exotic
Kevin Bacon+150
Billy Bob Thornton+250
David Spade+300
Edward Norton+500
Michael Keaton+800

Note: Joe Exotic would like Brad Pitt to play him. Kevin Bacon is the favorite, but we’re dropping some cash on “Beetlejuice,” who has just the right amount of crazy to bring Joe Exotic to the screen. Also talked to a famous Hollywood casting director, because we ALWAYS do the requisite research, and she recommends Ed Norton at +500.

Odds on who will play Carole Baskin
Kate McKinnon-500
Allison Janney+300
Kristen Wiig+500
Laura Dern+600
Jennifer Coolidge+1000

Note: According to Vanity Fair, Kate McKinnon signed up to star in and executive-produce a limited series based on the podcast Joe Exotic. Just in case the studio decides to change direction, Allison Janney would be an inspired choice. If you didn’t see her work in “I Tonya” as LaVona, Harding’s mother, RENT IT!!! My Hollywood casting director threw down someone not even on the list, Julianne Moore.

Odds on who will play Doc Antle
Jim Gaffigan+250
Will Ferrell+300
Louis C.K.+400
Matt Damon+500
Shia LaBeouf+600

Note: My Hollywood casting director likes the favorite, Jim Gaffigan, in this spot. She’s probably right, but would LOVE to have Mr. More Cowbell, Will Ferrell, in this spot.

Odds on who will play John Finlay
Shia LaBeouf+200
Tom Hardy+300
Leonardo DiCaprio+500
Channing Tatum+600
Elijah Wood+800

Note: Shia might be the favorite, but my money is on Tom Hardy. Lemme just say that Hardy is one of my favorite actors, and probably, my opinion, one of the TOP FIVE working today. PLZ check out the movie “Legend,” where Tom plays both the Kray twins, Reggie and Ronald. One word ... STUNNING!!! Actually, my Hollywood casting director agrees with me and is betting on Hardy as well.

Odds on who will play Travis Maldonado
Rami Malek+150
James Franco+200
Pete Davidson+300
Jesse Eisenberg+500
Michael Cera+800

Note: Spoiler alert ... if you have not seen the entire docuseries yet, STOP reading right now.

Sadly, Travis Maldonado does not make it to the end of the series, taking his own life. James Franco (41) might be a little older than Maldonado (23), but the guy can act up a storm. And once again, my Hollywood casting director agrees with me and is betting Franco.

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.