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 — Last week, we hit the hat trick, sweeping all three plays into the win column.
Let’s make it SIX & OH, BAABBBEEE!!!
Gonna go down to North Carolina for some ACC action and gonna ride Georgia Tech over Wake Forest.
Nine points seems like a bundle to lay on the road, but Tech head coach Josh Pastner KNOWS how to close out a regular season. Back in 2020, the Yellow Jackets won and covered six of their final seven games. This year, they buzz into Wake on a 5-0 straight-up roll and, even more impressive, SIX & OH against the spread.
The Jackets beat the Demon Deacons back in January 70-54, easily covering a 9.5-point spread. And if you’re worried about Tech playing on the road, DON’T. The last two times out, they beat Miami-Florida 87-60 and Virginia Tech 69-53.
You ready for the UGLIFIED? Understand that Wake has had to deal with a bunch of injuries as well as COVID-19 issues, but MAN, the last five losses have been embarrassing.
They came up short against Duke at home, WAY short, losing 84-60. Then they were busted by NC State 80-62, DESTROYED by Clemson 60-39, OBLITERATED by Virginia Tech 84-46 and stunned by Pittsburgh 70-57. They’ve lost by an average of almost 23 points per game and have not covered a game (0-5) since February 13. Gotta believe that Tech will WRECK these Demons. BOOK IT!
UFC 259 Pick
Stepping into the Octagon in Vegas on Saturday night, and looking at Israel Adesanya over Jan Blachowicz. Understand that Izzy is a big phat favorite at around -240, but have you seen this guy’s body? He is a piece of iron, and has maybe the best nickname in all of sports. You sitting? They call the man from Nigeria, now based in Auckland, The Last Stylebender!!!
If you’re not familiar and looking for his record, how about TWENTY & OH! The Stylebender is lighter but WWWAAAYYY faster and enjoys an 80-to-78 reach advantage. His opponent, Jan Blachowicz, is from Poland, and his nickname is The Prince of Cieszyn. Not bad, but he’s NO STYLEBENDER! This Prince just turned 38 and will be STRIPPED of his royal title by Izzy Adesanya.
NBA All-Star Game Pick
No NBA action till Sunday when the all-stars gather in Atlanta. Not interested in betting on the game, but do like Julius Randle at +500 in the Skills Challenge. He plays for the New York Knicks, and the nasty New Yorkers gave him the nickname “Beyblade.”
If you’re not familiar, the name is for his signature spin move that is reminiscent of the battle top children’s toy/TV show from the early 2000s. That was all done last season, but Randle is now an ALL-STAR, and the Knick fans are gonna have to recalibrate!
And if you’re missing me during the week, I’m doing quick 15-second picks at www.instagram.com/vegasvigorish!
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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