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Las Vegas Expert Picks: World Cup, MLB

Russia 2018 World Cup mascot 'Zabivaka' poses for a picture in front of Spartak Stadium in Moscow on June 14, 2018, a day before the match between Argentina and Iceland during the Russia 2018 World Cup football tournament.

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 — Gonna sneak in a little baseball in a minute, but right now, it’s ALL World Cup, ALL the time.

World cup picks

Started out with a YUGE bet on Russia, and they squashed Saudi Arabia 5-0. Then early Friday, took Uruguay to win, and La Celeste squeezed out a 1-0 W. Also got creative and made two “correct score” wagers. Had Uruguay to win 1-0 at +1400 and to win 2-0 at +4000. So, the 1-0 score paid a sweet bundle. If you wanna get all my picks, they are posted every day on the website, www.americasline.com.

Now, we’ll take a look at tomorrow’s action, and look for another cash cow. In the early game, gotta believe that France is gonna roll to an easy win against Australia, but there’s NO way I’m laying $440 to win back $100. You know my love for favorites, but that’s WAY too pricey for me.

In the next game, there’s another pricey fav, and it’s Argentina -$300 over Iceland. Gotta tell you that I LOVE the Strakarnir okkar, which means Our Boys, and even wearing the Iceland T-shirt. And how can you not get a little emotional when the fans start that phenomenal Viking Clap! LOVE it all, but there is one problem, two words, Lionel Messi. Depending on your slant, the greatest or second-greatest player in the world, and he is VERY hungry for the trophy. The Albiceleste made the final in 2014, but came up short against Germany. Messi and crew should have another deep run in Russia, and it starts with an easy, breezy W against Iceland. Would suggest a bet on OVER 2.5 goals in this contest.

Don’t really have an opinion on the Denmark/Peru game, but will take a little taste of the draw at +$270 in the Croatia/Nigeria match. And if you can find a total of 2.5 goals, we would roll with the UNDER.

MLB pick

Got a little baseball for you this evening in Cleveland where we’ll try the Indians with Corey Kluber over the Twins. Kluber has been OUT OF HIS MIND since the middle of May, winning five games and losing NONE. Even more impressive is his ERA. He has allowed only five earned runs over a 41-inning stretch and my calculator tells me that works out to a MICROSCOPIC 1.09 ERA. And oh, by the way, Kluber posted 46 Ks over that stretch, which works out to more than a K per inning. And if you’re wondering why the price is so high, it’s because Minnesota’s Kyle Gibson has not won a game since March 31. Yeah, that’s right. Gibson has started 13 times, and has one stinkin’ win. Now you know why we don’t mind laying the heavy wood.

And PLZ hit me on Twitter over the weekend, @vegasvigorish, ’cause ya never know when we’ll find another gem on the baseball diamond or the soccer pitch.

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.