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Las Vegas Expert Picks: World Cup, Wimbledon, MLB

Harry Kane England 2018 World Cup Las Vegas Expert Picks

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 — Even though it’s the middle of the summer, and football is a month away, there’s still plenty of action on the board, ALL over the world.

World Cup Picks

We’ll start in Russia and look at the England/Sweden match. As you know, my HEART is with the Three Lions, and someone WAY smarter than me said years ago to bet with your HEAD, NOT your heart. So, where does that leave me? Hmmmm. Well, praying that it’s in the semifinals against the Russia/Croatia winner (keep reading, and of course we got the winner of that game).

England did a few things that most English teams have failed to do in the W against Colombia. The Lions went toe to toe, or nasty to nasty, with a very tough Colombia squad. And more importantly, they won the game on PENALTY KICKS, their first-ever shootout victory at a World Cup!!! They were EMBARRASSING on PKs for years. England was knocked out of the World Cup in 1990, 1998 and 2006 after losing on penalties. The jinx even extended to European Championships, with England losing in shootouts in 1996, 2004 and 2012. FINALLY, the curse is done. However, the Swedes are rugged, defensive, don’t give an inch and don’t allow many goals. So, while we’ll be rooting our tea and crumpets off for the English side, gonna probably throw down a few pounds on a draw after 90 minutes and injury time

In the late game, we’re gonna rock Croatia over Russia. As long as my man Vlad Putin does not throw on a jersey, the Croats should rumble into the semis. They have more quality and no matter how much of an advantage home cookin’ is, the Russians are gonna run out of borscht. Sure, they were lights-out against Saudi Arabia and Egypt, but I coulda put together a team from the OddsShark home office and we woulda smoked either squad. When the Russians stepped up to a higher level of competition, against Uruguay and Spain, they managed only ONE shot on goal. JUST ONE! Dropping some love on the guys with the red and white checkerboard squares.

Wimbledon Picks

Now we’ll jet over to England, and string the racket with a few winners on the Wimbledon grass. On the women’s side, we have been following Daria Kasatkina, and gonna try the 21-year-old Russian to send Ashleigh Barty back to Australia.

On the men’s side, the yuge favorites like Rafael Nadal, Novak Djokovic and Juan Martin del Potro should all advance, but not gonna lay the wood. However, we will take a taste of the crazy but talented Nick Kyrgios over Kei Nishikori.

Baseball Pick

On the baseball board, gonna roll out to Motown and grab the Tigers with Jordan Zimmermann over the Rangers. Zimmermann missed 41 days but since coming back, he has thrown 12 innings and allowed only one earned run. That’s a gorgeous 0.75 ERA. On the other side, Big Sexy, Bartolo Colon, has been getting beaten up pretty good, especially on the road. Sexy has been ripped for 33 hits and 19 earned runs in only 19 innings of work. Don’t need a calculator to tell me that’s a PHAT 9.00 ERA. All-in on Detroit.

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

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.

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