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 — FIVE & OH, BAABBEEE!!!
If you were not on the EckTrain last week, PLZ, jump on board, and I’ll try to stretch the run to 9-0.
Start out with THE game and a little prop action.
President Trump is planning to attend the game, and the prop is:
Will Trump get booed???
No is the favorite at -210.
Yes is the underdog at +160.
We are ALL OVER the NO! Trump was booed at the World Series in Washington, D.C., a heavily Democrat city. He was booed and cheered at the UFC event in Madison Square Garden after announcing that he’s leaving NYC for Florida. However, down in Tuscaloosa, Alabama, a state he won with 62.1 percent of the votes, it’s gonna be all cheers & hugs. EASY MONEY, BAABBEEE!!!
As for THE game, let’s get it on. LSU coach Ed Orgeron, Eddie O, is one of the treasures that lives inside the fabric of college football. Not so much his coaching record, which is just 49-36 after a few stops, but his joy, his attitude and, of course, his VOICE.
If you have not heard Coach O talk, check YouTube. It’s a low gravelly sound, kind of a cross between Clint Eastwood and Quick Draw McGraw. If you’re not familiar, Quick Draw was a cartoon character from the early ’60s. Oh yeah, football game, right. It’s 8-0 vs 8-0. Gotta roll with the visiting 8-0 Tigers, PLUS the 6.5. Why? Revenge. Joe Burrow. Tua Tagovailoa. Strength of schedule.
Last season, ’Bama rumbled into Baton Rouge and force-fed LSU a 29-0 bagel. Ouch. Tua was amazing while Joe was, well, just an average joe. Fast-forward to 2019. Tua is coming off ankle surgery. Yeah, SURGERY, just TWENTY days ago. And average joe is now Heisman Joe, the odds-on favorite to win the trophy.
As for schedules, the Tigers have already been through the gauntlet, playing three top-10 teams (Auburn, Florida, Texas), while the Crimson Tide have played just one game against a consequential opponent (Texas A&M). Naturally, we’re buying the hook to +7.
Even though we’re on the Tigers, gotta throw this at you. Maybe the most PHENOMENAL stat EVER. Alabama has lost only four home games with Nick Saban on the headset. They have won FIVE NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIPS!!!!
On to Sunday. Gonna go Fishing and grab the Dolphins +10.5 over the Colts. FITZMAGIC! Way more powerful than retread Brian Hoyer. You can argue that I have lost little bits and pieces of my mind, but you can’t argue with my Best Bet record. A cover here and I’m at 80 percent, BAABBEEE!!! Why go Fishing? Certainly, FitzMagic is part of the reason. Ryan Fitz posted some gorgeous numbers last week, hitting 24 of 36 for 288 yards, three TDs and no INTs. Sure, it was against the pathetic Jets, but a W is a W.
He’ll probably be facing Hoyer, who has seen more airports (Indy, New England, San Francisco, Chicago, Houston, Cleveland, Arizona and Pittsburgh) than Henry Kissinger when he was secretary of state. Look him up, kids. Miami might be only 1-7 straight up, but the Dolphins come in working on a 4-0 spread PERFECTO. And last year at Indy, the Fish lost 27-24 as, you guessed it, a 10.5-point dog. So, yes, this IS my BEST BET, BAABBEEE!!! Unless, of course, Jacoby Brisket gets the start.
And I’ll leave you with a three-team, 10-point teaser as well. Take the Ravens from -10 to pick’em against the Bengals. Drop the Saints from -13 to -3 over the Falcons. Close up shop with the Seahawks, and bump Seattle up from +6.5 to +16.5 against the 49ers.
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…email@example.com.