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 — Now I’m CRYING. Why? Football is over. And we absolutely KILLED the Super Bowl, throwing down on the Eagles +4.5 and DESTROYING the props. My biggest money-making prop was Alshon Jeffery to catch the first TD. When he caught the bomb from Nick Foles, I screamed so loud that Mrs. Ecks & Bacon and the little bacon bits thought it was a heart attack. The reason for the scream was a sweet 15/1 take-back on that prop.
Probably the most fun prop I threw out on Twitter for all those following me @vegasvigorish was total number of different players to have a passing attempt. The OVER/UNDER was 2.5, and I played the OVER for my BIGGEST wager of the day. And at a very healthy +170. Got a ton of emails and tweets back asking how in the world did I zero in on that prop. So, my thinking was, you automatically have two in the bank. Then, maybe either Tom Brady or Foles gets knocked silly and misses a few drives. Or, you have two coaches who LOVE a little trickery. Didn’t expect the total to be 4, but the cash back is gonna make for a very happy Valentine’s Day.
With no time to rest, gotta dribble over to the college hoop board and toss some love your way. Gonna look at the Big East and drop some cash on Villanova over Butler. ’Nova does not like to lose. ’Nova rarely loses, especially at home. How do we define rarely? How about 29-2 in Philly over the last two seasons. And when the Wildcats do lose at home, as they did last season to Butler, they bounced back the following game with a 16-point W against Creighton. The ’Cats just lost to St. John’s on Wednesday night, and should be ready to rock the party in what is now a TRIPLE revenge situation. As for Butler, the Bulldogs are always superb at home, and somewhat suspect on the road. They are 13-3 at home, but just 4-5 away from the fabulous Hinkle Fieldhouse.
Then we’ll head down to the Triangle and take a little taste of the home dog, NC State, against North Carolina. Pretty sure that everyone watched the Tar Heels just squeeze past Duke on Thursday night, 82-78 at home. However, against the Wolfpack, IN Raleigh, it’s gonna be a different story, ’cause the ’Pack can play with the Heels. How do we know this? State rolled over to Chapel Hill back in January and beat Carolina 95-91 as a 12.5-point dog. And after looking over the Tar Heels’ recent work on the road, the only word we could find was UGLY. How do we define UGLY? How about 0-4-1 vs the spread the last five times out. Probably gonna be less than a half-dozen, but this home dog is gonna BARK!
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.