Las Vegas Expert Picks: Final Four, NBA, NHL

Vegas veteran Benjamin Eckstein, author of America’s Line, brings three decades of experience to produce weekly selections in his”Ecks & Bacon” column.
Final Four picks
LAS VEGAS — Can’t remember which one of those 279 sites where I read this, but that is actually the first time in 31 years that one of those so-called Blue Bloods will not be at the Final Four. We are talking North Carolina, Kansas, Kentucky, Duke, UCLA and Louisville. That’s THIRTY-ONE YEARS! WOW!
Now for the winner of the very first game on Saturday between Virginia and Auburn. Talking of Blue Bloods, Charles Barkley’s Tigers beat Kansas, North Carolina and Kentuckyback to back, to make it to their original EVER Final Four. This was VERY impressive. And the previous W against Kentucky was WITHOUT among their greatest players, Chuma Okeke. Auburn rumbles into the party on a 12-0 straight-up PERFECTO and has covered eight of the last 10.
Tony Bennett’s Cavaliers come in with an impressive resume too, winning 13 of the previous 14, but against the spread, the’Hoos have managed to cover only three of their last seven. Not calling for the upset, but would buy the hook, push the lineup to +6, and observe Sir Charles cry on national TV. Crying because, as all of us know,” Barkley is a ferocious sports bettor, and he will be all over Auburn and also the points.
In the nightcap, we’re gonna roll with Texas Tech +2.5 points over Michigan State. Of course, we’ll purchase the hook and push Tech to +3. What else can the Red Raiders do? They rolled to the Sweet 16 from the second-best defensive group in college hoops, Michigan, also blew the Wolverines away 63-44. Then they looked in the daunting task of facing the NUMBER ONE offense in the Nation in the Elite Eight, Gonzaga. You believe that the Raiders were worried? Nah. They held the’Zags into ONLY 69 points, almost TWENTY points under their season average of 87.6.
What about any other matchups using the Big Ten? Gotcha. Besides the Michigan match, Tech stomped on Nebraska 70-52. More? OK. TT has won 13 of the previous 14 straight up, covered seven of the last eight, and steps onto the court in Minneapolis working on an 8-0 spread PERFECTO on the street. It ai not gonna be easy, but we’re backing the blossom, Chris Beard!!!
NBA select For your wagering pleasure, here are some disperse stats of the day. The Nuggets may not catch the Warriors for the top seed in the Western Alliance, but you realize they’re gonna bring some heat to the ESPN matchup from the Blazers. Denver has been around a sweet roll, winning nine of the past 13 up, but contrary to the spread, the Nugs have covered only four of the previous 12.
They have been stingy with things allowed and have gone UNDER in 10 of the previous 12 games. Portland brings a similar portfolio into the table, winning eight of the last nine straight up, but have done WAY better from the spread, covering four of their previous five. Looking at the big picture, the Nuggets’ in general disperse log sits in 40-38, 24-15 in the house and 29-26 as a favorite. The Blazers’ in general spread mark is 44-33-1, 21-18 on the road and 13-15 within an underdog. Light tickle to Portland.
NHL select Additionally skating onto the NHL ice, and got a drama to the Blue Jackets.
PLZ hit me Twitter over the weekend, even @vegasvigorish, only if anything pops.
Benjamin Eckstein is a nationally syndicated sportswriter/oddsmaker. His column, America’s Line, with all the Ecks & Bacon appetizer, has conducted in the New York Daily News and above 100 other newspapers since 1988. You can follow him on line at He is beloved by most, when he chooses winners, and detested by others, when he chooses the occasional failure. If you wanna bit of Eck, hit on his email…

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