Sal Iacono, a writer for “Jimmy Kimmel Live” and better known in the sports community as “Cousin Sal” on Bill Simmons’ podcasts, is ESPN’s new NFL gambling expert and he didn’t lose a pick on his weekly “SportsCenter” segment in the last six weeks of the regular season.
Things have not gone as well in the playoffs with Sal going 1-2 during last weekend’s divisional playoffs. Still, “the cuz,” as Simmons affectionately calls him, is now 16-3-3 over the last eight weeks and 20-5-3 over the last ten weeks.
In the sports gambling world that is about as good as it gets. But more importantly, Iacono’s regular season SportsCenter segment co-host, Neil Everett, is back.
So let’s take a look at who Cousin Sal likes in the conference championship games:
- Indianapolis Colts +7 (@ New England Patriots) — “I know it is sacrilegious to pick against the Patriots this late in the year and Tom Brady and Bill Belichick, but I like the Colts to keep it close. They are no longer the team that is just happy to be there. Andrew Luck plays mistake-free football. They’re 12-5-1 against the spread. They have a better running game than the Patriots. They rush the quarterback. Brady is going to be on his heels all game. I’m taking the Colts. I don’t know if they win but they keep it tight.”
Here is Sal’s “lock of the week.” He is 13-4-1 with his “best bet” this season:
- Seattle Seahawks -7.5 (vs Green Bay Packers) — “This one is easy because it is going to be ugly … Sending a gimpy Aaron Rodgers into Seattle to play the Legion of Boom (Seahawks defensive backs), you might as well send him into North Korea with bootleg DVD copies of ‘The Interview’ because it is going to end up a disaster either way … Seattle plays the great quarterbacks really well, 9-0 the last three years against Super Bowl-winning quarterbacks. Green Bay is 2-10 against the spread in their last 12 as underdogs. [jokingly] What do you want? Do you want more numbers? Seattle is 14-3 against the spread versus winning teams in the second half of the year. I’m done trying to convince you!”
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