Sal Iacono is a writer for “Jimmy Kimmel Live” and better known among sports fans as “Cousin Sal” on Bill Simmons’ podcasts. He’s also making a name for himself as ESPN’s NFL gambling expert.
Iacono didn’t lose a pick on his weekly “SportsCenter” segment with Neil Everett during the final six weeks of the 2014 regular season and went 19-2-3 over the last eight weeks.
After a pretty good start to the 2015 season, he suddenly caught fire again. Despite going 1-2 last week, Cuz is still 14-7 over the last six weeks, including 7-2 in the last three weeks. He is also 6-3 this season on his “Best Bet.”
So let’s take a look at who Cousin Sal likes this week along with his thoughts on each pick. As usual, assume plenty of goofiness and sarcasm that is difficult to transcribe (via ESPN):
- Jacksonville Jaguars +5.5 (@ Baltimore Ravens) — “This Jags team, they have a little fight in them. This is not your father’s Jaguars. This is actually Shanna and Tony Khan’s father’s Jaguars. [To Everett] Shahid Khan, remember he bought it a few years ago? I was on Wikipedia all night looking that up. Look, Allen Robinson, with over 700 yards receiving, versus the 32nd-ranked pass defence in the Ravens. That’s going to be enough to keep it close. Take the Fighting Jaguars over the Ravens. ”
His second pick is his 2-team teaser — must pick both games correctly, but you get a more favourable point-spread in each game. Cousin Sal was 7-1-1 on teasers over the final nine weeks of the 2014 season.
- Green Bay Packers -6 (vs. Detroit Lions) and Denver Broncos PICK (vs. Kansas City Chiefs) — “Let’s start with Green Bay. Take six off the [-12] spread. It’s minus-6 over Detroit. They have lost like 24 straight at Lambeau. Aaron Rodgers lights up that 30th-ranked defence. And then Denver wins eight in a row over Kansas City. That’s the pick ’em, when you play the teaser, over the Chiefs. That defence allows 3.5 yards per carry. Green Bay-Denver, easy tease.”
This is Sal’s “Best Bet.” He was 12-3-1 with this pick in 2014 and 6-2 this season:
- Arizona Cardinals +3 (@ Seattle Seahawks) — “Neil, I’ve known you, what, 59, 60 weeks now? Have I ever given you two consecutive losing Best Bets in the regular season? I haven’t. I’m not about to do it. I don’t want to jeopardize our friendship! That’s why we are taking Arizona plus-3 at Seattle. Yes, I know, the 12th Man. But is the 12th Man going to be able to come down from the stands and play offensive line? I don’t think they allow that. I don’t think they would. Seattle has given up 31 sacks. On the other side of the ball, Carson Palmer, 20 touchdown passes. Listen to this stat. This is my favourite. Arizona, 11-0 against the spread when they are an underdog of three points or less. Bang! We are taking Arizona as our best bet.”
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