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Sal Iacono, a writer for “Jimmy Kimmel Live” and better known as “Cousin Sal” on Bill Simmons’ podcasts, was ESPN’s new NFL gambling expert during the 2014 season. He didn’t lose a pick on his weekly “SportsCenter” segment during the final six weeks of the regular season.
Sal was 15-0-3 over the last six weeks of the 2014 season and 19-2-3 over the last eight weeks.
That’s pretty good.
Well, he’s back this season and he went 2-1 a week ago. So let’s take a look at who Cousin Sal likes in Week 4 along with his thoughts on each pick:
Chicago Bears +3 (vs. Oakland Raiders) – “All of the sudden, the Raiders are the degenerate gambler darling of the NFL. In some casinos, 91% of the gamblers playing this game are backing the Raiders, who are 1-7 as a road favorite in their last eight. Do you know who the one was? I don’t either. I’m not convinced it happened. I’m taking the Bears, plus-3. Look, they’re miserable. It’s a fire sale, but take Chicago.”
His second pick is his 2-team teaser – must pick both games correctly, but you get a more favorable point-spread in each game. Cousin Sal was 7-1-1 on teasers over the final nine weeks of the 2014 season.
Buffalo Bills EVEN (vs. New York Giants) – With the teaser “it’s now even, just to win at home, take the Bills.” Kansas City Chiefs +10.5 (@ Cincinnati Bengals) – With the teaser “make that 10.5 over Cincinnati and the impeccable Andy Dalton.”
Here is Sal’s “Best Bet.” He was 12-3-1 with this pick in 2014 and 2-1 this season”
Minnesota Vikings +7 (@Denver Broncos)– “Something is wrong with Peyton Manning. He’s not the same. There is something off about his game and you are not going to hear that from anybody else but me. Here’s the thing. Everybody is talking about the Bronco’s defense, but it’s the Vikings’ front-7. They give up fewer than 17 points per game. They’re 6-1 against the spread as an underdog in their last seven. I like them to keep [the Broncos] close. I think they can win the game, but it doesn’t matter, I’m getting seven points.”