ESPN’s NFL gambling expert is heating up — here are his picks for Week 6

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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 newest 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. As Simmons would say, good job by you, Cuz!

Well, Cuz is back this season and off to a good start, going 2-1 each of the last three weeks, and he’s 4-1 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:

Pick 1:

    Denver Broncos -4.5 (@ Cleveland Browns) – “A lot of people are down on this Broncos team. They are 5-0. I think it is because [Peyton] Manning doesn’t put up 50 points anymore … Here’s the thing. Cleveland, 31st in the league against the run. They allow almost 150 yards per game on the ground. Denver is going to control the pace. They are 5-1 against the spread as a road favorite. I like Denver big. I think Cleveland goes on an ugly slide here, an ugly slide reminiscent of the ugly slide displayed last week by that cheating monster Chase Utley.” Iacono is a New York Mets fan.

Pick 2:

    Indianapolis Colts +10.5 (vs. New England Patriots) – “Neil, are you afraid of the Patriots? No, I’m not either. A lot of people are – 91% of the gambling public is betting the Patriots. And I understand, because [Tom] Brady owes the Colts for Deflategate, he’s going to pay them back. But what about the Colts? What about this 53-man roster? Don’t they have any pride? They get spanked every year by the Patriots. I think they keep it close, 9-0 against the spread in their last nine as a home underdog. And the Patriots have some trouble with their offensive line. Nate Solder is out. They gave up five sacks. I think the Colts keep it close. If you are taking the Patriots based on retribution, you don’t have a leg to stand on. And you know who else doesn’t have a leg to stand on? Rubén Tejada!”

Here’s Sal’s “Best Bet.” He was 12-3-1 with this pick in 2014 and 4-1 this season:

    New York Giants +3.5 (@ Philadelphia Eagles)– “Neil, did you know that the Monday-night underdog is 5-1 against the spread this year? That’s pretty good. Right on our network, right under our noses, a network you and I built from the ground up. We’re taking the Giants, 4-0 against the spread in their last four road games. Eagles are like 12-25 in their last 37 home games. I like the Giants. I like them plus-3.5 … Let’s go toilet paper Chase Utley’s house!”