Sal Iancono (Cousin Sal) released the first episode of his new web-show Friday. Cousin Sal’s Sure Thing will be his new platform for delivering his weekly best bets for the NFL. Jimmy Kimmel opens the first episode quickly with a lead-in to Sal’s 79% win percentage over the past two years with ESPN. I will be tracking the picks Sal releases on his show as well as those discussed on Bill Simmons’ podcast throughout the 2016-17 NFL season.
Cousin Sal's Sure Thing
Cousin Sal NFL Picks Week 1
Tennessee Titans (+2) vs. Minnesota Vikings
Cousin Sal has bet $770 to win $700 on the Tennessee Titans for the following reasons:
- Sam Bradford will only have 7 days to prepare for this game, although it has not been announced which quarterback will be getting the start.
- DeMarco Murray and Derrick Henry will give the Titans a strong running game.
- Cousin Sal believes it will be a low-scoring physical game with the home team winning over a devastated opposition.
Detroit Lions (+3.5) at Indianpolis
Cousin Sal has risked $1320 to win $1200 on the Detroit Lions for the following reasons:
- Colts secondary suffered a blow with Vontae Davis injury. This will make it easier for Lions QB Matthew Stafford to gel with his wide receivers.
- Indianapolis has been outscored by 36 points over their last 4 opening day matches.
- Chuck Strong / Chuck Weak pun.
Best Bet: Chicago Bears (+6) at Houston Texans
This is Cousin Sal’s best bet of the week. He has risked $1980 to win $1800 on the Chicago Bears for the following reasons:
- Cousin Sal expects the Bears’ front seven to be great this year. He expects them to pressure Osweiler.
- JJ Watt will be limited after offseason surgery.
Cousin Sal’s Fantasy Gem: Matt Ryan
Sal will be predicting an underrated fantasy player each week. He has selected the Atlanta Falcons QB Matt Ryan for the following reasons:
- Plays well against Tampa averaging almost 28 fantasy points per game over their last 3 contests.
- Tampa Bay gave up 272 passing yards on the road last year.
- Matt Ryan will have incentive given that his former head coach Mike Smith is now that Bucs’ defensive coach.
Cousin Sal’s Fantasy Bust: Matt Forte
Sal will be predicting an overrated fantasy player each week. He went with Matt Forte for Week 1 for the following reasons:
- He is playing against the Cincinnati Bengals defense that was 7th against the run last season only conceding 8 rushing touchdowns.
- Cousin Sal believes he is too old and injury prone.