ESPN Gambling Expert Hands Out Teasers

Updated: December 12, 2014
cousin sal

It’s nice to see that even the ‘Mothership’ has joined the party when it comes to recognizing that sports gambling is the biggest draw to college and professional sports alike.  They’ve now gone as far as to represent an “NFL Gambling Expert,” whose job is to give Sportscenter watchers 3 NFL picks against the spread on a weekly basis. The man in question is Sal Iacono who has otherwise made a name for himself as a writer on “Jimmy Kimmel Live” and as “Cousin Sal” on Bill Simmons’ podcasts.

“Cousin Sal” is apparently 13-2 against the spread over the last 5 weeks of NFL ‘picking.’ This is no easy feat and even novice gamblers can get hot for a stretch.  Bill Simmons’ podcast is somewhat palatable as they at very least provide factual sports commentary and “Cousin Sal” seems to know his NFL teams.  When I saw Sal’s picks for Week 15, I was taken a little aback at the fact that the spreads he cited were so far from reality, I thought this was a Disney production in true ESPN form.


Sal’s Week 15 Picks:

Bills +6 (Straight)

Texans +7 (Straight)

Ravens -8  / Patriots -1.5 (Teasers)

First of all, Bills +6 was never an option this week as the line released at +4 and hasn’t moved. Is this guy citing ridiculously heavy juiced lines where he’s paying around -300 juice for such healthy spreads?  I investigated a little further and found that this “Expert” hands out teasers and the Ravens -8 and Pats -1.5 is a 6 point, 2-team teaser.  Anyone with any credibility in the gambling world knows that teasers are for chumps. The only way to consistently win money over the long haul is via straight bets.

I then listened to the Podcast where Bill and Sal suggested that the Rams would roll the Cards last night – which was hardly the case.    All said in done, I thought it refreshing that ESPN has an NFL picks expert to join Phil Steele in effort to provide sound betting advice, but was ultimately disappointed to see false lines and teasers being handed out. In the end, ESPN is beholden to its stock holders who in my estimation have to be largely composed of Vegas investors.  My theory is that they would hand out just enough winners to keep people tuning into their picks segment, but ultimately screw the masses with bullshit teaser plays, parlays and other ways of separating the average joe from his cash.