For the latest Bill Simmons Podcast, Bill and Cousin Sal trekked over to the Any Given Wednesday set and brought in a studio audience before talking Al Michaels’s double-shift with the Thursday and Sunday night games, Robert Griffin III’s injury bug, and a hypothetical Patriots-Giants Super Bowl matchup. In between, the two guessed the Vegas lines for the upcoming slate of NFL games. If you don’t have time to listen, you can take a look at their picks for Sunday’s early games right here.
For all of Bill and Sal’s Week 2 picks, listen to the full podcast here. This transcript has been edited and condensed.
New York Jets at Buffalo
Cousin Sal’s Line: Bills -3
Bill’s Line: Jets -3
Vegas Line: Jets -1
B.S.: I think this is going to be bad. I could see the Bills Mafia might get very upset. I think we could get our first "Ryan must go" chant. The Bills are terrible. I think they’re a bottom-five team. I think people realized the Jets might actually be good. That Jets-Bengals game was almost like a playoff game. I thought it was like two of the best eight or nine teams.
C.S.: But how about [Darrelle] Revis? How was he the greatest and now he just gets torched every week?
B.S.: When [Bill] Belichick cuts ties … he’s like a dog. He sniffs death. He just knows. The [player who is cut] is never as good when he leaves — I can’t think of one guy coming back to haunt us in 15 years.
New Orleans at New York Giants
Cousin Sal’s Line: Giants -4
Bill’s Line: Giants -5.5
Vegas Line: Giants -4.5
B.S.: The Saints have another terrible defense, and I actually like this Giants team. I feel good about my Super Bowl prediction.
C.S.: Giants and Patriots.
B.S.: Trilogy. The third receiver, that one touchdown catch [Sterling Shepard] made, they didn’t have a guy who could make that catch last year. When Eli has those three receivers, I think he’s not the Black Sheep Manning anymore.
C.S.: And [Odell] Beckham could go for 600 yards this week. That Saints secondary is so bad, they did nothing in free agency.
B.S.: Eli lays those three eggs a year. I don’t know if it’s going to be this week, but I’m going to put everyone on warning. Any time it looks too good for the Giants, something bad happens. During the regular season, not the playoffs.
Dallas at Washington
Cousin Sal’s Line: Washington -4.5
Bill’s Line: Washington -3
Vegas Line: Washington -2.5
C.S.: Alfred Morris was clearly better than the kid, Ezekiel Elliot, but [Elliot] had to have 25 carries, I think [Jason Garrett] drafted him, I’m almost positive he drafted him in his fantasy league. Dez [Bryant] gets five targets a game, [Jason] Witten gets 14, it’s just such a bad gameplan. And we were right there to win that game.
Cincinnati at Pittsburgh
Cousin Sal’s Line: Steelers -3.5
Bill’s Line: Steelers -3
Vegas Line: Steelers -3.5
B.S.: I don’t know how [the Steelers] keep finding these receivers I’ve never heard of. It’s unbelievable. Eli Rogers? Where the fuck did he come from? Every year they find a new guy — he’s always between 5-foot-9 and 5-foot-11 and the announcer’s like, "They love this guy."
C.S.: DeAngelo Williams is the best backup maybe in football history. Bengals were good last week, though — Andy Dalton deserves credit, he gets sacked a lot.
Tennessee at Detroit
Cousin Sal’s Line: Lions -6.5
Bill’s Line: Lions -4
Vegas Line: Lions -6
B.S.: That’s too high. To me the Titans and Jaguars are the two teams that might be a little better than we think they are. Because that Vikings defense [that the Titans played last week] is top-five.
Kansas City at Houston
Cousin Sal’s Line: Texans -3
Bill’s Line: Texans -2.5
Vegas Line: Texans -2.5
B.S.: What a garbage win by the Chiefs. Don’t celebrate after that win, Kansas City. The only reason they won is because Keenan Allen blew out his ACL in the first half when the Chargers were up by 21 and the Chargers literally saw their season being carted off. And that was it.
C.S.: I think that was the worst loss of the week. This is a team that has to get in good graces with their fans, and their city, come back to San Diego, huge division rival, they’re up three touchdowns, and then they lose their star receiver? That’s bad.
Miami at New England
Cousin Sal’s Line: Patriots -3
Bill’s Line: Patriots -5.5
Vegas Line: Patriots -6.5
B.S.: I’m worried about this game. That Dolphins D-line looked good in Seattle. And Jimmy [Garoppolo] just spent the last three days hearing from everybody in his life about how great he was. Then [Ndamukong] Suh’s stomping on his leg. I think they’re factoring in the three extra points for the Pats because they know the first half is so tough for the [opposing] defense when they see Jimmy.
C.S.: You’re in love with this guy.
B.S.: Oh, he’s very handsome. Although my daughter did say, "He’s really good looking, but Brady’s a little bit better looking." Like, that’s my girl.
Baltimore at Cleveland
Cousin Sal’s Line: Ravens -6
Bill’s Line: Ravens -4
Vegas Line: Raven -6.5
B.S.: I felt bad for Robert Griffin. I was actually secretly hoping he’d be half-decent [but] he just can’t stay on the field. Obviously he’s not meant to play a contact sport, much like your beloved Tony Romo.
C.S.: He’s not anything like my beloved Tony Romo.
B.S.: Well, sometimes your body is telling you something.
San Francisco at Carolina
Cousin Sal’s Line: Panthers -13
Bill’s Line: Panthers -11.5
Vegas Line: Panthers -13.5
B.S.: How many teams in the league, if they’re down 10, the game is over? I know the Niners put up 28 in that game, but if the Panthers go up 10-nothing it’s over. Any good defense, it’s over. They’re not going to be able to come back. So I would say the Browns are like that, and the Rams and the Titans. I just don’t think they can come back. Maybe the Dolphins, too.
C.S.: I mean, there’s no way to prove this, but yeah. I like it.