There are millions of people out there who play in NFL survivor pools. These are very popular at work and at sports bars from around the country.
The object is to pick one winner a week and to be the last person standing. Different pools have different rules.
Some will only allow you to pick a team once, while others let you pick a team multiple times. Also, some are single-loss elimination, while others allow you to have multiple losses before you can be eliminated.
I am going to go through every week and list six teams that are worth a look in your survivor pool. I will separate them by Tier 1 (two best options), Tier 2 (3rd & 4th best options), and Tier 3 (5th & 6th best options). This way, for those of you who can only pick a team once throughout the season, you will have several different teams to choose from.
I am now 83-17 on my Tier 1 and Tier 2 survivor pool choices combined since the start of the 2016 season. I delivered my third 6-0 week in the past four with a solid 22-2 run over the past four weeks. I won with the Rams, Steelers, Lions, Patriots, Panthers and Titans last week.
This looks like another easy week for survivor pool players. There are five teams who are favored by a touchdown or more, and all five make the list this week. I have pegged six solid options for you to consider.
As you’ll notice throughout the season, I’ll refer to the point spreads when making my selections because I think this is the best way to do it. The oddsmakers in Vegas are very good at what they do. It’s a good starting point when making your picks as well.
1) Kansas City Chiefs – The Kansas City Chiefs are coming off their bye week and motivated to bounce back from three losses in their last four games. Andy Reid has been a genius off a bye, going 16-2 straight up in his last 18 tries. Now the Chiefs are up against a New York Giants team that looks to have quit in losing three straight by double-digits, and giving up 82 points combined the past two weeks. The Chiefs should have no problem winning this game Sunday as 10.5-point road favorites.
2) New Orleans Saints – The New Orleans Saints have now won seven straight, and last week’s 47-10 win in Buffalo may have been their most impressive yet. Drew Brees is hitting on all cylinders offensively thanks to the help of the 1-2 punch of Mark Ingram and Alvin Kamara. But the biggest difference with this Saints team is that they actually have a legitimate defense. The Washington Redskins remain banged up and have lost three of their last four coming in. Their lone win was an outlier, fluke in Seattle, and the three losses have all come by 8 points or more. The Saints are 7.5-point favorites and should get the win.
3) Pittsburgh Steelers – The Steelers are 7-point home favorites over the Titans this week. They were sleep-walking through three quarters against the Colts coming off their bye last week. They had to rally from 17-3 down to win the game 20-17. I think they’ll be more focused this week at home against the Tennessee Titans. The Titans do have a vulnerable defense, and their offense has actually taken a big step back from a year ago. The Steelers should take care of business at home on this short week, which is an advantage for them getting their bye two weeks ago.
4) New England Patriots – Don’t look now, but the New England Patriots are starting to play up to their potential. They are coming off five straight victories, including their 41-16 win in Denver last week. They actually stayed in Colorado Springs to prepare for the altitude in Mexico City this week against the Raiders. The Raiders have lost five of their last seven and have a leaky defense that has surrendered 30-plus points in three of their last five. The Patriots are 7-point favorites in this game and should get the win.
5) Jacksonville Jaguars – The 0-9 Cleveland Browns found another way to lose last week against the Detroit Lions despite dominating them statistically. They just cannot be trusted, and that’s why they show up on my top six again this week. The Jaguars are 7.5-point road favorites over the Browns this week. The Jaguars have been one of the best teams in the NFL statistically as they sit at 6-3 behind the best defense in the NFL. They should shut down a struggling Cleveland offense and get the win Sunday.
6) Los Angeles Chargers – The Buffalo Bills are coming off back-to-back blowout losses to the New York Jets (21-34) and the New Orleans Saints (10-47). That led to head coach Sean McDermott making a quarterback change as rookie fifth-round pick Nathan Peterman will be making his first career start in place of Tyrod Taylor. The Chargers have one of the best defenses in the NFL and should make life difficult for the rookie. And Bills have been gashed defensively against the run, so Melvin Gordon and company should have a big day this week. I like the Chargers to win the game as 4.5-point home favorites.