While there are always tons of options for bettors to choose from at online sportsbooks, there are other ways to make money while watching football, even if you aren’t looking at NFL odds and placing moneyline or spread bets.
One of the most popular alternatives for those who want weekly action on NFL games is a season-long survivor pool. Now that we’ve reached Week 13 of the National Football League season and the calendar is flipping to December, your continued existence in any survivor pool is a positive sign.
Below, we’ll get into what these pools are, plus we’ll offer up several games as ones to consider or avoid entirely when making your Week 13 NFL survivor picks.
NFL Week 13 Survivor Pool Picks
Jacksonville Jaguars at Los Angeles Rams () – Sunday, 4:05 p.m. ET
The poor Jaguars are walking to a buzzsaw this week at SoFi Stadium. The Rams should be able to unleash their frustration after getting physically dominated in three consecutive losses to the Titans, 49ers, and Packers.
Jacksonville simply doesn’t have the same type of rushing offense or sophisticated enough pass-rushing schemes in comparison. The Jaguars rank 29th in total DVOA defense and are allowing the second-highest completion rate (71.5%) with the lowest adjusted sack rate (4.8%) in football. On the road, Jacksonville has coughed up 6 TD passes without an interception and is allowing QBs to post a 112.3 passer rating while averaging 8.2 YPA.
The Rams are loaded with talent and Matthew Stafford finally started to gel with new receiver Odell Beckham Jr. in the loss at Lambeau Field last week. Stafford is averaging 314.4 passing YPG with a 13:3 TD:INT ratio at home this season despite collapsing in those aforementioned losses to the Titans and 49ers. He should get back on track, while Von Miller and company continue to make Trevor Lawrence’s rookie season miserable.
Week 13 Survivor Lock: Los Angeles Rams
Indianapolis Colts at Houston Texans () – Sunday, 1 p.m. ET
If you didn’t use the Colts when they hosted the Texans in Week 6, now is your chance to get one of the hottest teams in football against an overmatched division opponent. Indy might have lost, 38-31, to Tampa Bay last week, but they went toe-to-toe with the champs and even managed to bully the Bucs fearsome front on their final scoring drive of the afternoon.
Jonathan Taylor is averaging 114.9 rushing YPG at a 6.2 YPC clip with 16 total TDs over his last nine games and the Colts are 6-3 while averaging 31.3 PPG in that stretch. Houston is coughing up 25.8 PPG and has allowed opponents to rush for 8 TDs with a 4.5 YPC average over five home games this season.
The Texans’ defensive line is giving up the most RB Yards (4.79) per carry according to Football Outsiders and Taylor has gashed Houston for 106.3 rushing YPG at a 7.4 YPC clip over three career meetings.
This is an easy game plan for Frank Reich to construct on offense, and he has plenty of options to deploy defensively against Tyrod Taylor and the Texans. Houston is averaging a league-low 3.2 YPC and managing the second-fewest passing YPG (186.5) while allowing its QB to be sacked at the fifth-highest rate (8.2%).
Now that Darius Leonard and Xavier Rhodes are healthy, Indy’s defense has been lights out, and the Colts should have no trouble bouncing back with another easy win over Houston.
Week 13 Survivor Leverage Pick: Indianapolis Colts
Minnesota Vikings at Detroit Lions () – Sunday, 1 p.m. ET
The Vikings were extremely fortunate to survive with a 19-17 win at home against Detroit in Week 4 when Alexander Mattison fumbled deep in his own territory, allowing the Lions to take the lead in the final minutes. With Dalvin Cook (shoulder) doubtful this week, Mattison will be put in the same position as lead back against a Lions defense that’s been surprisingly competent against the run recently and just held the Bears to 2.9 YPC.
Dan Campbell’s defense held the Steelers and Browns to a combined 24.8% conversion rate on third downs in a tie and a close loss on the road prior to their narrow loss against the Bears. Detroit has lost by just two points in consecutive meetings with Minnesota and could finally break through in Week 13 with the Vikings potentially down Cook and excellent LB Anthony Barr (hamstring).
Week 13 Land Mine Survivor Pick: Minnesota Vikings
NFL Week 13 Betting Odds
2021 NFL Survivor Pool Rules
The format for survivor pools is pretty self-explanatory. In order to survive, you must pick one NFL team each week to win their game. The catch is that each team can only be used once, limiting the number of choices you have as the season progresses. The last person standing wins the jackpot, which usually consists of entry fees paid by everyone in the pool.
Each week, we offer multiple survivor selections of varying risks. This includes the pick we’re most confident in along with an option that could offer leverage to help you save the elite teams for a later game. Our third and final selection is a land mine pick, which indicates a team you may want to stay away from this week.
If you are interested in betting on sports, this information can still be valuable. Feel free to take this analysis and head over to some of the leading brands in the industry including DraftKings, FanDuel, or BetMGM, which have a huge range of betting options for every NFL game. Many of these sites also have free-to-play survivor pools, which don’t require an entry fee.