We’ve officially reached Week 16 of the football season and if you’re still alive in a survivor pool, you’ve done something right this season and are probably on the verge of a great big prize.
While there are always tons of options for bettors to choose from at online sportsbooks, a season-long survivor pool is one of the alternative ways to make money while watching football, even if you aren’t looking at NFL odds all week long.
We know your pool must be coming down to the wire, so we’ll get into several games as ones to consider or avoid entirely when making your Week 16 NFL survivor picks.
NFL Week 16 Survivor Pool Picks
Los Angeles Chargers at Houston Texans () – Sunday, 1 p.m. ET
It isn’t surprising that the Chargers are 4-2 on the road and 4-4 at home this season given the lack of partisan fan support at SoFi Stadium. Los Angeles is scoring fewer points per game (22.8) but converting a higher rate of third downs (46.8%) on the road, and that should help Brandon Staley avoid any more stubborn fourth-down calls in a very winnable game.
Houston is coming off its second win over the Jaguars and that should mark the final high point of their season. Davis Mills is unlikely to have as much time to throw against a Chargers front that ranks sixth in the AFC with a 6.9% adjusted sack rate. The Chargers rank ninth in DVOA pass defense and are vulnerable against the run, but Houston is dead last in rushing YPG (77.4) and averaging just 2.7 YPC over the past two weeks.
The Texans are vulnerable against the run and against deep passes, as they cough up the fifth-most yards per completion (7.2), so Justin Herbert and his deep threats should feast in this matchup. Herbert is averaging 325.3 passing YPG at 8.3 yards per completion over his last three road starts, all of which came against above-average defenses.
Week 16 Survivor Lock: Los Angeles Chargers
New York Giants at Philadelphia Eagles () – Sunday, 1 p.m. ET
If the Giants haven’t yet thrown in the towel on their season, they should consider it. They’ve been ravaged by injuries on both sides of the ball and just lost Sterling Shepard to a devastating Achilles tear while failing to find the end zone for the second time in three games.
Mike Glennon has completed just 51% of his passes with five interceptions and just two TDs in garbage time over three starts in relief of Daniel Jones (neck). Rookie Jake Fromm could get a chance to start over Glennon and this would be a tough spot for his debut.
The Eagles are on a short week, but were coming off their bye prior to Tuesday’s tilt with Washington and are far healthier at this juncture. They’re also playing for a shot at the playoffs, while the Giants could be officially eliminated with another loss.
Jalen Hurts had the worst start of his career at the Giants in Week 12 and then missed the following game because of an ankle injury, so we can prescribe his struggles to a correctable issue. The Eagles rushed for 11 first downs in that contest and the G-Men now rank 27th in DVOA rush defense with a defensive line that is coughing up the third-most adjusted line yards (4.74) per rush, according to Football Outsiders.
Week 16 Survivor Leverage Pick: Philadelphia Eagles
Detroit Lions at Atlanta Falcons () – Sunday, 1 p.m. ET
If you’re scraping the bottom of the barrel for a survivor pick this week, you can likely do better than the Falcons. Atlanta hardly deserves to be a 5.5-point favorite against a Detroit team that has been competitive in most games this season and just thumped the Cardinals last week.
The Falcons took a thumping in San Francisco and Matt Ryan has now been sacked 21 times with an 8:8 TD:INT ratio over his last nine starts. Atlanta’s offensive line ranks 30th in power run blocking, per Football Outsiders, and Atlanta’s defensive line has the fewest sacks (16) this season by a wide margin.
Now, Detroit happens to have the second-fewest sacks (20), but the Lions have held opponents to 240.1 passing YPG with as many sacks (8) as TD passes allowed (8) over their last seven games.
The Lions were knocking on the door before they broke through with a win over the Vikings and they seemed to put it all together in a win over Arizona. These teams are moving in opposite directions and one could argue that Detroit should be the favorite in this matchup.
Week 16 Land Mine Survivor Pick: Atlanta Falcons
NFL Week 16 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.