The 2019-20 NFL season is rolling, and there are many ways to cash in on your knowledge of the most popular professional sports league in the country.
At PlayPicks, we’re breaking down the NFL Survivor Pool landscape to bring you weekly options that will help you stay alive and ahead of the field in your pool.
For those new to Survivor Pools, the format is simple: pick an NFL team to win each week, advance if they win, and you can’t pick the same team twice. The last member of the pool standing takes home the cash.
In this article, we will identify tiers of survivor picks, ranging from “lock” to “contrarian.”
The lock is our safest and most obvious pick for the week. And our contrarian pick goes against the grain to potentially keep your pool alive when the defecation hits the oscillation in the NFL and thousands of survivors lose a supposed lock to an upset.
You can also use advice from this article to place bets on FanDuel Sportsbook and DraftKings Sportsbook. Many of the recommended bets can be applied to those New Jersey books. Just also be aware that the point spread could be considerable with these teams favored to win by over a touchdown in some cases.
Week 3 Lock Survivor Pool Pick
Dallas Cowboys (-22.5) at Miami Dolphins
Picking against the Dolphins will be the easiest way to go all season and it will be a popular approach in Survivor Pools. The Cowboys have rolled through two easy wins and should remain locked in against a team that’s coughed up 102 points through two contests. Miami traded former first-round pick Minkah Fitzpatrick to the Steelers and that will further diminish a secondary that ranks dead last in DVOA pass defense.
Dallas is 4-3-1 against the spread (ATS) as a home favorite since the start of last season, but this gigantic spread tells you all you need to know. The Cowboys are a ridiculous -2500 on the Moneyline.
Schedule Notes: The Cowboys could be worth consideration in Week 6 at the Jets, but Sam Darnold (illness) should be back by then. Otherwise, a Week 8 trip back to New Jersey to face the Giants or a Week 17 home game against the Redskins could be worth a pick. But division games are certainly tougher to call than a win over the sorry Dolphins.
New England Patriots (-22.5) vs. New York Jets
This week brings two 20-plus point favorites with almost zero chance to lose at home. The Jets offense looked absolutely atrocious with third-string quarterback Luke Falk at the controls and he’ll be forced to start against ruthless Bill Belichick with Sam Darnold (illness) doubtful and Trevor Siemian (ankle) done for the season.
The Patriots went a league-best 7-2 ATS at home last year and are 14-2 against the Jets since 2011. Considering DraftKings Sportsbook is taking bets on the Patriots to go 19-0 (+2500), it may be wise to save New England for another week. The Cowboys are our preferred “lock” for Week 3.
Schedule Notes: The Patriots could also be considered a lock at home against the Giants in Week 6, but the schedule stiffens from that point on until they close the season with games at Cincy and home against Buffalo and Miami. It would be prudent to save the Pats until Week 15 if possible.
Week 3 Contrarian Survivor Pool Pick
Green Bay Packers (-8) vs Denver Broncos
This is an extremely contrarian pick given how safe the Cowboys and Patriots are in Week 3. But the Packers are another strong bet to handle business at Lambeau Field against a Broncos team that ranks 27th in DVOA rush offense and has arguably the worst first-string QB in the league. Joe Flacco has looked inept at times behind a struggling offensive line and the Packers revamped pass rush could dominate in this matchup.
Green Bay ranks third in DVOA pass defense so far this season and while there may still be some growing pains, Aaron Rodgers appears to be finding his rhythm in a new system under HC Matt LaFleur. Denver is 4-13 on the road since 2017 and no longer has anything resembling a dominant defense.
Schedule Notes: This is arguably the Packers easiest home game of the season aside from a Week 14 date against Washington. Green Bay may also be worth consideration at the Giants in Week 13.