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 “thrifty” to “contrarian.”
The lock is our safest and most obvious pick for the week. The thrifty pick is a good team to consider at this point in their season schedule. 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 4 Lock Survivor Pool Pick
Los Angeles Chargers (-15) at Miami Dolphins
The 1-2 Chargers travel to Miami in an obvious get-right spot against the worst NFL team we’ve seen this decade. While the Chargers (-910) are not quite as big of a lock to beat the Fins as Dallas (-2500) was last week, you can trust Philip Rivers and company to shred a secondary that’s even more vulnerable without Minkah Fitzpatrick.
The Chargers have actually been more reliable with a 12-6-1 record against the spread (ATS) on the road since 2017. The Dolphins gave Dallas a good run in the first half last Sunday, but eventually succumbed due to a complete lack of talent on the roster. Melvin Gordon is expected to end his holdout this week, but might not be active for Sunday’s game. The Chargers should be fine without him.
Schedule Notes: Since the Chargers aren’t particularly reliable at home, this is an obvious time to take them. You could roll with the Bolts in Week 10 at Oakland, but that’s a Thursday Night game, so who knows. The Chargers host Oakland in Week 16.
Week 4 Thrifty Survivor Pool Pick
Los Angeles Rams (-10) vs. Tampa Bay Bucs
After earning a win in a slopfest last Thursday night, the Bucs returned to form with an epic collapse against a rookie QB making his debut. This is a juicy matchup for the Rams and Jared Goff, who posted a 112.6 passer rating in his first home start this year after shredding teams at L.A. Coliseum last season.
The Rams are 9-1 at home since the start of the 2018 season and the Bucs are 2-7 on the road during that span. Jameis Winston was 0-6 with a 9:10 TD:INT ratio on the road last year.
Schedule Notes: The only cupcake in the NFC West is Arizona and the Rams don’t face the Cardinals until Week 13 or host them until Week 17. By that time, Kyler Murray could be playing much better. The Rams might be worth taking at home in Week 9 against the Bengals, but A.J. Green (ankle) should be active.
Week 4 Contrarian Survivor Pool Pick
Indianapolis Colts (-6.5) vs Oakland Raiders
This isn’t necessarily a thrifty pick because the Colts still have the Dolphins at home on their schedule in Week 10. But in the unlikely event that Miami tops the inconsistent Chargers and the Rams continue their regression with a loss, the Colts could propel contrarian players to the top of their Survivor Pool.
Indy ranks fourth in DVOA rush offense and ninth in passing offense despite the absence of Andrew Luck. With Frank Reich at the helm, the Colts have become fundamentally sound to a tee, resulting in a 7-2 home record since the start of 2018. The Raiders are 1-8 on the road under Jon Gruden and are giving up a healthy 116.8 passer rating without an interception through three games.
Schedule Notes: The Colts also host the Broncos in Week 8, but the obvious spot to save Indy for is a Week 10 home game against Miami.