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 the 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. Also, be aware that the point spread could be considerable with these teams favored to win by over a touchdown in some cases.
Week 5 Lock Survivor Pool Pick
New England Patriots (-15.5) at Washington Redskins
For all intents and purposes, Sunday’s 16-10 win at Buffalo can be considered a loss for New England’s suddenly vulnerable offense. Expect Bill Belichick and Tom Brady to treat it like one and come out on fire against a Washington team that ranks 27th in DVOA pass defense this year.
New England (-835 on the Moneyline) is a league-best 21-10 against the spread (ATS) and 25-6 straight up over the past decade following a loss. Washington is 4-8 straight up as a home underdog since 2017. The Redskins may start rookie QB Dwayne Haskins against the Pats stifling defense and we’ve seen Belichick baffle rookies with lesser groups than this one.
Schedule Notes: The Patriots host the Giants next week, but Daniel Jones has that team playing much better. New England could also be worth deploying in Week 7 at the Jets, or saving for a Week 17 home date against Miami.
Week 5 Thrifty Survivor Pool Pick
Philadelphia Eagles (-14.5) vs. New York Jets
The Jets will be forced to start Luke Falk once again with Sam Darnold experiencing complications due to illness. Falk has taken 7 sacks through two appearances and has yet to throw a TD.
The Eagles front seven remains elite and their ability to stop the run and pressure Falk should make up for any deficiencies at cornerback. Le’veon Bell is a great addition, but the Jets offensive line has been stuffed at the third-highest rate this year per Football Outsiders.
The Eagles are 21-7 at home since Doug Pederson took over in 2016. The Jets have the third-worst record (4-18) as road underdogs during that span.
Schedule Notes: The Eagles face a brutal schedule over the next few weeks and basically aren’t an option for Survivor Pools again until they travel to Miami in Week 13.
Week 5 Contrarian Survivor Pool Pick
Chicago Bears (-5) at Oakland Raiders
This game is in London, not Oakland, so the small spread for the superior team is surprising. Chicago is 6-2 as a favorite on the road since 2016. Replacing Mitchell Trubisky (shoulder) with Chase Daniel is not necessarily a significant downgrade since the veteran can play within the Bears offense and manage the game effectively.
Oakland is 12-24 at home for what that is worth. The Raiders surprised the Colts on the road, but are still 2-7 in non-conference games since 2017. This is part of a 48-day stretch for Oakland without a home game and the Raiders are due for a letdown. The Raiders are also 1-3 at neutral sites over the past decade.
More importantly, Oakland’s offensive line should be overmatched by the Bears and a highly-motivated Khalil Mack. Chicago is one of five teams allowing under 300 total YPG (290.8) and the Raiders are a bottom 10 offense at 335.8 YPG and 19.8 points per game.
Schedule Notes: This is arguably the only spot to take the Bears the rest of the season. Chicago hosts the Giants on Nov. 24, but has to reload to play the Lions at 12:30 p.m. on Thanksgiving four days later, so that’s a tough stretch.