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 9 Lock Survivor Pool Pick
Buffalo Bills (-9.5) vs Washington Redskins
Washington gave the Vikings a run in Minnesota last Thursday night, but was never really a threat to pull of the victory. Buffalo isn’t quite as strong offensively as Minnesota, but the Bills rank fifth in DVOA pass defense and have a shutdown CB in Tre’Davious White who is capable of containing Washington’s only dangerous WR, rookie Terry McLaurin.
Buffalo struggled in run defense last week, but Washington ranks 28th in DVOA rush offense and dead last in Power Run blocking per Football Outsiders. The Bills may struggle to get consistent scoring opportunities with Josh Allen at the controls, but Buffalo is actually second in TDs produced (.688) per red zone trip this year. Washington ranks 24th in TD/FG ratio (4.65) induced when opponent’s get into the red zone.
Schedule Notes: You may want to save the Bills for their Week 11 trip to Miami, or may have already used them in their Week 7 home win against the Dolphins. If so, and you’ve used our other two options below, we like the Texans in London and Panthers at home as other top options in Survivor Pools.
Week 9 Thrifty Survivor Pool Pick
Seattle Seahawks (-7) vs Tampa Bay Bucs
Tampa QB Jameis Winston owns a 10-22 record in his career on the road and he went 0-6 with a 9:10 TD:INT ratio in road starts last season. Seattle notably has one of the top home field advantages in the NFL and has the second-best home record (51-14) since Russell Wilson was drafted in 2012.
The Seahawks defense has forced 6 interceptions and allowed just 4 TD passes through four home games this year. Seattle ranks second in DVOA pass defense thanks to Wilson’s MVP-caliber play and Tampa has given up the second-most passing YPG (285.9) this season. Seattle’s deficiencies in rush defense shouldn’t be an issue either against a Bucs offense that averages just 3.8 YPC this season
Schedule Notes: Other than a Week 16 home game against the Cardinals, the Seahawks don’t have another lay-up on their remaining schedule. This is likely the right time to use Seattle.
Week 9 Contrarian Survivor Pool Pick
San Francisco 49ers (-8) at Arizona Cardinals
While the Niners aren’t a contrarian option, they play on the road on Thursday night and there’s a bit of a stigma about teams in that situation. Betting against San Francisco this season has proven to be foolhardy, as the Niners rank second in DVOA pass defense with 34 sacks through seven games.
San Francisco averages the second-most rushing YPG (181.1) and Arizona is coughing up 130.1 rushing YPG this year. Tevin Coleman‘s resurgence after an early-season injury makes the Niners rushing attack even more dynamic. Emmanuel Sanders adds a presence as a top receiver on the interior, where he should avoid shadow coverage from Cardinals top CB Patrick Peterson.
Schedule Notes: The Niners host the Cardinals in Week 11 and host the Falcons in Week 13. However, if you’re struggling to find reliable options this week, consider using the 49ers on Thursday night.