We’re heading down the home stretch of the 2020-21 NFL season and there are many ways to cash in on your knowledge of the most popular professional sports league in the country.
The smartest and most fortunate bettors should still be alive in their survivor pools. But the Rams losing to the Jets in Week 15 trimmed the field considerably.
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 our strongest survivor pick for this week, called a “lock“, and a “thrifty” pick that can help you save better teams for later in the season.
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 land mine identifies a team that might be a popular pick but could come up short 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 sportsbooks. Also, be aware that the point spread could be considerable with these teams favored to win by over a touchdown in some cases.
Week 16 Lock Survivor Pool Pick
Cleveland Browns vs New York Jets
Assuming the Ravens are already off the board for your survivor pool, the Browns should be a fine alternative to get you through to Week 17. The Jets shocked the Rams last week in a classic “trap” spot with L.A. looking ahead to critical NFC West showdowns. Like the Rams, the Browns depend on the running game, but they have a very capable QB in Baker Mayfield. While Jared Goff ranks 22nd in total QBR (61.8), Mayfield ranks 9th (72.1) per Football Outsiders, and he’s been hot lately with a 70.2% completion rate and 10:1 TD:INT ratio over his last 4 starts. Mayfield should thrive against the Jets’ 32nd-rated pass defense and the Browns defense is coming around now that Myles Garrett (COVID) is healthier.
Week 16 Thrifty Survivor Pool Pick
Houston Texans vs Cincinnati Bengals
The Bengals have become the worst team in football since Joe Burrow (knee) was placed on season-ending I.R. While they’re still capable of turning up for divisional matchups, Cincy should have little interest in clawing for a road win at Houston. The Texans rushing attack ranks 32nd in DVOA and their rushing defense is pathetic as well. But Cincy averages the third-fewest rushing YPG (90.8) and is facing more stacked boxes without the threat of Burrow under center. The Bengals defense yields the seventh-most YPA (7.2) and ranks 30th in sack rate (3.2%), so Deshaun Watson should be able to comfortably pick that unit apart and the Texans won’t have to rely on their weak running game.
Week 16 Survivor Pool Land Mine
Chicago Bears vs Jacksonville Jaguars
With David Montgomery taking off and Mitchell Trubisky adding a bit more explosiveness to the Bears offense, they’re averaging an impressive 30.8 PPG over their last 4 outings. Jacksonville is getting steamrolled for a league-high 184.3 rushing YPG during that span and ranks 31st in DVOA pass defense this year. This is a cake matchup, but you can’t account for the unpredictability of a turnover-prone QB like Trubisky. Defensively, Chicago is giving up 268 passing YPG over their last 3 games and the Jags are more dangerous now with Gardner Minshew under center. Jaguars fans might want the team to lose out and secure the No. 1 pick, but you can bet Minshew doesn’t want to tank for Trevor Lawrence, so he could turn in a spirited effort.