We’re heading into the final week 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.
Only the smartest and most fortunate bettors are still alive in their survivor pools and the pickings are slim in Week 17.
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 17 Lock Survivor Pool Pick
Indianapolis Colts vs Jacksonville Jaguars
The Jaguars have actively been tanking over the past two weeks and now have the No. 1 overall pick locked up. It’s hard to imagine their players pulling a 180 with a spirited effort against a Colts team that needs a win and help to qualify for the playoffs with an 11-5 record. The Jags stunned the Colts, 27-20, in Week 1, but their defense is now by far the worst in the league with third-string cornerbacks starting across the board and a front seven coughing up 178.7 rushing YPG over their last 3 losses. The Colts are averaging 5.7 YPC during that span and are at home, where they’ve converted 75% of red zone possessions into TDs this season.
Week 17 Thrifty Survivor Pool Pick
Dallas Cowboys vs New York Giants
If you don’t have the Colts or Ravens (-11 at Bengals) left in your pool, the Cowboys might be your best option as they hope for a win and a Washington loss to earn an NFC East title. They’ve turned their season around decisively with four straight wins and Andy Dalton finally looked like the best backup in football while passing for 337 yards and 3 TDs in a rout of the Eagles. With Dalton on the same page as his talented receivers, the Cowboys are averaging 6.2 yards per play over the past 3 weeks. The Giants are averaging a league-low 4.4 yards per play and 8.7 PPG during that span. Daniel Jones (hamstring/ankle) is hobbling around and will be susceptible to a reinvigorated Cowboys front seven. This may be a low scoring division battle, but the Cowboys are in better position to convert on their limited scoring opportunities.
Week 17 Survivor Pool Land Mine
Tennessee Titans vs Houston Texans
Neither of these defenses can stop anyone and we saw that when they met in Week 5 and the Titans prevailed, 42-36, in OT. The Texans offense is now without Will Fuller (suspension) and Randall Cobb (ankle) but is somehow more balanced with David Johnson averaging 11.3 yards per touch while compiling 272 scrimmage yards over his last 2 appearances. Deshaun Watson still ranks 5th among QBs in DVOA per Football Outsiders. The Titans are dead last in opponent’s third-down conversion rate (52.6%) and in adjusted sack rate (3.2%) this season and Watson leads the NFL with an 87.3% completion rate when given a clean pocket.