Another week, another bloodbath in survivor pools. Let’s take a look at our NFL Week 7 Survivor Picks.
Three of the four most popular selections lost outright last week, bringing this year’s total eliminations in NFL Survival Pools into the 90% range.
…and we’re STILL two weeks away from the halfway point of the season!
The Los Angeles Rams, our best pick for Week 6, managed to outlast the Carolina Panthers. Our sneaky pick, the Chargers, did just enough to beat the Broncos during Monday Night Football. The other three most popular picks — the Buccaneers, Packers, and 49ers — all lost. Those three teams accounted for most of the carnage in yet another week that saw more than 50% of NFL Survivor tickets eliminated.
It’s been a historic year for NFL Survivor Pools, seeing the most eliminations week over week than ever before. If you’ve survived this far (thanks to our hot-fire picks!) give yourself a pat on the back, and send me money at @jimbetsports.
NFL Survivor Strategies Recap
There are two basic strategies to consider when making NFL Survivor picks.
Strategy #1 – Survive And Advance
This strategy is simple. Take the best team available and hope they win.
This is an excellent strategy to use in office pools. Against a small number of entrants, there isn’t as much value in making contrarian picks.
Strategy #2 – Contrarian Picks With Value
For larger pools, more thinking is required. Simply picking the heaviest favorite each week isn’t going to cut it when you’re trying to outlast up to one thousand opponents.
Your goal should be to target less popular options that are strong favorites.
Through six weeks, with more than 90% of entrants eliminated, more emphasis is needed on Strategy #1 – Survive and Advance. There simply isn’t as much value in getting tricky with so few tickets remaining.
We’ll be offering a number of NFL Survivor Picks each week, as there isn’t a “one-size-fits-all” option to suit everyone. Some of you will be playing multiple tickets, others are participating in double death pools, and so on.
Here are our NFL Survivor Picks for Week 7.
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NFL Survivor Week 7: The Safe Pick
New England Patriots
There are a number of reasons to use the Patriots this week.
For starters, the Patriots don’t present much, if any, future value in NFL Survivor Pools. They’ll be a home favorite in Week 11 against the New York Jets, a team coach Bill Belichick has owned throughout his career. Otherwise, there isn’t another game on their schedule I’d consider using them.
Secondly, the Chicago Bears are bad. QB Justin Fields has trouble throwing the ball, which, according to my limited understanding of football, is not a good trait to possess when your job function is “guy who throws the football”. The Bears rank dead last in passing yards per game, completion percentage, sacks allowed, interceptions thrown … basically every offensive passing category.
The Bears have been forced to lean on the rushing game all year, and Belichick runs an absolute masterclass in rushing defense. If the Patriots get out to an early lead, and by all available metrics they should, the Bears will be forced to make up ground using a guy who can’t throw, against the best defensive coach in the history of the NFL.
The Patriots stand to be a popular pick in NFL Survivor Week 7, with close to 25% of tickets estimated picking them. It’s often not wise choosing the most popular option, but we’ve avoided major carnage the last three weeks by playing it safe. Absolutely no shame in doing it again.
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NFL Survivor Week 7: The Sneaky Pick
I wrote about the Miami Dolphins being one of my favorite bets in NFL Week 7. I also don’t mind using them in NFL Survivor Pools this week. If you’ve used the Patriots already this season, or if you’re playing with multiple tickets, the Dolphins are in a good spot to take advantage of a letdown game against the Steelers.
The Dolphins are coming off a loss to the Minnesota Vikings — a game they should have won if it wasn’t for a number of stupid penalties. They managed more than 450 yards on offense with two backup quarterbacks, and with Tua Tagovailoa making his return, we can expect that offensive production to remain. The Steelers rank 30th in the NFL, allowing more than 275 passing yards per game.
While Tua’s health remains a question mark, it’s safe to assume the Dolphins medical staff have done its due diligence this time. With the public outcry after his second concussion, you have to think they double and triple checked everything here to make sure he’s safe to suit up against the Steelers.
These Steelers are fresh off a victory over the Tampa Bay Buccaneers as a 10-point underdog, making this a classic letdown spot for them. Teams coming off an upset victory rarely put up the same effort the following week. With Tua returning for the Dolphins, and better players at every skill position, I like the Dolphins to win this one comfortably.
Less than 5% of NFL Survivor tickets are projected to use the Dolphins this week making them a sneaky pick with contrarian value.
Early wagering patterns: NFL Week 7 Betting Trends
NFL Survivor Week 7: Two Popular Picks to Avoid
Tampa Bay Buccaneers
The Buccaneers are going to be a popular pick this week. I suggested avoiding them last week, and if you didn’t listen, well, enjoy your NFL Survivor vacation because your season is OVER!
The Bucs are … bad? Is that possible? They rank in the bottom half of passing statistics for the season, which is bad enough. But their rushing attack? Holy moly. Talk about non-existent. The Bucs rank dead last in rushing yards per game and have found the end zone only twice the entire season on a run.
There might be a bigger issue at play here, as seven-time Super Bowl Champion and living legend Tom Brady has looked in shambles all season. He’s dealing with a number of off-field distractions this season, including a messy divorce. He’s also prioritized a number of social functions instead of team practices. The guy known for being a great teammate was also seen screaming at his offense during their 20-18 loss to the Steelers last week.
Something doesn’t smell right here. And as much of a lay-up game as it should be against the Carolina Panthers, the Bucs did just lose to the Steelers.
I’m happier trusting Belichick and a Patriots team firing on all cylinders than chasing the ghost of Tom Brady and the Bucs.
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The Dak Attack is back, Jack! Just don’t trust him this week against the Detroit Lions.
The Lions are one of those sneaky bad teams that rank a little higher, somewhere in no man’s land. In an NFL season that features a lot of mediocre teams, the Lions stand out as a slightly better option because of their explosive offense. Despite a shutout loss to the Patriots in Week 5 AND a BYE week, the Lions rank third in NFL scoring through six weeks.
They’re certainly not “good”, sporting a 2-4 record with dumb losses against the Vikings, Seahawks, and that 29-0 shutout loss against the Patriots. But they’ll be coming into this one off a BYE week with fresh legs. I won’t be betting the Lions to beat the Cowboys, but I’m happy avoiding this matchup altogether. The Lions can put up a ton of points.
Give Dak Prescott and this offense a week to figure things out before trusting them with your NFL Survivor lives. The Cowboys play the Bears next week which is a much better situational spot to use them.