NFL Survivor Pool Tips for Week #10 (2020 regular season)
NFL SURVIVOR PICKS (WEEK #10)
BY PROFESSOR MJ
Which team should you pick in your NFL survivor pool in Week 10?
The answer obviously depends on the teams you have selected thus far this season, but I’ll do my best to cover the vast majority of cases.
As you’re about to find out, I believe there are only two good options this week.
SURVIVOR PICK #1: GREEN BAY PACKERS (vs Jacksonville Jaguars)
The team from the Frozen Tundra is a sound play due to a couple of factors:
- They are the biggest favorites of the week according to oddsmakers with a point spread of 13 points;
- They don’t hold a great future value.
When I talk about “future value”, I mean the strength of their remaining schedule. If a team has several easy matchups left, they are said to have good future value. If all of their remaining opponents are not easy to beat, the future value is NOT good. You want to pick that team right now.
In the case of Green Bay, they are likely to be favored in all of their games until the season ends. However, I expect them to be less than a 7-point favorite in four games (at Indy, at Detroit, at Chicago and hosting the Titans). If possible, always try to avoid taking a team favored by less than 7 points.
On the other hand, the Packers are projected to be 7-10 point favorites in the following three meetings, all at Lambeau Field: facing the Bears, the Eagles and the Panthers. The most profitable matchup is likely to be against Carolina in Week 15.
However, there should be two HUGE favorites in Week 15 (i.e. better alternatives than grabbing the Packers): the Ravens hosting the Jags, and the Rams hosting the Jets.
In summary, the Packers have a decent, but not spectacular value in the future. Is it really worth it to keep them for a future week? Hosting the Jaguars led by rookie Jake Luton at quarterback seems like a good spot to go with the Packers. They won’t be bigger favorites in any of their remaining games in 2020. That’s my personal pick this week.
SURVIVOR PICK #2: NEW ORLEANS SAINTS (vs San Francisco 49ers)
This is a riskier play, but it seems like your best alternative BY FAR if you have already picked Green Bay this year.
First of all, no other team has a bigger spread than the Saints this week (except for the Packers, of course). They are established as 9.5-point favorites.
Secondly, this is without a doubt New Orleans’s easiest game left on their schedule.
The lines are already available for next week and the Saints are favored by 7 points against the Falcons. In other words, they have a higher chance of winning this week against a depleted San Francisco squad.
The point spread is likely to be close to 7 points in the following week when playing on the road at Denver. New Orleans then plays two more road games in Atlanta and Philly. Those games cannot be viewed as “very easy.”
The final stretch involves hosting the Chiefs and the Vikings, before capping the season in Carolina. You clearly don’t want to pick the Saints against Kansas City. What about at home against Minnesota? Not super easy either; remember that the Vikings upset the Packers in Green Bay recently.
Finally, I would not feel very comfortable taking the Saints in Carolina in the final week of the 2020 season. Back in Week 7, New Orleans was a 7-point favorite at home against those same Panthers, which means they would be favored by around 4 points in Carolina. That’s not a safe play.
For these reasons, I would go with New Orleans as my survivor pick this week, unless I have the Packers available.
If both teams are available to you, I would slightly lean towards the Packers. But grabbing the Saints wouldn’t be a bad move either. Keep in mind that the 49ers have won 3 of their past 4 games in New Orleans, where their only loss was a tight 23-to-20 game.
SURVIVOR PICK #3: PITTSBURGH STEELERS (vs Cincinnati Bengals)
Let me start off by mentioning I believe there is a big gap between the first two picks and this one. It’s not nearly as good of a play.
At the time of writing, the betting line is off the board since Ben Roethlisberger was placed on the COVID-19 list. Before the news broke, the Steelers were 7-point favorites. I do believe Big Ben will end up taking the field this Sunday, so the spread should come back close to this number.
As I said previously, I try to avoid taking a team in my survivor pool that’s favored by less than a touchdown. The Steelers this week are therefore borderline acceptable.
If you have read my weekly NFL picks this week, you know that my top pick is Pittsburgh in the first half. I expect them to have a fast start after a letdown game in Dallas.
Still, you need to be cautious here. Joe Burrow is a smart and fierce competitor. It’s not impossible that he pulls off the improbable upset in Pittsburgh. I don’t think it will happen, but it’s a scenario that could happen.
Also, it is preferable to keep the Steelers for future use. They are currently 9.5-point favorites for next week’s game in Jacksonville. That’s already a better option.
Also, you might hope you have them available in Week 13 when they will be hosting Washington. I expect the Steelers to be close to 13- or 14-point favorites in this match.
SURVIVOR PICK #4: BALTIMORE RAVENS (at New England Patriots)
I actually believe this would be a very bad choice. Much worse than going with Pittsburgh.
Not only do the Ravens have a similar point spread as the Steelers, but they hold BIG future value. Indeed, they have much easier games left on their schedule: hosting the Cowboys, the Jaguars and the Giants. In all three cases, Baltimore should be favored by at least two touchdowns.
SURVIVOR PICK #5: DETROIT LIONS (vs Washington)
This one should be rated above the Ravens, really.
It is a slightly riskier play this week since the Lions have a higher chance of losing this game, but this is CLEARLY your last chance to grab the Lions in 2020.
Based on their remaining schedule, they may not be established as the favorite in any of their games left, except maybe hosting the Texans and Vikings. But do you really want to take Detroit in those games? I don’t.
All right, so I hope you enjoyed this very first article discussing Survivor Pool tips.
Best of luck and I’ll be back next week for more advice for you!
(Sports Betting Expert / University Professor / PhD in statistics)