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NFL Survivor Pool Picks (Week 8) - Targets and Avoids

Disaster averted. The Bills found themselves trailing against the lowly Dolphins but pulled it out late. Had Buffalo lost, more than 50 percent of remaining entrants in survivor pools would have been knocked out. The 49ers did their part in the monsoon in D.C while the Patriots cruised against the Jets. All my picks to avoid - Chiefs, Jaguars, Packers - all won and covered.

It usually gets tough to pick survivor pool winners this time in the season, but luckily this week, there are several options. The Vikings are 15.5 point home favorites against the Redskins on Thursday night, the Rams are favored by 13 against the Bengals in London, the Patriots -13 vs. Browns, and the Steelers are -14.5 vs. Dolphins on Monday night. Then there are more massive favorites like the Saints -9.5 vs. Cardinals and the Lions -7 vs. Giants.

If you are reading this article on Thursday or later, the lines below are correct as of Wednesday. The teams I like against the spread will be italicized, with my three best bets against the spread able to be found on the bottom of the column. Teams on bye this week are the Cowboys and Ravens.

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Top Survivor Picks for Week 8

Steelers -14.5 vs. Dolphins

Keep fading the Fins! It's been such a great strategy and now you get to use a team that you will not use again. Pittsburgh's defense is fourth in opponent yards per play the last three and fifth in team sacks. Old man Ryan Fitzpatrick will be in for a tough Monday night.

Steelers 28 - Dolphins 10


Vikings -15.5 vs. Redskins

Ever since the Vikings six-point outing in Chicago in Week 4, they've scored 28, 38, and 42 points. They are clicking on all cylinders an rank third in yards per play. The Redskins hideous defense hasn't played really difficult offenses recently, but they are one to allow Mitch Trubisky to complete 25 of 31 passes for 231 yards and three touchdowns. I do think Washington covers because 15.5 is a ton to cover.

Vikings 27 - Redskins 13


Seahawks -3.5 @ Falcons

All the Seattle and Russell Wilson love is gone after one poor game. It's truly amazing how recency bias can play such a factor in a game like this. Seattle is an above average team that didn't play its best Sunday. So be it. Wilson will have no problem getting his groove back against the atrocious Falcons Defense. Atlanta has given up the second most yards per play through its last three games, as well as 31st in opponent points per game, and 32nd in opponent third down percentage. I think Wilson struggled last week because Baltimore kept pressuring him, but he won't have that issue against Atlanta's pass rush that is non-existent; they rank dead last in team sacks with just five on the season.

On the offensive side for Atlanta, Matt Ryan is questionable, they just traded Mohamed Sanu, and head coach Dan Quinn will be getting fired any day. The Falcons are a dumpster fire and I'm shocked Seattle isn't a bigger favorite.

Seahawks 35 - Falcons 13


Rams -13 vs. Bengals (in London)

I hate London games that start at 1 p.m. What's the point of going over there if it's not a stand-alone game at 9:30 a.m.? Anyway, the Rams seemed to find their groove against the Falcons while Cincinnati is win-less and looking more and more pathetic each week.

Rams 30 - Bengals 13


Saints -9.5 vs. Cardinals

It's pretty remarkable New Orleans is 5-0 since Drew Brees got injured, but they can thank their defense who's allowing 4.2 yards per play through their last three games, ranking fifth. The defense is also eighth in getting off the the field on third down, and fifth in sacks.

Arizona has won three in a row against the Bengals, Falcons, and Giants. That's not murderers row by any means. Kyler Murray is in for a big awakening Sunday in the Dome.

Saints 31 - Cardinals 13


Patriots -13 vs. Browns

I can not wait until Baker Mayfield gets destroyed by the Patriots Defense. New England is rolling and this Browns team will not cause them a hiccup.

I know I put New England in the picks every week and you've probably already used them, but if you're still alive in a loser pool where you pick the loser, the Browns are the picks. I know they're my pick.

Patriots 30 - Browns 16

Top Survivor Picks to Avoid

Lions -7 vs. Giants

I understand the Giants are bad but the Lions shouldn't be a touchdown favorite. They can't get out of their own way and their defense is 27th in opponent yards per play. The defense also ranks 26th in opponent third down conversion percentage, 18th in red zone defense, and have allowed 33 points per game the last three. The Giants offense was just getting all their skill players back last week like Saquon Barkley and Even Engram, and looked rusty. This week they won't.

Giants 17 - Lions 16


Colts -6 vs. Broncos

Indy is off a huge win against division rival Houston and are a contender in the AFC, yet this line is only six against the 2-5 Broncos who were trounced on national television by a Mahomes-less Chiefs team. This line is the perfect teaser number and I like teams who were just embarrassed on national television bouncing back.

When I dug into the stats, I was expecting to see Indy overwhelmingly better than Denver, but that isn't the case at all. The Colts are 23rd in yards per play while Denver is 26th. The Broncos Defense is sixth in opponent yards per play while Indy's is 29th. The Broncos defense also gets off the field on third-downs ranking sixth while the Colts are 23rd.

An easy way to throttle the Broncos offense is to pressure Joe Flacco, who really can't move anymore, but the Colts are only 19th in team sacks. This has a letdown feel for the Colts.

Denver 23 - Colts 20


Jaguars -6 vs. Jets

This game is just like the one above; falls into teaser category and the Jets are off an embarrassing blowout on national television. I also can't lay six points with Gardner Minshew and an offense that averages 20.6 points per game. The Jets Defense also ranks seventh in opponent yards per play the last three weeks.

Jets 20 - Jaguars 17


Texans -6.5 vs. Raiders

Another teaser game! Oakland had one of the closest 18-point losses I've ever seen against the Packers. They turned it over twice inside the one-yard line and threw a pick in the end zone. Derek Carr is competing 74 percent of passes and the Texans have allowed quarterbacks to complete 67 percent of passes, 22nd in the league.

The Raiders Defense is 30th in opponent yards per play while Houston is fourth in yards per play. But for some reason their offense doesn't seem to always click.

Raiders 30 - Texans 28


The Rest

Chargers +4 @ Bears - Both teams are trending downward, but how can you back Mitch Trubisky. His yards per attempt is 5.2 which is abysmal (7.5 is average).

Bucs +2.5 @ Titans - Both of these teams are so hard to figure out so I'll just take the points.

Eagles +1.5 @ Bills - Carson Wentz has not looked good this season and I think it's because of all the pressure he's received (hit 38 times, 13th most). The Bills rank 22nd in team sacks so Wentz should have time to throw. Philly's backs are against the wall and can't go to 3-5.

Panthers +5.5 @ 49ers - These are two of the hottest teams in football, the Niners are undefeated and Panthers have won four in a row and come off their bye. This line opened at six and has been bet down to 5.5 signaling sharp money taking Carolina.

Chiefs +4.5  vs. Packers - This is a very contrarian play without Patrick Mahomes. But I think the Andy Reid will have Matt Moore ready to go with 10 days to prepare for this Sunday night showdown. Plus, Green Bay's defense has given up the most yards per play the last three games with 7.3.


Best Bets for Week 8

  • Seahawks -3.5 
  • Jets +6
  • Chiefs +4.5

Last week: 1-2

Season total: 11-10

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