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NFL Survivor Pool Picks (Week 12) - Targets and Avoids

Bill Belichick - NFL Head Coach New England Patriots

When it looks too easy, sometimes it is. The Commanders were 7.5-point favorites against Tommy Devito and the Giants. The G-Men could not have looked worse in recent weeks. Washington, with a losing record, was more than a touchdown favorite. But New York came out and played really good football, winning outright and dealing the biggest blow to survivor pools. All the other big favorites in Week 11 won, but not all covered.

Now we get to see what teams are really made of. Bill Parcells famously said, "The real season begins after Thanksgiving." And we'll get to see how the Lions, Cowboys, and 49ers, all the top NFC teams, fare on Thanksgiving day.

It's a full slate of games this week. If you're still alive in Survivor leagues, you'll have some options this week but not next so pick carefully and try to strategize by looking ahead.

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NFL Teams Favored by 6+ in Week 12

  • Cowboys (-11) vs. Commanders
  • Dolphins (-10) at Jets
  • Chiefs (-8.5) at Raiders
  • Lions (-7.5) vs. Packers
  • 49ers (-7) at Seahawks

Teams on bye: None


Top Survivor Pool Picks to Target for Week 12

Patriots (-3) at Giants

You're reading that correctly. New England would be my top play in Survivor this week. Not only are they a road favorite off a bye that hits at a more than 60 percent clip, but this is Bill Belichick going against an undrafted rookie quarterback. Belichick is 22-6 all-time against rookies. Tommy Devito just had his big game but that won't happen against this defense off a bye. The Pats rank seventh in opponent yards per play and with the extra week, could hold the Giants to less than 14.

Will the Patriots offense be able to get 20 points on the board? That should be enough to win the game. I say yes.

Patriots 20 - Giants 13

Chiefs (-8.5) at Raiders

The Chiefs dominate the Raiders, having beaten Vegas in 10 of the last 11. Chiefs fans travel well and going to Las Vegas is no different. It's virtually a home game for Patrick Mahomes and company. Their offense should have no problem moving the ball on the Raiders, who rank 20th in opponent yards per play and 244 passing yards in their last three. Their second-half struggles will end.

Aidan O'Connell has played well for the Raiders but they've scored 13 and 16 in their last two games. That's not going to cut it.

Chiefs 31 - Raiders 17

Dolphins (-10) at Jets

It took this long for the Jets to bench Zach Wilson and replace him. It won't matter now. The season is over. Tim Boyle will get the start with Trevor Siemian as the backup. Wilson will be the third-stringer. It's too late though. The Jets have scored two touchdowns in their last four games. What a joke. You don't get many seasons with a top defense like this one and young star players on rookie deals. Teams need to make the most of these situations and the Jets failed. Aaron Rodgers went out and the Jets were content with Wilson.

The Jets' best defense in this game will be the cold weather. Can the warm-weathered Dolphins handle a cool 45-degree day in windy New York? Miami will need to win games like this one when they gets to the playoffs. Either way, 21 for Miami is enough.

Dolphins 27 - Jets 17

Titans (-3.5) vs. Panthers

What a mistake Carolina made taking Bryce Young over C.J. Stroud. And the Panthers don't even have their first-round pick, which could very well be the first overall pick in the draft.

Tennessee is not much better but they can play defense and are off a bye.

Titans 23 - Panthers 17

Lions (-7.5) vs. Packers

It's going to be hard for Green Bay to score without Aaron Jones, their only reliable offensive player. They rank 15th in yards per play, 19th in passing, and 21st in rushing while averaging 20 points per game. Their defense is good but the Lions are scoring 27 points per game, the eighth-best in the league. Detroit already boat-raced the Packers earlier this season, 34-20. Expect a similar result to kick off Thanksgiving day.

Lions 30 - Packers 17


Top Survivor Pool Picks to Avoid for Week 12

Cowboys (-11) vs. Commanders

I say it every week when you expect the Commanders to play well, they play poorly and vice-versa. They are not expected to stand a chance in this game and that is exactly why Washington will play this game right down to the end. Look, the Commanders had no business being more than a touchdown favorite against anyone. They did turn the ball over six times, which was the reason why they lost.

Dallas beats up on bad teams but Washington is not bad and they're not good, just average. The Cowboys should be able to move the ball as should the Commanders. Sam Howell is a chucker and will continue to throw even when they're down a lot. 11 is way way way too much in this one.

Cowboys 34 - Commanders 24

49ers (-6.5) at Seahawks

This line seems a little high. Seattle has an offense that can compete with anyone. They rank 11th in yards per play and 13th in passing. Geno Smith is not as good as he was last year but he surely can move the ball with dynamic receivers such as D.K. Metcalf, Tyler Lockett, and Jaxon Smith-Njigba.

The Niners are one of the top teams in football and they should win but this match on Thanksgiving night will be a close one.

49ers 27 - Seahawks 24


NFL Best Bets for Week 12

  • Patriots (-3) at Giants
  • Titans (-3.5) vs. Panthers
  • Commanders (+11.5) at Cowboys

2023 Season Running Totals

  • Last week: 1-1-1
  • 2023 season: 19-13-1
  • 2022 season: 28-23-3
  • 2021 season: 27-26-1
  • 2020 season: 24-27
  • 2019 season: 23-26-2

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