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NFL Survivor Pool Picks (Week 4) - Targets and Avoids

Through three weeks of the season, it sure looks like we'll see a Patriots-Chiefs AFC Championship rematch. Both of those teams look unstoppable. My one qualm with New England is they've yet to face a formidable opponent. The combined record of New England's opponents is 0-9. Now they get a real test on the road against the 3-0 Bills.

My survivor plays were 3-1 Sunday, with the Bucs as my lone loser.  My best bets last week were 2-1, the only loser being the Broncos. They lost 27-16, falling just short of covering the seven-point spread. I even responded to the NFL's tweet below that said the Packers rolled:

They really didn't roll. The Broncos were down 10-7 in the second when Emmanuel Sanders got called for this bogus holding call.

They ended up settling for a field goal, and the Packers then went three-and-out. Denver got the ball back and then Joe Flacco got strip-sacked. A couple of plays later, touchdown Packers. So back to my Twitter beef. I got lambasted for my comment saying they didn't roll.

To my defense, the Packers touchdown drives were 75 yards, five yards, and 37 yards. The Packers offense is not clicking and wait until they run into an offense that can actually do something, which is Thursday night.

Teams favored by seven or more in Week 4 per The Action Network: Chargers -16.5 at Dolphins, Rams -10 vs. Bucs,  Ravens -7 vs. Browns, Patriots -7 at Bills, Colts -7 vs. Raiders.

Bye weeks also begin this week with the Jets and 49ers both idle.

If you're reading this article on Thursday or later, these lines are from Tuesday.  Teams I like against the spread will be italicized. My three best bets against the spread are on the bottom of the column.

It's also worth noting survivor doomsday has not come yet. Last year Week 3 knocked everyone out when the Bills shocked the Vikings as 19-point underdogs. I'm nervous that week can happen anytime now.


Top Survivor Picks for Week 4

Chargers -16.5 @ Dolphins

If there's one team that would lose to the Dolphins it's the Chargers. They are the team that loses in the most unconventional ways. Remember, they were the only team to lose to the 2016 Browns. San Diego is coming off two losses, games they should have won. This is a game the Chargers MUST win. Miami is 31st or 32nd in all the stats I look at (yards per play, third-down conversion percentage red zone scoring percentage (touchdowns), and turnover margin. Miami is so bad, they even have the worst offensive line, according to Pro Football Focus. But the Chargers can not take them lightly.

Chargers 31 - Dolphins 13


Colts -7 @ Raiders

The Raiders are in the second week of their long road trip (they will not return to Oakland for a game until Nov. 3 which is mind-boggling). Now they play the red-hot Colts who could very well be 3-0. I was surprised to see these teams have similar stats in the ones I look at (see above) but the one thing that differentiated the two is red-zone touchdown percentage. Indy is seventh and Oakland is 18th. I think that is the difference in this one.

Colts 24 - Raiders 20


Rams -10 vs. Bucs

LA looks really good through three games, but when you look at the numbers you'll see the Rams are a shocking 22nd in yards per play while the Bucs are 20th. People are also knocking Jared Goff but he's a much better quarterback at home than on the road. He's played the same exact number of home and road games, and at home has thrown for 791 more yards, five fewer interceptions and his yards per attempt is nearly a yard higher.

Both have top-10 defenses in opponent yards per play. I think the difference in this one is once again red zone scoring. The Rams rank 12th while Tampa is 31st. The only thing that scares me is Bruce Arians. He's a really good coach. Rams win but Jameis Winston pulls off a backdoor cover.

Rams 34 - Bucs 28


Chiefs -6 @ Lions

A battle of undefeated teams although Detroit's Week 1 tie feels like a loss. It is shocking the Lions won their last two. They had no business beating the Chargers and beat the Eagles thanks to a kick return touchdown, Nelson Agholor literally putting the ball on the turf, and more dropped touchdowns from Philly. Kansas City won't do that. They may be the best offensive team since the Greatest Show on Turf.

Chiefs 35 - Lions 17


Patriots -7 @ Bills

The battle of 3-0 teams who have yet to face a real test. New England's combined opponents are 0-9 and Buffalo's are 2-7. We all know New England is one of the top teams with a defense that has yet to allow a touchdown. Their defense will stymie Josh Allen. I need to see more from the Bills before backing them against the Pats. Also, Tom Brady is 15-2 in Buffalo.

Patriots 24 - Bills 13


Seahawks -4.5 @ Cardinals

It may seem like the Cardinals offense is clicking but they're 29th in yards per play. Seattle is 11th. It is going to be tough for an Arizona defense that is 26th in opponent yards per play to slow down a Russell Wilson led offensive attack. The Seahawks are 4-0-1 in Arizona the last five.

Seahawks 31 - Cardinals 20


Top Survivor Picks to Avoid 

Texans -4 vs. Panthers

Bill O'Brien would be out of a job if it weren't for Deshaun Watson. His play on Sunday got them the win in LA. The Texans are so overrated and I would highly highly advise you not use them this week in survivor. They can't protect Watson ranking fifth in sacks allowed and quarterback hits allowed. That's bad news when facing a Panthers Defense that is tied for the third-most sacks in the league. Their defense is also second in opponent yards per play so I expect this one to be a low-scoring game. Kyle Allen looked terrific on Sunday, but Houston's defense is tough at home. Panthers in a low-scoring tight battle.

Panthers 16 - Texans 13


Ravens -7 vs. Browns 

This line is a few points too high. Yes, Cleveland has underwhelmed, but Baltimore hasn't done much to convince me they should be a seven-point home favorite. They demolished the Dolphins and then just got by the Cardinals. They were then down 30-13 to the Chiefs after three quarters before Kansas City let them score. Baltimore's defense is not that good ranking 26th in opponent yards per play. The Browns are an offensive mess right now, but I think their defense, which has 10 sacks and ranks 12th in opponent yards per play, keeps them in this one.

Ravens 23 - Browns 21


The Rest

Eagles +4.5 @ Packers - Just when you think the Eagles are left for dead, they come alive. They were really banged up on Sunday but are expecting to have Alshon Jeffery back. I'm not high on Green Bay and think they finally get exposed against an offense that can put up points.

Titans +4 @ Falcons - This is an interesting one. Atlanta always blows a random home game to a team they shouldn't lose to. Tennessee has had an extra four days to prepare. I like the Titans and the points.

Giants -vs. Redskins - It's really difficult to bet Washington any week and they are facing a rejuvenated Giants team led by Daniel Jones!

Vikings +2.5 @ BearsThis is going to be a low-scoring game that will be decided by a late-game turnover. I prefer Kirk Cousins to Mitchell Trubisky. Vikings in a close one.

Broncos -3 vs. Jaguars - Denver is reeling but comes home to face a rookie quarterback. Everyone loves Gardner Minshew, but he's in for a long day against a defense that will be hungry to get their first sack and first win.

Saints +2.5 vs. Cowboys - Whenever you can get the Saints as a home underdog in a night game, you have to take them. Dallas has looked spectacular, but they've faced the Giants, Redskins, and Dolphins. Time to see what they're made of.

Steelers -4 vs. BengalsI love the Steelers in this Monday night game. I'm still on their bandwagon and it's the perfect team to face to their first win of the season. The Steelers pass rush will decimate the Bengals offensive line. Andy Dalton is a career 4-16 in prime-time games. Pittsburgh is also 5-2 in its last seven at home to Cincy.


Best Bets for Week 4

  • Panthers +4
  • Browns +7
  • Steelers -4

Last week: 2-1

Season total: 3-6

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