We had our first scare of the 2021 season! But don’t worry, the name of the game is “survive" and we did just that.
The Minnesota Vikings coughed up a 16-6 lead with 3:30 to go in the fourth quarter and were trailing by a point with less tan 40 seconds remaining. Captain Kirk Cousins came to the rescue and led Minnesota down the field for a game-winning 54-yard field goal to beat the Detroit Lions.
There were plenty of chances for big upsets last week, but nothing major really transpired. Most players stayed alive thanks to the Ravens, Patriots and Vikings all holding on to win, somehow, some way.
With a couple teams on a bye week this week, we’ll have to navigate this slate a little more carefully. Here’s what we’re going to do.
2021 NFL Survivor Pool Grid — Week 6
|Road Team||Home Team||Opening Line||Current Line||Prob HmTm W||Prob RdTmW||Prob HmTmCv||Prob RdTmCv|
|San Francisco||LA Rams||+6.5||+4||0.6136||0.3864||0.4994||0.5006|
|LA Chargers||Las Vegas||-2.5||-3||0.4776||0.5224||0.5455||0.4545|
The above survivor pool grid, created by Todd Beck, uses the average of the top computer ratings in the sports betting industry including computer systems like Sagarin, ESPN FPI, Massey Ratings, Stat Fox and many, many more.
To read this grid properly, the opening line and current line are based on the road team.
Keep in mind that when this article is posted, current lines can change and probability for teams can also change based on breaking news. Lines are current as of Tuesday, October 12.
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2021 NFL Survivor Pool: Best Picks to Win in Week 6
Los Angeles Rams vs New York Giants
The New York Giants are depleted. Against the Cowboys last week, they lost quarterback Daniel Jones to a concussion, Saquon Barkley to an ankle injury, and wide receiver Kenny Golladay to a knee injury.
Prior to the game starting, receivers Sterling Shepard and Darius Slayton were already out, and on top of that, left tackle Andrew Thomas was also sidelined due to injury.
At this point, only Thomas seems probable to play. Golladay and Barkley will require more time to get healthy, and Jones needs to pass concussion protocol if he’s going to play.
At this point, it looks like Mike Glennon will get the start at quarterback with Kadarius Toney as his only main weapon. He might get a receiver or two back, but the injuries are piling up, and they’re going to have to take on a Rams team that is 4-1 and a potential Super Bowl Contender.
I always talk about wanting to take a team at home, if possible, but this matchup just makes the most sense moving forward.
The Giants have actually been solid offensively this season despite all the injuries, averaging 391.4 yards per game. However, on defense, the Giants are allowing 418.8 yards, and it won’t get easier against a Rams team that is averaging 415.4 yards and 28.2 points per game.
The Rams have played the run very well on the defensive end, and although the secondary has been weak, they’ve still got some of the best players in that unit. Things will start to pick up with Jalen Ramsey and Robert Rochell in the backfield.
Currently, the prediction tracker has the Rams winning 70.8 percent of the time, which is the second-best percentage on this week’s slate. With all of the injuries on this Giants team, let’s ride the Rams for Week 6.
Betting Pick: Rams -10.5 (-110) at Caesars
Houston Texans vs Indianapolis Colts
I’m not the biggest fan of taking a team on short rest, but the Colts look poised to get their second win of the season. I could understand why taking the Colts could be a little scary, but at the end of the day, the Colts have played much better than a 1-4 record.
The rushing defense held the Ravens to under 100 yards, but the Indianapolis secondary has been a major problem this year. The good news is that Davis Mills will still be under center for the Texans, even if Tyrod Taylor is healthy this week.
We saw some great things out of Mills last week, but in previous games, he’s been awful. I’m not falling for it. That game will be an outlier and Taylor will be quarterback moving forward, after this game.
The prediction tracker gives the Colts a 72 percent chance of winning this game outright. Plus, with the Colts at home, this looks like a very solid play if you’re unable to bet the Rams at this time.
Betting Pick: Colts -9.5 (-110) at Caesars
2021 NFL Survivor Pools: Sleeper Team To Win
Arizona Cardinals vs Cleveland Browns
The Cleveland Browns allowed 47 points to the Las Angeles Chargers last week. Now, they’re going to face the lone remaining undefeated team in the NFL. And yet, the Browns are favored to win this game by 2.5 points.
Via the Prediction Tracker, the Cardinals have a 49.49% chance of winning this game but are underdogs. The Browns have stopped the running game this year, but they’ll struggle to limit the passing game against the Cardinals, who are averaging over 300 yards in the air per game.
This game will not have many picks, but in the slight chance that it does, stay away from backing the Browns, at home, against an undefeated team. It seems obvious, but in some of my pools last week, people were eliminated by taking the Jets…
2021 NFL Survivor Pools: Future Team Value Pick to Save
Los Angeles Chargers vs Baltimore Ravens
The Los Angeles Chargers have been extremely fun to watch. Second-year quarterback Justin Herbert has broken out in a big way and has led the Chargers to a 4-1 record. This week, the offense will continue to score points against a pretty poor Baltimore defense.
Los Angeles was involved in a shootout with Cleveland last week, and I’d expect the same thing to happen on the road in Baltimore. The Ravens stormed back from a 16-point deficit in the fourth quarter to defeat the Colts on Monday Night Football, showcasing just how good their offense can be.
We’ll ride the Chargers eventually, but it won’t be against the Ravens. Baltimore proved it can come back in a game without needing to run the ball, like was saw last week.
Therefore, hold on to the Chargers as underdogs this week and wait until they get to play worse teams a bit later in the season.
2021 NFL Survivor Pools: Chalk Pick That Could Lose
Seattle Seahawks vs Pittsburgh Steelers
Don’t be that guy thinking fading Geno Smith is the way to go. Last week, I explained how primetime games can get ugly with underdogs surprising many times throughout a season. I told people to stay away from betting the Ravens over the Colts, and Ravens backers just pulled out a victory, down 16 in the fourth quarter.
The Seahawks will have to rely on Smith for four weeks, but he’s a capable backup quarterback with a solid arm and plenty of mobility. The line has shifted from the Seahawks being 2.5-point favorites to now 5-point underdogs, and that’s just way too much for a Sunday Night Football game going up against a 2-3 Steelers team.
The Seahawks defense has been awful this season, but with JuJu Smith-Schuster sidelined for the rest of the season and the Steelers struggling to run the ball (minus last week), there’s no chance I’d be putting my survivor pick anywhere close to the Steelers this week.