We’re officially four weeks into the NFL season, and we almost had our first shocker of the year.
Last week, most pools had plenty of people backing the Baltimore Ravens over the Detroit Lions. The Lions had the Ravens beat, until they didn’t.
Justin Tucker hit a 66-yard field goal as time expired, giving the Ravens a 19-17 victory. Those who chose Baltimore were still alive, leaving everyone who didn’t back them extremely upset, like myself.
Fortunately, we chose the game with the least amount of sweat and backed the Denver Broncos over the New York Jets. The Broncos easily won, 26-0, and we moved to the next week of the season.
2021 NFL Survivor Pool Grid — Week 4
|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, September 28.
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2021 NFL Survivor Pool: Best Picks to Win in Week 4
Buffalo Bills vs Houston Texans
The Buffalo Bills are nearly 17-point favorites to beat the Houston Texans on Sunday. I’ve been preaching this since the start of the season: When picking teams in a Survivor Pool, I’d highly recommend finding teams that are massive favorites at home.
Road games can be tricky. Just ask the Ravens, who nearly lost to the Lions on the road last week.
The Texans will give Davis Mills his second start of the season in relief of the injured Tyrod Taylor. Mills struggled last week, throwing for 168 yards and 1 touchdown in a 24-9 loss to the Carolina Panthers.
The Texans claim that they didn’t open up the playbook and will put more on Mills’ plate in this game, which likely means more interceptions than touchdowns for Mills. This is a team that has struggled to run the football, and if they’re going to rely on Mills to make plays down the field, there will be mistakes that come with that.
Defensively, the Texans have allowed nearly 400 yards of offense per game including about 283 yards in the air and 116.3 yards on the ground. This is perfect for a Buffalo offense that is also averaging nearly 400 yards of offense with similar splits.
The Bills have been a bit inconsistent this year, but the offense is starting to come together, which is reflected in the NFL gameday odds. In Buffalo’s last two games, they’ve scored a combined 78 points while allowing just 21 points.
Things just went wrong for Buffalo in their opening game against Pittsburgh, but they’re still an elite ball club that will continue to get better as the season progresses.
The prediction tracker above is giving the Bills an 82.16 percent chance of winning this game, which is the highest number the tracker has spit out all year in the NFL.
Currently, you can bet the Bills at -16.5 at Caesars. I wouldn’t be surprised if the Bills pounced on Mills and scored plenty of points in this game to win by more than 21.
Betting Pick: Buffalo Bills -16.5 (-110) at Caesars
New York Giants vs New Orleans Saints
The New York Giants are 0-3 on the season with their most recent loss coming against the Atlanta Falcons. The Giants were supposed to be good on defense this season, but that hasn’t been the case yet.
Moreover, the offensive line has been a disaster, and the playmakers on this team are just not doing much of anything. Kenny Golladay‘s targets have been limited, and Saquon Barkley has had no room to run.
Because of this, the Saints are 7.5-point favorites at home in the Superdome. This will be the first game of the season in the Superdome, which is crucial for home field advantage.
The Saints have been a bit inconsistent so far this season, averaging just 250.3 yards per game on offense. However, the defense has dominated against the run and has allowed an average of 319 total yards through three games.
The Saints don’t have all of their weapons, but they’re using what they’ve got and it’s working. They took down the Patriots on the road last week and had a 38-3 win over Green Bay earlier this season.
New Orleans did lose to Carolina in between those two games, but maybe it’s time to give the Panthers some respect moving forward as they’re 3-0.
The Giants have struggled stopping the run, allowing 107 yards per game. Meanwhile, the Saints have rushed for over 120 yards per game and have been difficult to stop behind Alvin Kamara.
I’ll be playing the Bills this week, but if you’ve already used them, the next best bet would be the Saints. The Prediction Tracker has New Orleans winning 82.16 percent of the time and gives the Saints a 60.9 percent chance of covering the spread.
There’s a lot of value on the Saints -7.5 (-110) if that’s the case. You can grab that at Caesars if you’re looking to make this your NFL bet of the day.
Betting Pick: New Orleans Saints -7.5 (-110) at Caesars
2021 NFL Survivor Pools: Sleeper Team To Win
Carolina Panthers vs Dallas Cowboys
With Christian McCaffrey out, there will be a solid portion of your pool looking to fade the Panthers and take the Cowboys, who are fresh off a fantastic win against the Eagles.
Don’t be so fast to assume this.
The Cowboys are 5-point favorites against a team that’s currently 3-0. The Panthers haven’t blocked well in the passing game and yet are still throwing for 296 yards with Sam Darnold under center. The offense is stacked with plenty of talent, but it’s the defense that has taken the next step.
The Panthers have allowed just 224 yards per game on defense, including a mere 45 yards on the ground. The rush defense has been fantastic along with their pass rush and coverage.
To put it simply, it’s been extremely difficult to score against the Panthers, who are allowing roughly 10 points per game this season.
While the Cowboys are averaging 30 points per game, the defense is allowing 23 points per game along with 418 yards of offense. This game might be a shootout between the Panthers and Cowboys, and even without McCaffrey, the Panthers offense profiles better against the Cowboys defense.
The Prediction Tracker has the Cowboys winning by less than 2 points against the Panthers. Even with the Cowboys at home, be careful. The Panthers have plenty of momentum.
2021 NFL Survivor Pools: Future Team Value Pick to Save
Jacksonville Jaguars vs Cincinnati Bengals
Playing the Bengals against the Jaguars makes a lot of sense this week. The Bengals are 2-1 on the season and are coming off an exciting win against the Steelers.
However, I’d try not to bet games that are primetime. Outcomes in these games are often completely different than what’s expected.
The Jaguars haven’t won a game this season, and the Bengals have a 71.04 percent chance of winning this game via the Prediction Tracker. Everything favors the Bengals except that it’s a Thursday Night game going up against Trevor Lawrence, who will continue to get better as the season goes on.
I love the Bengals in this spot and think they’ll win by plenty. Let’s just make sure the Bengals are for real before we back them.
2021 NFL Survivor Pools: Chalk Pick That Could Lose
Pittsburgh Steelers vs Green Bay Packers
The Green Bay Packers have been hot and cold all season long. While they ended up winning last week against the 49ers, they found every way to allow the 49ers back into the game and needed Mason Crosby to hit a game-winning field goal as time expired to win the game.
I don’t doubt Aaron Rodgers and the Green Bay offense. However, the Steelers defense has a lot of players questionable on their roster. If guys like T.J. Watt return along with some of the other injured players, the Steelers could be dangerous on the defensive end.
Meanwhile, the Packers are allowing 333.3 yards per game on defense, and giving up more yards on defense than they’re gaining on offense. The Steelers aren’t strong offensively, but going up against Green Bay could help the offense get going again.
The Packers are nearly a full touchdown favorite, and that’s just too much for a defense allowing nearly 4 touchdowns a game. This could be an interesting NFL pick of the day.