Last week, the New Orleans Saints and Tennessee Titans were upset by the New York Giants and New York Jets, respectively, in one of the more surprising weeks of the NFL season so far. If you’ve tailed our picks, you escaped the drama and won with the Buffalo Bills, 40-0.
The Giants and Jets, depending on your pool size, likely knocked out around 20 percent of your pool. That’s huge going into Week 5.
With less people comes more pressure. It’s time to pick our next team to survive and advance.
2021 NFL Survivor Pool Grid — Week 5
|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 Wednesday, October 6.
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2021 NFL Survivor Pool: Best Picks to Win in Week 5
Minnesota Vikings vs Detroit Lions
This week, there’s just one team single team listed as a double-digit favorite: The Tampa Bay Buccaneers, who are 10-point favorites over the visiting Miami Dolphins. However, there are plenty teams that the Prediction Tracker believes have a chance of winning their game over 70 percent of the time.
One of those games is the upcoming matchup between the Minnesota Vikings and Detroit Lions. The Vikings just lost to the Browns, 14-7, though there was plenty of controversy surrounding the game.
The offense struggled to do much of anything without running back Dalvin Cook, but the defense was the surprising factor of the game, limiting the Browns to their lowest scoring output of the season.
The Vikings are just 1-3 this season, but their positive point differential suggests that they’re better than their record shows. On the flip side, the Lions are 0-4 and have scored just 81 points while allowing 119.
Basically, the Lions have a horrible defense that can’t do anything right besides rushing the passer. However, even their pass rush can’t be successful when the secondary can’t cover any receivers.
The Lions have also been terrible against the run, despite allowing 101.8 yards per game on the ground.
Therefore, the Vikings passing game should be absolutely lights out against the Lions, and it looks like the defense has some momentum coming into this game as well. The Lions have struggled to protect Jared Goff, and with Minnesota at home, it’s not going to be easy on offense for Detroit in the first place.
Keep the turnovers coming, Detroit!
Betting Pick: Minnesota Vikings -8.5 (-110) at Caesars
Tampa Bay Buccaneers vs Miami Dolphins
If you’ve noticed a theme, you’re onto something. I love picking massive home favorites.
I’ll never look to take a massive favorite on the road. It just never works out the way you’d like.
The Prediction Tracker has the Buccaneers winning this game nearly 80 percent of the time, which is the highest on the slate. My only concern is the Buccaneers coming off an emotional win on Sunday Night and then performing poorly in this game.
However, the reality is that the Dolphins still have Jacoby Brissett under center for another week and have struggled to protect their quarterbacks all season. With that said, Miami does have the better defense on paper, and Tom Brady has had some of his worst upset losses against Miami.
On top of that, the Bucs could also be without Rob Gronkowski and Giovani Bernard on the offensive end. Without those two last week, Tampa Bay had some troubles in the red zone.
The Buccaneers should be fine and win this game. This would still be my second choice if you’re unable to take the Vikings.
Betting Pick: Tampa Bay Buccaneers -10 (-110) at Caesars
2021 NFL Survivor Pools: Sleeper Team To Win
New York Jets vs Atlanta Falcons
Can the New York Jets actually win two consecutive games this season? As 3-point underdogs, they could have a shot against the Atlanta Falcons.
The Prediction Tracker has the Jets winning this game 48.46 percent of the time, which makes this game nearly a pick-em.
Now don’t forget, this game is going to be played in London, England, at 9:30 a.m. ET. That’s part of why this game seems so difficult to project. The prediction average when looking at all the models in the tracker have the Jets losing by just .56 points.
New York has played terrific defense behind a front line that has been rushing the passer extremely well. The Jets sacked Ryan Tannehill seven times in their overtime win last week and could do the same against the Falcons, who have struggled to protect Matt Ryan in the pocket.
With the Falcons allowing nearly 400 yards of offense per game and Zach Wilson settling in, the Jets offense is on to something. They’ve only scored 11.8 points per game this season, but after a 27-point outburst last week, the Jets proved they can move the ball with guys like Jamison Crowder back on the field.
I wouldn’t be shocked if the Jets found a way to win in London. They’ve got all the momentum and belief in comparison to Atlanta.
2021 NFL Survivor Pools: Future Team Value Pick to Save
Dallas Cowboys vs New York Giants
I really believe this Dallas Cowboys offense is for real. With Dak Prescott healthy and performing well, the Cowboys are going to be tough to beat this season. It really comes down to their defense.
Dallas has allowed 24.3 points and 417 yards per game. They’ve limited the run to an average of 81 yards, but have allowed 336 yards passing per game.
Coming into the season, the Giants were expected to be the best defense in the NFC East, but they’ve been far from it. Just like the Cowboys, the defense is allowing about 400 yards per game. If anything, the Giants pass rush has been the best portion of the defense, but it’s nothing to rave about.
However, I will say that Daniel Jones has impressed this season with 1184 yards passing and 188 yards rushing. He’s recorded 6 touchdowns and has just 1 interception on the season. Limiting turnovers has been a big accomplishment for Jones in 2021.
With the Giants coming off a thrilling win against the Saints, I’m not looking to pick against them right now. Save the Cowboys for another time.
2021 NFL Survivor Pools: Chalk Pick That Could Lose
Indianapolis Colts vs Baltimore Ravens
I always try to throw this disclaimer out: Don’t bet primetime games in a survivor pool!
If you did last week, you lucked out between the Bengals and Buccaneers, who had both been solid favorites going into their games. The Bengals fell behind the Jaguars 14-0, while the Buccaneers almost lost to the Patriots on a game-winning field goal.
Stick to regular Sunday games where the home team is a significant favorite against the opposition. These things matter more than it may seem.
The Colts will travel to Baltimore for what should be an exciting Monday Night Football game. The Ravens have allowed 23 points per game on defense and have been the worse overall defense in comparison to the Colts.
The Colts offense has been struggling this year, but with 27 points against a solid defense like the Dolphins, their offense is starting to figure it out behind a healthy Carson Wentz. Remember, this team didn’t get to practice with Wentz early in the season due to injury.
Indianapolis has had to endure plenty of injuries, but there is loads of talent on this team. On the other hand, the Ravens have lost their fair share of players to injury, and as a result, almost lost to the Detroit Lions a couple of weeks ago before being bailed out by a 66-yard field goal.
The Ravens are too inconsistent right now, and anything can happen on Monday Night. I wouldn’t be surprised if the Colts knocked off the Ravens.