It was upset city in Week 2 of the NFL season last week as eight of the 16 games featured the underdog winning straight up. Many of those upsets involved small favorites that most sensible people wouldn’t have used for Survivor Pool picks. However, there were two pretty big results — Tennessee over Detroit and Los Angeles over Seattle — that probably knocked a good amount of people out of their pools. Hopefully you took our advice as we were on Carolina (over San Francisco) and Arizona (over Tampa Bay), and those games were both blowouts. Let’s hope it’s that easy this week!
Last week on this blog I told people not to get too cute with Week 2 picks as the Panthers were easily the top play of the week. I saw some other blogs take Detroit so they could “save” Carolina because so many pool players would be on the Panthers. Well, it doesn’t do you much good to save a team if you are out of the pool, and this is an example of why I use the best possible pick for that week.
Week 3 looks a little tricky for NFL Survivor Pools. There are a couple big favorites on the board – Miami -10 vs. Cleveland and Seattle -9.5 vs. San Francisco. Those teams don’t inspire a lot of confidence, however. The Dolphins are 0-2, and the Hawks are 1-1 but have scored a total of 15 points in their two games this season. Not really a rousing group of favorites right there. Most of the other games are expected to be pretty tight.
Here I will go down the list of viable favorites in chronological order with the goal of making some sense out of what looks to be a really tough week. Also, as a special deal for SurvivorPoolPicks.com readers, Doc’s Sports has offered our site visitors $60 worth of free betting picks. They have 10 of the best handicappers in the nation on their site, and you can use this $60 on any of their picks for football this weekend of any sport you choose. You don’t have to supply a credit card and you will never deal with a salesman. Click here for the two-minute signup.
Our official picks, from three former winners, will be posted on Thursday on our homepage.
NFL Survivor Pool Picks Week 3: Opening Lines
Cincinnati -3 vs. Denver
This line is off the board at most sportsbooks because of the status of Bengals quarterback Andy Dalton. It looks like he will play, but this is a game I will stay away from. Denver has looked amazing the first two weeks of the season, and it looks like the Bengals may have taken a step back this year from what we have seen so far. I feel like this one is a coin flip.
Arizona -4 at Buffalo
Will pass on this one as well. Buffalo has looked like a possible fade team thus far, but we stay away from road teams this early in the season and the Bills seem like a team that has enough talent to throw together a decent game at home a few times throughout the year.
Miami -10 vs. Cleveland
As of now this is my favorite pick on the board. Even though the Dolphins are 0-2, they had a tough opening two-game stretch at Seattle and at New England. They were competitive in both games, and I liked the way they came back in the second half this past weekend. Now they play their home opener against the worst team in the NFL. The Browns just look awful and somehow choked away a 20-point lead last weekend against Baltimore, losing 25-20. They will be starting their third quarterback of the season already and will now put their faith in Cody Kessler. There may be a lot of people left in Survivor Pools late this season because fading the Browns looks like a solid strategy to get far in pools.
New York Giants -4.5 vs. Washington
The Redskins won the division last season, but it looks like the NFC East is the Giants to lose this year as they seem like the class of the division. I think that New York will win this game, but I will likely stay away from this one because in these divisional matchups sometimes crazy stuff happens, especially in the East. I couldn’t really argue with you if you decided to go with the Giants here, however, but I will probably look for a safer pick in my pool.
Green Bay -7.5 vs. Detroit
Detroit is a team that scares me. Their offense has looked amazing at times this season. I think this is going to be a team that busts a lot of Survivor Pools as an underdog and ruins a lot as a favorite, as we witnessed firsthand last week vs. Tennessee. I don’t think the Packers have looked great thus far at 1-1. This team sometimes starts slow, and I’m pretty sure I will be staying away from this divisional matchup as I want to see Green Bay play a couple really good games before I back them, especially against a team like the Lions. The Packers, however, will be a very popular Survivor Pool pick for Week 3.
Carolina -7 vs. Minnesota
I don’t really like this matchup, either. I used the Panthers on three of my four Survivor Pool cards last week so technically could use them again on one card, but I am a really big fan of the Vikings this season and think they are one of the better teams in the NFC. Hard to go against a team like that. Yes, Adrian Peterson is out for this game for the Vikings. But this team is stacked with talent at many positions all over the field, and I think Sam Bradford is a nice fit for this club. Carolina should win, but this could be a close game.
Seattle -9 vs. San Francisco
That this line is not around 13 or so is very telling. Something is wrong in Seattle right now, and this team does not look very good. They scored 12 points in a season-opening win over Miami and only three in a loss at Los Angeles on Sunday. That’s ugly. They have a great defense, but the offense looks lost right now. All that being said, the Niners are one of the worst teams in the league and they are the Hawks main rival. Seattle will not hesitate to kick their adversary when down. I think the Seahawks will get the job done, but the game will be closer than this point spread might indicate.
Tampa Bay -5 vs. Los Angeles Rams
Call me crazy but I really like the Bucs in this spot. This team has a lot of weapons on offense and looked great in Week 1 before getting blown out of the water Week 2 against an angry Arizona team. But this is the home opener for Tampa Bay, and they play one of the worst teams in the league. Yes, the Rams beat Seattle last week, but they scored only nine points. That is their first and only nine points this season. They will have to do better than their 4.5-point average per game to keep up with the Bucs here, and we don’t see it happening.
Pittsburgh -3.5 at Philadelphia
The Steelers are the better team here. But they are on the road, and the Eagles have surprised at 2-0 thus far. They did play two flawed teams in the Browns and Bears, but this team seems to be playing with a lot of confidence and there is some talent there. Also, QB Carson Wentz looks like the real deal. This guy has a cannon for an arm. The Steelers should win here, especially with Philly on a short week, but again I don’t like picking road teams this early in the season so I will pass on this game for Week 3.
Kansas City -3 vs. New York Jets
Two flawed but playoff-caliber teams meet up at Arrowhead Stadium in Kansas City on Sunday. The Chiefs are the better team on paper, but they sure haven’t looked like it so far as they haven’t played a complete game yet. Jamaal Charles should return to boost the KC offense this week. But this team got off to a slow start also last season, going 1-5, and I just don’t trust this club right now and will pass on this matchup.
Dallas -7.5 vs. Chicago
The Bears are on a short week as well coming off Monday Night Football. I’ll say it right now that I won’t touch Dallas in this game and I normally stay away from this team altogether. They always tend to play well as an underdog and fail to meet expectations as a favorite. The Bears look really bad, and Jay Cutler is out with an injured hand, but it wouldn’t surprise me if this was a close game. Dallas seems to have a bad habit of playing down to the level of competition.
New Orleans -3 vs. Atlanta
A coin flip. I put a small bet already on the Falcons plus the points and would not be shocked if they won this game straight up.
Check back on Thursday for official picks from three former winners!