There were some close games that could have been catastrophic for Survivor Pool players in Week 5, but the chalk prevailed in the most popular Survivor Pool matchups, and contestants could mostly breathe a sigh of relief. The last couple of years blindly fading the Cleveland Browns has been a very successful strategy for Survivor Pool players. However, I have stated on this blog over and over that it’s never a good idea to blindly fade a team each week. Those that used that strategy in Week 5 were knocked out of their pools as the Bills and Cardinals, everyone’s two favorite fade teams this season, both pulled upsets.
Every week in this spot I will give a rundown of matchups I am looking at for the upcoming NFL week of Survivor Pool action. I will normally look at favorites of 3.5 points or more, but as the season goes on I will probably look at some other matchups as well once all the best teams are unavailable for most Survivor Pool players. This week we have a pretty tough slate as there are only a handful of big favorites and many tight lines on the Week 6 NFL betting board. And some of these big favorites seem shaky.
Week 6 NFL Survivor Pool Picks: Opening Line Report
Minnesota -10.5 vs. Arizona: The Vikings are the biggest early favorite on the Week 6 NFL betting board. They are probably the safest pick, too, but they also looked like a lock Week 3 here at home vs. Buffalo, and we all know how that one turned out. That home game was sandwiched between two road games, just like this one is. Minnesota was coming off a hard-fought victory over division rival Green Bay in Week 3, and this time we find them off another tough game at Philly last Sunday. Their home game this time, however, is followed by a trip to the New York Jets, which is considerably less daunting than their look-ahead spot last time with a visit to the Rams on the horizon. But there are a lot of similarities to that Week 3 upset, and those Survivor Pool players that are in second-chance pools may not have the nerves to go with Minnesota this week. However, this has been one of the more reliable teams in the NFL the last few years, and I doubt they make a mistake again here at home against a very beatable opponent. I think that Minnesota will learn from that loss against Buffalo and that they won’t overlook the Cardinals here on Sunday. And with only two wins and a tie thus far on the season, this is a very important game.
Atlanta -3.5 vs. Tampa Bay: Atlanta has won the last three matchups in this divisional series, but the teams have actually split the last six. So, this series has been pretty streaky the last few years. After two very solid wins to start the season, the Bucs looked lousy in their last two games, both losses, and they come in off the bye week here. It’s hard to tell what this team is right now. Jameis Winston is back in the mix here at QB, and this team does have some very talented players across the roster. With Atlanta at 1-4, this is a must-win game for the Falcons. But you could really say that about both teams. I think that this game is a toss-up, and I will be staying far, far away from this one for my second-chance pool.
Houston -8.5 vs. Buffalo: This game is off the board at most sportsbooks because of the questionable status of Texans QB Deshaun Watson. This game has many red flags for me. First, the Texans have looked awful this season thus far. Watson is banged up even if he does play (monitor his status all week if you want to take Houston in Week 6). They are coming in on a short week as they played on Sunday Night Football. And Buffalo is obviously not as bad as everyone thought going into the season and they have already pulled off the biggest upset in the NFL in 20+ years.
LA Rams -7 at Denver: I was on the Rams last week on all my cards in my second-chance pool. They had a tougher time than expected at Seattle, but even when they were behind most of the game I was never truly worried that they wouldn’t pull it out. But these lines are getting out of hand. They didn’t come close to covering on Sunday. This looks like an inflated line as well. This is the most “public” team in the NFL right now, so oddsmakers can post an inflated number on them because they know their clients will bet on the Rams no matter how big the line. I had this line at Rams -4 in my initial handicapping, so I think this game will be closer than the oddsmakers expect. I have already used the Rams as have most Survivor Pool players out there, but even if I hadn’t I would never consider playing them here on the road in Week 6.
New England -3.5 vs. Kansas City: The Patriots probably want payback in this one for the season-opening loss last year where the Chiefs embarrassed New England in this same stadium. The Chiefs are an excellent team this season, no doubt. But they nearly lost to Denver. They capitalized on mistakes against the Chargers, but that game was more competitive than the final score indicated. Ditto on Sunday against Jacksonville. Pretty soon their luck is going to run out, and I think this team is probably going to lose 4-5 games on the season. This looks like it will probably be one of them. However, there are better matchups on the board for Week 6, and I will be looking elsewhere for a better (more uneven) matchup.
Green Bay -9.5 vs. San Francisco: I don’t understand this line at all. Yes, the Niners have looked awful, and they lost their best player, QB Jimmy Garoppolo, for the season. But Green Bay is a big disappointment, too. They are 2-2-1 and coming off a blowout loss to Detroit. Their kicker, Mason Crosby, missed four field goals on Sunday and an extra point. As of this writing he is still on the roster, and his shattered confidence has to be a concern. One thing I noticed in that loss to Detroit was QB Aaron Rodgers’ body language as he looked a bit dejected with slumped shoulders. Maybe it was just an off game, but I absolutely love the Niners in this spot plus the points, and I think this one has a chance to be a competitive game.
Top 3 NFL Survivor Pool Picks Week 6:
–Minnesota over Arizona
–New England over Kansas City
–Houston over Buffalo (only if Watson plays)