Every week during the NFL season I go over the opening NFL lines to find the best NFL Survivor Pool picks each week. I have some general rules I follow in Survivor Pools, especially early in the season. First, and most importantly, I never “save” teams for later in the season. This is a ridiculous strategy and one for losing Survivor Pool players. The goal is to “survive” that week, and you chose the best option possible that gives you the best chance to advance. I have gone deep in many Survivor Pools, and won a couple, and I can remember only once that someone had one of the better teams in the NFL in their back pocket to use late in the season. Most players that save teams are knocked out as a result. I also stay away from road teams and divisional matchups whenever possible. And this is the time of year for international games, and I avoid these like the plague!
Last week had a couple close calls, but it is very likely not many people were knocked out in original or second-chance Survivor Pools.
Week 7 NFL Survivor Pool Picks: Opening Line Report
LA Chargers -6.5 vs. Tennessee: This game is in London, and as a general rule I stay away from these international games for Survivor Pool picks. These games are normally earlier in the season, so there are often plenty of better opportunities on the board to pick from. The international travel takes these teams out of their normal routine, and I feel as if that has a chance to narrow the talent discrepancy between the teams. With all that being stated, I am pretty strong behind the Chargers right now. They had a really tough schedule to start the season with games against the Chiefs and the Rams. That game against KC, in particular, was closer than the final score indicated. They are right in the thick of the playoff race, and they know they can’t overlook any opponent right now. I am confident they will take care of business this week against a Tennessee team that has looked really bad the last couple weeks. These teams don’t play often, but the Chargers have had a lot of success in this series. I just wish this game was in Los Angeles and it would be much higher on my list this week!
New England -3.5 at Chicago: After a slow start to the season (again), the Patriots look to be in playoff form after a masterful home win against Kansas City on Sunday night. However, this could be a letdown spot on the road after that big win. And even though that game was on Sunday night, it is still a shorter week of rest as a result. Chicago has been playing extremely well overall, yet they come into this one off an OT loss at Miami. You get the feeling this improved Bears team will give it their all in this matchup. If this game was in New England I would feel more comfortable with the Patriots, but in Chicago I think this will be a very close game where either team could pull out the win. This is a pass for me.
Tampa Bay -3.5 vs. Cleveland: I do like Tampa Bay in this matchup, but I am confident there are better matchups on the board to pick for Week 7 NFL Survivor Pools. The Browns have played a home-heavy schedule but have lost both of their road games this season, most notably allowing the Raiders to their only win on the season. They looked listless in a home loss to the Chargers on Sunday. This team has shown to be inconsistent, and it’s hard to tell which team will show up on Sunday. The Bucs have played pretty well overall sans that blowout loss at Chicago, and they seem a bit easier to trust now. Also, it seems like the professional bettors are backing Tampa Bay early in the week, which is normally a good sign if you are interested. But this is a game I would be looking seriously at in Week 10 or 11, but it’s still early enough in the season where there are better options on the board.
Miami (OFF) vs. Detroit: This game is off the board at all sportsbooks as we await news on injured QB Ryan Tannehill. If you are interested in taking Miami this week (I’m not), then be sure to monitor his status this week before you submit your weekly pick.
Philadelphia -4.5 vs. Carolina: This is a tough week for Survivor Pools, and this smaller favorite really caught my eye this week. I think Carolina is a solid team. But the Eagles look to be back in fine form after playing their best game of the season on Thursday night in destroying the Giants on the road. They come into this game on extra rest, and that is becoming an important factor as the season wears on. The Eagles are bunched up with the Cowboys and Redskins in the NFC East with three wins each, and every game is important moving forward. At their best the Eagles are a better team that Carolina, and it looks like Philly might have broken out of their slump. Carolina has lost both road games they have played this season, and this doesn’t look like a situation where they get their first road win.
Indianapolis -7.5 vs. Buffalo: The Colts are the second-biggest favorite on the board for Week 7, but I am not excited about this matchup one bit. I am leaning towards betting the Bills here in this matchup because I think this is too many points. Do I think they can win straight up? That might be a tough feat. The Colts may have only one win on the season, but they have overall been more competitive than the Bills. They have played a lot of close games but don’t seem to have the moxie to pull out wins. The Colts could be without T.Y. Hilton here, and he is their best offensive weapon. This team has the QB in Andrew Luck, but they are very thin at the offensive skill positions and their defense is not good enough to keep them in games. The Bills will start long-time veteran Derek Anderson. Anyone is an upgrade over Nathan Peterman. But I will pass on this matchup in Week 7.
Kansas City -6 vs. Cincinnati: The Chiefs have nothing to be embarrassed about for their Week 6 loss at New England. They played about as well as they could have in that game and lost only as time expired. This game was flexed to Sunday Night Football this week as it’s one of the better Sunday matchups. The Bengals have won four straight meetings in this series, although these teams don’t play often. But you get the feeling that the Chiefs will be angry that they let one slip away in New England and that they will bounce back strongly here at home. Cincinnati has been playing well, but I think they have been overachieving a bit and I don’t see this team as a true Super Bowl contender. I think Kansas City is a solid Survivor Pool pick in Week 7.
Minnesota -3.5 at NY Jets: I have already used Minnesota for my second-chance Survivor Pool. I also try and stay away from road teams until I have no other choice. But I just can’t see Minnesota losing this game. Apart from a hiccup here and there (Buffalo loss in Week 3 comes to mind), this team has been one of the most trustworthy in the NFL for the last couple years. I am confident they will score a road win against a Jets team that plays hard but is a work in progress at this point in the season.
Jacksonville -5 vs. Houston: This Jacksonville team turned in one of the worst performances in the NFL this season in their loss at Dallas on Sunday. They have lost three of their last four, and they looked lousy during their 9-6 loss to Tennessee as well. The Texans are the hottest team in the division after winning three straight. You have to question the quality of opponents there, but a win is a win in the NFL, and Houston is feeling very confident right now. This should be a hard-fought divisional battle as the winner here has a leg up in the AFC South. With that performance on Sunday, the Jags shouldn’t be trusted until they can string together a couple quality games.
LA Rams at San Francisco: The Niners are coming in on a short week after their heartbreaking loss on Monday Night Football in Green Bay. This Rams/Niners series has been a contentious one, and the Niners have had the upper hand the last couple of years as they have won four of five in the series. This San Francisco team is not very good, and the loss of Jimmy Garoppolo hurts, but I would not be surprised if the Niners give the Rams a run for their money here at home in Week 7. I will be betting on the Niners for sure as the Rams have been overvalued by the oddsmakers, but I don’t know about them winning straight up. As have most Survivor Pool competitors, I have used the Rams already. But I probably would not pick them on the road in this division battle even if I hadn’t.
Atlanta -6 vs. NY Giants: New York has an aging and ineffective quarterback, and there is a lot of drama surrounding this team right now. They were humiliated on Thursday at home against the Eagles. They have had extra time to prepare for this game, but this team probably isn’t going to win too many more games this season. Atlanta has lost three of four games, but they have had one of the tougher schedules in the NFL to open the season. This is their first “gimmie” game of the year, and I expect them to take care of business on Monday Night Football.
Best NFL Survivor Pool Picks for Week 7:
No. 1: Philadelphia
No. 2: Kansas City
No. 3: Atlanta