Week 13 was a tough one for NFL Survivor Pool players, with seven upsets on the results board with one game pending tonight on Monday Night Football. The biggest of those upsets was the Cardinals over the Packers, who were laying close to two touchdowns. I listed Green Bay as my top pick last week, but luckily, I diversified among my two cards remaining in my second-chance pool and took the Seahawks. So, I’m still alive but have zero room for error with about 30 competitors left in my pool.
Every week I will give a rundown of the Opening Lines in the NFL. I will normally cover favorites of 3.5 points or more, but I sometimes comment on games with spreads less than that if I find them interesting. At the end of each article I will give my top picks for the week.
Tennessee -4.5 vs. Jacksonville: The Titans have won three straight in this series. The Jags got a big win on Sunday over Indianapolis, but they scored only six points in the victory. Tennessee had a tougher-than-expected win over the Jets, their second straight home win. I do like the Titans to take care of business here as they need this game much more than the Jags.
Kansas City -7 vs Baltimore: The Chiefs are dealing with a lot of distractions right now with the Kareem Hunt situation. They let the Raiders hang around too long on Sunday but eventually pulled out the win. The Ravens are in the thick of the division and wild-card race and this is a very important game for them. Professional bettors jumped on the opening number of 8.5, and I have to agree with them as this looks like a potential close game.
Houston -4.5 vs. Indianapolis: The Texans are the hottest team in the NFL with nine straight wins. I am kicking myself for not doing it, but I was pondering betting them on Super Bowl futures when they were 0-3 at massive odds (I don’t think they are a serious contender, but in the postseason anything can happen. And the loss of Hunt hurts the Chiefs). The Colts looked really bad in their Sunday shutout in Jacksonville, but I just get the feeling this one will come down to the wire.
Green Bay -6 vs. Atlanta: The Packers are a team that can’t be trusted. Stay far away!
New Orleans -8 at Tampa Bay: The Saints suffered their first loss since the season opener, against this same Bucs team, on Thursday in Dallas. They have had extra time to prepare for this one, and this is a revenge spot. This one looks very attractive for Survivor Pools, but most have used the Saints already.
New England -8 at Miami: I don’t trust the Patriots on the road, but they should get the win here. But Miami is a very inconsistent team and can play like a contender one week and the worst team in the league the next. Most have already used the Pats, so this is a moot point, but I would be in no rush to take them if they were available in my pool.
LA Rams -3 at Chicago: This should be a great game. Most have used the Rams already. There are better spots to take the Rams if they are still available in your pool.
Denver -6 at San Francisco: The AFC West is pretty darned good this season with the Chiefs and Chargers, and now the Broncos are in the wild-card chase as well. They have traditionally been pretty lousy on the road, however, and the Niners have a puncher’s chance at home.
LA Chargers -14 vs. Cincinnati: The Chargers are ultra-motivated as they need to keep winning to have any hopes of catching the Chiefs. One slip up by Kansas City, and the Chargers are in a decent spot to capture a top seed in the postseason. The Bengals have given up on the season, and they probably won’t put up a fight here.
Dallas (OFF) vs. Philadelphia: This game is off the board as we wait for the results of the NFC East clash on MNF. Dallas will be a favorite. They have fallen into their normal pattern of success as a favorite and failure as an underdog. This one is an easy pass for me.
Pittsburgh -11.5 at Oakland: The Raiders played a very good game vs. Kansas City on Sunday. That was against a division rival, however, and that was a letdown spot for KC. I don’t think they can replicate that effort two weeks in a row against another top AFC team. Pittsburgh will be anxious to get back on the winning track after choking away the win on Sunday Night Football. This is the pick I will be using this week, but only because I have already used the Chargers.
Seattle -3.5 vs. Minnesota: If the two big favorites are not available, Seattle might be an option. They are the better team this season and at home where they are normally dominant. But will the Vikings give one last gasp on their season?
Week 14 NFL Survivor Pool Picks Top 5 Picks:
No. 1: LA Chargers
No. 2: Pittsburgh
No. 3 New Orleans
No. 4 Tennessee
No. 5 Seattle