NFL Survivor Pools Strategy Advice and Predictions: Week 6
by Trevor Whenham - 10/7/2014
Week 6 of the NFL season is when things start to get much tougher in the world of NFL survivor pools. Chances are that the elite teams have been used, so we either need to latch onto an emerging strong team or take a somewhat uncomfortable gamble. Of course, it only makes sense then that this is also the time of the season when things really get interesting and when winners can be made in these pools. In fact, we are at the time of the season when some people are already going to be able to win their pool - at least that can happen if something crazy happens to damage people this week. Faced with the new realities and the exciting potential of the week, here's how I see the week breaking down from a survivor pool perspective with a focus on the four games that feature a favorite of at least a touchdown:
Denver at New York Jets: Chances are good that most pool players who have made it this far have used the Broncos at some point in their four games. If you haven't then this is a good spot to do so. Obviously. The Jets have been an absolute circus all year. They are defensively suspect, and they can't score. I'm worried that I won't be able to finish this article because they may call me to play quarterback for them. I've never played football competitively before, but I'm tall and have a good arm, and it's not like they have dramatically better options. Denver looked very strong on offense last time out, and they are going to be able to pick apart and humiliate this New York defense just like the Chargers did last week. You could confidently make this pick without much worry at all.
San Diego at Oakland: If you can't pick the Broncos then it would be ideal if you could pick the Chargers. Unfortunately, I used them last week against the Jets. They played close to a perfect game there and are against an opponent that they are even better set up to destroy this week. The Raiders have uncertainty at quarterback and a stunning lack of talent everywhere else. I guess you could argue that we could start to see some improvement from the Raiders after the coaching change, but I don't actually believe that any more than you do. The Chargers have looked truly excellent on both sides of the ball in all but one game, and they have a massive advantage in this one. This is also a rivalry game - albeit a lopsided one. Good teams don't want to lose to lousy ones at the best of times, never mind against an outmatched rival.
Cincinnati vs. Carolina: If you unfortunately can't pick either of the two no-brainers then this is probably your next best option. The Bengals were pretty awful last time out, but credit for some of that goes to the Patriots getting angry and being determined to get on track. They were also on the road and are typically a much better home team. Carolina just isn't very good right now - at least not on a consistent basis. They have the capability to be good - like they were late against Chicago. They just can't maintain it. The Bengals are good enough that they should be able to contain some of the aspects of Carolina's game that provide momentum. If this game were taking place in Carolina then I probably wouldn't like it, but in Cincinnati it is acceptable - though it will make me nervous because betting on Marvin Lewis always makes me nervous.
Seattle vs. Dallas: I know that the Seahawks are all but unbeatable at home, but I just don't like this spot at all. The Cowboys have been much better than expected and seem to have a hunger to their game that has been lacking for years. Seattle, meanwhile, was sloppy on Monday night. They were never in significant danger of losing the game. The problem, though, is that they knew it and they let it affect their game. They should have won by five or six scores, but it was tight until late. That wasn't the only time they have looked sloppy and almost entitled this year, and sooner or later that will catch up to them. They are still more likely to win here, but I wouldn't choose to make the play if I didn't have to.
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