There have been some rough periods this year for Survivor Pool players - extremely rough. Right now, though, we can bask in the glow of a very successful week last week. Things turned out pretty much exactly as we called them here. Atlanta, Green Bay and New England were all great picks that easily took care of business. The Chiefs were a popular pick among pool players, but they looked lousy from where I was sitting - and they were. And, finally, when I said that the Giants were pickable if you absolutely had to but that I wouldn't rest easy if I did pick them I certainly wasn't lying. As we get deeper and deeper into the Survivor Pool season here's hoping that we have several more weeks like that to come - starting now:
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Green Bay (-10) vs. San Diego: This game is a whole lot of things - the biggest spread on the board this week, the most popular pick in survivor pools, and the most obvious choice in any pool where this pick can be made. Chances are by this point that the large majority of people have used Green Bay - they are no worse than the second-best team in the NFL and have been very pickable in four of their five games. It's as simple as this, then - if you can pick them then don't even both reading anything else - just make the pick and get on with your life. If you have already used them, though, then let's move on.
New England (-7.5) at Indianapolis: Chances are even better that you have already picked the Patriots than the Packers. If not then absolutely pick them now. They are playing great football and currently outmatch the Colts in pretty much every way.
Seattle (-7) vs. Carolina: This one is interesting - the Seahawks are the third biggest favorites of the week but only the eighth most popular choice among Survivor Pool players. It's not that they have already been picked by a whole lot of people - they haven't played well enough to warrant that. It's that they just haven't played well enough to justify risking your life in this pool on them. Carolina isn't great despite their unblemished record. They could be a strong team, but we don't know because they are untested due to a very weak schedule. This is by far the toughest opponent the Panthers have faced - no matter how much Seattle is struggling. Seattle is tough at home, too. They should win, but they can't be trusted right now. The pool players have a better handle on this game than the bettors - this is one to skip.
Denver (-4) vs. Cleveland: Need proof of the power of a public team? The Broncos are the second most popular pick in Survivor pools so far this week. Why? They certainly don't warrant a pile of respect. Their offense is a mess, and their defense has been stressed to overcome that handicap. They have played a weak schedule and haven't looked nearly as dominant as they should in this spot. Cleveland is far from a great team, but their QB has averaged 385 yards passing in his last three games. A confident passing game could spawn a shootout, and Manning is not poised to handle that. I am not saying that the Browns are going to win, but I sure wouldn't be confident staking my survival on saying that the Broncos will.
New York Jets (-5.5) vs. Washington: This is the third most popular pick of the week. I have no real problem with that. The Jets are the better team, they have a defense that will give the questionable Washington offense issues, and they have had a bye week to recharge and plan for this game. They are at home, too. If you can't take one of the two elite teams this week then the Jets are probably the next best thing - with the possible exception of the next game.
Atlanta (-3) at New Orleans: The Falcons have played very well. The Saints really, really haven't. Atlanta probably came off the board last week for a lot of players. If you are still able to pick Atlanta then I would. The New Orleans defense has been porous, and Atlanta can exploit it. I'd obviously feel better if the game was in Atlanta, but the Falcons already have two nice road wins to their credit and are more than capable here.
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