NFL Survivor Pool Strategy Advice and Predictions: Week 4
Let's just get this out of the way early - if you are still alive in your survivor pool in Week 4 of the season then you are a wizard. And not a cute, Harry Potter-type wizard. The dangerous kind that has powers that are not good for society. I have been doing this for a lot of years now, and I have never seen a season like this for survivor pools. The first week was carnage with loss by New Orleans and, to a lesser extent, Pittsburgh's tie. Week 2 wasn't too bad. But then last week, with Minnesota's total and utterly irrational destruction at the hands of Buffalo, just laid waste to both reason and the pools of most people. And even if you somehow didn't pick Minnesota, you probably picked Jacksonville or New England - and neither of those picks were any good, either.
The way this season has gone so far actually opens up an interesting debate that often comes up in sports betting, or gambling in general. New Orleans was probably the best pick of the opening week, and Minnesota definitely was last week. Yet they both lost. And the next two best bets last week lost as well. And despite, what some - especially those still alive - would tell you, losing does not make them bad plays or somehow the wrong play. Good handicapping isn't about always being right. It's about always minimizing the risk involved in your bets so you maximize success over the long term. That's a simple concept that is exceptionally difficult for some people to understand. So, people who are still alive will be proud and will be touting their genius. But are you really a genius if you are still alive, even if doing so has meant making sub-optimal plays along the way. It's like someone bragging because of the huge parlay that they hit. Sure, they made a lot of money. But they did it by making a sucker bet and accepting a serious negative long-term expectation. I guess it all comes down to why you are into this in the first place.
Anyway, enough of my most favorite rant. Let's look at what we can do this week if you are still alive. Or in a second-chance pool. Or a third-chance pool.
L.A. Chargers vs. San Francisco: I haven't been crazy about what we have seen from the Chargers this year. Actually, it has been a pretty major disappointment. And they have the worst home-field advantage in the league. But the Niners have looked pretty lousy, and now they are forced into using C.J. Beathard as their starting quarterback. C.J. Beathard is not an NFL quarterback. Period. This is not going to go well, and the Chargers are well positioned with plenty of defensive tools to ensure that. Having lost their top running back already as well, it's not like the Niners have an easy option to fall back on to protect the lost sheep that will be under center. I would feel better about this if the Chargers had been more generally competent, but their losses have come against Kansas City and the Rams, and no two offenses have been better this year, so it has been a pretty rough test so far. This well be a much easier test - again, C.J. Beathard is the quarterback - and the Chargers are well positioned to make the most of the break in their schedule. L.A.'s next seven after this one are all shockingly winnable, so a good performance could really set off a great run that lays the foundation for strong playoff seeding.
Jacksonville vs. New York Jets: I'm gun shy here after whatever that offensive debacle was that the Jaguars uncorked last week. But despite the struggles to move the ball, the defense was absolutely potent again. And Sam Darnold, despite several bright spots, is looking like what he is - a raw rookie on an undermanned team. The Jets wouldn't have been able to pick him if they didn't have plenty of issues. And those issues are going to make it tough for the offense to do anything against the Jacksonville defense. And I am reasonably confident that the New York defense isn't going to be able to stifle the Jags offense like last week, either. This isn't as comfortable as the Chargers, but it is still a good pick.
Green Bay vs. Buffalo: A good percentage of people seem to be picking the Packers here. I want nothing to do with them. They were lackadaisical in losing - soundly - at Washington, and they have not looked fully right this year beyond the second half against the Bears. There is something off in Wisconsin. And while the Bills have all sorts of issues, they also just steamrolled the Packers' biggest rival and obviously are feeling good behind their rookie QB. Green Bay should win, but counting on them to do so does not feel like a good idea. And the fact that that is the case tells you just how nutty the first three weeks of this season have been.
Want free NFL picks? Doc's has you covered. New clients can take advantage of this great offer of $60 in free Doc's Sports members' picks for any handicapper on Doc's Expert Handicapper list. Just check out these guys' pages and see what great work they have done making money for themselves and their clients over the years. Get $60 worth of premium members' picks free . Also, get three handicappers for the price of one when you sign up for a full-season football package! Click Here for details . Get free NFL picks weekly on Doc's Sports free football picks page.
Read more articles by Trevor Whenham
Most Recent NFL Survivor Pool
- NFL Survivor Pool Picks and Advice: Week 17
- NFL Survivor Pool Picks and Advice: Week 15
- NFL Survivor Pool Picks and Advice: Week 14
- NFL Survivor Pool Picks and Advice: Week 13
- NFL Survivor Pools Expert Advice and Predictions for Week 13
- NFL Survivor Pool Picks and Advice: Week 12
- NFL Survivor Pools Expert Advice and Predictions for Week 12
- NFL Survivor Pool Picks and Advice: Week 11
- NFL Survivor Pools Expert Advice and Predictions for Week 11
- NFL Survivor Pool Picks and Advice: Week 10