NFL Survivor Pool Picks Week 4: Advice and Predictions
I hope you survived. Week 3 is now behind us, and some of the heaviest favorites lost, killing the survivor pool dream for millions across the country. The Cowboys (-12.5), Ravens (-8), and Jaguars (-8) all lost outright, but we had a seat free Week 3, as we took the Chiefs, who stomped on the Bears, 41-10. The 49ers were the only other 7+ point favorite to win outright, as they easily took down the Giants on Thursday Night Football. The favorites went 9-7 outright, and all 9 favorites who won, also covered the spread in Week 3. Three weeks down, 16 to go. Let’s dive into the Week 4 survivor picks, ranked from most to least confident.
Doc’s Sports offers NFL expert picks for every game on our NFL predictions page.
San Francisco 49ers (-14) Over Arizona Cardinals
The 49ers are clearly the safest bet in Week 4, as they are whopping 14-point favorites at home against their weak division rivals. Brock Purdy continues to prove that he deserves the starting role on one of the Super Bowl favorites, and the 49ers have won all 3 of their opening games by 7+ points, by a combined margin of 48 points. Their elite defense, combined with the potent offense, will be enough to overpower the Cardinals, despite Arizona’s upset win over Dallas. I don’t see any reason to pass on San Francisco this week, as there aren’t many layups left for the 49ers on their schedule. They are my top pick for Week 4.
Sunday Night: Kansas City Chiefs (-9.5) Over New York Jets
The Chiefs made it look easy in their dismantling of the Bears in Week 3, and a trip to New York is one of the easiest road tilts on the Chiefs schedule. Zach Wilson has had plenty of opportunities to show the NFL he can take advantage of the elite defense he has to work with but is once again falling short. In his 2 starts this season, Wilson has thrown 3 interceptions, 1 touchdown, logging just 327 passing yards. The wide disparity in quality between these two signal callers will eliminate any defensive advantage the Jets have, and the Chiefs will continue to mount a successful Super Bowl defense.
Philadelphia Eagles (-8.5) Over Washington Commanders
Divisional matchups can always bring upsets, but I don’t see how the Commanders walk into Philly and steal a win. Jalen Hurts and his offensive line have been tormenting teams for the better part of 3 seasons and have converted countless 3rd or 4th and short situations. Washington lacks the grit on offense to keep up with the Eagles grinding offensive scheme. Sam Howell is still very rough around the edges, and a hungry Eagles unit will not be eager to give up their NFC East lead.
LA Chargers (-5.5) Over Las Vegas Raiders
The Chargers are a solid pick if you’re looking to keep the 49ers for a later week, as a favorable home matchup against the Raiders looks like a solid pick. The Chargers offense, led by Justin Herbert, is among the best in the league, and Jimmy Garoppolo doesn’t have the poise to take advantage of a woeful Chargers defense. The loss of Mike Williams for the season will hurt, but the Chargers receiving corps is still good enough to get open for their star quarterback. The Raiders defense did a miraculous job of making the Steelers offense look competent and will get torched by the Chargers in Week 4.
Dallas Cowboys (-7.5) Over New England Patriots
This is a massive game for both teams. The Cowboys are coming off a loss to the lowly Cardinals. And if they falter at home against the Patriots, they will suddenly have an uphill battle for the NFC East crown. For the Patriots, they cannot afford to lose ground on the Bills and Dolphins in the AFC East, as a 1-3 start will leave them as long shots for a postseason berth. Mac Jones may have been able to get his first win of the season against the Jets, but that was thanks to Zach Wilson’s errors rather than their solid play. The Cowboys have been able to step up in the regular season when their season is on the line and will get the job done against New England.
Minnesota Vikings (-3.5) Over Carolina Panthers
The Vikings are 0-3 but have the weapons and a weak division to still make the playoffs. However, if they slip up against the Panthers, any postseason dreams will be killed. The Panthers offense has been unable to get anything going this season, trailing by multiple possessions in the 4th quarter of every game this season. Their defense is mediocre, but their offense is a tier behind most NFL franchises. Regardless of who is under center, the Vikings offense will be too much for the Panthers to keep up with, as the long-time NFC North champions pick up their first win of the season on the back of another gem from Kirk Cousins and Justin Jefferson.
Denver Broncos (-3) Over Chicago Bears
It feels odd to wager your survivor pool life on a team that just gave up 70 points in Week 3, but the Bears and Dolphins offense are on opposite ends of the NFL power rankings. Justin Fields looks lost in the pocket, and his indecision will once again result in a Bear defeat. They were unable to put up any first half points on a mediocre Chiefs defense in Week 3, and the Broncos defensive unit will not roll over like they did against Miami. A scrambling quarterback like Fields cannot make the explosive plays needed to tilt the field in their favor, and Russell Wilson is a consistent 20-point producer in the NFL. Broncos country gets their first win of the season.
Pittsburgh Steelers (-3) Over Houston Texans
The Steelers offense came to life against the Raiders. And despite the Texans upset victory in Week 3, they are still going to lose at home to Pittsburgh. CJ Stroud showed flashes as to why he was one of the top picks from last year's draft and dropped 37 points on a competent Jaguars defense. However, the Steelers defensive front is among the best in the league and will be eager to get their hands on Stroud in any type of passing situation. If Pittsburgh can get up early, they can run the ball, chew up the clock, and force the Texan’s rookie quarterback into key errors.
Thursday Night: Detroit Lions (+1.5) Over Green Bay Packers
The Lions are underdogs in their primetime matchup with the Packers, but they’ll win outright. In the season opener, the Lions played complementary football against the Chiefs and took home a road victory. Considering the Packers dug themselves a 17-0 hole against the Saints, I expect the Lions to find success early and often. When the lights shine brightest, the Packers swinging tendencies will flare up, and the Lions will put up tons of points in a lightning fast time frame. Jared Goff thrives in these situations, while Jordan Love hasn't proved he can win when the world is watching.
Cincinnati Bengals (-2.5) Over Tennessee Titans
The Bengals got their first win of the season against the Rams on Monday Night Football, and Joe Burrow took the risk of further injury to avoid the 0-3 hole. There is no telling if the signal caller will be able to remain healthy all season, and using up the Bengals early isn’t the worst idea in the world. However, the Titans have plenty of upset potential, and routinely falter against the bottom feeders but get a few upset victories against the top dogs. The 1-2 Bengals still have to prove they belong at the top this season, but they are good enough on both sides of the ball to get their first road win of the campaign.
New Orleans Saints (-3) Over Tampa Bay Buccaneers
The Saints blew a 17-point 4th quarter lead in Week 3 to fall short of a 3-0 start, but they’ll get back in the win column in Week 4. The Buccaneers may have gotten off to a hot 2-0 start, but Baker Mayfield didn’t do anything spectacular to do so. The Bucs capitalized on a 7-0 turnover margin in the first 2 weeks to secure victory, and if they don’t get favorable field position they will not find joy against a stingy Saints defense. There is no doubt that defensive coordinator Jow Woods has been ripping into the Saints over their blown lead, and I expect a dominant defensive performance in Week 4.
Monday Night: Seattle Seahawks (+1.5) Over New York Giants
I’m shocked to see the Seahawks as underdogs in Week 4, and they will get the upset win over the Giants. New York is lucky to find themselves with a win on the board thanks to a furious comeback against the Cardinals, but they won’t have the same success against the Seahawks. Pete Carroll is always ready to field a competitive lineup. And unless Geno Smith turns the ball over several times, the Seahawks will find themselves head and shoulders above the Giants when the second half rolls around. Kenneth Walker III is a dagger in the backfield. And without Saquon Barkley firing back the other way, the Birds will have the offensive edge over the Giants. MetLife stadium will be bumping for this primetime matchup, but the Seahawks are a solid choice in Week 4.
Indianapolis Colts (-1) Over LA Rams
The Colts should get the job done in Week 4, and their selection will leave plenty of options available in future weeks. Gardner Minshew or Anthony Richardson are both solid choices at signal caller, and either one will be able to edge out the Rams in Week 4. Matthew Stafford still has plenty to give this season, but his friction with his teammates will result in games being dropped. The Colts rode a solid defense and crucial kicks from Matt Gay to their victory over the Ravens and won in overtime to take the AFC South lead.
London Game: Atlanta Falcons (+3) Over Jacksonville Jaguars
The NFL heads to London for the first time this season, and the Falcons will upset the free-falling Jaguars across the pond. Their devastating run game will find joy against a weak Jaguars run defense and will allow the Falcons to keep their playbook compact. Trevor Lawrence and the Jags took a massive divisional loss to the Texans in Week 3 and were honestly dominated throughout the 60 minutes. The Falcons may still have their flaws, but this is a favorable matchup for their team structure, as the Jaguars lack the grit to stop the run.
Miami Dolphins (+2.5) Over Buffalo Bills
Steer clear of this one. There is no reason to burn either of these two teams in this tough matchup, but I do expect the Dolphins to improve to 4-0 in Week 4. The Bills may have been able to shut down Sam Howell and the Commanders in Week 3, but Tua Tagovailoa and the Dolphins running backs dropped 70 points on a decent Denver defense in their recent victory. The Bills pass rush lacks the teeth needed to shut down the passing game, and I expect numerous explosive plays to be the difference maker. Josh Allen’s boneheaded decision making will cost his team a share of the AFC East lead.
Cleveland Browns (-2.5) Over Baltimore Ravens
The Browns rebounded from their Week 2 loss against the Steelers and are slight favorites to overcome their divisional foes in Week 4. Deshaun Watson made it look easy against the Titans. And while the loss of Nick Chubb will come back to haunt the Browns later in the season, the Ravens will be unable to take advantage. They failed to get over the line despite having several game winning opportunities against the Colts last week, and the Browns defense will be eager to shut down the exhilarating Lamar Jackson. It will come down to the wire, but the Browns edge out a victory.
Survivor play of the Week: San Francisco 49ers Over Arizona Cardinals
Teams used: Washington Commanders, Buffalo Bills, Kansas City Chiefs
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