Welcome back to DSP’s NFL Survivor Pool picks column for Week 7. We saw another two big favorites bow out. I didn’t feel great about Seattle and I was “rewarded” for that concern. However, the Bengals lost when Mike Nugent missed a 36-yard field goal in overtime. It’s been quite a minefield this year as big favorites have fallen nearly every week.
Let’s see if I can keep my mojo going this week.
Bye Week: Philadelphia Eagles and Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Survivor Pool – Week 7 selections
Here is what we have for a top 10 from Office Football Pool and Yahoo! as of late Wednesday night:
One big favorite, but each pool sees it differently. Do you take that big favorite? What value is out there that you can take and root against the big boys?
As always, a friendly reminder, I never (almost never) save a team for later in the season. There is too much volatility (especially when it comes to injuries) in the NFL and the best information you have is for the upcoming week. Trying to predict performance in future weeks is nearly impossible.
Here are my choices for Week 7 in order of preference:
- Baltimore Ravens – The Falcons are bad on the road. The Ravens are good at home. The Falcons have no offensive line and the Ravens still have a relatively fearsome defense. I’m floored that more players aren’t on the Ravens. They are one of the top two or three choices to win outright and are a fantastic equity play at this point in the game. I give the Ravens an 81% chance of winning.
- New England Patriots – The Patriots are at home against an awful Jets team that has no offense, a limited defense and a coaching staff that seems to know they are on the way out. The Pats did lose Stevan Ridley last week, but I don’t see that having a huge impact on this week’s game. I give the Pats a 79% chance of winning.
- Arizona Cardinals – The Cardinals are better team with Carson Palmer. Palmer makes the WRs better and gives more room for the RBs. They have been decimated on defense, but still have a solid team all around. The Raiders are young, but Derek Carr has looked good at times and it seems the Raiders have found two WRs in Andre Holmes and James Jones. However, they have no running game and shouldn’t be able to match the Cards. I give the Cardinals a 75% chance of winning.
I’ll take a break here. I don’t really like much else on the slate this week. So I suggest you take one of the three teams noted above. However, I know many of you want to see some of the lesser options so we carry on.
- Seattle Seahawks – I’m loathe to take the Seahawks on the road as they are much closer to a pedestrian team on the road. They were exposed last week by the Cowboys, but the Rams don’t have the offensive talent that the ‘boys have to exploit those weaknesses. I give the Seahawks a 70% chance of winning.
- Cleveland Browns – The Browns have figured out they can run the ball against anyone and they will likely keep that trend going this week against a terrible Jags’ team. I pause in fully recommending them as they do have to go on the road and the Jags can’t lose all the time. Can they? I give the Browns a 65% chance of winning.
Other teams I like this week: The Dallas Cowboys may be for real. They face the Giants off of a tough win and are a candidate for a letdown this week. They should beat the Giants, but this isn’t the week to risk it with them. If you want to go crazy, take the Buffalo Bills – the Vikings don’t seem to have a clue on offense right now and the Bills’ defense is legit.
As for the avoid list, I would stay away from the Chicago Bears at home against the Dolphins. The Bears don’t have their historically dominant defense and the Dolphins look like they might be figuring out Bill Lazor’s new scheme.
If you get bonus points for picking an underdog, I’d think about the Tennessee Titans against Washington. Washington is terrible, there was talk of Colt McCoy playing QB this week and they no longer seem to be able to run the ball. Kirk Cousins is effective in spurts, but seems to always offer a soul-crushing turnover in the fourth quarter.
If you ever want to see what Vegas thinks each team’s “chances of winning” are, use this handy little converter to transform money lines into win percentages. You can also create a spreadsheet if you’d like (or use this one – scroll to the bottom) to do it for fun at home. This percentage chance to win is another quick way to gauge win expectations for each team each week. You can get a variety of money lines here or here.
If you have any questions, feel free to hit me up on Twitter at @chrisgarosi