We’re past the halfway point of the 2020-21 NFL season and there are many ways to cash in on your knowledge of the most popular professional sports league in the country. The smartest and most fortunate bettors should still be alive in their survivor pools.
At PlayPicks, we’re breaking down the NFL survivor pool landscape to bring you weekly options that will help you stay alive and ahead of the field in your pool.
For those new to survivor pools, the format is simple: Pick an NFL team to win each week, advance if they win, and you can’t pick the same team twice. The last member of the pool standing takes home the cash.
In this article, we will identify our strongest survivor pick for this week, called a “lock“, and a “thrifty” pick that can help you save better teams for later in the season.
The lock is our safest and most obvious pick for the week. The thrifty pick is a good team to consider at this point in the season schedule. And our land mine identifies a team that might be a popular pick but could come up short when the defecation hits the oscillation in the NFL and thousands of survivors lose a supposed lock to an upset.
You can also use advice from this article to place bets on FanDuel Sportsbook and DraftKings Sportsbook. Many of the recommended bets can be applied to those sportsbooks. Also, be aware that the point spread could be considerable with these teams favored to win by over a touchdown in some cases.
Week 10 Lock Survivor Pool Pick
Green Bay Packers vs Jacksonville Jaguars
Aaron Rodgers is playing the best football of his career, when he gets proper protection. The Packers offensive line should give him time this Sunday against a Jags team that ranks 31st in adjusted sack rate (3.2%) with just 8 sacks on the year. The Jaguars secondary, seriously diminished by trades and free agency departures, ranks dead last in DVOA pass defense. The Packers should also get Jamaal Williams (COVID) and/or Aaron Jones (calf) back for a matchup with a team that ranks 23rd in DVOA rush defense.
Jacksonville will likely start Jake Luton again for Gardner Minshew (thumb) and the rookie could come crashing back to earth after posting 304 passing yards in a plush matchup against the Texans. The Packers allow a modest 234.4 passing YPG and have only allowed 3 passing TDs with 9 sacks over 3 home games this season. Luton is not particularly mobile and will be operating behind an O-line that ranks dead last in adjusted sack rate.
Week 10 Thrifty Survivor Pool Pick
New Orleans Saints vs San Francisco 49ers
If you still haven’t used the Saints, you should feel extremely confident trying to survive Week 10 with New Orleans after they dominated the Bucs on Sunday night. This is their easiest remaining home matchup if you consider division games against the Falcons to be more unpredictable (6-5 vs. Atlanta since 2014).
The Niners have been absolutely ravaged by injuries with 9 key defensive players missing in recent weeks. Now their offense is hurting with Jimmy Garoppolo (ankle), George Kittle (foot), and Jeff Wilson (ankle) on I.R. Deebo Samuel (hamstring) and Raheem Mostert (knee) may be able to return in Week 10, but the Saints defense is allowing just 3.5 YPC this season. And their improving secondary has allowed just 6.1 yards per attempt with 4 picks and 2 passing TDs over their last 2 games. Nick Mullens and a patchwork group of receivers will be hard pressed to keep pace with another Hall of Fame QB.
Week 10 Survivor Pool Land Mine
Philadelphia Eagles vs New York Giants
The Giants are better than their 2-7 record would indicate. They rank 9th in DVOA rush defense and while they’ve struggled in pass defense, the G-Men have a talented young secondary. James Bradberry is a shutdown force and is capable of shadowing breakout star Travis Fulgham. Jabril Peppers is coming into his own as a safety and should be able to limit Philly’s downfield shots to Dallas Goedert.
While Philadelphia’s offensive line should be healthier coming out of the bye, that unit ranks 29th in adjusted sack rate (8.6%) with a league-high 32 sacks allowed. Carson Wentz has been equally inconsistent at home and on the road with 12 TDs and 12 INT on the year. It took an unlikely completion to diminutive RB Boston Scott for the Eagles to pull out a 22-21 win over the Giants a couple weeks ago and the G-Men are more dangerous now with Sterling Shepard and Evan Engram healthy.