NFL Survivor Pool Advice: Week 7 (2021)

Oct 20, 2021 - 10:56 AM

For a second consecutive week, survivor pool contestants did not receive a scare at all, as nine of the top ten moneyline favorites of the week all won outright. Overall, favorites went 10-4 SU in Week 6, with the biggest upset coming from Jacksonville ending their 20-game losing streak in London against Miami. We cannot say we didn’t warn our readers, as the Dolphins were listed as a “risky play” last week for many reasons. Meanwhile, the Bills, Broncos and Browns also lost outright, but none of those teams were on our radar from a survivor pool perspective.

Is chaos coming this week? First glance at the odds for this week says chaos is not likely with three teams favored by 13.5 points or more. Thus, if you have one of those teams available, do not get cute and try and save them for future weeks. As always, the name of the game is SURVIVE AND ADVANCE. 

Like last week, my selections for this week will be broken down into the following categories: safest picks, riskier plays that will be popular, and contrarian plays to beat a large pool. Even though survivor pool rules say you cannot pick the same team twice, I will outline multiple scenarios if bettors wish to navigate their own path.

Here is a list of odds for all the favorites to win their matchups in Week 7 (odds courtesy of FanDuel).

Safest Picks

Los Angeles Rams (-1200), Arizona Cardinals (-1200), Tampa Bay Buccaneers (-800)

Last week, the Los Angeles Rams likely felt a little like Rodney Dangerfield, claiming “they don’t get any respect.” After opening as double-digit road favorites against the Giants, the Rams kicked off closer to touchdown favorites as the game became a “pros vs. joes” betting game via the point spread. The news of Daniel Jones being active was seemingly enough to have the sharps pounding the underdogs. However, all Los Angeles did was crush New York 38-11, outscoring them 28-0 in the second quarter. They now head home to face a Lions team that is the only winless team in the NFC (0-6), which is the first time they started 0-6 since infamously going 0-16 in 2008. If you have not used L.A. yet, now is a perfect time.

Speaking of teams that do not feel they get respect, the Arizona Cardinals were road underdogs to the Browns last week despite winning their first five games. After bruising and battering Baker Mayfield all day, the Cardinals are now 6-0 for the third time in franchise history. Kyler Murray is coming off his first career game with four passing touchdowns and zero interceptions, and he looks every bit worthy of early-season MVP considerations. If their -17 point spread over the Texans stands up all week, it will be the biggest point spread of the season since Buffalo shutout Houston 40-0 as 17.5 point favorites two weeks ago.

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers are the third team of the week to have a double-digit point spread, as they are -13.5 point home favorites over the Chicago Bears. The Buccaneers benefit from three extra days’ rest to prepare for this one, having last played on Thursday night. This year, Tampa Bay is crushing people at home, outscoring opponents 124-71 in their three home wins. While the Bears have one of the most underrated defenses in the NFL, their offense does not have enough firepower to keep up with Tom Brady.

Riskier Plays That Will Be Popular

Green Bay Packers (-400), Baltimore Ravens (-310), New Orleans Saints (-230)

The Green Bay Packers are not necessarily in danger of losing at home to the Washington Football Team, but they make our “riskier plays” section to promote the other three much safer picks. Aaron Rodgers has 14 total touchdowns and one interception during the team’s current five-game winning streak. However, he is likely licking his chops to face a Washington defense that has allowed 29 points or more in five consecutive games in a single season for the first time in franchise history.

The Baltimore Ravens are coming off their most impressive performance of the season, holding the Chargers to season lows in points (six), passing yards (182), and rushing yards (26). However, the Cincinnati Bengals will not be intimidated by their division rivals and are playing sneaky-good defense all year. The Bengals rank fifth in the league in scoring defense, allowing 18.5 PPG, so there are much better spots to use the Ravens.

Many people will be tempted to hop on the “anti-Geno Smith train” and pick the New Orleans Saints off their bye week in a Monday Night Football matchup against the Seattle Seahawks. However, Smith nearly led his team to a road upset of the Steelers last week, and the 12th man crowd at Lumen Field will still be a factor for Saints quarterback, Jameis Winston, to deal with.

Contrarian Play To Beat a Large Pool

New England Patriots (-320)

Though most survivor pool contestants likely have the Rams, Cardinals, or the Buccaneers at their disposal to use this week, inevitably, people will want to get cute and find ways to save those teams. The Patriots host a Jets team coming off their bye week and can be considered a solid contrarian play. New England’s defense was embarrassed in allowing 567 total yards to the Cowboys last week, which was the most yards they allowed in a game since 1986. However, Jets quarterback Zach Wilson is not Dak Prescott, and he does not have the weapons available like Dak does to take advantage of the leakiest Bill Belichick defense we have seen in over two decades. This feels like a “get right” spot for the Patriots.

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Mike Spector is a featured writer at BettingPros. For more from Mike, check out his archive and follow him @MikeSpector01.

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