October 26, 2021

NFL betting: Week 6 survivor pool picks

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Twenty-five percent of survivor entries were saved in Week 5 by game-ending scores from the Vikings and Ravens, and another 18% survived thanks to the Patriots mounting a comeback in Houston. That’s 43% who were teetering on the brink of elimination but lived to fight another day.

Week 6 may provide us with an even bigger sweat, as 80% of entries so far are concentrated on just three teams and only one of them is a double-digit favorite. Before we jump into our pool picks, let’s take a look at how we did last week:

Week 5 picks

Best Bets: 1-0 (YTD: 9-2)

Leans: 1-0 (YTD: 5-1)

Traps to avoid: 1 elimination avoided (YTD: 6)

On to the Week 6 picks!

BEST BETS

The Seahawks suffered a tough break losing QB Russell Wilson for 6-8 weeks. Subbing in will be none other than Geno Smith, who sports a 12-19 record as a starter. The understudy’s first leading performance as a Seahawk will be on the road in primetime. 

Seattle was already a shaky team when they had one of the best quarterbacks in the league under center. Do we expect Smith to turn that around against one of the better defenses? Speaking of which, the Seahawks defense ranks in the bottom seven in both yards per carry and yards per passing attempt. If the Steelers can put up nearly 400 yards of offense versus the Broncos, I’ll take my chances with them against a lesser Seattle defense.

I like this play because only 3% of entries are on Pittsburgh and their future value lies mainly in a Week 10 home game against the Lions.

After a three-game road trip, the Colts are returning home to take on the lowly Texans. Quarterback Carson Wentz just threw for a career-high 402 yards against Baltimore and has completed 73.1% of his passes over the last two weeks. Even though they’re 1-4, Indy could just as easily be above .500 and they outmatch Houston all over the field. If the Colts continue feeding the ball to Jonathan Taylor and Michael Pittman Jr. and play halfway-decent defense, they’ll exit with a win they can build on.

Pro Bowl offensive lineman Laremy Tunsil will miss this game for Houston with a thumb injury. The Colts have some stars of their own in danger of being inactive, though, with cornerbacks Xavier Rhodes (concussion) and Rock Ya-Sin (ankle). If both of them are ruled out for Sunday, I would switch a majority of my Colts entries over to the Steelers.

Indianapolis is the second-most popular pick at 28%. Their future value comes in the form of home games versus the Jets (Week 9) and Jaguars (Week 10).

Indianapolis Colts quarterback Carson Wentz threw for a career-high 402 yards against the Baltimore Ravens. (Geoff Burke/USA TODAY Sports)

Indianapolis Colts quarterback Carson Wentz threw for a career-high 402 yards against the Baltimore Ravens. (Geoff Burke/USA TODAY Sports)

LEANS

This is a similar scenario to Week 3 when the Chiefs were under .500, coming off a home loss, and favored on the road by a touchdown against an NFC East opponent. Washington is like a watered-down version of that Philadelphia team that Patrick Mahomes and company hung 42 points on: good defensive line but a weak secondary, mobile quarterback, coach you wouldn’t want to fight (okay, maybe Washington wins this one). 

Kansas City’s defense has been awful this season, but defensive end Frank Clark is finally back and there’s a possibility that pass rusher Chris Jones suits up as well after missing last week’s game against the Bills with a wrist injury. Having both Pro Bowlers on the line would make a world of difference. If Tyreek Hill can overcome his quad contusion, the Chiefs will have too much firepower for Taylor Heinicke and the Football Team to keep up.

Just over 12% of people have locked in Kansas City this week, making them the third-most popular play on the board. Their future value is a Week 8 home game versus the Giants.

TRAPS TO AVOID

Green Bay Packers (-4.5) at Chicago Bears

Underestimating the Bears lead to 3% of entries being eliminated last week when they beat the Raiders as +5.5 road dogs (I tried to warn you). Chicago leads the league in sacks and it’s not often that Green Bay goes into the Windy City and manhandles the Bears.

Like last week, right around 3% of entries are picking against Chicago. If you really love this matchup, you could wait until Week 14 when the Packers come off a bye to play the Bears at home. They also have home games versus Washington in Week 7 and Seattle in Week 10.

Los Angeles Rams (-9.5) at New York Giants

The Rams are easily the most popular pick this week, at 40%. I’m laying off of them completely for a couple of reasons. First of all, it’s far from a guaranteed win. In the previous two seasons, the Rams have played four sets of back-to-back road games and they lost the second leg each time. They’ve also looked flat in both of their away contests this year.

The main reason I’m not taking Los Angeles this week is because of their future value. Nearly a quarter of survivor entries have already taken them, which means that after this week, only about 35% of entries will have the Rams available. They have immense future value with remaining games against the Lions (Week 7), Texans (Week 8), and Jaguars (Week 13). By not taking the Rams this week, you’ll have a leg up against the entries who did. If they happen to lose, then you just knocked out close to half of your pool.

Stats provided by Pro Football Reference and nfl.com.

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