Are you scouring the Internet or your cupboards for an ideal Week 8 pick for your NFL survivor pool? Winging it usually doesn’t get the job done. So, how should we strategize with an eye toward the rest of the season? Let’s talk survivor pool NFL betting strategy and optimal team picks.
NFL Week 8 Survivor Pool
Picking one team that is a virtual certainty to win each week sounds easy in theory. However, most NFL survivor pool rules dictate that you can’t select the same team twice.
Sometimes it’s best to lock in a nearly guaranteed win. Other times it’s better to take a chance to preserve safer options for later. Here’s my favorite Week 8 pick (with context).
Shifting Trends for Road Underdogs?
When picking a team, we need to consider short- and long-term strategies and ramifications. The deeper we get into the season, the more our competition dwindles — sometimes because they lost going bold, and sometimes because they lost while seemingly playing it safe.
Last week, two more road underdogs prevailed, bringing the season total to 24, or one every 4.5 games. But this interesting trend has slowed in the past two weeks. Perhaps the wear-and-tear of the season has taken a greater toll on traveling teams. Who knows.
But the numbers are the numbers, and a shifting trend line matters.
Last week I shared that home teams this year had won 53% of the time. That’s a bit lower than historical percentages, but it remains favorable.
But this past week, home teams were 10-4 (71%), with a majority of victors winning by more than a touchdown. Several of these teams — like the Titans and Cardinals — were narrow favorites.
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My approach to survivor pools has consistently leaned on home teams because I’m always playing the percentages. The strength of this strategy was in doubt in the opening weeks. Perhaps, though, these statistics will even out in the end, maintaining clear advantages for home teams.
Compelling Week 8 Survivor Plays
Last week I offered one all-in Survivor play, as well as two “compelling” plays. The latter two featured the Raiders and Bengals. Both enjoyed favorable home matchups against defensively challenged units. Both prevailed.
I pointed out that we need to look long-term when making a survivor pick. For example, Las Vegas will face Kansas City at home in Week 18. If the Chiefs have nothing to play for in that final contest after locking down their playoff seed, the Raiders would be a great team to keep in our back pocket.
Meanwhile, Cincinnati gets Carolina at home in Week 9. My hunch is that a lot of people went with the Bengals in Week 7. But the Week 9 landscape is rougher, with only two highly favorable home matchups (the Bengals, as well as the Chiefs versus the Titans). There’s also Philly in Houston.
But saving teams is key, as long as we have a comparable option in the present week. And in Week 8, we do have some so-so options. Not sure if they’re exactly “good.” But we’ll take what we can get.
Are the Vikings for real? They’re at home against the Cardinals. Arizona has struggled, yet they’re 3-4 and still in the thick of the playoff race. Their (potentially) prolific passing attack could keep up with Minnesota’s.
That said, if you’re desperate for a solid option, Minnesota fits the bill. Burning them this week means you won’t be able to use them in later home tilts against the Giants and Jets. Of course, the Giants and Jets are much better than they appeared to be this summer. But . . . the Jets are an intriguing Week 13 matchup, as New York struggles with injuries and personnel turmoil.
And how about the Colts? Yikes, right? They’re at home against Washington, which just vanquished the Packers. Indy can’t claim to be better than Green Bay. That said, they’ll be at home, and Jonathan Taylor should be 100% by then. The long-awaited ascendance of Parris Campbell, combined with a solid defense, could be enough to hold off the plucky Commanders.
Cowboys vs. Bears
But no, neither of those options is my No. 1 pick this week. If you have no better choices (including the one I’m about to discuss), then I fully believe in Minnesota and Indy in Week 8. However, the Cowboys offer the safest and most forward-thinking play.
Why safe? Because their fairly stout defense should match up well against the Bears’ erratic, low-ceiling offense. And because a healthy Dak Prescott should be better this week than in his Week 7 return. I’m anticipating a comfortable win at home. We can take care of business in survivor and move on to Week 9 in style.
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What about the rest of the season? Dallas has three more good home tilts: the Giants, Colts, and Texans. But in each of those weeks, I’ve got other candidates in mind — teams with comparably excellent odds of winning.
There’s no need to stash Dallas for later. Who knows if Prescott could get hurt again or whether a seemingly favorable road game against the Jaguars in Week 15 could result in an upset defeat.
The closer we get to the finish line, the more important it is to secure survivor wins, especially if a team’s odds of winning probably won’t be higher in any other weeks. Dallas is a good bet to prevail by 18+ points. Lock them in. And maybe head over to Draftkings Sportsbook to take Dallas on the moneyline, where a $5 bet will win you $200.