We’re heading down the home stretch 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 13 Lock Survivor Pool Pick
Miami Dolphins vs Cincinnati Bengals
The Bengals offense was predictably unimpressive in their first game following Joe Burrow’s season-ending knee injury. Brandon Allen (17-for-29 passing, 136 yards, TD, INT) struggled against a beatable Giants secondary and will now face a Dolphins defense that’s allowing the second-fewest PPG (18.2) and the lowest conversion rate (38.2%) on third down. Cincy has coughed up the second-most sacks (36) this season and the Dolphins average 2.3 sacks per game. The Bengals defense is 30th in total DVOA, so either Tua or Ryan Fitzpatrick should put up enough points to turn Miami’s talented pass rushers loose.
Week 13 Thrifty Survivor Pool Pick
Minnesota Vikings vs Jacksonville Jaguars
We would reconsider taking the Vikings if Gardner Minshew (thumb) returns for Jacksonville. But if it’s Mike Glennon under center, trust Mike Zimmer’s defense to hold up and avoid the late collapses we saw from Minnesota the past two weeks. Jacksonville just fired GM Dave Caldwell for good reason, since his talent-deficient defense has been steamrolled all year. The Jags allowed 6.3 YPC against Cleveland last week and lost No. 1 DT Davon Hamilton (knee) in the process. Minnesota leads the league in adjusted O-Line yards (5.03) per carry and should get Dalvin Cook going early and often in this matchup. Plus, the Vikings should be able to welcome Adam Thielen (COVID/Reserve list) back to face the league’s 30th-rated pass defense.
Week 13 Survivor Pool Land Mine
Las Vegas Raiders vs New York Jets
The Raiders might have preferred to stay on the east coast all week after their embarrassing 43-6 defeat at Atlanta, but COVID-related protocols forced them to fly back to Vegas before returning to New Jersey to face the Jets. This franchise has been traditionally awful in east coast games with a 1 p.m. kickoff and they’re 10-17 in non-division games since 2018. Vegas averages the eighth-most rushing YPG (125.6) but was stonewalled for 40 rushing yards by Atlanta’s 10th-rated rush defense. Now they face a Jets team that ranks 9th in DVOA rush defense and has allowed just 3.2 YPC over their last 3 games. The Raiders defense struggles against the pass and the run, so we can’t rule out another all-around dud on the road.