Another week, another article listing the Jets are the most popular team to pick against in survivor pools. Last week it was the Dolphins who were picked by nearly half the public; this week it’s the Bills, who will face the Jets for the second time this season. Are they the best Week 7 pick for your NFL survivor pool, or is there another team that makes more sense for you? The experts from TeamRankings are here to help you decide by breaking down all the key numbers.
As we do every week, let’s dive in and analyze the five most popular survivor pool picks of NFL Week 7 using the “Holy Trinity” of survivor pick strategy data: Win odds, pick popularity, future value.
This analysis is brought to you by TeamRankings, the only site that provides customized picks that maximize your edge in football pools. Check out their NFL Survivor Pool Picks, Football Pick ’em Picks, and NFL Betting Picks.
Week 7 NFL Survivor Pool Advice: Tips, strategy for picks
To be clear, we are not saying that the first team listed below, Buffalo, is the best Week 7 survivor pick for your specific pool(s). We’re telling you that the Bills are the most popular Week 7 pick in survivor pools nationwide. We then break down the major pros and cons of potentially picking them and the next more most popular teams.
To get our specific Week 7 survivor pick recommendations, check out our NFL Survivor Picks product. Using the unique My Pool Picks feature, you first tell us some details about your pool(s) and the teams you’ve picked so far, and the product shows you the best Week 7 picks for all of your survivor pool entries.
Note: Data referenced below was current as of Wednesday, and could change between posting time and kickoff time. Our product updates multiple times per day with the latest information.
Buffalo Bills (at New York Jets)
Survivor Pick Popularity: 50% (most popular pick)
Point Spread: -13.5
The Bills draw the Jets for the second time this year. Buffalo was the first to start off against the dysfunctional Jets in Week 1 at home, and New York has only played worse since that game.
Sam Darnold’s status for this game hadn’t been confirmed yet at post time, and his final status could impact Buffalo’s win odds, at least slightly. The Jets have scored only 10 total points in the two games started by Joe Flacco so far, versus 16 points per game with Darnold at QB.
It’s understandable that Buffalo is the most popular choice this week, as they are the largest favorite and New York looked like the worst team in the league even before Darnold was out. Plus, Buffalo’s schedule gets significantly tougher after this week. We only project the Bills with above 60-percent win odds in two other weeks, and one of those is the final week of the season, which is prone to uncertainty due to potentially resting starters.
Usually a team with Buffalo’s sky-high pick popularity is a prime “fade” opportunity, but that’s not the obvious route this week given their profile. The Bills are worth consideration in some types of pools, but in some non-standard formats that are more forgiving (e.g. strike pools), you probably will get better expected value if you look elsewhere and hope for a big upset in this game.
Los Angeles Chargers (vs. Jacksonville)
Survivor Pick Popularity: 13%
Point Spread: -7.5
The Chargers come off their bye week and get Jacksonville at home. The Jaguars, who started the season with an upset win over the Colts and then took the Titans down to the wire in Week 2, have since reverted to expected form, allowing 30-plus points in five straight games.
Los Angeles, meanwhile, has come up just short against good competition recently with narrow losses to Kansas City, Tampa Bay, and New Orleans. With an improving schedule, the Chargers are a viable choice here depending on your pool format. They are a tier below the Bills as a choice when it comes to safety, but that’s offset to some degree because of the much lower pick popularity.
In addition, their future value is limited, though they do get the Jets later in the year. (Of course, they could be extremely popular the week that they do get the Jets.)
New Orleans Saints (vs. Carolina)
Survivor Pick Popularity: 12%
Point Spread: -7.5
The Saints are another team coming off a bye week with a survivor-relevant matchup. Star WR Michael Thomas should be back, and while Carolina has been playing better, it’s coming off a home loss to Chicago.
The Saints are in the same tier of safety as the Chargers and have similar popularity as Los Angeles, as well, so they are roughly similar in expected value this week. As far as future value, the Saints do not have any clear cut future weeks where they project as a great survivor pick, but they should be favored in most weeks going forward.
As a result, any shifts in opponent quality (e.g. on account of injuries) could make them a viable play at some point during the second half of the season.
Kansas City Chiefs (at Denver Broncos)
Survivor Pick Popularity: 11%
Point Spread: -10
Playing at Denver, the Chiefs are the second largest favorite of the week behind Buffalo. KC has roughly the same pick popularity as the Chargers and Saints with slightly higher win odds.
Of course, that immediate value is countered by Kansas City having great future value. The Chiefs are just a week away from playing the Jets at home, when they will be the largest favorite so far this year and could have win odds over 90 percent. They then get Carolina in Week 9 at home and should be a large favorite that week, as well.
So, if you’ve made it this far, there might be even more value in holding Kansas City if you have other reasonable options this week.
Philadelphia Eagles (vs. New York Giants)
Survivor Pick Popularity: 5%
Point Spread: -4.5
The Eagles are the fifth-most popular survivor pick of Week 7 playing in the Thursday Night game. They will be without RB Miles Sanders (knee) an d TE Zach Ertz (ankle) and are a tier below the Chargers/Saints in safety this week.
The reason the Eagles could be an attractive survivor pick is that they have basically no future value. Next week they play Dallas at home, but that game features our highest projected win odds for Philadelphia before Week 17 (in which they likely still won’t be a big favorite).
So, the argument for using Philadelphia depends on just how risky you want to get to save future value and avoid Buffalo this week. There’s a 20-percent safety drop-off, though, between the most popular choice of Buffalo and taking the Eagles, so unless you have a portfolio of entries to spread out across several teams, it would be a big risk.
Get our Week 7 survivor pick for your pool!
Every possible NFL Week 7 survivor pick has an expected value and future value associated with it, and those values can vary significantly based on the characteristics of your survivor pool.
It takes a lot of data and math to figure out which pick (or combination of picks, if you’re playing multiple entries) gives the biggest boost to your expected survivor pool winnings. That’s exactly why we spent years building our NFL Survivor Picks product.
We invite you to try it out, and good luck in your survivor pools this week!
If you want to dig deeper into some specific topics, you can also check out our full survivor pool strategy guide, where you can learn about things like expected value, future value, different survivor pool rules variations, and how to play multiple entries.
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