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NFL Survivor Pool Advice: Week 14 (2021)

by December 8, 2021
Davante Adams

Week 13 was not as chaotic from a survivor pool perspective as prior weeks have been, as the top five moneyline favorites for the week all won by at least 11 points. The biggest casualties in survivor pools last week was anyone who took the Minnesota Vikings to beat the Detroit Lions, as once again, those “road favorites in division rivalry games” reared their ugly head. As a whole, favorites went 8-6 SU last week, with the six losses coming from Minnesota (-320), Baltimore (-180), Cincinnati (-174), Buffalo (-152), San Francisco (-148) and Las Vegas (-136).

A glance at the Week 14 slate suggests a manageable week for survivor pool contestants with three games with double-digit spreads, provided one has those teams available for use.

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 14 (odds courtesy of FanDuel).

Safest Picks

Green Bay Packers (-720), Tennessee Titans (-510), Los Angeles Chargers (-490)

The last time we saw the Packers face the Bears, Aaron Rodgers was screaming at the Soldier Field faithful, “I own you!” after celebrating a touchdown. Rodgers has indeed owned the Bears, as he improved to 22-5 SU against Chicago after their 24-14 Week 6 win. Green Bay is now coming off a bye, facing a Chicago team that is 2-0 against the Lions but just 2-8 against everyone else in the league. Green Bay is 10-1 SU in their last 11 games against Chicago and has covered the spread in ten of their last 11 overall. The Packers are the biggest favorites of the week for a reason, and they are as safe a play as you will find this week.

The Tennessee Titans are another team coming off a bye week that is a double-digit favorite against a divisional rival. The Jaguars have lost 14 consecutive road games dating back to last year and are currently in the midst of a four-game losing streak. Jacksonville has scored 12 PPG during the losing streak, which is their second losing streak of at least four games this season. Jaguars quarterback Trevor Lawrence has one touchdown pass or fewer in 11 consecutive games. Jacksonville will not do enough offensively against a Titans team looking to stay in the hunt for the No. 1 overall seed in the AFC.

The Los Angeles Chargers played arguably their best game of the season last week in a 41-22 rout of the Bengals. They now face a Giants team that will either have a less than 100% healthy Daniel Jones at quarterback (neck) or possibly Mike Glennon if he is cleared from a concussion he suffered last week. Chargers quarterback Justin Herbert just posted his 11th career game with three or more touchdown passes, which is second only behind Dan Marino for the most such games in a quarterback’s first two seasons in the league. The Chargers are 6-0 when Herbert has more touchdown passes than interceptions this season, so he will need to take care of the football against a Giants defense that ranks eighth in the league with 13 picks.

Riskier Plays That Will Be Popular

Kansas City Chiefs (-430), Denver Broncos (-370), New Orleans Saints (-230)

The Kansas City Chiefs look every bit a team that can win the AFC for the third consecutive year, as they have rolled off five straight wins and have allowed just 11.2 PPG in that span. However, the Raiders beat the Chiefs 40-32 in their last visit to Arrowhead Stadium. Their familiarity with Kansas City makes them a dangerous opponent despite losing four of their last five games overall, especially if tight end Darren Waller is active this week.

The Denver Broncos have lost two of their last three games and have been held to 13 or fewer points twice in that span. They should find more success offensively at home in front of their Mile High fans. However, they are just 3-3 SU at home this season, and their offense has tendencies to stall for long stretches of games. They face a Lions team coming off their first win of the season, and playing a loose squad that has nothing to lose is always dangerous.

The New Orleans Saints get three extra days’ rest to prepare for this road contest against the Jets. However, the Saints have lost five consecutive games and do not seem to have an identity on offense lately, especially after making the switch to Taysom Hill at quarterback last week. If Alvin Kamara is once again ruled out for this contest, I would want no part of risking my survivor pool life with this Saints team.

Contrarian Play To Beat a Large Pool

Seattle Seahawks (-360)

Seemingly all it took to wake up a dormant Seahawks team was a date with the 49ers, against whom they are 8-2 since Kyle Shanahan has been their head coach. The win snapped a three-game losing streak, and they now look to start a winning streak against a Texans team that benched starting quarterback Tyrod Taylor during last week’s game. Houston is the first team since the 2018 Jaguars to score single digits six times in a season. In addition, last week was the Texans’ second game this season with zero points and less than 150 total yards. They have lost five straight home games, and Seattle should dominate defensively, making the Seahawks a relatively safe and an excellent contrarian pick.

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