Week 9 NFL Survivor Friday Update: Flip A Three-Sided Coin

posted in NFL, NFL Survivor Pools

For three quarters, the Chargers let the Chiefs hang around, and it seemed possible they might do most of a us a big favor by blowing it in the end. Instead, Kansas City handed a couple late touchdowns to the San Diego defense, and 30% of our opponents survived the week.

Now, we’ve got to do the same.

The profile for our preliminary pick from Wednesday, the Seattle Seahawks, is looking a bit shakier, but the alternatives aren’t great either. Below we’ll review the evidence and decide whether to stick with Seattle or flip the pick.

Here’s a look at the updated Survivor data table. As a reminder, this helps us answer the three main questions we ask ourselves about each team when making our Survivor pick.

1. How likely are they to win? (consensus sportsbook Spread at -110 payout odds, Pinnacle Money Line, and TR Odds from our NFL win picks page)

2. How popular is this team? (Average public Pick % from sites like Yahoo! and OfficeFootballPool)

3. Should I save this team for later? (Future Value: a quick rating created by giving 1 point for a future game with 75%+ win odds and half a point for a game with 65%+ win odds, with only partial credit for games late in the season when teams may be resting players; Near Value: a modified version of Future Value that places more emphasis on near term value and is more relevant to players in very small pools. Both are based on averaging projections from our NFL Survivor Tool [which uses data from only this season] and our NFL Season Projections [which incorporates our preseason team projections].)

Week 9 NFL Survivor Decision Factors (Updated)

Teams are listed in order of how attractive we think they are as a choice this week. They’re also separated into rough tiers. If two teams are in the same tier, you may want to choose among them based on which pros and cons are more important to your particular situation.

It’s important to note that we’ve further refined how we calculate future value this week, thanks to some insightful discussion in last week’s comment section. Previously, we usually only gave teams future value credit for games with projected win odds of 75% or higher. But because we sometimes pick teams with lower odds (e.g. this week), especially now that it’s later in the season, we’re now giving half credit for future games with projected win odds of 65%+ or higher.

TeamOpponentSpreadMoney LineTR OddsPick %Future ValNear Val
Tier 1: Top Options
Green Bayvs Arizona-10.0-485 / +41282%7.8%2.01.6
Seattlevs Minnesota-4.0-205 / +18466%4.5%0.60.3
Baltimoreat Cleveland-3.5-192 / +17368%3.7%0.51.0
Detroitat Jacksonville-4.5-205 / +18462%4.8%0.30.2
Tier 2: Worth A Look
Houstonvs Buffalo-10.0-480 / +40875%31.8%3.93.7
Washingtonvs Carolina-3.0-164 / +14864%2.8%0.00.0
Chicagoat Tennessee-3.5-171 / +15465%2.0%1.51.2
NY Giantsvs Pittsburgh-3.0-170 / +15363%0.3%2.01.7
New Orleansvs Philadelphia-3.0-160 / +14459%0.7%0.50.2
Denverat Cincinnati-4.0-190 / +17170%3.8%5.04.9
Atlantavs Dallas-4.0-195 / +17558%1.0%3.33.8
Oaklandvs Tampa Bay-1.5-123 / +11150%0.1%0.80.4
Miamiat Indianapolis-2.0-125 / +11352%0.1%2.93.3

Teams We Already Picked: Houston Texans (WIN), Cincinnati Bengals (WIN), Dallas Cowboys (WIN), Green Bay Packers (WIN), San Francisco 49ers (WIN), Tampa Bay Buccaneers (WIN), Minnesota Vikings (WIN), Chicago Bears (WIN)

What Has Changed Since Wednesday?

Besides the fact that one of our top options played Thursday and is no longer available, there were a few line moves that have made the choice this week a lot tougher. Let’s review the important changes, team by team.

Green Bay Packers — The Packers have seen their money line drop quite a bit, from -550 to -485, but it doesn’t really matter. They are still a large favorite and are still clearly the best option in most pools. If you have Green Bay available, you probably ought to use them now.

Seattle Seahawks — On Wednesday, the Pinnacle money line for the Seahawks sat at -225. It’s now down to -205, which represents a drop of roughly 2% in win odds. The change to our future value metric (giving half credit for future games with 65%+ win odds) also hurts the Seahawks a bit, as they have a couple future weeks where they wouldn’t be a great option but could be used in a pinch (Week 14 vs. ARI, Week 15 @ BUF, Week 17 vs. STL). Seattle previously seemed like the solid leader among the teams with money lines in the -180 to -225 range, but now the gap has vanished.

Baltimore Ravens — The Ravens’ profile didn’t change much from Wednesday, but they look a bit more attractive in comparison to other teams now, and are neck-and-neck with Seattle. That’s mostly because Baltimore has few borderline playable future games, so our improved future value metric raises other teams’ future value while the Ravens hold steady.

Detroit Lions — An increase in the Lions’ Pinnacle money line from -176 to -205, combined with the drop in Seattle’s, means that Vegas now views Detroit as roughly as safe as the Seahawks. That’s a big change from Wednesday. Detroit also has only has one future week when they could even remotely be considered an option (Week 13 vs. IND), which compares favorably to Seattle. Our models, however, still project Detroit with lower win odds than you’d expect based on their Vegas lines, and that remains the main negative when deciding between the Lions and Seahawks.

Houston Texans — Their money line has fallen from -515 to -480. Their popularity has also dropped by about 5%. Those changes basically cancel out, and the Texans remain a decent option in smaller pools, but probably not in large ones.

Chicago Bears — The Bears have a lot of borderline valuable future weeks. None stand out as obvious plays, but they could be a good backup plan going forward. Our improved future value metric catches this, and the Bears look a lot less attractive once it’s taken into account.

Official Week 9 NFL Survivor Pick: Seattle Seahawks over Minnesota Vikings

[Quick note: if you have Green Bay left, congrats. They look like the clear best pick in medium and large pools. Unfortunately, we’ve already used them.]

Oh boy, we’re starting to sweat over here.

Despite San Diego’s win, we still think avoiding the Chargers was the right move, given their popularity. And if you watched that game, it was a lot closer than the final score indicates, with the Chiefs hanging within striking distance until the fourth quarter. Still, any time we make a close call, a win by the team we did not choose certainly makes us feel the pressure heading into the weekend.

Seattle was the pick on Wednesday, and the other top option already played, so it’s an easy choice to stick with Seattle, right?

Nope. As we laid out in the section above, things have changed in the last couple days.

First, Seattle’s line has dropped while Detroit’s has risen. Now Vegas views them as roughly equally as safe, or even gives a slight advantage to Detroit (based on the spread).

Second, “A Different Tyson” pointed out in the comments Wednesday that our future value metric is probably too strict. We’ve been using 75% as a cutoff, but we’ve picked teams with lower odds than that several times already. This week, for example. So we made a change, and now are also counting games with 65%+ win odds, though only at half credit. That change means that Seattle loses its future value advantage over Baltimore.

To recap: Seattle’s safety edge over Detroit has mostly* vanished (*more on this below), as has their future value edge over Baltimore. It looks a lot like a three-team toss-up at this point.

Still, at this point, we’re sticking with our Wednesday pick, and our official Week 9 Survivor pick remains the Seattle Seahawks. But let’s take a deeper look at both of the alternatives.

Why Seattle Over Detroit?

Simply because our models like Seattle better.

The public pick rates for the two teams are basically identical, and Detroit has a slight advantage due to their lower future value. If you want to trust Vegas and ignore our models, which is certainly a reasonable thing to do, then Detroit is probably the correct pick, by a hair.

However, we feel the improvements we’ve made to our NFL pick logic over the past two years do add valuable info, and can reveal when the Vegas money line is shaded too far in one direction. (For evidence see our NFL money line pick performance; our model’s picks against Vegas money lines have been profitable for four straight seasons now.) So we’re trusting our models when they say that Seattle is slightly safer than Detroit.

Why Seattle Over Baltimore?

Our models actually say Baltimore is slightly more likely to win, though, so why are we going with Seattle here? There are a couple reasons.

First, while we do generally trust our models, we also think it’s smart to give at least some weight to Vegas’s win odds estimate as well, especially when a team loses major parts of their defense like Baltimore has (Ray Lewis & Lardarius Webb). In special circumstances like that, the wisdom of the crowds can be useful, and our models probably aren’t the best at adjusting.

More importantly, notice that Baltimore’s “Near Val” column is higher than Seattle’s. Seattle is technically listed with higher overall Future Value (barely), but Baltimore’s future value is front loaded, which means there’s less of a risk that something dramatic could change over the course of the rest of the season. In fact, the Ravens’ future value also comes all in one big dose, next week against Oakland.

There’s a reasonable chance that we’ll want to use Baltimore next week (vs. OAK), and that possibility trumps saving Seattle for possible use in Week 14 or 15.

There are strong arguments for taking either Detroit or Baltimore, and if the lines change dramatically over the next two days, so could our pick. At this point, though, we’re sticking with Seattle. Fair warning: This is definitely a week you want to re-check this post right before your picks are due.

Advice For Other Pool Sizes

Remember, all the discussion above is designed for large pools, where future value is still very important. Many of you are probably in pools with only a few people left. It’s important to remember that in small pools, the correct strategy can change considerably. Here’s a refresher on key three points about Survivor end-game tactics:

  • It’s less likely that your opponents’ picks will closely mimic the national public picking averages.
  • Future value means less.
  • Resist the urge to play overly conservative just because you’re close to winning.

For an expanded discussion on these points, see the Week 4 NFL Survivor post.

Here is some updated specific advice for Week 9 for those in smaller pools:

Pools With 10-20 People — Future value is less important in small pools, which means Houston actually moves into the top tier. If you think less than a third of your pool will pick Houston, you may want to burn them now, given how risky the alternatives are. Otherwise, we’d probably opt for whichever you think will be the least popular out of Seattle and Detroit. Baltimore will do in a pinch, but we’d prefer to save them for possible use next week.

Pools With 3-10 People — If you’re in a very small pool, where you can take some rough guesses about who your opponents will choose, all bets are off. Our picks are made based on the assumption that these public pick percentages roughly match the pick rates in your pool, and that won’t be true for your pool. In very small pools, the general strategy this week is to take Green Bay or Houston if you think less than half of your pool will choose them, and otherwise try to take the team you think will be least popular out of Seattle and Detroit. If you’re having trouble predicting who your opponents will choose, you may want to just default to the safest team you have available.

Head-to-Head Pools — Strategy totally changes here again, as the pick percentages will always be 50% or 100%. It’s impossible for you to pick an unpopular team, because you are half the pool. And future value means very little, as the pool may be over this week. In those cases, safety becomes the number one priority. So in head-to-head pools, if you have Houston or Green Bay available, take them. Otherwise, Seattle or Detroit is probably your best option. If you think your opponent has better teams available going forward, we’d try to pick whichever of Seattle or Detroit he won’t be on this week, to roll the dice now. If you think you have the better options going forward, you may want to try to match his pick, and delay any resolution til later weeks.

As always, feel free to ask questions about your specific situation in the comments section. If you’re in a small pool, be sure to include information about pool size, who you have available, and who you think your opponents will choose, as those are the key factors in small pools. If you’re in a large pool, please include info on why you think your pool is different than the generic Yahoo! and OFP pools.

  • RyanO

    In a pool with 8 people, and oddly enough I can see the games that they have picked (just not the team, but that can easily be inferred):

    3 SD
    1 DEN
    1 WSH
    1 SEA

    1 HOU

    Should the fact that 1 person already has SEA make me lean toward BAL? Thanks! Your articles are always well informed and have kept me in it this far!

  • doubleB

    Your advice has been amazing all season. I’ve gone with your Friday picks every week and have had 4 week where everyone else picked the “popular” pick.

    We’re down to 5 people and only 1 picked SD on Thursday.

    Other than it being a traveling team, why in Denver an avoid team? Their win percentage chance is 3rd after GB and Hou. Are we waiting till week 12 to use them?

  • http://www.teamrankings.com/ David Hess

    If you don’t need BAL next week, then yes, I’d go with them this week (assuming you don’t have HOU or GB left).

  • http://www.teamrankings.com/ David Hess

    And if you do need them next week, then DET probably works.

  • http://www.teamrankings.com/ David Hess

    Yeah, they are down there because of future value. They about as safe and popular as SEA, but have way more future value.

  • Chris

    I have SEA, DET, and BAL all left. The others have all used BAL. I’d prefer using them next week than this, but am just going to keep my eyes on the moneyline leading up until the 1pm Sunday deadline. On Seattle for now.

  • Chris

    I don’t know what others on my pool have picked, but I assume 30-50% were on San Diego. If the Chargers lost, I would probably pick the Ravens because that would give me a chance to win the pool this week. But since almost assuredly people were on the Chargers and are advancing to next week, I’ll save the Ravens so I can be the only one on them next week. Is that good thought process?

  • Dave

    Watching that game yesterday, the Chiefs just look awful. I bet they finish 1-15 this year. Picking against the Chiefs the rest of the way seems like a decent path to victory. Next week it’s PIT (who I unfortunately already picked). Then it’s CIN, DEN, CAR, CLE, OAK, IND, DEN. Some of those teams may be a little scary to pick, but seems like a decent fall back plan if other picks seem just as risky.

  • http://www.teamrankings.com/ David Hess

    Yeah, I think this makes sense, assuming BAL is going to be useful for you next week.

  • joe

    have used Houston nyg Chicago g.bay sf t bay minny NE who do i pick

  • http://www.teamrankings.com/ David Hess

    Ummm … just read the post.

  • Jose

    Have used Chi, Dallas, Minn, GB, SF, Hou,Atl,Cinn.,
    Have 11 left & 3 have used SD last night. Everyone still has Sea. & Pitt. 7 have used Det & 6 have Balt. I like Seattle this week but I’m leaning towards possibly Baltimore as 6 have previously picked them.

  • http://www.facebook.com/jamesm.morck James M Morck

    hi dave as you read in my earlier post on wednesdays blog my pool is different its a 2 loss knock out pool but we play the whole season no matter if everyone has a loss this is my first year but been told usually perfect wins the pool your alive until you get 2 loses so far i am perfect with 14 others of which 5 picked SD this thursday so they still have no loses so my question is is seattle the best for me still i was looking at Detroit too

  • http://www.teamrankings.com/ David Hess

    Yeah, I think that’s a reasonable plan. BAL has some value next week, but looks like you have some pretty good options available. If you think BAL will be clearly less popular than SA they’re probably the way to go

  • http://www.teamrankings.com/ David Hess

    Who do you think your opponents will pick, or do you think it will be similar to the public pick values? Who have you used already?

    Not knowing those, sure, SEA seems like a good pick.

  • Jose

    Ok I’m a tool.Not sure if this will sway the decison with taking Balt. but 5 have used Balt, 4 have used Detroit, everyone has Seattle with 3 using SD last night. 7 have used NE so still go with the Ray Lewis-less Ravens ??

  • http://www.facebook.com/jamesm.morck James M Morck

    usually the picks are are not constant with public pick values since they were only 22 % on the san deigo game but like i said 5 0f the 14 no loss picks were on SD so i need to keep up with them what do you think the line changes will need to be to change our pick from seattle

  • http://www.facebook.com/jamesm.morck James M Morck

    i have used all the suggested friday picks so far

  • Oleg

    40 people left. I have all teams you mentioned left except GB. Would you still recommend Seattle? Can only use each team once.

  • http://www.teamrankings.com/ David Hess

    Actually, with the recent line moves I think DET is probably a better option than BAL. They also aren’t useful next week, which is a plus.

    It’s still basically a toss up between SEA, DET, and BAL. If it’s clear one of those will be less popular than the other two, I’d go with that team.

  • http://www.teamrankings.com/ David Hess

    It’s still basically a toss up between SEA, DET, and BAL. If it’s clear one of those will be less popular than the other two, I’d go with that team.

  • http://www.teamrankings.com/ David Hess

    It’s still basically a toss up between SEA, DET, and BAL. If it’s clear one of those will be less popular than the other two, I’d go with that team. That’s going to be more important than a money line move of 20 points.

  • http://www.facebook.com/jamesm.morck James M Morck

    unfortunately i dont see the picks till games start unless i wait till monday nite and that not an option so if you say seattle is the best option ill go with you ty for your insight

  • http://www.facebook.com/jamesm.morck James M Morck

    would you recommend less popular of the whole poll or just those with one loss or no losses in my case

  • Jay

    I’m still alive after 4 wks in the 2nd chance, (aka losers) pool following your picks. I have GB so I’m gonna go with The PacK. Thx for all the advice.

  • Chris

    Leaning towards DET now due to vegas moneyline. 2 of the 6 in my pool picked SDG, 1 will assuredly be on Houston, and the other 2 will likely take one of Det, Sea, Den, or Atl.

    Since I can’t figure out who they are likely to take, I’m leaning towards taking the biggest favorite available. I also don’t think they’ve taken a road team before, and generally people in pools are hesitant to take road teams. I have no problems with it if the moneyline dictates they are still the favorite.

    Will keep my eyes peeled on the pinny/5d odds right up until pick deadline at 1est.

  • Eric

    I just want to survive! I don’t like Detroit but looking at the “current” money lines and future value they seem to be the best bet this week. I have always gone with your predictions though and it has got me this far. 11 people left in the one pool and 4 of them picked San Diego.. the rest I have no idea. Going by your read again although less confident this week than in weeks past.

  • Jose

    Ok Sounds good. I’m assuming Seattle will be a popular pick since no one has selected them.So I will go with Detroit..don’t like selecting teams on the road but I’m following your lead my friend ! Thank you very much for the information. This is the best detailed info I have come upon !

  • artie5000

    16 left in pool. 6 took SD, 6 will be on Hou or GB. Not sure on other 3. One can take Det, 2 could take Balt. I think 2 will be on Sea because I don’t see them taking road team. Would I be better off being 1st on Bal or 2nd on Det? I see the money lines now are Det -240 and Bal -200. Love the site, by the way!!!

  • http://www.teamrankings.com/ David Hess

    That’s smart thinking on the road team issue. It probably will scare many people away.

  • http://www.teamrankings.com/ David Hess

    The people with no losses. Remember, picking a team that is popular with people that have losses than you is *good*.

  • http://www.teamrankings.com/ David Hess

    1st on BAL would be better when you just consider this week. However, if there is a decent chance you are going to need to use BAL next week, then that would be enough to override the advantage this week.

  • artie5000

    I have some decent options available next week. Going against Oakland has been hazardous to Survivor health in recent years, so probably wouldn’t use Bal anyway. Feel better about Bal anyway. Detroit always plays from behind the last two years. And Detroit seems like a viable option Week 13, and this pool seems to be going that far.Baltimore it is.

  • rcc22

    David…think you are goingto stick with Seattle?

    I have 2 picks left…
    20 went on San diego this thurs.

    Why not the Bears?

    Seat/Bears….or Seat/Det

    The browns scare me..they always play the Ravens tough

  • rcc22

    picks are due at game time 1pm (east. time)

  • sbuckster

    why not Denver? Too much future value?

  • jlhdc

    I’m in a second pool. Starts in week 9 and runs into playoffs through Super Bowl, if necessary. You may pick any team once until playoffs. Who do you start with, Green Bay or Houston, or someone else?

  • http://www.facebook.com/jamesm.morck James M Morck

    k so i looked at all the picks of people with no loses and half already picked detroit and 2 already picked baltimore i think we already eliminated baltimore look like detroit money line went even more since last post so in my case detroit would be better than seattle or stick with seattle everyone has seattle available and half have houston 2 so they should be picked alot too im assuming theres 9 people inclusing me with no looses with 5 already advancing by picking SD on thursday please help always one major home upset so im still down on detroit

  • Jeff Hill

    I’m in a second chance pool. It starts this week in week 9 and runs into playoffs through Super Bowl, if necessary. You may pick any team once until playoffs. Who do I start with, Green Bay or Houston, or someone else?

  • Josh

    It looks like the Detroit ML has moved to -240 and the Seattle ML is at -210. Given that Seattle’s Future Value is greater than Detroit’s, does that now make Detroit a more favorable pick over Seattle?

  • http://www.facebook.com/jamesm.morck James M Morck

    hi dave any new on rather you are going to flip your pick today looks like detroit lines are skyrocketing ty need my pick in before gametime starts

  • Chris

    Ya I’m seeing Det -255 and Sea -210. Even Denver is -240 now. Baltimore has tumbled and only -185

  • SanFranShelly

    Hello! Amazing column / site. My pool is down to two. My opponent still has NE and SD left, and I have Bal and Min left, with all other picks being the same. Assume if I’m not mentioning a super-obvious team, it’s because I do not have them left. Entering this week, my goal is to make it through the next three weeks while he burns his good teams (he is using Hou while I had SD this week). It then becomes a battle of the bad teams, which I think I can win. I’m thinking that he will go Pitt vs. KC next week, NE vs. Indy the week after, and Den @ KC the week after that. For me, is my combo better off going Pitt next week, Cinncy @ KC the week after that, and then Den @ KC the week after that? I realize that we would have two weeks the same, but I know I can beat him once all of the good teams are used up. Another option is Bal vs. Oak next week, Den vs. SD the week after, then Pitt @ Bal the week after that. This would give me three different games, however may be more risky overall. With option 1, Cinncy @ KC scares the bejusus out of me! What are your thoughts?

  • rcc22

    Chris…u seem to know alot ..and i like ur advice.

    I have 2 picks left…thinking Seattle & Detroit?

  • Chris

    Definitely Detroit for one of them. Denver has better win odds than Seattle but their future value is much better. Depending on the size of your pool you may want to consider them. Seattle isn’t a bad choice though.

    I’m pretty confident I’m going with Detroit for mine though. Unless the lines drastically change within the next 2 hours.

  • Jennmcg

    Hi Dave,
    I am one of four left in my pool. I have used GB as well as two others so I believe the 4th will be picking them this week. We have all picked Houston and everyone has picked Balt but me. For the most part I have followed your picks with a few exceptions. I don’t know if anyone picked SD this week. They don’t show that until game time. One entry seems to match mine every week. I was leaning towards Seattle all week but now I am gun shy. If one other person takes Seattle should I take them or someone else, perhaps Denver?

  • rcc22

    theres 55 left…
    22 already went SD…

    Its tough this week

  • rcc22

    leaning with a combo…of Seattle…Det. or Baltimore

  • http://www.facebook.com/jamesm.morck James M Morck

    im seeing even higher now sounds like detroit is the way to go

  • http://www.facebook.com/jamesm.morck James M Morck

    well it looks like it moved 45 points and 2points guess that is a significant move so i decided to go with detroit hope it isnt a mistake

  • http://www.teamrankings.com/ David Hess

    The Bears are similarly risky, but have more future value, so there is no real upside there.

    As of now, with the last minute line changes, DET looks slightly better than SEA.

    For two teams, I’d go DET/SEA.

  • http://www.teamrankings.com/ David Hess


  • http://www.teamrankings.com/ David Hess

    Don’t you need to save those teams for the playoffs? Or do you get a clean reset then (in which case, no point in thinking about that).

    I don’t know how your pool pick % will look, so tough to say. I imagine both will be very popular, so I’d probably go for DET or SEA. But out of GB and HOU, GB has less future value.

  • http://www.teamrankings.com/ David Hess

    Yeah, DET seems like the best option given the line moves and the fact fewer people in your pool can use them.

  • http://www.teamrankings.com/ David Hess

    Yeah, DET is looking a bit better now. I’d probably go with the Lions at this point, though I’m not changing the official pick at this point, an hour before games start.

  • http://www.teamrankings.com/ David Hess

    Yeah, I agree with Chris here. DET and probably SEA for the second.

  • http://www.teamrankings.com/ David Hess

    I’m going to think about next week once we get there and see some lines.

  • http://www.teamrankings.com/ David Hess

    If there are two teams with similar odds, it’s definitely better to pick the one that nobody else will pick.

    At this point, I’d lean DET due to the late line movement. But BAL and SEA are both fine as well. If it looks like you might need BAL next week, I’d save them, but otherwise the fact that you know you’d be the only one on them makes them pretty attractive.

  • http://www.teamrankings.com/ David Hess

    Yeah, DET seems good at this point.

  • http://www.facebook.com/jamesm.morck James M Morck

    wow hope i didnt jump the gun the this dropped back to 230 what happen why would it do that big bets on jacksonville?

  • http://www.facebook.com/jamesm.morck James M Morck

    so are you changing your final pick today or keeping seattle

  • http://www.facebook.com/jamesm.morck James M Morck

    understandably especially if detroit is upset plus im sure alot of people picked seattle on your advice already so lets hope both win so you look good on both accounts

  • Bob Sanders

    WE DID IT!!!!! GO SEATTLE!!!

    Great job, David.

    I’m interested into next week’s pick. PITT should win easily, but should be the main pick (probably 60%+). And there aren’t too many great alternatives. Looking forward to it.

  • http://www.facebook.com/adam.melvin.94 Adam Melvin

    New England and Baltimore are very good alternatives. I imagine in will be one of those 2. We will see.

  • Chris

    Me on DET

    2 SDG
    1 HOU (which was obv)
    1 SEA
    1 OAK (wtf?!?!)

    down to 5

  • rcc22

    well another week down…

    Thanks David…

    and Chris..if your out there..thanks as well….

  • http://www.teamrankings.com/ David Hess

    OAK is a hilarious pick. And it looks like DET was the “correct” pick in your pool this week. Nice work.

  • http://www.facebook.com/daniel.silberfarb Daniel Silberfarb

    Agreed. Pittsburgh will not be the pick. This site’s numbers currently favor Baltimore slightly, whereas Vegas favors New England. SF might have been the pick if it wasn’t used.

  • rcc22

    not crazy about the Balt pick…
    Oakland isnt that bad…but..if McFaddedn is out?
    thats another story…

  • Dave

    I’ve already picked PIT, so likely I’ll end up going with BAL in week 10. Also works out since I bet 80% of my pool will be on PIT next week. I was also considering SEA, but I need to save them to use in week 15 most likely.

  • rcc22

    is Seattle at Home?
    Who do they play?

  • Dave

    SEA is at home vs NYJ. Was also looking at MIA over TEN, but I may have to save MIA for week 15 too. Was also looking at Colts over Jaguars, but their win odds seem to be surprisingly low right now, and may need to save the Colts for week 16. I guess we’ll see what David Hess says on Wednesday lol

  • Gargoyle

    in two H2H leagues, both my opponents picked PT, I think I’ll take PIT in this case. Same thing happened last week with San Diego and I took SD for the win. Unfortunately one picked Seattle and the other Houston, so they live.

  • http://www.facebook.com/daniel.silberfarb Daniel Silberfarb

    Looks like Both McFadden and Goodson WILL be out. Baltimore is looking a bit better.

  • rcc22

    i hear ya…just Baltimore…makes me nervous…
    They screwed me lats year….ant this same juncture of the season..and knocked me out.

  • Tyson

    I’m willing to bet that Dave will pick the Ravens. NE and SF also look like good picks at the current pick percentages, but both have more future value than BAL. If you trust Vegas’s numbers over TR, then NE looks like a better pick than BAL if you forget about future value.

  • http://www.teamrankings.com TeamRankings.com

    Ha, sounds like we need to start a side betting pool for readers for which team will be the TR pick next week! That’d be kind of fun.

  • gus


  • Chris P.

    those things do make me uneasy, but i predict David will say those factors are already priced into the Vegas numbers and his models and we have to make a strictly “business” decision without any of the above emotion and subjectivity. Plus I bet he will come up with some study showing that “trap” games don’t actually exist lol

  • Frank_Elways

    No offense Dave, but can we get Nate Silver to guest blog here?

  • http://www.teamrankings.com/ David Hess
  • http://www.teamrankings.com/ David Hess

    Great question. I took a quick look, and here’s what I found.

    I looked for games where a team met all these requirements:

    1) previous game WAS a division game

    2) current game was NOT a division game

    3) next game WAS a division game

    4) team WON previous game

    Here’s what I saw:

    Years: # games, ATS%, ATS margin


    1985-1991: 160 games, 48.1%, +0.3

    1992-1996: 104 games, 49.0%, -0.6

    1997-2001: 142 games, 43.7%, -1.4

    2002-2006: 83 games, 45.8%, -1.3

    2007-2012: 103 games, 53.4%, 0.8

    Total: 592 games, 47.8%, -0.4

    So there was a trend, but either the markets finally figured it out, or it was mostly random to begin with

  • http://www.teamrankings.com/ David Hess

    Ha, we’d be up for that. I’ve been a fan ever since his baseball analyst days.