Week 9 NFL Survivor Strategy: We’ve Already Played The Ace, What Now?

posted in NFL, NFL Survivor Pools

Welcome to the Week 9 installment of our NFL Survivor contest advice column. We apply a data-driven strategy to get an edge in Survivor pools, using analysis based on NFL predictions from our algorithmic Team Rankings models, public picking trends, future team schedules, and other data. This article presents our preliminary Survivor pick of the week; we publish our final, official pick on Fridays.


Our Week 8 pick survived by the narrowest of possible margins, with Robbie Gould kicking a game-winning field goal as time expired to complete Chicago’s rally from a 19-7 fourth quarter deficit. As we’ve said in the past, winning a Survivor pool takes a lot of luck, and we’re happy it was our side this week.

In other games, the favorites generally took care of business. The biggest exceptions were losses by the Vikings and Chargers, which helped knock out around 18% of contestants this week.

This week seems to have the potential for a larger chunk of entrants to be eliminated, as there are two teams backed by over 30% of the public. That means twice as many chances for an upset to do us a favor … provided we can find a decent alternative pick.

Week 9 NFL Survivor Decision Factors

This is the heart of our column, the table showing the factors that influence our weekly Survivor pick decision. For every team, here are the three questions we ask ourselves (and the data in our table that helps us answer them):

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: the estimated number of future games where the team is expected to have win odds of 75%+, 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]. 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.)

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.

TeamOpponentSpreadMoney LineTR OddsPick %Future ValNear Val
Tier 1: Top Options
Green Bayvs Arizona-11.0-550 / +46184%6.6%1.00.8
Seattlevs Minnesota-5.0-225 / +20168%4.2%0.00.0
San Diegovs Kansas City-7.5-305 / +26973%30.8%0.00.0
Tier 2: Worth A Look
Chicagoat Tennessee-3.5-179 / +16165%2.1%0.00.0
Baltimoreat Cleveland-3.5-186 / +16768%4.8%0.51.0
Washingtonvs Carolina-3.0-179 / +16164%3.2%0.00.0
Houstonvs Buffalo-10.5-515 / +43575%36.3%3.33.5
New Orleansvs Philadelphia-3-167 / +15159%0.9%0.30.1
Detroitat Jacksonville-3.5-176 / +15959%4.9%0.00.0
NY Giantsvs Pittsburgh-3.5-178 / +16063%0.3%1.31.4
Atlantavs Dallas-4.0-200 / +18058%1.2%1.82.7
Denverat Cincinnati-3.5-186 / +16769%3.4%3.53.4
Oaklandvs Tampa Bay-1.5-121 / +11050%0.2%0.00.0
Miamiat Indianapolis-2.5-128 / +11652%0.2%2.02.6

Teams We’ve Already Used (Final Official Picks): 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)

Previous Wednesday Preliminary Picks: Houston Texans (WIN), New York Giants (WIN), Chicago Bears (WIN), Green Bay Packers (WIN), San Francisco 49ers (WIN), Arizona Cardinals (LOSS), Minnesota Vikings (WIN), Chicago Bears (WIN)

Weighing the Options

Please note that the discussion below is designed for people in large pools. In pools with under 25 people left, where the contest may not last all season and where your pick actually changes the pool pick rates to a significant degree, please see the “Advice For Smaller Survivor Pools” section at the end of this article that provides quick strategy tips for smaller pools.

Green Bay Packers (vs. Arizona Cardinals) — The Packers are the biggest favorite of the week, have only a bit of future value, and are being picked by only 7% of the public. There is basically no downside here, so the Packers are a no-brainer pick if you have them left. Unfortunately, we used them in Week 4, so we’re going to have to look elsewhere.

Houston Texans (vs. Buffalo Bills) — The Texans are a step below Green Bay in terms of safety, but are still -515 money line favorites, which is pretty darn safe. However, they are the most popular pick this week, with 36% of the public taking them. And they’re also very valuable going forward. So unless your pool is down to only a few people, we’d recommend saving the Texans for later.

San Diego Chargers (vs. Kansas City Chiefs) — The Chargers are a step riskier than Green Bay and Houston according to Vegas. However, our models are fairly down on Houston, and see them as only marginally safer than San Diego. The fact that 30% of the public is picking San Diego is obviously a large negative, but with Houston being even more popular, that is mitigated a bit. One point in San Diego’s favor is that they have basically no future value. Given the lack of other great options this week (unless you still have Green Bay available), the Chargers are a solid conservative pick.

Seattle Seahawks (vs. Minnesota Vikings) — The Seahawks are the fourth-safest team this week, but the drop off from the top spot is steep. However, they are extremely unpopular (4%) and have no future value, and our models like them more than similarly-priced Atlanta (-200 money line but only 58% TR win odds). The Seahawks are neck-and-neck with San Diego as the best non-Packers pick. They are several percent riskier than the Chargers, but in return you get to avoid the crowd and root for an upset to knock out a third of your pool.

Atlanta Falcons (vs. Dallas Cowboys) — The Falcons are the fifth-safest team according to the Pinnacle money lines, but only 12th-safest according to our models. A discrepancy like that is fairly unusual, but look at the circumstances: the Falcons are the only undefeated team in the NFL yet rank only 5th in our predictive power ratings, while the Cowboys have a losing record yet rank 13th. The records make this look like a much bigger mismatch than it really is, and that may be skewing the public betting a bit. Regardless of whether you trust our models, the Falcons have too much future value to justify taking them this week. There are plenty of teams with much less future value that Vegas sees as only slightly riskier (Baltimore, Chicago, Washington, Detroit).

Chicago Bears (at Tennessee Titans) — The Bears are definitely a risky pick, but options are pretty slim this week. Chicago has little-to-no future value, and are only being picked by a couple percent of the public, which are both huge plusses. But you can say the exact same thing about Seattle, only Seattle has higher win odds. So the Bears are OK in a pinch or as a second option, but appear inferior to Seattle at the moment.

Washington Redskins (vs. Carolina Panthers) — Just read the write up for the Bears directly above this. The Redskins have an almost identical profile.

Baltimore Ravens (at Cleveland Browns) — The Ravens are in the same middling tier with Chicago and Washington. Baltimore is a tiny bit safer, but also has a bit more future value. They are another team that we’d hope you don’t have to resort to, but if you need to pick a team with a money line below -200, we’d recommend the Ravens, Bears, or Redskins.

The rest of the favorites either have too much future value (Giants, Broncos), are projected as too risky according to our models, (Saints, Lions), or are just clearly riskier even according to Vegas (Raiders, Dolphins).

Preliminary Week 9 NFL Survivor Pick: Seattle Seahawks Over Minnesota Vikings

Let’s get this out of the way up front — if you have managed to save Green Bay all year, congratulations, this is the time to use them. You rarely see a line this big matched with such low popularity and future value. A few weeks ago, it was looking a bit dicey whether the Packers were going to be the elite team everyone expected this year, but the last few weeks especially have gone well for them.

Yes, Green Bay may be slightly bigger favorites in Week 16 against Tennessee, but games in the final two weeks are notoriously difficult to predict this far in advance, since teams often rest starters for the playoffs, or give new young players a shot at impressing in relatively meaningless games.

Unfortunately, we burned Green Bay in Week 4, which means we basically have two options: San Diego or Seattle. San Diego is a bit safer, but also a lot more popular. While it’s a tough call, the proper strategy here seems to be to avoid the crowd and root for the upset, so our preliminary pick is the Seattle Seahawks.

This pick was a fairly close one, so if you think San Diego will be less popular in your pool (say, 20% or less) or that Seattle will be a bit more popular (10%+), then switching to San Diego is a reasonable move.

Advice For Smaller Survivor Pools

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 specific advice for Week 9 for those in smaller pools:

Pools With 10-20 People — Future value is less important here, but none of our top picks have much of that anyway. The rankings barely change for pools of this size. We’d still consider the same top three of Green Bay, Seattle, San Diego. Houston does looks a bit more attractive, so they probably slide up to the top of Tier 2.

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 poolIn very small pools, the general strategy this week is to take Green Bay 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 Houston, San Diego, and Seattle. Any tie in projected popularity goes to the safer team. If you’re having trouble predicting who your opponents will choose, you may want to just default to Green Bay (if you have them) or Seattle.

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, we recommend taking the biggest favorite you have available, unless that team is going to be your only good option in one of the next few weeks.

As always, feel free to ask questions about your specific situation in the comments section. However, please note that the volume has gotten high enough that we can’t commit to giving everyone a detailed answer. But we’re doing our best and can make it work if we all follow a few guidelines:

  • First, please read the “Advice For Smaller Pools” section and see if that answers your question.
  • A lot can change between now and Friday, when we publish our finalized pick. So if your pick isn’t due until Friday or the weekend, and you’re not likely to pick San Diego in Thursday’s game, please hold off asking questions until Friday.
  • If you do need advice now, and 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.
Good luck!
  • Shane

    I think taking Seattle is absolutely crazy here, but you’re on a 25 game winning streak so I’m going to follow your lead I guess!

  • Blue914

    Doesn’t Seattle have some future value? Week 10 they play the Jets at home but especially Week 14 when they play the slumping Cardinals at home. That is a very difficult week (14) also and I think it would be useful to save them right?

  • MC


    First, thanks for calming me down about the Denver/New England pick. The Denver pick was a walk and not as big a risk as I thought. Here are the teams I have used.

    Chicago – Pittsburgh – Dallas – Green Bay – San Francisco – Tampa – Minnesota – Denver

    Pool has 33/361 left so future value remains a consideration. The historical pick numbers are as follows:
    SF 30 GB 29 ATL 28 CHI 27 HOU 24 NE 23 NYG 23 BAL 16 DAL 16
    PHI 9 CIN 8 MIN 8 DET 5 TB 5 PIT 4 DEN 2 BUF 1 NYJ 1 OAK 1

    No one has used San Diego or Seattle. I am partial to Seattle. My question: I have noticed in my pool that there is a large bias towards one team per week. The last 3 weeks GB 26/33 NE 21/33 ATL 28/33. Given that it is likely most people in my pool will take Seattle or San Diego, is this the time to use Houston? I know week 12 looks brutal with Houston looking to be the best pick and my pool is still in that “tweener” range between big and small. But given that only 6 people remaining have Houston left and 1 person has Green Bay, I don’t know how it effect the math.

    Thanks in advance.


  • in it to win it

    Need a pointer, Seattle or San Diego?
    I am in a head to head match up, we have used the exact same teams to date:
    HOU / NYG / CHI / BAL / SF / ATL / NE / GB
    He has basically been picking the Yahoo! favorite every week. Yahoo! favorite right now is HOU followed by San Diego. So I could see him going with San Diego since HOU is out as an option, but then again, who knows.
    Our picks are due tomorrow before kickoff, appreciate some insight to make this decision easier!
    Thanks for the support!

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

    I wouldn’t read too much into the streak itself. There’s a lot of luck involved in that.

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

    I don’t think that not having the Seahawks in week 14 is going to be that much of an inconvenience. They look like the 8th-best option that week according to our old ratings (they use info from this season only), or 11th-best based on our new ratings (they use preseason projections as well).

    That said, San Diego’s not so bad, either, so if you are very worried, you might go with SD now.

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

    If your pool usually loads up on the most popular teams, then it seems like SD should be more popular this week. I wouldn’t think SEA will be, as your opponents are going for big favorites. However, you are right that HOU looks more attractive since they ought to be less popular. In your case, I think HOU or SEA are both decent picks, and it mostly depends on whether you’d like to gamble now or later. Keep in mind if you save HOU now, you can be pretty much the only one on them in Week 11 or 12. But the drop off in safety this week is pretty big, so tough call.

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

    If you have used the exact same teams, then you should just be trying to maximize your survival odds over the next few weeks, and hoping he makes a riskier pick for some reason. So I’d go SD.

  • Pizzaman

    Hope all well….great site. double elimination (can’t use any team, including the one you lose with, more than once), 0 loss entries trump any 1 loss entries, tie-breaker to lowest cumulative win total. Currently 61 with 0 losses, 150 still alive with 1 loss. I have 0 losses on one entry (3rd place on tie breaker…3 wins more back for what it’s worth) and one entry with one loss. Was leaning Houston, at least before reading your post and still might be….here’s my thought why. Approximately two thirds of 0 loss entrants and two thirds of 1 loss entrants have already used Houston, almost literally everybody has used green bay already, more than half have used Atlanta and half have used Balt, twenty 0 losses have used lions. Almost nobody, less a few, have used San Diego and only 1 has used Seattle. My thought was that by taking Houston this week on my 0 losses entry, I can potentially knock out 2/3 of 0 loss pool as they won’t be on Houston, most likely the bulk on San Diego, with some stragglers maybe on Seattle, Detroit, etc. again GB basically gone. Will use Seattle on my 1 loss entry, as I don’t have Houston left there. About the only thing outside of your reccomendation and logic (which I value more than anything else), is that for general sports wagering purposes I hate to go against a team after they get so blown out and lay an egg like minn did last week (albeit at home and on a nat’l tv game…the only one on), extra days off heading into this week too which I don’t love, that said it’s at toughest place to play in nfl. I know I’m giving up future value by taking Houston, but it may be worth it in this spot no? I have NE, Pit, SF, Nyg, Atl, Balt, Mia, philly, sea still in the hopper…at what point do you start charting a “path to victory” too…or don’t you? Appreciate your thoughts and feedback….keep up the stellar work.

  • Frank_Elways

    I agree. Other than San Francisco, they are the most attractive game that week.

  • NCFootballGenius

    Dave, thanks so much as you have been a great help. I am in a pool of 50 and there are only two of us left. My opponent has picked for fist 8 weeks; Den, SF, DAL, BAL, MIN, ATL, IND, & CHI. I have picked the first 8 weeks; HOU, NYG,CHI, BAL, SF, TB, MIN & GB. Should I go with SEA or S.D for week 9? I am leaning SEA but I am interested to hearing your thoughts. My deadline is before the start of tomorrow’s game. Thanks

  • YB

    I’m in a pool that is down to 4 left from over 100 entries. Trying to decide between Houston, SD, and Seattle…2 of the 4 left have already taken Houston so I’m guessing they will most likely take SD or Sea. What’s your recommendation given the scenario? Thanks for all your help this year!!

  • Greg W

    David, thanks for the great analysis. This week, my situation is as follows: large pool with about 350-400 left, going to go SEA (used GB already). Smaller pool with 9 left, I’m one of 2 teams with GB left so that seems like a no-brainer there. Then heads up in my 3rd pool. We have both been taking the same favorites for weeks now. I have to guess he’ll go SD based on how he has picked. Hou, Chi, GB, Bal, Atl are all out for me. Should I go SD and hope maybe he doesn’t pick them? Time to gamble and go SEA or Wash instead? That’s really my only question out of the 3 pools I think, assuming you like the spread of SEA/GB/(SD or SEA). Maybe after writing i go with SEA to keep it to 2 teams… Appreciate the insight!

  • linskiti

    We have 8 people left in my pool. I have followed all your picks to date, I know 3 of the people will be picking GB or Houston for sure. One of the others cant pick GB, HOU or SD, so I am sure he’ll pick Seattle. Not sure if the other 3 will do SD or SEA. Should I just pick Seattle in case they all pick SD? I cant see their picks until after tomorrows game

  • Greg W

    I tried posting this once already but it isnt showing up, so sorry if it is double posted. Anyways, big pool 350ish and no GB so going SEA right now. Small 9 left, 1 of 2 with GB left so going them. Then heads up, we pick the same favorite every week basically. I assume he’ll go SD. Do I go SD and hope he doesnt or deal with it if he does, or do I go SEA or Wash to change it up this week? Do you like the SEA/GB/SEA spread? (or subbing in SD or Wash in last one). As always I appreciate the advice, and sorry again if double posting.

  • Joe Allan

    Hi David. I am in a very large pool down to around 150. Keep in mind that all contestants had to pick 2 teams in week 1 and week 8 so a lot of quality teams are gone for everyone.
    I have HOU, SF, SEA, DEN, PITT, SD,DET and ATL as my quality teams left.

    Should I use SD this week, which is hardly a quality team, but they are playing an awful KC team. I also anticipate taking PITT next week when they host KC.
    Do you agree with this or should I take HOU this week? I was hoping to save the Texans till week 15 and take them at home against INDY.

    Any advice would be appreciated. Thanks in advance.

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

    If you think HOU will be roughly as popular as SEA in your pool, then yeah, I’d probably go with HOU. … Though, won’t that be bad for your tiebreaker? I’ve never entered one of those, but it seems like the winners generally played it super risky and got lucky. Anyway, in your situation, needing two picks, I think SEA on the 2 loss and HOU on the 0-loss seems OK, given that it sounds like SD may be more popular than in my table.

  • Greg

    I’m in a pool with 7 people left. Two have not used HOU so let’s so 2 of the 7 will pick HOU. Of the other 4, 3 will most likely pick SD and 1 will be a wildcard. With that in mind, should I go with SD or SEA? Also, I have 0 strikes and there is one guy with 1 strike who has picked HOU so he will pick SD. The rest have 2 strikes. Confused yet?

  • Frank_Elways

    If he ignores future value by always picking the favorite, you can take advantage of that, because he will eventually run out of good teams. Maybe not this week, but if you can find a non-favorite team that has just slightly less win odds than the favorite, you’ll be able to use that week’s favorite in the future when he can’t. Or you can play for the tie. I’d bide your time and pick San Diego (they have ZERO future value) ensuring half the pot, and lie in wait till a better opportunity arises.

  • victorious secret

    pick % as follows:
    DET 18.8
    HOU 18.2
    SD 14.6
    SEA 5.3
    GB 5.9

    Assuming I won’t pick SD or SEA any other week, do you go SD here? I’ve got GB and HOU available in another second chance pool that started week 6. We can’t see the pick % until after the games start. But GB and HOU should still be available to many. Obviously you recommend saving HOU. But do you go GB there?

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

    I’d go with SD as they are safer. Not sure what the benefit to the riskier SEA pick would be.

  • Lane Meyer


    Awesome job. Hands down the best info and analysis I’ve seen anywhere.

    I’m in a huge pool (10,000+ to start) down to about 600+.
    The catch with this one is you have to keep picking into the playoffs if no one
    wins by then. If you have no teams left to pick from at that point you’re automatically eliminated.

    For this week I have San Diego, Seattle, and Green Bay all
    still available to me. I think 75%+ of the people left have already used GB in previous weeks. That said, I am also trying to balance surviving with keeping as many playoff type teams alive as possible (already used the following possible
    playoff teams: HOU, MIN, DEN, and CHI).

    San Diego and Seattle look like borderline playoff teams at
    best and even if they made it in I doubt I’d pick them unless they were my only
    option, so I’d have no problem using up either of them. Only 15% of those left
    have picked San Diego previously though, so I’m guessing a lot of people will go
    with them this week. I also was considering Washington this week, since I’d say
    they have very little shot at the playoffs and little future value.

    Obviously just surviving is the most important factor, but
    what would your advice be if you had to keep the playoffs in consideration? Stick
    with SEA? Go with the safe pick in GB since not many people still have them
    available? Gamble with WAS?

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

    Does anybody have GB left? Assuming no …

    If only one of your opponents can take HOU, then I’d go ahead and stick with them, as they are the safest. The main downside is that you won’t be able to use them in 2 weeks, when they will be a super safe pick against JAX. However, with so few people left, especially people that will be picking riskier teams this week, I think you stay conservative and hope for eliminations now.

    The alternative would probably be to take SEA in the hopes that you had 2 opponents on SD, and one on HOU. Then if you survive, you can be the only one on HOU in 2 weeks. But I’d probably go for HOU.

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

    12 people left. 3 people have GB left, 2 have houston left only 1 has used SD. 6 have used Baltimore. What would you suggest in this speciific situation. Thanks

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

    We have used GB and Hou and Have Sea, and SD available

  • Matty P

    6 left and everyone has used GB. Have no idea what anyone will take and no one has taken SD or SEA yet. I like SD but with them only scoring 6 points last week scares me. Whats the best choice?

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

    Well, there is nothing inherently wrong with picking the same team as your opponent when heads up. Imagine it’s the last week, and your opponent is picking the biggest favorite. You should pick the biggest favorite, too, because a 100% chance at 50% the pool is worth more than a less-than-50% chance at 100% of the pool.

    So, head-to-head, it’s usually a bad move to intentionally take a riskier team, unless they is some reward for it. What is the reward with SEA in your case? They don’t improve your future value much over picking SD, from what I can see.

    Now, you raise a good point about the multiple pools, and not wanting to spread picks over 3 teams. However, given your special circumstances I think 3 separate teams is OK. Mainly because if SD loses, there is a pretty decent chance that your opponent in that pool ALSO lost, so it didn’t really hurt you.

  • Jason

    carefull this week people. I know what the stats are saying, but I think you should look a elswhere this week. SEA and SD are very risky. I’m going with Baltimore @ CLE this week (comming off bye week).

  • Jennmcg

    I am one of four left in my pool. My picks to date Hou,Cin,Dal,GB,San Fran,Miami,NE,and Chi. I suspect one will take GB this week. The others have taken them. I think the other two who have used GB, San Fran, and Hou already might go with San Diego. Everyone has used Baltimore but me. I am leaning towards Seattle because I don’t like SD or Norv Turner even though they are playing KC. Looking for some advice. Thanks south this is where I go for the know!

  • http://twitter.com/JHNYBGD John Salamanca

    I really love your column! So THANK YOU for that!

    16 left out of 220 and I feel like I’m in a good position here.

    I’ve gone with:
    Minny, San Diego, Dallas, Balt, NYG, Tampa, Oakland, and *GB
    *I was weak last week and wish I would have used SF or CHI but I wanted a breather after watching OAK go down to the wire vs JAX in Week 7*

    But the good news is that I still have some good teams avail like HOU, NE, ATL, SF, etc.

    Me and another still have HOU
    Me and 2 others have ATL
    8 of us have New England

    9 of us have Chicago
    12 of us have SF
    Only one person has GB and I assume they use them this week if they don’t go with San Diego

    12 of 16 can use San Diego this week and everyone has Seattle available.

    Since I used SD in Week 2 and they will probably be a popular pick in my pool (or Seattle), should I just stick with Houston here? Yes, it would be nice to have them for Week 11, but I could use ATL in that spot (or NE)

    If I did anything else, I would choose Seattle leaving me with New England, Atlanta, Houston, Chicago, San Fran, Pitt, and Denver to choose from in the final 8 weeks.
    But I’m guessing the smart play here is Houston and hope for KC and Minnesota to pull the upsets.

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

    Hmm. Well, if you think that one guy is for sure picking SEA, and the other 3 are likely to pick one of the other, then I think SD may be the better choice than SEA. Part of SEA’s value in large pools is that they are unpopular. But if you and another guy both pick them, that’s 25% of the pool right there. So I think I lean towards SD in your case. Even in the worst case scenario (all 3 unknowns pick SD), being the 4th on SD is only a bit worse than being the 2nd on SEA.

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

    Looks like I caught this below.

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

    I think in your case, where future value is super important, SD is definitely a smarter pick than HOU.

    I also think that SEA might be a better pick than SD because of the pick%. But I’m not sure how your pool’s picks will look, given your differing rules. If you think SD will be less popular than in Yahoo/OFP (say, if they will be 20% or so), then I think SD is a great choice. Otherwise, I might go risky with SEA and hope for the KC upset. But it’s a close call, and SD isn’t a bad choice.

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

    Wow, you’ve got a strike lead on everybody? That completely changes things. Now you actually kind of WANT to pick the same team as the guy with 1 strike, because even if you lose, you maintain your lead. The same concept applies to the 2-strike people, to a lesser extent — it’s actually good for you to pick the same team as them, because then they can’t catch up this week.

    So I would go with SD in your case.

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

    In the first pool, I’d go San Diego. The difference between 14.6% and 5.3% in popularity isn’t enough to make up for the advantage in win odds that SD has.

    I think, yeah, you may have to go GB in the second chance pool, but it really depends on pick%. If you think over 40% will be on GB I might go risky with SEA. In a vacuum I might go SD, but given that you will be playing them in the other pool, I’m not a huge fan of doubling up on them. If you can, I’d wait til later in the week on that one, and see how the lines play out.

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

    I think the main thing the playoff rule does is make me less likely to use GB. I don’t think I’d gamble with WAS because I don’t really see what the reward is there over just picking SEA — more risk, but no real upside. Well, I guess like you said, there is an outside shot at SEA being a playoff pick, but it seems too small to worry about here. We’ve got them at 30% to make the playoffs, and they’d likely be an underdog: http://www.teamrankings.com/nfl/projections/standings/

    So I guess I’d gamble with SEA. It seems likely you’ll need to pick some playoff games correctly to win the pool, so saving GB seems pretty useful.

  • Krs703

    In a pool of 50 that could go into the playoffs which started last week. Is GB still the best choice or does SD or Sea become stronger? I used Chi last week and we are down to 32 people. You can only use a team once.

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

    Basically, I’d try to predict their picks. If you think only 1-3 will pick SD, I’d probably go with them, if more then I’d go with SEA.

  • MC

    Thanks. Seattle it is – go Seahawks.

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

    If you have no idea who people will take, that makes it pretty tough to make a pick. SD I guess?

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

    Yes, SEA is very risky. We estimate they have over a 30% chance of losing this week. But Survivor is all about managing risks, and leveraging opponent picking biases to make sure that when you do get lucky (as we have over the past year) you maximize your returns.

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

    Yeah, I would go with SEA in your position, and hope for the KC upset of SD.

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

    You’ve set yourself up pretty nicely, it looks like. Given that only one other guy can pick HOU, I do think that they are the right pick for you this week, especially since you have other options in Week 11.

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

    What did you pick% look like last week? You need to get a feel for how your pool will pick, or else there is not really much advice to be given, other than that SD is the safest team with no future value.

  • artie5000

    16 left of 240. My guess is 4 will be on GB, 3 on hou, 5 on SD, 2-3 on Sea, and 0-1 on Balt. Am I better off being 1 or 2 on Balt, or 6th on SD. I feel Sea is my best possible play week 14,so I am saving them.

  • Krs703

    Last week 18 took GB 8 Chi 5 SD 4 NE 3 Min 2 Ind 2 Ten 2 Sea 1 Atl 1 Pit 1 Den and 1 SF. They seemed to go with the top Favs and not look at future value or plan for playoffs. I think most will go SD GB and Hou. I think more will take GB and Hou then SD. So I think best bet would be to take SD or Sea correct?

  • http://www.facebook.com/matt.simmons.75098 Matt Simmons

    I just want to say thanks for all your advice! I just wish I found your site earlier this year because I probably would have better teams left. I really feel like taking Washington this week because this seems to be the last game they have we’re they have a good chance to win and it is at home. I am one out of 142 left of 2918. Am I reading to much into this? are you that sure about Seattle

  • Jared

    Large pool down to 195. Pool started with over 3k people. We can pick any team any week. When heavy favorites loose 70+% go down. Should I always avoid the top two highest spreads? I see my strategy to lean on heavy favorites with Team Rankings win odds. Any other advice? I also try to stick with home teams who can get pressure.

  • YB

    Thanks David! You are correct, everyone took GB last week, so they are a non-factor. Thinking I’ll stick with HOU this week and if I’m fortunate to be alive in week 11, choose between Atlanta (at home vs. Arizona) and Dallas (at home vs. Cleveland).

  • Router1967

    Thanks so much. Even though they laid an egg last week, I am feeling more confident that they are still the better team and it seems every time I pick Seatle they blow it and when I go against they tend to surprise me. I am going to go with Chargers. My gut is that my opponent is taking Houston this week.

  • steve

    i have about 9 hours to make my selection….and i have seattle houston and detroit available…i just feel like seattle MAY lose their first game at home this season with AP running a great game…on the other hand..i think houston may come out flat off the bye….and buffalo can keep it close.. i like detroit over the weak jags as detroit likes to play well against bad teams…and detroit does not have much FV. what do you think ?

  • EB

    Great site all around and by far the most detailed and solid survivor advice around.
    I am in a big money pool started with 280 and only 21 left. It seems that each week a high percentage always takes the big fav’s. So we have been trying to avoid them the last few weeks and so far so good.
    However this week I am a bit torn. I expect about half the pool to take SD this week. only 3 have houst left and 1 GB. I am deciding between going with SD or taking a bigger risk with Seattle(maybe 3 take Seat 15%+). I considered Det(4 prob take em) and Denver as well. I feel SD comes to play finally and feel that Minn has a much better chance of upsetting Seat then KC does beating SD. But with so many on SD it seems worth it, but still having a hard time with it.
    Any advice would be great.

  • Greg

    I’m kind of surprised by Baltimore’s predicted win percentage this week and that Seattle is the choice this week. i mean Bal have won the last 9 games in a row vs Cleveland. And they’re coming off a bye week. I know they’re on the road, but their win percentage seems a bit low to me. They don’t have much future value either, maybe next week vs Oakland, but other than that i think they’d be a pretty safe pick this week to maximize value. But then again, you guys have predicted really well this year and last year as well. At what point would Baltimore be a top tier team?

  • Carl

    Down to 16, two strikes & out pool. Only me and another with no strikes 14 others have 1 strike. I can see the 4 who have Houston take them. Everyone else will take SD. Since I can risk more on my pick should I take Seattle or go with SDG like everyone else?

  • Marc

    Hey David,

    Need your advice for this week. I’m in a pool which started with 4,400 people and is now down to 338. I have SD, Seattle and Houston available this week. 224 people have already picked Houston, so at MOST, only 33% of the pool can pick them, and that’s assuming everyone takes them.

    Both SD and Seattle have been picked minimally by the rest of the pool entrants.

    Given the above circumstance, does Houston end up being the safer pick this week?

    Appreciate your answer in advance

  • Tyson

    We started out with over 100 and are down to our final 3. We all took Green Bay last week. Thus far I’ve used Houston, Buffalo, Dallas, New England, Giants, Atlanta, San Fran and Green Bay. Finalist # 2 has used Hou, SF, CHI, ATL, NYG, BAL, MIN,GB and Finalist #3 has used HOU,NYG,DAL,BAL,SF,ATL,NE,GB. Earlier this week I was completely sold on taking the Chargers however I’ve changed and feel that an upset is brewing. I am leaning on taking the Bears b/c one guy can’t pick them and I feel like the other will take SD or SEA. Can you offer up any advice?

  • Brian

    Love what you do for us the public with all your analysis…

    In a pool of 250 people 36 remain.
    The pool seems to be that the majority takes a high percentage team each week to win. 24 taking the packers last week, 11 taking the pats week 7, and 30 with the falcons week 6.

    Including myself 5 have not taking the Packers yet, and i have taken the texans along with one other person of those 5. so i can see the other 3 using the packers or texans this week. with the guy that has taken texans take Packers this week

    of the other 31 people that have chose the packers 16 have the texans left so i can see most if not all of them taking the texans this week… leaving 15 with the packers/ texans chosen

    i can see over half the pool taking the texans this week.

    I have used Cowboys-3, Texans-4, Giants-5, Falcons-6, Raiders-7, 49ers-8

    If i dont use the packers this week i am sure i will be the only team to not use them after this week. do i save them or take the packers with the other 4 people.

    Thanks for your advice!

  • A Different Tyson

    I think you should alter how you do future value. Looking over your picks this season, there’s been times where you pick teams with < 75% or <70% win odds.

    Basically, I think Seattle has some future value left. On the Survivor Predictor Matrix, they have 4 games left with at least a 60% chance of winning, with 3 of those games happening in week 14 or later. Which I think may add even more value, since there's time for those percentages to shift due to how their opponents are playing (or how they are playing).

    Also, I think the money line you have on the SD game is wrong, or its moved in the last day. I'm showing it as -330 to -360. This makes SD more attractive as well

    If you use win odds implied by the money lines, (77% for SD, 70% for SEA), the simple math pushes San Diego slightly ahead of Seattle.

    Just some thoughts, I'm still deciding who I will take based on how popular I think these 2 teams will be in my pools.

  • Bob Sanders

    Any chance SD becomes the pick before tonight’s game? If I pick the Thursday night game, my pick has to be in before 6pm tonight. Thanks. Just want to see if I need to be checking this site periodically throughout today.

  • Bob Sanders

    You don’t think Baltimore is risky? They are horrendous on the road. They are severely injured. And Cleveland is significantly better than most people are giving them credit for, especially when at home.
    I agree SEA and SD aren’t great options this week; but neither is Baltimore. This week and week 14 are going to be ones that cause anxiety.
    Best of luck!

  • Danny

    I am in a 6 person pool. Based on an educated guess, I believe the picks will be 2 SD, 2 SEA, 1 GB. Should I be the 3rd on SD or the 1st on BAL or another team?

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

    Not sure who you have left, but with those pick numbers I’d rank the teams GB, BAL/HOU, SEA/SD

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

    Yes, I think it sounds like SD should be less popular in your pool than in a normal one. Given that SEA may end up having some future value, and SD is safer, I’d lean SD.

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

    No, we’re never sure of any pick. Seattle has roughly a 30% chance to lose according to our models. But Washington is even riskier, and there doesn’t seem to be any benefit to taking that additional risk.

    Survivor pools are not about picking locks, as there is no such think in the NFL. It’s about managing risk vs. reward. And Seattle looks like the best balance of risk vs. reward in a normal pool (other than Green Bay, but I assume you’ve used them). But if you are uncomfortable, I would go safer and take SD, not riskier with WAS.

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

    So are you saying almost your whole pool will be on Green Bay and Houston? The best choice according to game theory will depend heavily on how skewed the picks are. If you really mean 70% will be on GB, then HOU is probably the best pick. If it’s more like 50% GB, 30% HOU, 15% SD, then all three of those are roughly equal, and I would go with the safest (GB).

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

    Looks like I am too late here, but without knowing anything about your pool I would have told you to use the advice in the article. Who did you end up going with?

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

    The math here (assuming your predictions of your opponents are correct) would push you towards SEA, with SD’s popularity just being too much for the slight win odds advantage to overcome. And SD would be the second choice over DET.

    But note that this is partly because our models are down on DET. If you go by just Vegas lines, DET pulls ahead of SD.

  • Dave

    My pool has less than 20 people left in it, decided to go with SD. The Chiefs just seem awful to me, they might not win another game the rest of the year. SEA, BAL or DET also seemed tempting to take, but I feel more confident in SD than I do in the other teams.

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

    Baltimore has a worse Vegas money line than Seattle, so even ignoring our models, SEA seems like a better pick. Like you said, BAL may have value next week (depends on what alternatives you have available). And the few percent picking SEA is pretty close to irrelevant. It’s definitely a narrow edge, but it’s a *clear* narrow edge.

    As for their winning streak vs. Cleveland … I don’t think games that happened 4 or 5 years ago are very relevant to what will happen this Sunday. After all, how many of those games were the Ravens missing Ray Lewis and Ladarius Webb?

    I’m not sure what you are asking with the last question, sorry…

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

    In a multiple strike pool, when you have a strike advantage, I think it’s actually *good* to take the same team as the people you’re ahead of. That way they can’t catch up. Either SD wins and you maintain your lead, or SD loses, and most of the pool is eliminated while you stay alive.

    Of course, you are also heads-up with one guy with 0 strikes. In that case, it seems like SD is your best pick against him, too (assuming you don’t have GB/HOU left). They are the safest team available to you, and don’t screw up your future picks, so you would go with them and hope he goes riskier.

    So I would say that taking SD sounds like a good idea here.

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

    Safer? Yes, HOU is safer. Do they maximize your immediate expected value? Yes, probably so. The problem is that they have a ton of future value, and in a pool of this size, you’ll need to survive til the end to win. So I would still lean SEA, but SD or HOU sounds like reasonable picks in your pool.

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

    It looks like both opponents should be leaning SD based on their pick histories. Or maybe dropping down to SEA/DET. If they both pick SD, you best option is definitely SD. If one of them picks SEA, your best option is clearly SD. So it really depends on who you think they will pick. If you have no idea, I’d lean SEA because A) I think 2 on SD is likelier than 1 SD, 1 SEA, and B) the upside with SEA is bigger than the upside with SD.

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

    I think given how unpopular the Packers will be, they are the clear choice.

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

    Because you have to go soooo much riskier to save them.

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

    You have a pretty good point about my future value cutoff being too high. I think I will look into changing that going forward.

    SD looks like they are still -315/+277 at Pinnacle right now. (Remember, you need to take both sides into account, so you know how much juice there is.) But you are right that a line move would make SD more attractive.

    Both your points would make SD more attractive, that’s definitely true. Worth considering, but I still lean SEA at this point.

  • http://www.facebook.com/matt.simmons.75098 Matt Simmons

    Thanks David. I will probably go with Seattle becuase I believe everyone and their mother will be on SD. I just dont know which Minn team will show up.

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

    Sure, there is always a chance the pick changes. If San Diego shoots up to something near -400, maybe the pick will change. But at this point I think it’s doubtful.

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

    Yeah, thanks for adding that. Totally agree.

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

    I would rather be the 1st on BAL than the 3rd on SD. The 1st on DET would be an option as well. (Or obviously HOU/GB but assume you’ve used them).

  • John Anderton

    I am down to 4 (me and 3 opponents). 1 team has HOU and I think they will definitely use them. The other two I’m thinking either SDG, SEA, or DET (used GNB, CHI, HOU, ATL) – they usually pick the most popular team but become somewhat more difficult to predict if the most popular team is not available (which it is not to them this week).

    I am debating SDG and SEA (used GNB, CHI, HOU, ATL), but struggling with the SEA pick because I match up well the next few weeks and SEA seems very risky to me. In particular, I am the only one who can take NE one of the next 2 weeks.

    Question, the survior predictor says current week is based on similar games model, but then the number shown is different from the similar games model figure from the “game winner picks” section.

    The survivor predictor has SDG – 72% and SEA – 68% which doesn’t seem a big difference, but then the “game winner picks” section has for the 3 models:

    SDG – 82.3% sim games, 70.9% dec tree, 75.9% power rat
    SEA – 59.4% sim games, 63.6% dec tree, 60.9% power rat

    which seem to imply SDG as significantly safer from various perspectives.

    If you could provide some insight on how these different models bear on riskiness, and perhaps a pick suggestion for my situation it would be greatly appreicated.

    Thanks ahead of time – this site, your analysis, and your willingness to help commenters is fantastic!

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

    Sorry, that is old info on the Survivor page. It should say it’s based on the official TR Game Winner pick. Those are our best estimates of the win odds, and I would ignore the individual models. The official odds combine them (along with other info, like the ATS models) into our best prediction, based on analysis of historical data.

    If you think you have the upper hand over the next few weeks, and you are unsure where your opponents will end up this week, I would lean SD over SEA.

  • Robert Ebin

    David, still alive from your advice, thanks. Still 7 left. Only started logging picks a few weeks ago and no way to know what people pick. Here are the last 4 weeks:
    4-sf,atl, ne, gb
    5-sf, atl, chi, ne
    6-nyg, tb, oak, den
    My picks-hou, cin, dal, den, sf, tb, min, gb
    One of the 3 not showing gb, definitely picked them the week against the saints, just dont know who. So 2 will most likely go gb. That leaves 5 including me and pretty sure everyone has sd and sea….thoughts?

  • Office Pool King

    Thanks so much for the insight! A little confused regarding the smaller leagues. For instance, we’re down to 3 people, (all of us have used GB). 2 of us have HOU remaining and all 3 of us have SD & SEA. Since I know one guy can’t take HOU, how do I determine “popularity” of the opponents’ picks? Do I assume one HOU and one SD and roll with the safer option (HOU) since the odds before my pick are 50/50?

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

    OK, so let’s guess 1 guy on GB, 1 on HOU, 2 on SD, 1 on SEA, 1 on a random. That may not be quite right, but it seems reasonable to me. In that case, SD would be the best pick, I think. If 3 are on SD and none are on SEA, then SEA is better. But it’s tough to assume that will happen, so I’d probably go conservative with SD in your case.

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

    Yeah, basically. You try to predict your opponent picks. In your case, I would think you’d be facing one on HOU and one on SD/SEA. It would be pretty bad to end up as the 2nd person on SD, so the safe route is to pick HOU here. If you could be absolutely sure your opponents would be on HOU & SEA, I’d go with SD, but I don’t think you can be sure of that.

  • Jpugs

    3 guys left. We all picked the packers last week and I have already used Houston in week 1. We aren’t allowed picking the Thursday nighter so the chargers are out of the question. Any other option other than SEA at this point?

  • Robert Ebin

    Thanks David, you always reply fast too. Love it!

  • Shelly

    I’m in a 2 strike pool, less than 30 people remain and I’m the only one with NO strikes. GB is off the table for everyone. About half can pick HOU and everyone has SEA and SD available. I have a feeling that SD and HOU will be the big favorite this week. In your advice it mentions going with the group because at the worst I will get a strike and they will get knocked out. Being that half will probably take HOU, would you recommend that I take SD or go with SEA?

  • Pizzaman

    Does Seattle line down to -4 / -210 change much on your models? I’m seeing it at that most places now. My guess it is do to a little short-handedness that Seattle might be having at WR that’s been reported today.

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

    DEN or DET could also work. DEN has quite a few easy games left, but they are all at least 4 weeks away. DET looks a bit riskier than SEA, but not by much.

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

    I would go with SD. The reason I went with SEA rather than SD in the main advice is that SD’s popularity is bad. In your case, it’s actually a good thing, so SD has a clear advantage — higher win odds, more popular, similar future value.

  • Office Pool King

    Thanks for the response, David! I’m in agreement but just happened to view the remaining schedule. Would it be good risk management to hold HOU (W11?) even if I was 50/50 sure I’d be the 2nd person on SD? If I could get through this week with HOU intact, I’d hold a significant advantage over the near-term future, (Wks 10 – 14). Basically trying to be the equivalent of “that guy” that was able to hold onto GB for this week.

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

    Yeah, SEA looks a couple percent riskier now. But SD also looks a bit more popular according yo Yahoo/OFP. I still think avoiding the SD crowd is the way to go in large pools.

  • Office Pool King

    Aagh – should have mentioned: Might be looking at regional bias: Both have BAL remaining and good chance the non-HOU guy lands on them or SD, (def not SEA)

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

    Yeah, that is a good point. I generally focus on immediate value with 3 people left, but having HOU for Week 11 would be pretty great. Given that SD actually could be the better *immediate* pick in some cases, it’s not a bad idea to roll the dice and hope you end up in one of those.

    It’s also worth looking at Week 11 and trying to figure out who your alternative is, to see if the drop off from HOU to SD now is bigger or smaller than the drop off in Week 11.

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

    Hmm. I think I still lean SD based on your reasoning above. Hopefully he takes BAL.

  • Chris

    1) DET, BUF, CHI, BAL, NYG, NYJ, MIN, GNB…almost assuredly Houston
    2) HOU, NYG, DAL, BAL, SFO, NYJ, GNB, NWE…sdg?
    3) HOU, NYG, CHI, BAL, SFO, TAM, NWE, GNB…sdg?
    4) HOU, CIN, CHI, BAL, MIN, ATL, SFO, GNB…sdg?

    Based on vegas lines my only two options are Seattle and Atlanta. Seattle has better winning odds, and Atlanta has good future value for week 11. I think that makes Sea the clear pick.

    I’m fairly confident opponent #1 will be on Houston. No reason for him not to be when they have the best win % available and he’ll be the only person on them.
    I’d say at least 2 of opps 2,3,4 will be on San Diego. They have the best win % available to them and there aren’t many other great options this week. Ideally all 3 of them will be on SDG.

    Opponent #5 could be on SEA as well, but has shown to do some wild things, such as pick CLE in week 6. I think it’s in my best interests to take the best team available and hope to be the only one on them.

    The only other option is to take BAL because I’m the only person who has them available. Their win odds are a little less than SEA, but is being the only one on BAL better than being #2 or 3 on SEA?

  • EddieSpaghetti

    Is 30 “large”?

  • Pizzaman

    Seattle still looking better than Detroit with that line movement?

  • http://www.facebook.com/joe.oconnor.7399 Joe O’Connor

    35 people left out of 500+. Only 6 have not picked Hou and 5 have not picked GB. 24, including me, have used both which means that SD will probably be a very popular pick. SD seems like far and away the safest pick because KC is terrible. Hell, the Chiefs have not had the lead in any game at any point all year. I really want to pick against them but I realize that if 20 people are on the Chargers then I shouldn’t be. I don’t like Seattle much but I wouldn’t have to decide for a few more days if I don’t take SD. Talk me off the Charger ledge. :)

  • Jules

    Did you mean to say if both pick SD, best option is SEA?

  • Degenerate

    No offense to those who picked SD, but I am rooting for them to lose tonight. Not only that, I put some action on KC moneyline. Go Chiefs!!!!

  • http://www.facebook.com/joe.oconnor.7399 Joe O’Connor

    I talked myself out of the Chargers. I’m on Seattle with the option to change up until game time Sunday. Go Chiefs! I can say that now that my wife & son have left to go to the game. :)

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

    Being the only one on BAL is better than the third on SEA, yeah. The 2nd is debatable, I think. Given you’re not real sure what your opponents will do, I think SEA seems reasonable. Tough week.

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

    Borderline. By “large” I just mean bug enough that general trends ought to apply to your pool, as one person won’t throw things way off. If you check your opponent’s histories and predict that not many will be on them, then maybe SD is the way to go.

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

    Seattle money line is still higher than Detroit’s at Pinnacle, so yeah.

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

    Haha, are they Chargers fans? I’m a Kansas-born Chiefs fan currently living in San Diego, so I’m also in enemy territory.

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

    Yes, sorry about that. Thanks for catching it.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=21721315 Carlo Ferri

    Eddie Royal and Meachem both inactive tonight. Wow

  • Jon

    You still leaning sea or switching to sd?

  • http://www.facebook.com/joe.oconnor.7399 Joe O’Connor

    Yeah. They are season ticket holders. Probably pretty happy about now. I’m a transplanted Jets fan so I know the feeling of being in enemy territory.

  • Joe

    We were the only ones left with Houston, so we took them and to our delight, the other 3 people left all picked the Chargers. Then Matt Cassell went onto the field….Oh well, Go Texans!

  • Sandy

    Love this site. Thank you so much for your help. Found this site after week #3. Past 3 weeks enjoying a head-to-head competition. His picks (in order): HOU,SF,NYJ,GB,ATL,BAL,NE,NYG.
    My picks (in order): DET, CIN, DAL, HOU, SF, ATL, NE, GB. Thursday night picks are out. In head-to-head you said go with biggest favorite, but I can’t pick SD, HOU or GB. Would SEA be the next best choice or CHI?

  • Shane

    Sure there is luck involved, but you’re setting yourself up for success and doing something right

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

    just wondering all your suggestions aplly to one lose pools not 2 lose also in my pool i go the whole season no matter what even if i have no losses does that mean your advice might be different than your column

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

    oh by the way as it stands now after last night game out of 200 people 14 have zero including me and 57 have one loss 5 zero loss person picked sd last night and and 11 one loss pick sd so they advanced so in that case should i still pick Seattle or is there another option i should go with ty Dave or anyone else on this site can answer also

  • Chris

    Not anymore

  • Danny

    Well I guessed wrong and no one picked SD. I cannot pick HOU/GB/SF. No one can pick Houston and 1 person can take GB. My only other guidance for a pick this week is 1 person can’t pick BAL. Who should I lean towards for my pick without being able to predict the other 4 (assuming the 1 picks GB)?

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

    I’d lean SEA at this point.

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

    You go the whole season? Meaning it’s not really a Survivor pool? Or you just mean that is one guy has no losses and another has 2, you keep playing until there is only one person left? And you’re saying you have no losses but others do? How many people are in your pool? How many losses do they have? What have past picks looked like?

    Yes, advice will be different with different rules.

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

    Sorry, I missed this, as it wasn’t a reply to your first one.

    Hmm, based on that info, yeah, I guess I’d recommend SEA, unless you have GB left. The general strategy for multiple loss pools is to treat the people with the same number of losses as you pretty much like a normal pool. If there are a lot of people with more losses, it can be good to make the SAME picks as them, to keep them from catching up. And if there are people with less losses than you, it’s even more important to make your picks DIFFERENT than theirs.

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

    Yikes. I guess SEA or DET? Or BAL because the one guy can’t pick them … but your opponents may have the same though, plus BAL is useful next week.

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

    no dont have GB have picked all the ones you suggested so they where used looks like SD was the best pick for me this week but too late know read your final update still not sure about Seattle though with the money line drop looks like future isnt bad either thinking about detroit what you think and yes they call it a survivor and it last till end and whoever has less loses win the pot

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

    nope i mean who ever has the least loses usually none wins pool and if there is more htan one they split the pot 2 loses and your out and my stats on other post is how it stands as of thursday

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

    You’re asking me what I think about the money line drop that I wrote about in the post you referenced? I still think the same as what I wrote — if the money lines are basically even, I lean SEA.

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

    okay so lines being different you mean money not point spread

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

    so should i make my pick concentrating on those who have one loss or to those who have zero losses like me

  • Ron Burgundy

    My poll started w/100, down to 6, and we place our picks on a board for all to see. I’ve taken: Hou, Cin, Chi, GB, SF, TB, Min, NE. Their picks this week are: SD, Sea(2), Chi, Den, + mine. Noticed Det line moved up a point 4.5, and Seat moved down a point 4. What’s your advice? This is a straight up survivor pool.

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

    Yeah, though a half point on the line isn’t a huge difference either.

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

    Both, but if you want to pick one to focus on, then focus on the 0-loss people.

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

    Looks like the best pick for you would be either BAL or DET. It’s definitely better to be the first one on either of those than the 2nd or 3rd on a team that’s already been picked. I would lean DET since they have less future value and a higher Vegas money line.

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

    so i would want to have different picks hoping they get 1 loss and i survive thats what ive been doing usually it affect the one loss people 2 and they are knocked out if that team looses so it kills 2 bird with one stone per say ty for your patience with me this is my first in a survivor and im loving it

  • Dan

    David – six people left in pool. Two went SD, out of 4 left 3 have houston left (including me). Generally a conservative group. I wouldl bet at leaste two choose Houston and the other guy will pick Seattle. Do I stick with a better percentage (houston))or go with Seattle.

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

    I’d go DET in your case. You don’t really want to be third guy on HOU (plus it will be great to be the only one with them left in a future week). And the line movement has mad DET as attractive or better than SEA.

    Remember, when two team are similarly risky and have similar future value, you want to choose the one that will be less popular. So you want to stay away from SEA in your pool, if you think that one guy will pick them.