Last week featured several close calls but very few NFL survivor pool eliminations after plenty of nervous moments. Around 66 percent of the public’s picks were trailing at some point in the fourth quarter, and about 20-percent more came down to some final plays that could have swung the outcome (Kansas City, Houston). Despite all that drama, the only team selected by more than two percent of the public to lose was Arizona. With two teams standing out above the rest in pick popularity for Week 10, it could either be mass carnage or another ho-hum week.
As always, let’s dive in and analyze the five most popular survivor pool picks of NFL Week 10 using the “Holy Trinity” of survivor pick strategy data: Win odds, pick popularity, future value.
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Week 10 NFL Survivor Pool Advice: Tips, strategy for picks
To be clear, we are not saying that the first team listed below, Green Bay, is the best Week 10 survivor pick for your specific pool(s). We’re telling you that the Packers are the most popular Week 10 pick in survivor pools nationwide. We then break down the major pros and cons of potentially picking them and the next more most popular teams.
To get our specific Week 10 survivor pick recommendations, check out our NFL Survivor Picks product. Using the unique My Pool Picks feature, you first tell us some details about your pool(s) and the teams you’ve picked so far, and the product shows you the best Week 10 picks for all of your survivor pool entries.
Note: Data referenced below was current as of Wednesday and could change between posting time and kickoff time. Our product updates multiple times per day with the latest information.
Green Bay Packers (vs. Jacksonville Jaguars)
Survivor Pick Popularity: 56% (most popular pick)
Point Spread: -12.5
This week, the Packers are on pace to be the most popular survivor choice so far in 2020. Currently, that honor goes to the Rams, who had 50-percent pick popularity in Week 4. Green Bay’s popularity this week is made even more remarkable by the fact that the Packers aren’t exactly a new option for survivor entries. The Packers have had two other weeks where they won with greater than eight-percent survivor pick popularity, and multiple other weeks where they were a top-five pick. About 25-30 percent of public entries in many pools have already used Green Bay before this week, so a very high percentage of entries that still have them available are using them.
Green Bay is the most popular choice because they face the Jaguars (on a seven-game losing streak) at home and are the largest favorite of the week. It’s also a week with only two other options currently favored by a touchdown or more (plus potentially Pittsburgh as we await further news on Ben Roethlisberger’s status).
The high win odds make Green Bay a solid choice, but the extreme popularity holds down their Expected Value some. Whether you should use Green Bay may depend on your other options. The Packers do have pretty good future value, and we estimate them with at least 70-percent win odds in four of the next five weeks.
Given that most will entries will have used them after this week, the Packers could have high Expected Value in at least some of those weeks.
New Orleans Saints (vs. San Francisco)
Survivor Pick Popularity: 24%
Point Spread: -11
The Saints are coming off an extremely impressive performance at Tampa Bay, and their odds have now climbed to being the second-highest favorite of the week against San Francisco. That line is higher than you might have expected a few weeks ago, but given all of San Francisco’s injuries and New Orleans’ recent form, it’s makes more sense now.
The Saints are just below the Packers in win odds with less than half the popularity, so New Orleans has solid Expected Value for this week. They also have decent future value, with several future weeks where they project to be favored, but currently they have no future weeks with projected win odds as high as this week.
Las Vegas Raiders (vs. Denver Broncos)
Survivor Pick Popularity: 6%
Point Spread: -5
The Raiders are a riskier choice than the two options mentioned so far, but that is somewhat mitigated from a risk-reward standpoint with 80 percent of the public concentrated on the two most popular teams. If you go by current market odds, there is about a 29-percent chance that either Green Bay loses, New Orleans loses, or both of them lose.
Las Vegas is also little used to this point and has very little future value. They do play at the Jets in Week 13, but they might not have great value if they are very popular that week because most entries will have already used the other high win-odds options in Week 13.
The decision on Las Vegas comes down to how much risk you want to take to differentiate from the crowd this week. The good news is using the Raiders now isn’t going to hurt you too much in the future by not having them available.
Pittsburgh Steelers (vs. Cincinnati Bengals)
Survivor Pick Popularity: 4%
Point Spread: No Line (was -7.5 before Roethlisberger news)
Pittsburgh’s importance and usefulness this week may come down to news on Ben Roethlisberger. Earlier this week he was placed on the COVID-19 list because of close contact with tight end Vance McDonald, who tested positive.
As long as Roethlisberger himself doesn’t test positive, he will be able to come off the list in time for Sunday’s game. But the risk is there, and if you have a Thursday pick deadline, it makes for a tough choice without knowing.
Pittsburgh was a very popular survivor pick last week and has low popularity this week. If it’s favored by more than a touchdown and Roethlisberger plays, it should be a high-value pick and could make for a solid contrarian choice to avoid the two public choices. If the Steelers do not have Roethlisberger available, you can expect the point spread to drop below a touchdown, making them a riskier option.
Pittsburgh should also still have good future value after this week, particularly against Jacksonville next week and Washington in Week 13.
Detroit Lions (vs. Washington Football Team)
Survivor Pick Popularity: 3%
Point Spread: No Line
Detroit is coming in at about three-percent pick popularity, which is good enough to make this list in a week where the public is heavily concentrated on two teams.
Right now, though, there are a lot of questions and risk with Detroit. Matthew Stafford left Sunday’s game after a hit to the head. He cleared concussion protocol early, but this is a situation to monitor and why there is no line currently on the game.
A benefit to using Detroit is that it has no future value and, thus, is a good option if you want to save better teams in large pools expected to last the whole season.
The con is that the Lions are (likely) to be riskier than the other options on this list because even if Stafford plays, they will probably be a moderate favorite at best over a Washington team that is top five right now in pass efficiency defense and will have veteran Alex Smith at quarterback.
Get our Week 10 survivor pick for your pool!
Every possible NFL Week 10 survivor pick has an expected value and future value associated with it, and those values can vary significantly based on the characteristics of your survivor pool.
It takes a lot of data and math to figure out which pick (or combination of picks, if you’re playing multiple entries) gives the biggest boost to your expected survivor pool winnings. That’s exactly why we spent years building our NFL Survivor Picks product.
We invite you to try it out, and good luck in your survivor pools this week!