Week 8 Picks for NFL Survivor Contests

Oct 23, 2019
Week 8 Picks for NFL Survivor Contests

This article was written by TeamRankings

The five most popular survivor choices last week all won. As a result, the public survived at a 98.5% rate for the week. That’s what happens when Buffalo and San Francisco make up nearly 90% of all public picks.

Depending on pool type and remaining size, our advice was spread across several teams, including some less popular choices. Our NFL Survivor Picks subscriber picks recommended the Packers and Bears to several entries, in addition to Buffalo and San Francisco.

The goal was to preserve Buffalo and San Francisco for subscribers in multiple entry or larger pools, because both are likely to be among the safest options in Weeks 9 and 11, but will be less popular by then and thus provide higher value. That worked with the Packers picks but not the Bears. Primarily due to the Chicago loss, 70.2% of all our subscriber recommendations survived the week. Overall, our subscriber recommendations across all pool types are still ahead of the public this season. About 19% of all public entries have survived to this point, compared to around 22% for our recommendations.

Further, surviving entries for our subscribers are better positioned in the near future when it comes to having safer options in upcoming weeks. Most of the public will have a tougher choice in Week 9 or Week 11. (If you're new to TeamRankings, you can get a free three-day premium trial to check out our survivor picks product.)

Now let's get to the NFL Week 8 survivor pick analysis.

Week 8 NFL Survivor Pick Analysis

Our free analysis of weekly NFL survivor picks focuses on three factors that you always need to consider in order to maximize your edge in survivor pools: win odds (how likely a team is to survive), pick popularity (what percentage of your pool you'd expect to pick a team) and future value (how valuable it is to save a team for use in a future week).

Just remember that varying rules and tiebreakers in survivor pools can have a big impact on your optimal picking strategy. For this article, we assume a 100-entry "standard rules" pool (one loss and you're out; you can only pick each team once) with no other rule tweaks like allowing strikes or buy-backs, forcing double picks late in the season, etc.

Data referenced below was current as of Wednesday morning and could change between posting time and kickoff time. Our product updates multiple times per day with the latest information.

Win Odds: Top Five Week 8 Picks

When it comes to win odds, higher is obviously better. All else being equal, you want to pick the team with the best likelihood of surviving.

Here are the five safest teams for NFL Week 8, according to the betting markets, as measured by their money line odds, which we translate into win odds (in parentheses):

  1. Minnesota Vikings (90%, 16.5-point favorite) vs. Washington Redskins
  2. Pittsburgh Steelers (85%, 14.5-point favorite) vs. Miami Dolphins
  3. Los Angeles Rams (83%, 13-point favorite) vs. Cincinnati Bengals (in London)
  4. New England Patriots (83%, 13-point favorite) vs. Cleveland Browns
  5. New Orleans Saints (74%, 9.5-point favorite) vs. Arizona Cardinals

Win Odds Analysis

Minnesota has the top win odds this week, getting to host Washington in quarterback Kirk Cousins’s first game against his former team. But there are three other games that provide only a slight dropoff in win odds: Steelers, Rams and Patriots. After that, there is a larger gap between that group of four and New Orleans.

Pick Popularity

If you ignore win odds and future value, it's almost always better to pick a less popular team in a survivor pool. Diversifying your picks from the crowd sets up a scenario where your expected pool winnings can increase significantly if your pick wins and another popular pick loses.

Here are the five most popular survivor picks of Week 8 2019:

  1. Minnesota Vikings (50%) vs. Washington Redskins
  2. Pittsburgh Steelers (22%) vs. Miami Dolphins
  3. Los Angeles Rams (17%) vs. Cincinnati Bengals (in London)
  4. New Orleans Saints (4%) vs. Arizona Cardinals
  5. Six teams tied at 1% each

Pick Popularity Analysis

It’s not a surprise to see Minnesota as the most popular choice this week. It is a bit of a surprise to see how much more popular they are than other options, considering that some of those other options are close to the Vikings in terms of safety profile, and have less future value (see below).

Future Value

The final element to consider when making a Week 8 survivor pick is future value. If you burn a great team this week, you don’t have that team available for future weeks, and even smaller survivor pools have a realistic chance of lasting deep into the season.

(Of course, the teams with high future value also tend to be the better teams, at least until later in the season when even great teams may not have many juicy matchups left.)

According to our numbers, here are the top five teams in future value entering this week for a 100-entry standard rules pool:

  1. New England Patriots (4.3)
  2. San Francisco 49ers (3.4)
  3. Kansas City Chiefs (1.7)
  4. Minnesota Vikings (1.6)
  5. Green Bay Packers (1.6)

(Note: The numbers in parentheses are a proprietary rating of future value that we created, which is also impacted by factors such as pool size and expected pick popularity.)

Future Value Analysis

One of the factors you should consider when evaluating whether to take the Vikings is the future value, as they rate higher in that category than the other upper-tier options this week. They could be particularly valuable in Week 11, when they get Denver at home, in a week where the other top win odds options, Buffalo and San Francisco, were already very popular a week ago.

The level of consideration you should give to future value depends on the number of entries remaining in your pool, but unless you are down to single digits in terms of competing entries, Week 11 is almost certain to be a factor in winning a pool.

Get Our Week 8 Survivor Pick Recommendation

It's easy to just make a broad claim that "Team X is the best survivor pick of Week 8." In reality, it's nowhere near that simple, because the best pick for your survivor pool depends on factors such as your pool's size, rules and which teams you've already picked.

We built our NFL Survivor Picks product to do all of the number-crunching required to give you the best chance to win your survivor pool. You answer a few questions about your pool, and it provides customized pick recommendations using the latest matchup data, betting market odds and public picking trends from national survivor pool sites. It even generates an optimal survivor pick "portfolio" for you, if you're playing multiple entries in one or more pools.

Since 2017, subscribers to the product have reported nearly $1.5 million in survivor pool winnings. We invite you to check it out free for NFL Week 8 with our free trial offer.


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