Week 6 NFL Pick'em and Survivor Pool Picks
It was tough to find value in Week 5, but this week appears to be shaping up a little differently. There are only a few large-spread favorites, followed by the bulk of the matchups projected fairly close, which can be advantageous if the games go your way.
With the help of TeamRankings' customizable tools and data, I’ll go over the best value picks for Week 6, along with the top suggestions for survivor pools. With this info, you should be able to make smart decisions in order to get back on track or keep you going if you’ve had a strong start to the season thus far.
Editor’s Note: Try TeamRankings with a Week 6 free trial.
Week 5 Recap
Through five weeks, my picks in this column are 15-7 overall—with three of those losses coming the first week.
Pick'em Pool Breakdown
Before I get into the picks, note I’m not suggesting you should make all of the picks listed below. The best Week 6 picks for your NFL pool depend on strategy factors such as your pool’s size, rules and prize structure, plus situational factors like your current place in the standings and number of weeks remaining.
As usual, these picks are sorted according to where they sit on the risk/reward spectrum. I try to provide some of the best opportunities to differentiate your Week 6 picks from your pool opponents, by taking on only a modest amount of risk, or no additional risk at all.
Miami Dolphins vs. New York Jets
The Dolphins go from upset darling to an overwhelming favorite in just one week. It shows just how brutal the Jets are in 2020, with oddsmakers showing little faith in their chances to win. Miami is projected to win by 8.5 points, with 78% Vegas odds and 75% TeamRankings odds to come out victorious.
I could go into more detail as to why Miami should win this contest over a team coached by Adam Gase, but I think I just said enough.
The public is on the Dolphins at 93%, so you’ll win or lose with most people in your pool.
Sensibly Priced Favorites
Baltimore Ravens @ Philadelphia Eagles
The Ravens have the highest odds to win this week, according to TeamRankings, at 77%. They also boast Vegas’ fourth-highest win percentage in Week 6. The difference-maker here is that the public is picking the Eagles to upset 14% of the time, which is near double the pick rate of the other bigger spread games like Miami, New England and Indianapolis.
Philly is banged up and Baltimore travels well, as they’ve covered the spread in six of their last seven away games. It just makes sense to roll with the Ravens here and perhaps some of your fellow contest pickers will decide not to.
Pittsburgh Steelers vs. Cleveland Browns
The Browns are 4-1 for the first time in close to three decades, which is certainly exciting for their loyal fanbase. But this week they head to Heinz Field which is rarely kind to them, in fact, the Browns are 0-13 against Mike Tomlin’s Steelers on their home turf.
Pittsburgh is a 3.5-point favorite in this AFC North contest and currently boast 64% TeamRankings odds to win. Baker Mayfield will face a tougher Steelers defense than last week’s Colts, and he didn’t look so great in that Week 5 win. I think the Browns will make it a game, but Pittsburgh prevails.
Los Angeles Rams @ San Francisco 49ers
Last week wasn’t great for the 49ers, as they got beat by Miami at home and their starting quarterback—who was finally healthy after an ankle injury—got benched at halftime. San Francisco is dealing with a significant amount of injuries on both sides of the ball and this week’s contest may not be a get-right one for them.
The Rams are 4-1 and look pretty impressive. They’re the betting favorite by 3.5 points, with over 60% TeamRankings win odds. However, the public is more evenly split, at 55% for the Rams and 45% for the 49ers.
Survivor Picks for Week 6
Win Odds: Top 5 Week 6 Picks
Stating the obvious here, but higher is better when it comes to win odds. Everything else being equal, you want to pick the team with the best likelihood of making it through.
Here are the five safest teams this week, according to the TeamRankings Data Grid model (chances to win in parentheses):
- Baltimore Ravens @ Eagles (77%, 8-point favorites)
- Indianapolis Colts vs. Bengals (76%, 8-point favorites)
- New England Patriots vs. Broncos (75%, 9-point favorites)
- Miami Dolphins vs. Jets (75%, 8.5-point favorites)
- Pittsburgh Steelers vs. Browns (64%, 3.5-point favorites)
Diversifying your survivor picks from the crowd is an advantageous strategy, as the pool winnings can increase significantly if your pick hits and another popular pick loses.
Here are the five most popular survivor picks for Week 6 (referencing Data Grid mentioned earlier):
- Miami Dolphins vs. Jets (40%)
- New England Patriots vs. Broncos (20%)
- Indianapolis Colts vs. Bengals (14%)
- Baltimore Ravens @ Eagles (8%)
- Minnesota Vikings vs. Falcons (4%)
The last piece of the survivor pool puzzle is future value. If you fire off a powerful team in Week 6, you won’t be able to use them later.
According to TeamRankings, here are the top five teams in future value entering this week for a 100-entry standard rules pool:
- Kansas City Chiefs (7.4)
- Baltimore Ravens (6.2)
- Green Bay Packers (5.4)
- Los Angeles Rams (2.6)
- New England Patriots (2.4)
Note: The numbers in parentheses are a proprietary rating of future value found in the TeamRankings Data Grid, which is also impacted by factors such as pool size.