Week 8 NFL Pick'em and Survivor Pool Picks

Oct 28, 2020
Week 8 NFL Pick'em and Survivor Pool Picks

Week 8 features two double-digit spreads, along with a plethora of close games that could sway contests your way if picked correctly.

With the help of TeamRankings' customizable tools and data, I’ll go over the best value picks for Week 8, 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 8 free trial.

Week 7 Recap

My picks were a perfect 4-0 last week, as the Bills, Chargers, Buccaneers and Steelers all pulled out victories.

Through seven weeks, my picks in this column are 22-8 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 8 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 8 picks from your pool opponents, by taking on only a modest amount of risk, or no additional risk at all.

Favorite Favorites

Tampa Bay Buccaneers @ New York Giants

This contest has the second-highest spread on this week’s slate, with the Bucs 10.5-point road favorites, and TeamRankings odds of winning currently set at 82%.

I’m not sure why we keep getting the Giants in primetime, but it’s allowed us to see just how not great they are. Daniel Jones has been a turnover machine this season and gets a defensive unit ranked third in schedule-adjusted fantasy points (aFPA) to QBs this week.

With 98% of the public backing the Bucs, you’ll win or lose with most people in your pool.

Philadelphia Eagles vs. Dallas Cowboys

Yes, the NFC East has been brutal this season, but someone has to win this one. The Cowboys are a full-on triage unit, with injuries to most of their offensive line, and they could be forced to roll out their third-string quarterback for this matchup.

Philly boasts both Vegas and TeamRankings' third-highest odds to win this week at 74%, with the public also on board at a 94% rate.

Sensibly Priced Favorite

New Orleans Saints @ Chicago Bears

The Saints are 4-point favorites in Chicago in Week 8, with 67% Vegas win odds and 64% odds via TeamRankings. Public pickers are choosing New Orleans at a 74% rate, which is lower than the other games in the same spread range (Rams-84% and Bills-93%), making them a relative bargain from a risk/reward perspective.

Underdog Gamble

This pick is definitely not appropriate for all pools. If you’re in a smaller, season-long pool, it’s probably not worth the risk. However, if you’re involved in a single-week contest or your pool has weekly prizes, it could be a contrarian way to go.

New England Patriots @ Buffalo Bills

It’s been a while since picking the Patriots in a division game was considered a gamble, but here we are. This team has not played well in recent weeks, but for this contest, I’m not so sure that matters.

Bills head coach Sean McDermott is 0-6 all-time against the Pats—three of those losses came with Josh Allen under center. The duo has historically played awful against Bill Belichick and have not just lost, but have done so by averaging fewer than 11 points per tilt.

With only 9% of the public on board with the struggling Pats, this makes for a nice contrarian pick this week.

Survivor Picks for Week 8

Win Odds: Top 5 Week 8 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):

Pick Popularity

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 8 (referencing Data Grid mentioned earlier):

Future Value

The last piece of the survivor pool puzzle is future value. If you fire off a powerful team in Week 8, 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:

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.

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