Week 17 NFL Pick'em and Survivor Pool Picks

Dec 29, 2021
Week 17 NFL Pick'em and Survivor Pool Picks

Week 16 was an interesting one with COVID-19 still ravaging rosters across the NFL and a few upsets. Let’s see what this week brings as 2021 winds down.

Our friends at TeamRankings have a beneficial article on endgame strategy in those NFL season-long pick’em contests, highlighting the best way to adjust your approach as we head down the stretch.


Editor’s Note: TeamRankings subscribers win football pools three times as often as expected, thanks to customized picks designed for your pool's size and rules. No one else does it.

Pick'em | Survivor


Week 16 Recap

Seattle ruined my perfect streak, as my picks went 4-1 in Week 16 after three straight 5-0 performances. Thankfully the Packers, Cowboys, Bengals and Colts all came through.

That makes my full-season total 57-23 for this column. Let’s keep it rolling for Week 17.

Favorite Favorite

Buffalo Bills vs. Falcons

The contest features a two-touchdown spread (14.5) with TeamRankings win odds for the Bills at 91%. Josh Allen is dialed in and the Falcons defense is allowing 252 passing yards per game this season. Atlanta has pulled off some road miracles in 2021 but not against teams as talented as Buffalo.

Public bettors are taking the Bills 98% of the time, so you’ll win or lose with your pool.

Sensibly-Priced Favorites

Tampa Bay Buccaneers @ Jets

It’s not advisable to bet against Tom Brady down the stretch. Yes, the Jets won last week, but Tampa Bay is not Jacksonville. New York is dead-last in schedule-adjusted fantasy points allowed to RBs this season and the Bucs have two fresh-legged backs in Ronald Jones and Ke'Shawn Vaughn.

Tampa Bay is a 13-point favorite in this tilt with 86% win odds via Vegas and TeamRankings. The public is picking the Bucs 97% of the time—high, but not at the rate of similar spread games like New England and Buffalo at 99%.

Chicago Bears vs. Giants

This game is a matchup between two of the worst offenses in the NFL, but the Giants have scored 10 or fewer points in four of their last six contests, so it’s difficult to even think about picking them. The Bears are coming off a road win in Seattle and are favored by six points with 70% win odds.

The public is also taking the Bears 93% of the time, so this pick won’t be too unique.

Value Favorite

Philadelphia Eagles @ Football Team

This NFC East showdown may be a close one, but I see it leaning the Eagles' way. They are currently four-point favorites with TeamRanking win odds of just 64%. Philly won the last time these two met just 13 days prior to kickoff, and Washington is coming off a beatdown from fellow NFC East team Dallas.

The Eagles’ ground game with Jalen Hurts at the helm should take care of business here, despite missing Miles Sanders. Public pickers are only taking Philly 75% of the time, which presents value compared to spread games in the same range as the Titans (81%) and Rams (83%).

New Orleans Saints vs. Panthers

Both of these teams have their issues at QB, but Taysom Hill should be back for the Saints and this team usually plays well at home during the latter part of the season. Carolina is struggling on both sides of the ball and has lost five straight contests. New Orleans is a 6.5-point favorite, with 73% Vegas win odds in Week 17.

This is considered a value pick since the public is selecting the Saints 86% of the time, which is significantly lower than both Green Bay (96%) and Seattle (92%) which have similar, if not the same, spreads.

Survivor Picks for Week 17

Win Odds: Top 5 Week 17 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 17 (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 17, 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.

Get Customized Picks For Your Pool: Pick'em | Survivor

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