Week 3 NFL Pick'em and Survivor Pool Picks
Week 3 boasts a slate of big favorites, but we also have some injuries to deal with as the rest of the week unfolds, which could have an impact on picks.
With the help of TeamRankings' customizable tools and data, I’ll go over the best value picks for Week 3, 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: 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.
Week 2 Recap
It was a rough one in pick’em land for me, as the Seahawks lost a close one, the Steelers got straight-up beat by the Raiders and my Bengals' upset did not pan out. This brings my season total to .500 at 5-5. Let’s move forward to Week 3, where hopefully we find success in both pick'em and survivor formats.
Pick'em Pool Breakdown
Before I get into the picks, note that I’m not suggesting you should make all of the picks listed below. The best Week 3 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 the number of weeks remaining.
However, these picks do provide some of the best opportunities to differentiate your Week 3 picks from your pool opponents, by taking on only a modest amount of risk, or no additional risk at all.
Denver Broncos vs. Jets
Don’t look now, but the Broncos are 2-0 and get a really nice matchup at home this week. The Jets have struggled on offense and will meet a strong Denver defense on the other side of the ball—at altitude which is no joke.
Carolina Panthers @ Texans
We have rookie QB Davis Mills against a Carolina defense that has been playing extremely well this season. The Panthers are favored by over a touchdown (-8 points), with a 78% chance to win via both TeamRankings and Vegas.
Public bettors are rolling with Carolina 92% of the time, which is a jump down from the other games with similar spreads like Buffalo, Baltimore and Arizona, which are all at 96% or higher, so there is value here.
Tennessee Titans vs. Colts
Even if Carson Wentz manages to convince coaches and trainers that he can play this week, he’s dealing with two sprained ankles. Vegas has 70% win odds for the Titans, with TeamRankings giving them a 68% shot to come out on top.
As five-point home favorites, the public is taking Tennessee 93% of the time which is high, but not as high as games in similar spread ranges like Kansas City (97%) and the Raiders (94%).
Las Vegas Raiders vs. Dolphins
This game may not have the greatest value on the slate, but with the news of Tua Tagovailoa being sidelined, I feel like this game could be an easier one for Las Vegas than the odds currently indicate. Miami does have a good defense, but Derek Carr has been playing well and the Raiders' defense should be able to handle Jacoby Brissett at home.
The Raiders are 4.5-point favorites with 64% win odds in this contest, and the public is backing them 94% of the time.
New England Patriots vs. Saints
Vegas odds are giving the Pats a 58% chance in this tilt, while TeamRankings comes in a bit lower at 53%. New England is the home favorite by 2.5 points, and the public is on board with this at 64%.
The Saints are coming off a brutal outing last week and were missing most of their coaching staff. While I’d like to think this week will turn out better, I just don’t see them with enough juice to outsmart Belichick and this defense at home.
Survivor Picks for Week 3
Win Odds: Top 5 Week 3 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):
- Denver Broncos vs. Jets (83%, 10.5-point favorites)
- Carolina Panthers @ Houston Texans (78%, 8-point favorites)
- Baltimore Ravens @ Lions (78%, 7.5-point favorites)
- Buffalo Bills vs. Football Team (77%, 8.5-point favorites)
- Arizona Cardinals @ Jaguars (75%, 7.5-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 3 (referencing Data Grid mentioned earlier):
- Denver Broncos vs. Jets (36%)
- Arizona Cardinals @ Jaguars (14%)
- Carolina Panthers @ Texans (13%)
- Baltimore Ravens @ Lions (12%)
- Buffalo Bills vs. Football Team (12%)
The last piece of the survivor pool puzzle is future value. If you fire off a powerful team in Week 3, 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:
- Tampa Bay Buccaneers (6.7)
- Buffalo Bills (6.2)
- L.A. Rams (3.8)
- Kansas City Chiefs (3.4)
- Denver Broncos (2.2)
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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