Week 5 NFL Pick'em and Survivor Pool Picks
Week 5 gives us six games with spreads of a touchdown or more, with a lot of potential value in contests with a bit smaller margins.
With the help of TeamRankings' customizable tools and data, I’ll go over the best value picks for Week 5, 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 4 Recap
It was a brutal week for me in this column, as my picks went 2-3. The Rams loss I can live with, but the Saints and Titans going down is a tough pill to swallow. This brings my season total to 11-9. Let’s move forward to Week 5, 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 5 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 5 picks from your pool opponents, by taking on only a modest amount of risk, or no additional risk at all.
Dallas Cowboys vs. Giants
Dallas is favored by a touchdown in Jerry World and is coming off a really nice performance on both sides of the ball in Week 4. The Cowboys have posted the second-most rushing yards in the NFL, courtesy of Ezekiel Elliott and Tony Pollard, while the Giants haven’t been great at stopping opposing rushers.
Vegas and TeamRankings respectively feature 74% and 73% odds of Dallas winning this contest, with 97% of the public on board.
Baltimore Ravens vs. Colts
Both TeamRankings and Vegas feature 74% win odds for the Ravens in this home contest where they’re favored by a touchdown. Baltimore is playing well coming off a 300-yard contest for Lamar Jackson. The Colts just don’t have the firepower behind a hobbled Carson Wentz to win this one in Baltimore.
With 97% of the public also backing the Ravens, you’ll win or lose with most in your pool.
New England Patriots @ Texans
This game has a nine-point spread in favor of the Patriots, which is a tad high, but I still think New England wins this one. Rookie QB Mac Jones has played better than expected thus far and the New England defense should be able to handle a Texans’ offense that has only scored nine total points in their last two games.
Public bettors are taking the Pats 91% of the time, which seems high, but it’s lower than other games with similar spreads like Tampa Bay (98%) and Minnesota (95%), presenting value.
Green Bay Packers @ Bengals
Yes, the Packers have lost in their last two trips to Cincinnati but this one should pan out differently. Joe Mixon's injury could hinder this Bengals team just enough to give Green Bay the advantage.
Win odds are at 60% for the Packers with a two-point spread on the road. Just 85% of the public are rolling with Green Bay here so there is some value in the pick.
New York Jets vs. Falcons (In London)
This game could get wild, or not. Both teams have to travel across the pond. Both teams have had their share of struggles. However, this feels like a typical meltdown game for the Falcons. They’re pretty good at starting out strong, then losing in the second half. The Jets finally got a win last week and are facing a team that has allowed the most points scored thus far.
New York is a two-point underdog in this one, with just 40% win odds, and the public backing them just 17% of the time. There’s certainly value here as most pickers will probably stay away from this game or go with the projected winner, but the way Atlanta has been playing, I’m not so sure they should be favored on a neutral site.
Survivor Picks for Week 5
Win Odds: Top 5 Week 5 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):
- Tampa Bay Buccaneers vs. Dolphins (82%, 10-point favorites)
- New England Patriots @ Texans (78%, 9-point favorites)
- Minnesota Vikings vs. Lions (75%, 7.5-point favorites)
- Dallas Cowboys vs. Giants (74%, 7-point favorites)
- Baltimore Ravens vs. Colts (74%, 7-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 5 (referencing Data Grid mentioned earlier):
- New England Patriots @ Texans (22%)
- Tampa Bay Buccaneers vs. Dolphins (21%)
- Dallas Cowboys vs. Giants (19%)
- Minnesota Vikings vs. Lions (16%)
- Baltimore Ravens vs. Colts (8%)
The last piece of the survivor pool puzzle is future value. If you fire off a powerful team in Week 5, 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:
- Buffalo Bills (7.6)
- Tampa Bay Buccaneers (6.4)
- L.A. Rams (4.5)
- Kansas City Chiefs (3.8)
- Arizona Cardinals (3.4)
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.
TeamRankings has released a book on Survivor Pool Strategy, check out the e-version by clicking here.