Week 14 NFL Pick'em & Survivor Pool Picks: Favorites Rule the Week
The Week 14 slate features four games with spreads of a touchdown or more, followed by a cluster of closer ones. With six teams on a bye there are fewer options, and this week I went with all favorites.
Hopefully, with the help of PoolGenius' customizable tools and data, we can select matchups with some value so that you can get to the top of those leaderboards in pick 'em contests and survive another week in knockout pools.
Editor’s Note: PoolGenius 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 13 Recap
My season-long total now sits at 43-23. Let’s move on to Week 14, 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 14 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 14 picks from your pool opponents by taking on only a modest amount of risk or no additional risk at all.
Dallas Cowboys vs. Texans
This is the lowest of the lowest-hanging fruit this week, but it still counts as a pick. The Cowboys are a whopping 16.5-point favorite at home in the battle for Texas and should have no trouble taking down Houston the way they’ve been playing on both sides of the ball, despite the Texans’ QB switch back to Davis Mills.
Seattle Seahawks vs. Panthers
It’s a battle of former Jets QBs (a stretch, I know), with Sam Darnold now under center for Carolina, facing Geno Smith at home. The Panthers' defense has been decent against the pass, but Seattle doesn’t care; they’ll run it with whoever they have if Ken Walker can't go due to an ankle injury.
Carolina will do their best to keep up, but Geno Smith and the 12s will be too much in this one. Seattle is favored by four points, with win odds of 66% via both Vegas and PoolGenius. The public is rolling with the home team 96% of the time, so you’ll win or lose with your pool mates.
Kansas City Chiefs @ Broncos
This game was flexed out of a prime-time spot due to Denver’s inefficiencies, so instead of what normally would be an exciting AFC West battle, we get a somewhat angry Patrick Mahomes after a tough loss taking it out on a very frustrated, but good Denver defense. Russell Wilson can't seem to make anything happen, as this team has averaged a meager 13.8 points per game this season.
Picking against the Broncos has served me well all year, so here we are again. KC is a 9.5-point favorite in the Mile High City with 79% win odds courtesy of PoolGenius. Like all the big favorites this week, you’ll win or lose with most of your pool, as 95% of the public is backing the Chiefs.
Sensibly Priced Favorite
Philadelphia Eagles @ Giants
This is the first of two meetings between these two NFC East teams down the stretch. Philly is playing lights out on a three-game tear, and the Giants just don’t have the manpower to keep up. New York has been vulnerable on the ground, and injuries have also depleted their secondary.
The Eagles are a touchdown favorite in New York, with Vegas win odds of 74%. Public bettors are taking the road team 86% of the time, which is high, but not nearly as high as games with similar spreads like the Bills (96%) or the Bengals (95%).
Las Vegas Raiders @ Rams
These are two teams heading in opposite directions, with the Raiders on a three-game win streak and LA simply trying to survive after losing their starting QB plus two of their best WRs, along with an injury to Aaron Donald to contend with.
Survivor Picks for Week 14
Win Odds: Top 5 Week 14 Picks
Stating the obvious here, but higher is better when it comes to winning 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 PoolGenius Data Grid model (chances to win in parentheses):
- Dallas Cowboys vs. Texans (92%, 16.5-point favorites)
- Buffalo Bills vs. Jets (80%, 9.5-point favorites)
- Kansas City Chiefs @ Broncos (79%, 9.5-point favorites)
- Philadelphia Eagles @ Giants (74%, 7-point favorites)
- Las Vegas Raiders @ Rams (70%, 6-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 14 (referencing Data Grid mentioned earlier):
- Seattle Seahawks vs. Panthers (28%)
- Tennessee Titans vs. Jaguars (17%)
- Dallas Cowboys vs. Texans (14%)
- Cincinnati Bengals vs. Browns (12%)
- Las Vegas Raiders vs. Rams (10%)
The last piece of the survivor pool puzzle is future value. If you fire off a powerful team in Week 14, you won’t be able to use them later.
According to PoolGenius, here are the top five teams in future value entering this week for a 100-entry standard rules pool:
- Kansas City Chiefs (4.5)
- Buffalo Bills (4.3)
- Philadelphia Eagles (2.9)
- Dallas Cowboys (2.7)
- Baltimore Ravens (1.9)
Note: The numbers in parentheses are a proprietary rating of future value found in the PoolGenius Data Grid, which is also impacted by factors such as pool size.