Week 16 NFL Pick'em & Survivor Pool Picks: No Coal for the 49ers this Christmas
There are four contests with spreads of a touchdown or more this week, followed by a cluster of smaller ones. With the NFL season winding down, it’s crunch time for pools and survivor contests.
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.
Free Trial | Survivor | Pick'em | Betting Picks
Week 15 Recap
The Jets let me down as an upset pick last week, or my selections would have been perfect. The Eagles, Packers, 49ers, and Saints all pulled out wins, making my picks 4-1 on the week.
My season-long total now sits at 50-26. Let’s move on to Week 16, where hopefully, we find some more 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 16 picks for your NFL pool depend on strategy factors such as size, rules, and prize structure, as situational factors like your current place in the standings and the number of weeks remaining.
However, these picks provide some of the best opportunities to differentiate your Week 16 picks from your pool opponents by taking on only a modest amount of risk or no additional risk.
San Francisco 49ers vs. Commanders
Washington was stifled by the Giants in Week 15 via their tough pass rush and solid run defense. This week they face an even filthier 49ers front, along with Christian McCaffrey and a healthy George Kittle at hot-rookie QB Brock Purdy’s disposal.
The 49ers are a touchdown favorite in this home contest, with Vegas win odds of 76%. Public bettors are taking San Francisco 96% of the time, so you’ll win or lose with the other members of your pools.
Kansas City Chiefs vs. Seahawks
KC is a 10-point favorite in this one which may be a tad high, but they’ll emerge with a win. Seattle has lost three of four tilts since coming out of their bye week and can’t seem to stop opposing offenses from putting points on the board. The Chiefs are back home after a three-game road trip and are fighting for home-field advantage in the AFC.
PoolGenius win odds are 81%, with the public riding with the Chiefs 92% of the time. You know the drill.
Sensibly Priced Favorites
Baltimore Ravens vs. Falcons
The Ravens are fighting for the AFC North and get rookie QB Desmond Ridder, in his second NFL game. Atlanta found some success last week on the ground against the Saints, but won’t be able to get much done with Baltimore’s defense.
PoolGenius win odds for this game are 78%, while the Ravens are favored at home by 7.5 points. The public is backing Baltimore 94% of the time, which is high but not as high as contests with similar spreads like the Bills (97%) or the 49ers (96%), so there is a smidge of value in the selection.
LA Chargers @ Colts
Indy is coming off the worst blown loss in the history of the NFL and will face a Chargers team that is turning their juju around, finding ways to win close contests instead of blowing them in the end. LA has a full arsenal of healthy weapons and will just be too much for the Jeff Saturday-coached Colts without star RB Jonathan Taylor.
The Chargers are only four-point favorites on the road with win odds of 66% via both Vegas and PoolGenius. Pool pickers are backing LA 88% of the time, so there is still some value in the selection.
Pittsburgh Steelers vs. Raiders
Pittsburgh has won three of their last four contests and has held each opponent to 17 or fewer points in that stretch. Las Vegas is as unpredictable a team as they come, coming off an incredible last-second victory over the Patriots. This one will come down to defense and the ground game, and I see the Steelers ending on top.
At home, Pittsburgh is favored by 2.5 points, with PoolGenius win odds of just 54%. Public bettors are rolling with the Steelers 60% of the time, so there is certainly value in the pick if it hits.
Survivor Picks for Week 16
Win Odds: Top 5 Week 16 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):
- Kansas City Chiefs vs. Seahawks (79%, 10-point favorites)
- Buffalo Bills @ Bears (79%, 8.5-point favorites)
- Baltimore Ravens vs. Falcons (76%, 7.5-point favorites)
- San Francisco 49ers vs. Commanders (75%, 7-point favorites)
- Tampa Bay Buccaneers @ Cardinals (72%. 6.5-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 16 (referencing Data Grid mentioned earlier):
- Titans vs. Texans (34%)
- 49ers vs. Commanders (20%)
- Buccaneers @ Cardinals (10%)
- Bills @ Bears (8%)
- Chargers @ Colts (7%)
The last piece of the survivor pool puzzle is future value. If you fire off a powerful team in Week 16, 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 (1.7)
- San Francisco 49ers (1.3)
- Philadelphia Eagles (1.2)
- Tampa Bay Buccaneers (1.0)
- LA Chargers (0.9)
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.
Get Customized Picks For Your Pool: Free Trial | Survivor | Pick'em | Betting