NFL Survivor Pool Week 4: Roll with the Eagles vs. Jaguars or the Chargers vs. Texans

Which teams are the safest picks in your NFL Survivor Pool Week 4, and which might set you up better for the long season?

It’s time to choose the ideal pick for our NFL survivor pool heading into Week 4. Last week was brutal for anyone who roots for favorites. Eight of 16 underdogs won, including some heavy hitters like the Chiefs, Bucs, and Bills.

Winging it usually doesn’t get the job done. So, how should we strategize with an eye toward the rest of the season? Let’s talk survivor pool NFL betting strategy and optimal team picks.

NFL Survivor Pool Week 4 strategy

Picking one team that is a virtual certainty to win each week sounds easy in theory. However, most NFL survivor pool rules dictate that you can’t select the same team twice.

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Sometimes it’s best to lock in a nearly guaranteed win. Other times it’s better to take a chance to preserve safer options for later. Here are my two favorite Week 4 picks, with context.

NFL Survivor Pool pick No. 1: Chargers at Texans

How badly did the Los Angeles Chargers lose to Jacksonville last weekend? They gained only 26 yards on the ground while losing by 28 . . . at home. Zay Jones caught a career-high 10 passes. Yeah, 10 passes.

LA got beat on both sides of the ball. But let’s also put this in perspective. Justin Herbert played hurt, Austin Ekeler is in a funk, and Keenan Allen remained out. Joey Bosa was knocked out by halftime. This wasn’t exactly LA at its best. (To learn more about LA at its best, their Tourism & Convention Board has you covered.)

So I’m making some assumptions here, and if several bear out by Sunday, I’ll feel confident about the Chargers’ chances. First, I expect Herbert to be at least moderately healthier, although it could take weeks for his injuries to heal. The Chargers also should get Allen back, and perhaps Bosa.

Meanwhile, the Houston Texans are coming off two games against underperforming offenses (Broncos and Bears). In Week 1, the inconsistent Colts hung more than 500 yards on them. Houston is far more beatable on the defensive end than the underrated Jags are. And with an offense led by Dameon Pierce, a potentially declining Brandin Cooks, and a slowly ascending Nico Collins, there’s not a lot of firepower to keep up with for even a middling output by the Chargers.

NFL Survivor Pool pick No. 2: Eagles vs. Jaguars

Yes, the Jacksonville Jaguars look pretty darn good. They held Jonathan Taylor and Austin Ekeler in check in back-to-back weeks, which is a Big-Foot-sized feat. But they haven’t faced a mobile QB yet, and no, an injured Herbert doesn’t count. In fact, the most QB running Jacksonville has seen is Matt Ryan running through progressions in his head before dumping off to Kylen Granson on third-and-long.

The Philadelphia Eagles might be the NFC’s most complete team. At minimum, they’ll be tough to beat and are now very good bets for 12+ wins with a bunch of favorable matchups in front of them.

So why not wait and start Philly later this season? It’s a survivor pool, after all. We’ll surely need them down the road when options slim down.

Well, consider how many teams go from dangerous to vulnerable with one injury. This year already we’ve seen injuries to Dak Prescott (Week 1) and Herbert (Week 2) alter these franchises’ near-term trajectories. While I trust Herbert to rebound against Houston, the same can’t be said for Dallas against Washington this week, or the Rams next week, or Philly the week after that.

Then, there’s Mac Jones’ injury, and what that means for a streaming survivor play like the Patriots. Or Trey Lance’s injury lowering the Niners’ offensive ceiling.

The point is, anything can happen any week. We know this. And we also know there are plenty of great matchups to capitalize on in Week 4. So while we could hold the Eagles until later, much like a real eagle spotting an orphaned baby jaguar drinking peacefully from a pond, this is the time to strike.

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