It’s time to choose the ideal pick for our NFL survivor pool heading into Week 5. Last week we hit on both picks: the Eagles over the Jaguars (after a stressful first quarter) and the Chargers over the Texans.
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 5 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.
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 5 picks (with context).
NFL Survivor Pool Pick No. 1: Jaguars vs. Texans
I’m making my life more difficult in these columns: picking two teams each week to win. You’re doing your own pool, so you know which teams you have left. My job is to give two thoughtful recommendations.
The first is Jacksonville. Yes, they looked great in the opening frame in Philly this past weekend. Then, the Eagles’ defense adjusted, and Trevor Lawrence suffered what might end up being the worst start of his professional career. (Set your calendars for his Hall of Fame speech in 2042, and we’ll see if he talks about it.)
Don’t let Philadelphia’s D dissuade you from choosing one of the league’s best young teams. Zay Jones was out. Travis Etienne still hasn’t gotten going. The Jags have as good a shot as any AFC South squad to win their division. Assuredly, Lawrence will bounce back against a team that faced three struggling quarterbacks (Matt Ryan, Russell Wilson, and Justin Fields) before Justin Herbert figured them out.
Strategically, Jacksonville has plenty of toss-up matchups on the horizon, including against the Broncos, Raiders, Chiefs, Ravens, and Lions. This Sunday represents one of two golden opportunities to win at home — the other being a Week 7 tilt against the Giants (when a half-dozen other teams have fantastic matchups).
So, I’d advise not waiting to play the Jags. Start them in Week 5 with confidence, and move on to Week 6 knowing you started them at the ideal time.
NFL Survivor Pool Pick No. 2: Packers vs. Giants
“Ideal time” is a good segue way to the Packers. Because we never know when the right time will come in a survivor pool. A team might seem unbeatable, only to lose their starting quarterback for the season. Suddenly, every game that looked like an easy win might look like a toss-up at best.
Green Bay has two terrific home matchups these next two weeks against the Giants and then the Jets. After that, who knows? I mean, look at their schedule starting in Week 7: @Commanders, @Bills, @Lions, Cowboys, Titans, @Eagles. While they’ll earn a favorable road game against the Bears in Week 13, I’m not comfortable looking that far ahead. A lot can change, and Soldier Field in December doesn’t sound like a cakewalk.
If you don’t feel comfortable with Jacksonville, take Green Bay and secure another win. While nothing’s guaranteed, the Giants’ erratic passing attack plays right into the Packers’ hands. Green Bay’s surgical offense combines near-elite running and an up-and-coming receiving corps.
Saquon Barkley can single-handedly beat bad teams. But I think New York will find itself completely outmatched this Sunday against a team that can rival or exceed them at nearly every key position.