RIP to your survivor entries if you’re one of the many who landed on Jacksonville or Dallas last week. The Circa Survivor has about a third of its starting entrants remaining after that. The good news is that means lots of players can spend more time focusing on their NFL Week 4 pick’em pools.
Which is good, because it was a tough week last week and it doesn’t get any easier this week. Niners, Eagles and Chiefs aside, it’s a lot of very tight spreads.
Still, we’ve got a few edges to work with using the Pick’em Edge Tool.
The Jets are not in a great spot. Zach Wilson does not appear to be the season savior. There are rumors the locker room is livid. Joe Namath is ready to suit back up and get out there. It’s no wonder 80.2 percent of all players at RunYourPool are taking the Chiefs. But the contest line is -9.5 and the Unabated Line is currently -8.5, making for a -2.9 percent edge. We can do better.
Houston, fresh off their stunner against Jacksonville has a rock-solid edge at RunYourPool, gaining the hook with the Unabated Line at +3. Only 39.6 percent of players are going that way, so you may be in a position to gain ground there.
The Falcons come with the hook at DraftKings for a 9.5 percent edge, while the Seahawks are a ‘dog in the contest, but a 1-point favorite on the consensus line in their Monday Night Football matchup in the Meadowlands.
Things go in the other direction in the SuperContest. The Saints are only laying 3 to Baker Mayfield and friends after Tampa Bay’s dud against the Eagles in prime time. The consensus has swung out to -3.5 in this NFC South showdown with Derek Carr’s status uncertain for the game as he’s week-to-week with a shoulder injury.
At Circa, the 0-3 Panthers have Bryce Young returning a slight edge at +5 vs. the consensus +4. The Lions already took care of business convincingly, and the Dolphins clock in as the No. 3 choice, getting a field goal in Buffalo.
Your job is significantly easier in the college ranks where TCU’s contest line is three points better than consensus, and that’s only good enough for the third-best edge of the week. The Beavers are a 4.5-point favorite on the consensus line.
Utah quarterback Cam Rising’s status for that game is still unknown, but if you follow Unabated College Football you’ll get the news as soon as it breaks.
The Niners are -1000 at some books, far and away the biggest moneyline favorite of the week. They’ll be a popular survivor choice against the Cardinals.
But what else is out there if you want to fade the crowd (or you’ve already used San Francisco?)
The Survivor Optimizer will take your power ratings inputs and plot your path forward, taking into account how contrarian or chalky you want to make your plays, or how much you want to save teams that have future value vs. go for the likeliest wins up front.
Using a blend of Massey-Peabody ratings and ESPN’s Football Power Index, the Jags show as a viable option against Atlanta. Assuming you’re not put off by last week’s loss.
Finally, we’re looking at Unabated’s contest entries in the Circa Millions and Circa Survivor to give a peek at our thought process every week.
After Rufus Peabody suggested it was minus-EV to land on Jacksonville last week with so much of the field there, the crew comfortably settled on Miami as the Survivor pick.
A consensus quickly formed around Carolina +6.5, New England -2.5, the Rams +3 and Tampa Bay +5. The final choice was whether to pick Detroit -3 or Tennessee +3.5.
Ultimately, Detroit won the vote. Good thing after the Lions cruised, 20-6, over the Falcons and the Browns pasted the Titans, 27-3.
But it wasn’t enough. With an entry ran out to 11-1 through the early games, Carolina fell apart in the late afternoon slot. A strong showing on Monday may have kept team Unabated in the hunt for a First Quarter prize, but the Bucs were never in it and Joe Burrow unexpectedly suited up for Cincinnati, sealing a 2-2-1 week. The record now stands at 11-3-1, for 11.5 points overall in the contest.
At least we didn’t lose a team member this week thanks to that Pats cover.
Working out your pool plays for the week? Chime in on the Discord and see what everyone thinks.