So, that’s how it’s supposed to go! Those still alive and kicking in Survivor pools finally had a week when everything played out like it was supposed to and all of the big favorites won the game. The Cowboys, Eagles and Bills all won comfortably as double-digit favorites and smaller favorites like the Falcons and Dolphins did what was asked of them as well.
The challenge at this point for those still holding on is that a lot of the good teams probably aren’t available anymore. Some gambles may have to be made, but it’s better than being out like so many of your fellow contestants. We’ve got three big favorites this week in the Eagles, Bills and Chiefs, but do you have those teams? I’ll try to keep that in mind with this article the rest of the way and suggest some teams that the majority of players are likely to still have in play.
GAMES TO CONSIDER
Philadelphia Eagles (-13) over Houston Texans
What would it take for the Eagles to lose to the Texans on Thursday? Houston had 161 yards of offense and 3.2 yards per carry in the 17-10 loss to the Titans. Tennessee barely had to bother throwing passes in the game and still racked up 6.1 yards per play. The Texans have only surpassed 20 points in a game once. The Eagles have only scored fewer than 24 points once.
It wouldn’t be a bad thing to get a Thursday night winner and then hope for carnage on Sunday. Truth be told, given the recent schedule and the bye week, it is entirely possible that a fair amount of you still have Philadelphia left. There will be other opportunities to use them, but if you’ve got them, you might as well make this the week.
Buffalo Bills (-13) over New York Jets
It’s not often that you see a first-place team laying nearly two touchdowns on the road against a second-place team, but it’s not often we’ve had a team as dominant as the Bills. Following the win over the Packers, the Bills are first in the NFL in yards per play on offense (6.6) and sixth on defense (5.0). The Jets are actually second in yards per play allowed on defense (4.7), but 19th on offense (5.3). Zach Wilson has not looked the part since returning from injury with a 3/5 TD/INT ratio. He threw for 355 yards last week, but completed less than 50% of his passes.
Buffalo has outscored opponents by 105 points this season. Philadelphia is the next closest team at + 78. It sure looks like the Jets will have a hard time keeping pace with the Bills. If you haven’t taken Buffalo already, this is as good a week as any, but if you do have a Survivor pool that uses Thanksgiving as its own week, you’ll have to save them for the Lions on November 24.
New England Patriots (-5.5) over Indianapolis Colts
Sam Ehlinger may not be a rookie by the traditional definition of the word, but the second-year QB just made his first start for the Colts in the loss to the Commanders. He didn’t really do anything wrong going 17-of-23 for 201 yards, but he didn’t shine either. You’ll hear a lot about what Bill Belichick has done to rookie QBs this week since Ehlinger essentially fits the bill. Obviously most of the numbers include Tom Brady as his quarterback, but the evil genius always dials up a good defensive game plan.
The Patriots are 13-0 at home against rookie QBs since Belichick took over in 2000. His teams are 23-6 overall. Not only does Ehlinger come in pretty green, but there is a ton of discontent within the Colts organization right now. The Matt Ryan signing didn’t work out and he’s now hurt. Frank Reich seems to not be working out either and there are some calls for the GM’s head as well. Most importantly, Jonathan Taylor and the running game have not gotten going and he’s hurt. How the Colts move the ball here is a fair question to ask and the Patriots should hold serve at home. It’s a pretty big favorite role with a low total, which says a lot about the offensive projection for the Colts.
Kansas City Chiefs (-12.5) over Tennessee Titans
Of the three big favorites, this is probably the one that you haven’t used yet. Andy Reid off of a bye is pretty automatic from a straight-up standpoint and he’s darn good against the spread as well. The Chiefs draw a Titans team that passed for all of 55 yards last week, as Derrick Henry had 32 carries in the seven-point win over the Texans. One-dimensional offenses aren’t a good matchup against the Chiefs because they have a really hard time keeping pace.
Kansas City shined against San Francisco before the bye, securing a 44-23 win over the 49ers. It was really the first time this season that the Chiefs truly felt like the Chiefs, even though Patrick Mahomes is in the midst of having another fine season. They’ve let some teams hang around and even had that Colts loss that makes absolutely no sense right now. Here, though, they look to be in pretty good shape against a bad Titans defense that was allowing six yards per play until catching the Texans last week. The Chiefs are second only to Buffalo in yards per play and lead the league in points, despite playing one fewer game than a lot of teams. They should absolutely win this game and it’s a great time to use them.