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Top Week 5 NFL survivor pool picks

By Adam Burke  ( 


It was certainly a gamble not to go with the easy winner last week in the Buffalo Bills. It remains to be seen whether saving the Bills for another chance down the line, likely in Week 9, Week 10 or Thanksgiving, was the right call.

Decisions like those are what make survivor contests much tougher than we would expect on the surface with the really basic rules of the game. Going 1-0 each week seems easy, and maybe it is, but sometimes we make it harder than it needs to be. Perhaps that was the case last week with Buffalo and my suggested pick of Cincinnati, but it could all work out in the end.

That won’t be the last week survivors are faced with those sorts of conundrums. Six underdogs won outright, including the Jets and Giants, so some who shied from the Bills paid a price. Those who took the Bengals almost paid the same one.

So far the survivor picks in this report have been winners with the Rams, Packers, Broncos and Bengals. Teams from the “Games to Consider” section were 8-1 going into Week 4. The Packers and Bills won, but the Titans and Saints lost, bringing the record to 10-3 going into Week 5.

Let’s check out the options for this week.


Minnesota Vikings (-7.5) over Detroit Lions

Early-week bettors actually took a piece of the Lions to bump this line down from -8.5 or -8 to -7.5, so maybe this could be one of this week’s upset-alert games after seeing a few Sunday.

However, there is a huge difference between needing a cover from a favorite and simply needing a favorite to win. As enticing as the Lions might be to keep the game close, a defense decimated by injuries lost another key piece last weekend in edge rusher Romeo Okwara to a torn Achilles. With Ifeatu Melifonwu and Jeff Okudah on IR, the secondary was already a patchwork group, and now the pass rush will suffer as well.

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