Top Week 6 NFL survivor pool picks


Not so easy, is it? After a surprising run of weeks lacking upsets, Week 5 proved why survivor contests are tricky for even the most avid NFL aficionados. If you follow the league closely, you expect the unexpected, and Sunday provided just that. Not only did a couple of major upsets happen in the light slate of games, we also saw a couple of near-misses.


If you heeded this column’s advice last week, you advanced -- barely. The Cowboys needed a late field goal to tie the game and another field goal as time expired to beat the Giants, holding off the 9.5-point underdogs 34-31. No, it wasn’t pretty -- for a few reasons, unfortunately. But the Cowboys are not an appealing team on which to pin your survivor hopes, so using them and living to tell about it is an advantage going down the stretch.


Backers of the Super Bowl champions cannot say the same. The line flirted with getting as high as two touchdowns, but the Raiders pulled off the biggest upset of the season, holding Patrick Mahomes and the Chiefs scoreless for most of the second half. Anyone in Las Vegas brave enough to back his hometown team strutted up to the window to cash a ticket that was + 500 on the moneyline, as the Raiders flew home with an impressive 40-32 stunner. 


The other major upset was the Dolphins, getting about nine points for most of the week, not only upsetting the other Super Bowl participant but doing so in dominant fashion. A 43-17 clobbering of the NFC champs eliminated anyone who backed the 49ers and reminded us of how real the Super Bowl hangover is.


Those of you who felt safe trusting Russell Wilson with your selection — well, somehow, inexplicably, you won. One of the great mysteries of the young season is how the Vikings, who were seven-point underdogs, had fourth-and-inches from the Seahawks’ 5 with less than two minutes left and a five-point lead and walked off the field as losers. (Run a QB sneak!!)


After the madness of Week 5, let’s turn our attention to Week 6.


Games to consider:


New England Patriots (-7) over Denver Broncos 

Bill Belichick off a loss with a whole bunch of extra time to prepare? Those are some intriguing angles to play, but too much uncertainty for me to fire on this one. Drew Lock will likely be back, giving the Broncos at least an able-bodied quarterback. Cam Newton has not been cleared yet, and without practicing for about two weeks due to COVID-19, what will his condition be if he plays? Not a bad pick, but let’s look for something a little safer.


Miami Dolphins (-8) over New York Jets

For all the time we spend discussing ticket counts, line movement and sharp action, the best bet in football thus far has been whomever the Jets are playing. This is a sneaky good opportunity to use a Dolphins squad that is improving but is still a team you’re not excited to back in this contest. After all, how much can you really trust Ryan Fitzpatrick? It’s a division game, and one of only a few chances for the Jets to actually win (could they go 0-16?). A worthy choice, but I’ll tentatively pass.


The Pick: Indianapolis Colts (-8.5) over Cincinnati Bengals

Philip Rivers’ arm strength, the bloated contract he was given and the notion that backup Jacoby Brissett gives this team a better chance to win are fair questions. The solution, at least for this week, comes to town in the form of the Cincinnati Bengals. Rookie Joe Burrow is accompanied by some playmakers who make this team fun to watch and give the Bengals a promising future. But “future” is the operative word. The Bengals are a mess on both sides of the ball, can’t protect Burrow and will get mauled by a physical Indy front that will be in a nasty mood coming off a thorough beating by the Browns. Bank on the Colts to bounce back in a big way.


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Betting Splits: Percentage of handle & tickets from DraftKings for every game on the board, updated every 10 minutes. GO HERE.

NFL Power Ratings3 sets of numbers from Steve MakinenGO HERE.

CFB Power Ratings3 sets of numbers from Steve MakinenGO HERE.

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VSiN PrimeTime: Always check to see if a moneyline parlay offers better odds than a teaser. View more tips

Live Bet Tonight: In games with favorites laying 3 points or fewer, check out laying the price on the moneyline and avoid losing by a few points. View more tips


Matt Youmans: Washington +6 vs Texas. View more picks

Paul Stone: Florida State -7 vs Oklahoma. View more pick


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