NFL Survivor Pool Best Bets: Week 5

With everybody and their brother picking Baltimore, and our equity-maximizing pick of Houston also winning, most are still around for another week. So who's next?

I’m A Survivor: Maximize Your Winnings Week 5

Most people, when picking for their eliminator pool, just pick the team with the best chance to win that week. The best way to maximize your chances of winning, however, is to make a decision based on what teams other people are picking. If 75% of the population is picking the top game, you stand to gain from picking the second best option. That way, even though both teams are likely to win, if the top team is upset (see: Patriots, Week 2), 75% of the pool has been eliminated and you are still standing. Using every possible combination of game outcomes for the week (65,000+), we tell you who maximizes your potential gains.

Everybody wins!

In what has been a crazy year so far for survivor pools, last week was finally a return to normalcy. Baltimore was a heavy favorite picked by 60+% of the population, and we had Houston as the equity-maximizing pick. Both teams won, as did most favorites aside from the Lions. If you are still alive in your pool or if you’re in a pool with multiple strikes, keep on reading. If you’re like most of America and have been eliminated already, feel free to buy another round on your winnings from numberFire's Premium Product.

Week 5's Top Picks

New York Giants over Cleveland (80.2% Win Probability)
Despite the tough loss to the Eagles on Sunday Night, the Giants have a cakewalk of a matchup against Cleveland at home in Week 5. If you are not confident picking the former Super Bowl Champions this week, you won’t ever be.

San Francisco over Buffalo (72.7% Win Probability)
The Niners bounced back from their Week 3 debacle against Minnesota to trounce the Revis-less Jets. Patrick Willis leads the league’s No. 6 ranked opponent-adjusted defense and Alex Smith has the pleasure of facing the league’s sixth-worst opponent-adjusted defense.

Minnesota over Tennessee (70.25% Win Probability)
Don’t look now but Minnesota is 3-1 after wins against back-to-back 2011 playoff teams, the Niners and Lions. The Vikings have succeeded by protecting the ball on offense and shutting down the run on defense where they own the No. 3 opponent-adjusted run-stopping unit. The Titans, on the other hand, have the third-worst defense in the league, having allowed 58 more points than a league-average team would have if put in similar situations.

This week’s most picked teams:
1. New York Giants over Cleveland Browns (37.9%)
2. Green Bay Packers over Indianapolis Colts (20.7%)
3. San Francisco 49ers over Buffalo Bills (9.0%)

Who to pick:
Minnesota Vikings (69.9% adjusted win odds)
I’m still hesitant to believe the Vikings’ success so far; as a result, I’m leaning toward the Niners.

Full Adjusted Win Odds (Based on population picks)

This Week Adjusted Win Odds
Minnesota 69.9%
San Francisco 68.7%
Cincinnati 67.8%
Houston 67.0%
Atlanta 65.4%
New York Giants* 65.2%
New England 65.1%
Baltimore 61.3%
Pittsburgh 61.0%
Green Bay 59.9%
New Orleans 54.8%
Carolina 52.2%
St. Louis 51.9%
Jacksonville 51.6%
Chicago 48.4%
Arizona 48.1%
Seattle 47.8%
San Diego 45.2%
Indianapolis 40.1%
Philadelphia 39.0%
Kansas City 38.7%
Denver 34.9%
Cleveland 34.8%
Washington 34.6%
New York Jets 33.0%
Miami 32.2%
Buffalo 31.3%
Tennessee 30.1%

*Despite being the heaviest favorite this week, the Giants are still a fairly good option, only 4.7% adjusted win odds below the top pick.