Survivor: Week 14 Strategy & Picks

Survivor: Week 14 Strategy & Picks

This article is part of our Survivor series.

A lot of the favorites won last week, including all of our picks, which made it a (mostly) clean Survivor week — though the Seahawks, Ravens and Buccaneers gave a scare. You have to go down to the 12th-most popular team, the Falcons, to find a Survivor loser. 

In my pool, 10 of the 11 remaining entries advanced, the lone loss coming with the Saints. (Not sure why that one took the underdog Saints against the Buccaneers on the road, but, hey, it almost worked.) Of the original 410 in the pool, 10 remain. 

On to Week 14. 

As usual, you are encouraged to read here and here for the methodology behind this Survivor strategy.

Ownership percentages below come from Officefootballpools.com. The Vegas Moneyline is the average of the matchup's two moneylines. Vegas odds are the percentage chance a team has at winning. Expected Loss is a team's percent-taken multiplied by its chance of losing. Home teams in CAPS

TEAMOPPONENT%TAKENVEGAS MLVEGAS ODDSEXPECTED LOSS
BENGALSBrowns16.8%216.568.4%5.31
SEAHAWKSPanthers16.2%17263.2%5.96
RaidersRAMS16.2%22569.2%4.98
COWBOYSTexans15.1%1283.592.8%1.09
TITANSJaguars11.9%16662.4%4.47
BILLSJets11.8%397.579.9%2.37
ChiefsBRONCOS5.7%39479.8%1.15
EaglesGIANTS1.7%271.573.1%0.46
STEELERSRavens1.5%14258.7%0.62
49ERSBuccaneers0.8%16662.4%0.30
LIONSVikings0.5%12455.4%0.22
DolphinsCHARGERS0.4%16061.5%0.15
VikingsLIONS0.4%12455.4%0.18
CARDINALSPatriots0.4%

A lot of the favorites won last week, including all of our picks, which made it a (mostly) clean Survivor week — though the Seahawks, Ravens and Buccaneers gave a scare. You have to go down to the 12th-most popular team, the Falcons, to find a Survivor loser. 

In my pool, 10 of the 11 remaining entries advanced, the lone loss coming with the Saints. (Not sure why that one took the underdog Saints against the Buccaneers on the road, but, hey, it almost worked.) Of the original 410 in the pool, 10 remain. 

On to Week 14. 

As usual, you are encouraged to read here and here for the methodology behind this Survivor strategy.

Ownership percentages below come from Officefootballpools.com. The Vegas Moneyline is the average of the matchup's two moneylines. Vegas odds are the percentage chance a team has at winning. Expected Loss is a team's percent-taken multiplied by its chance of losing. Home teams in CAPS

TEAMOPPONENT%TAKENVEGAS MLVEGAS ODDSEXPECTED LOSS
BENGALSBrowns16.8%216.568.4%5.31
SEAHAWKSPanthers16.2%17263.2%5.96
RaidersRAMS16.2%22569.2%4.98
COWBOYSTexans15.1%1283.592.8%1.09
TITANSJaguars11.9%16662.4%4.47
BILLSJets11.8%397.579.9%2.37
ChiefsBRONCOS5.7%39479.8%1.15
EaglesGIANTS1.7%271.573.1%0.46
STEELERSRavens1.5%14258.7%0.62
49ERSBuccaneers0.8%16662.4%0.30
LIONSVikings0.5%12455.4%0.22
DolphinsCHARGERS0.4%16061.5%0.15
VikingsLIONS0.4%12455.4%0.18
CARDINALSPatriots0.4%11052.4%0.19
PatriotsCARDINALS0.3%11052.4%0.14

The picks are spread out as much as any week this season. Essentially, there's no Survivor favorite. That's a function of most Survivors having already used this week's top Vegas favorites — the Cowboys, Bills, Chiefs and Eagles. Most pools probably reflect something similar, and a pot-odds play is not in the cards. 

If you've run through that quartet, there are still good options — despite six(!) teams on bye this week. Among the remaining teams, the Bengals, Raiders and Titans stand out. Picks below are in order of preference. If none of the teams below are available, we can discuss your options in the comments. 

MY PICKS

Dallas Cowboys

Houston has lost by at least a touchdown in each of its last seven games, including five by double digits. The Cowboys have won their last three by a combined 122-42. This might be the biggest mismatch of the season. Indeed, it's one of the biggest spreads ever — the Cowboys are -1667 on the moneyline and 17-point favorites. Alas, the Cowboys likely are unavailable to most survivors, as they were the most popular team Week 8 and our top pick last week.

Kansas City Chiefs

This is every bit the mismatch of Texans-Cowboys, except the Chiefs are on the road. Not that that should matter. The Broncos have scored 14 offensive touchdowns this season. The Chiefs have scored 14 offensive touchdowns in their last five games. If the Chiefs are available, go for it. 

Cincinnati Bengals

The Bengals have won their last four and eight of their last 10. One of the losses in that span was to the Browns at Cleveland. Here comes payback. The Browns needed return touchdowns off a punt, fumble and interception to get by Houston last week. Deshaun Watson likely will be better after a rough debut, but not enough to get by the Bengals. Cincinnati is the most popular pick this week, largely because the other top favorites are not available. But the Bengals are a solid pick in their own right.

Philadelphia Eagles

The Giants' feel-good story isn't feeling so swell these days with one win in their last five games (1-3-1), a lone victory against the Texans. The Eagles are not only cruising, but they're doing it on the ground and through the air. Two weeks ago, they steamrolled the Packers for 363 rushing yards. Last week, they dominated the Titans with 384 passing yards. The last two weeks, they've totaled 951 yards and 75 points. How do the Giants keep up with that? The Eagles have not been the top pick on Officefootballpools.com this season (perhaps surprising considering they're 11-1), but they were our top pick in Weeks 4 and 9.

Las Vegas Raiders

Although the Raiders have won three in a row, this is pretty much just a bet against the Rams. Los Angeles is so starved for talent, it took a flyer Baker Mayfield this week. Aaron Donald is expected to be out again, as well. What's more, while the Raiders are on the road, they still have plenty of fans in L.A. who likely will give them a home-field advantage. 

Tennessee Titans

The Titans have lost consecutive games to the Bengals and Eagles. They also have losses to the Bills and Chiefs. (Their fifth loss was to the Giants in Week 1.) That might be a bad omen for the playoffs, but the Jaguars aren't a playoff-caliber team. Derrick Henry should get it going at home against a mediocre Jags run defense after being stifled the last couple weeks. 

Buffalo Bills

The Jets squeaked by the Bills at the Meadowlands in Week 9. Now it's the Bills' turn to return the favor in Buffalo. I'd take the points (+9), but straight up it's Buffalo.

Notable Omissions:

Seattle Seahawks

On the surface, this looks like another mismatch. It should be — the Panthers are 0-5 on the road this year and have to make their longest trip of the season to Seattle. But the Seahawks haven't looked good in a month. It took a last-minute drive against the woeful Rams last week to snap a two-game losing streak. They've given up 615 rushing yards since Week 10, fourth most in the league despite playing only three games. The Panthers' last time out, they ran for 185 yards in a win against the Broncos. Carolina, which has won two of its last three, is rested after a bye last week, and Seattle could be without Kenneth Walker. The Seahawks probably win, but I don't like it for Survivor. 

San Francisco 49ers

Nearly everything favors the 49ers in this matchup against the visiting Buccaneers. San Francisco's defense is the league's top-rated, and offensively the 49ers have too many weapons to track. The one advantage for Tampa Bay? Tom Brady vs. Brock Purdy. That's enough to make me steer clear of this in Survivor. 

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Jason Thornbury
Thornbury is a senior editor at RotoWire. A former newspaper reporter and editor, he has also worked in sports television and radio, including co-hosting RotoWire Fantasy Sports Today on Sirius XM.
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