NFL Survivor League Week 5 Picks: Consider Targeting Division Matchups

It might be best to roll with a middle-of-the-road team in Week 5


Oct 9, 2022

It was a better week for NFL survivor league players with three of the most popular teams earning victories, though the Green Bay Packers certainly had some fearing the worst as New England Patriots’ third-stringer Bailey Zappe took Aaron Rodgers to overtime.

Nevertheless, the Packers, who were the most popular selection in the Circa Sports Survivor Pool, earned a win. As did the Philadelphia Eagles and Los Angeles Chargers, two of the four most-popular selections though the same couldn’t be said for the Detroit Lions. All told, six more underdogs won outright in Week 4 meaning there now have been more than two dozen underdogs to win in four weeks. That indicates a feat in itself for all those NFL survivor league players still standing.

The pursuit is not over, however. And during Week 5, with six spreads of seven or more points on the betting board, we’re targeting the league’s basement regardless of whether their respective opponent is atop the NFL power rankings or a divisional rival.

Here are three teams to pick and three to avoid with betting prices according to consensus data listed on the live odds page.

Teams to pick:
(-14) Buffalo Bills vs. Pittsburgh Steelers (-903 moneyline)
If you want a chalky play, there’s none better than using the Bills in Week 5 against a rookie quarterback making his first career start. Buffalo represents the largest point spread on the betting board, and should move to 4-1 rather easily given Pittsburgh is severely lacking on the offensive line. Of course, should you look to save the Bills for down the road, they’ll have the New York Jets and New England Patriots twice each with the Chicago Bears in late December.

(-7.5) Minnesota Vikings vs. Chicago Bears (-357 moneyline)
The Vikings’ defense has a number of question marks, specifically with their secondary, but the Bears have not looked like a team capable of exposing any team through the air. Chicago ranks dead last in passing attempts, yards and passing touchdowns, hindering the group which has the second-worst offense in points and yards. This is more about picking against the Bears than it is picking for Minnesota, but with the Vikings at home, it’s should be one of their best spots this season.

(-7) Jacksonville Jaguars vs. Houston Texans (-328 moneyline)
The Jaguars are coming off a tough loss to the Eagles in Week 4, but Philadelphia and Houston are on two different ends of the NFL power rankings. Getting the winless Texans at home, while looking for a bounce-back performance, feels like one of the best spots the Jaguars will have this season — even if it is a divisional game.

Honorable mentions: (-6.5) San Francisco 49ers at Carolina Panthers (-278 moneyline); (-9) Green Bay Packers vs. New York Giants (-410)

Teams to avoid:
(-3.5) New England Patriots vs. Detroit Lions (-174 moneyline)
Rookie quarterback Bailey Zappe might be in line for his first career start with Mac Jones (ankle) and Brian Hoyer (concussion) having their statuses in doubt against the Lions. And while Detroit has the league’s worst defense in both points and yards per game, we’re not willing to roll the dice given New England’s situation under center.

(-5.5) Los Angeles Rams vs. Dallas Cowboys (-237 moneyline)
Matthew Stafford and the Rams offense has not looked like that of last year, despite continued success from Cooper Kupp. And with the Cowboys’ defense continuing to impress, we’re not willing to bet on Los Angeles, which will have better matchups down the line. Oh yeah, and how could we forget about Dallas signal-caller Cooper Rush, who not only is 4-0 as a starter, but is a perfect 4-0 against the spread, as well.

(-10) Tampa Bay Buccaneers vs. Atlanta Falcons (-475 moneyline)
It’s not often we’d recommend fading a team who has one of the largest spreads on the board, but given Tom Brady missed practice with an injury Wednesday, and the fact the Buccaneers in general are still getting back to health, we can’t help but think Tampa Bay will have other enticing matchups down the road.

Honorable mention: (-3.5) Baltimore Ravens vs. Cincinnati Bengals (-175 moneyline)

Thumbnail photo via Brad Rempel/USA TODAY Sports Images

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