Welcome to Week 2 of your Survivor Pool. Last week, we went with the Buffalo Bills to take care of the Jets which they were able to do. We’ll continue assuming that the Bills are not an option but we’ll continue to talk about each team in case you went a different direction in Week 1 (Hopefully not the Patriots).
Again, we’ve highlighted each team with at least a 65% chance of winning in green. As you can see, there are a lot of options for Week 2. Let’s go through them in order of highest win probability.
Raiders – Model 83.8% Pinnacle 88.7% ESPN 45% Yahoo 54%
Oakland is a huge home favorite against the lowly Jets and the masses have taken note. We really don’t have to delve too deep into this option because it’s almost never a good idea to go with the most popular pick. With roughly half of the field taking Oakland, they are not a good option this week.
Seahawks – Model 83.2% Pinnacle 86.4% ESPN 14% Yahoo 16%
Seattle is almost as likely to win as Oakland without all of the popularity. Some of that could do with users wanting to save Seattle for down the road which according to the grid, makes sense. The Raiders only have three games left projected to be options, while the Seahawks have eight such games.
Ravens – Model 75.8% Pinnacle 76.4% ESPN 13% Yahoo 9%
Last year, everyone loved picking against the Browns, but a 3-point loss to the Steelers last week may have some people scared that Cleveland has turned a corner into mediocrity. The Ravens have the third highest odds to win, but are somewhat under the radar, especially at Yahoo.
Buccaneers – Model 73.4% Pinnacle 73.2% ESPN 4% Yahoo 3%
After their Week 1 game was moved due to a hurricane, the Bucs are essentially coming off a bye to face the Bears at home. The Bears also impressed in Week 1, narrowly losing to the Falcons who they easily could have beat had a few dropped passes gone their way. This is the highest percentage win for a truly contrarian option at both sites.
Steeelers – Model 72.1% Pinnacle 70.9% ESPN 1% Yahoo <1%
Man, what a really good game on Monday Night Football will do for a team. Everyone is scared to go against the Vikings after Sam Bradford miraculously put up 300 yards without sustaining a major shoulder injury against the Saints. I don’t think it’s a good idea to overreact to one game, but with the Steelers projected to have a lot more options down the road (8) they don’t seem like a good option this week.
Panthers – Model 69.7% Pinnacle 72.9% ESPN 3% Yahoo 2%
Carolina took care of business on the road in Week 1 and return home to take on the Buffalo Bills in Week 2. In a week with fewer options, you could make the case for Cam & Company (trademark pending) but there are better options on the board.
Patriots – Model 67.4% Pinnacle 71.2% ESPN 2% Yahoo 1%
New England is unlikely to lose this week but there are so many other spots where they are going to be a bigger favorite throughout the season. While the Patriots likely get back on track this week, they’ll be better spots later that don’t include going on the road to the Superdome.
Cardinals – Model 52.1% Pinnacle 73.2% ESPN 8% Yahoo 11%
I did want to mention this game as well. I’ll admit the biggest weakness the model has is adjusting for injuries, and quarterbacks are the hardest to adjust for. So I don’t think that the model has a 20% edge on the Colts for Week 2. That being said, we make the Colts the 4th worst team in the NFL going into this week and that’s the number we get. The Cardinals may be getting some love just because the Colts looked so damn bad in Week 1. If Tolzien is named the starter the percentage will go up, but we’re projecting Brissett right now who has to be an improvement.
The Pick – Baltimore Ravens
This is a tricky week with so many options and two massive favorites. Again, I don’t think you can justify taking the Raiders if you actually want to gain ground on your opponents. If you are in a smaller pool, I actually think the Seahawks are the best pick, but I’m analyzing this based on a large pool where future value comes into play a little more. I’ll hold on to Seattle for future weeks and take the Ravens to get the divisional win at home.
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