Welcome to Week 3 of your Survivor Pool.  You can see our analysis here for Week 1 and Week 2.  I’ll stay true to normal survivor pool rules and not pick teams that I’ve already selected.  So I won’t be picking the Bills or Ravens in future weeks but I’ll continue to analyze all potential games going forward in case you made some different choices earlier.

Let’s start by taking a look at the grid for this week:

Again, these percentages are based on a model that I have built.  We’ll compare these percentages to the current implied percentages based on the moneylines at Pinnacle and discuss the current pick percentages at ESPN and Yahoo.  Here are this week’s options in order of highest model percentages.

Patriots – Model 80.0%  Pinnacle 86.1%  ESPN 15%  Yahoo 24%

New England is the largest favorite this week according to the model and current betting market.  The only reason to avoid New England would be to save them for future games as they have plenty of options remaining.  Yahoo has a higher percentage than ESPN currently but that could be due to the fact that ESPN allows you to make picks in advance and some picks have remained stagnant with users not paying attention.

Steelers – Model 74.1%  Pinnacle 73.8%  ESPN 14%  Yahoo 11%

Pittsburgh was a popular pick in Week 1 against the Browns and were a good option last week once the Vikings turned to Case Keenum at quarterback.  So there is a good chunk of users who no longer have the Steelers as an option which is something to keep in mind.

Packers – Model 72.0%  Pinnacle 77.3%  ESPN 23%  Yahoo 28%

We have found the popular pick this week with Green Bay hosting the Cincinnati Bengals.  The Packers are currently 8.5-point home favorites however the betting market is currently a little higher on them than the model.  A lot of that has to do with the fact that the Bengals have looked like absolute shit the first two weeks of the season and haven’t scored a touchdown yet.

Panthers – Model 65.6%  Pinnacle 68.9%  ESPN 1%  Yahoo 1%

This is the super contrarian pick of the week.  Very few are jumping on the Panthers in a home game against the Saints.  Divisional games are often tougher however that is built in to both the model and the betting line.

Colts – Model 65.1%  Pinnacle 48.6%  ESPN 6%  Yahoo 1%

I was higher on the Colts last week than the betting market and thought the Cardinals were a poor choice in survivor pools.  Once again, I think the Colts have a way better chance to win than the market however I’m still not trusting my entry on Jacoby Brissett when there might be a chance to take Indy later in the season with Andrew Luck under center.

The Pick – New England Patriots

The Patriots have more future value than any other team in the league.  That’s what makes this a difficult decision between New England and Carolina.  While it hurts to burn such a good team this early, I believe they offer the most value this week.  Green Bay is almost immediately dismissed as an option since they are the most popular pick this week and the best way to win your pool is to avoid those situations.

While I don’t like to look too far ahead because of how quickly things can change, Pittsburgh looks like a near lock to be the best play in Week 5.  Take a look at the schedule and you’ll see why.

Regardless of pool size, the Patriots offer the most value in Week 3.  We’ll count on Bill Belichick to continue the dominance against the visiting Houston Texans.  And then we’ll be on to Week 4.

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