Week 3 Survivor Pool Projections, Picks & Strategy: Pass on the Colts to Gain Leverage

Week 3 Survivor Pool Projections, Picks & Strategy: Pass on the Colts to Gain Leverage article feature image
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Andy Lyons/Getty Images. Pictured: Jonathan Taylor

  • A huge percentage of survivor pool entries will be on the Colts in Week 3, as they're a huge favorite against the Jets.
  • But you'll lose some leverage against the field because nearly half of entries are expected to be on Indy.
  • Get Travis Reed's full breakdown for Week 3 survivor pools below.

Week 2 of the NFL season didn’t feature any upsets like Week 1.  Unless you forgot to make a pick or clicked on the wrong team, you likely made it through to Week 3 of your survivor pool.

There’s a lot of strategy to discuss for this week, so I’ll spare you a long introduction.

Here are the projected win percentages for the rest of the season:

The elephant in the room this week is the Indianapolis Colts. They are the biggest favorite on the board, and with good reason — they’re at home against the Jets. The Jets, to put it into analytical terms, suck. So, of course, everyone is going to gravitate toward Indianapolis this week.

Let’s take a look at the pick percentages for Week 3, and I’ll show you why I think the Colts are a bad pick this week.

Team Pick % Model EV
Colts 47.3% 78.1% 0.98
Patriots 1.3% 73.8% 1.24
Steelers 1.3% 71.6% 1.19
Buccaneers 9.7% 67.1% 1.04
Chargers 5.9% 66.8% 1.06
Cardinals 10.2% 65.1% 1.00
Browns 5.8% 64.7% 1.03
Saints 0.1% 64.4% 1.07
Eagles 6.3% 64.0% 1.02

Roughly half of all remaining entries are taking the Colts this week. And despite what we think of the Jets, they have roughly a 20% chance to win this week whether you want to use my model or the current market.

That means there’s roughly a one-in-five shot that half the field is eliminated this week due to one game. Doesn’t that sound like a situation you want to be in? By avoiding the popular pick this week, we can gain an advantage on the field.

The tricky part is deciding which one to go with.


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Those of you that have been reading along all season know I used the Patriots in Week 1. If you didn’t, I think they are the best play in a vacuum this week but I can also understand saving them, as they get to play the Jets twice.

The same situation applies to the Steelers, who my model absolutely loves. It thinks they should be closer to 6.5-point favorites this week, but they also have seven remaining games on the schedule in which they are projected to have a 60% chance or higher of winning.

My Pick: Los Angeles Chargers over Carolina Panthers

I will admit this is not the prettiest pick on the board. A rookie quarterback making his second start isn’t the situation you draw up going into the week, but it’s where I landed.

The Chargers have very little future value — only one game is projected to be easier — so I have no problem using them early, and it’s why I prefer them over other teams in the same range of win probability.

If you have multiple entries, I definitely like using New England and Pittsburgh. If I had five entries, I would likely use two on the Chargers, two on the Patriots, and one on the Steelers.

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