Week 1 in Survivor pools looked way more daunting than most weeks. Because most of the big favorites were road teams, there was a lot of hesitance across the opening weekend and a lot of those fears were realized. Many of them gave contestants a scare. Others gave them a nightmare. Over 56% of the Circa Survivor field was eliminated in Week 1, as four of the five most popular selections lost outright.
If you’re still alive and kicking in your pool because you had the Ravens, Saints or another team, you have to feel fortunate to be moving on because there were a lot of potential landmines and many of them went off. Take a deep breath and focus on Week 2 because there are some much more palatable options with home teams in big favorite roles.
As for me, last week’s pick was the 49ers, who wound up being forced to play in a swamp and, despite winning the box score, lost the game. So, my theoretical entry (and one of my Circa Survivor entries) is out. However, I’ll still be doing the weekly article and I’ll try to not repeat any teams as we go along.
GAMES TO CONSIDER
Los Angeles Rams (-10.5) over Atlanta Falcons
The Rams looked woeful on Thursday Night Football against the Bills. Maybe Buffalo is just going to be that elite of a team this season, but Los Angeles looked completely out of sync and Matthew Stafford looked totally out of whack. The offensive line didn’t protect well either. This is a big favorite role for the Rams, but one that was bigger (-13.5) on the lookahead lines. Atlanta’s close loss to the Saints in a game that they led by 16 early in the fourth quarter was an impressive showing from a team that many expected to be among the worst in the league. At least until they “Falconed” the ending.
Like I discussed last week, you want to have a blueprint for the season, but things can change. The Week 5 game against Dallas now looks much better for the Rams with Dak Prescott out. You can also take the Rams at home in Week 6 against Carolina. Otherwise, you’ll have to wait a while, so that’s the appeal of taking the Rams in Week 2, even though they looked very disjointed against the Bills.
San Francisco 49ers (-8.5) over Seattle Seahawks
The conditions were suboptimal in Chicago for Trey Lance’s first start as the head man in charge of the 49ers offense. However, it was the Bears that persevered through it for the win. You have to think that the 49ers are in something of a bounce back spot on Sunday against a Seattle team on a short week with one of the worst rosters in the NFL. Perhaps I should have saved San Francisco for a safer situation. Perhaps this is it.
The Seahawks are on a short week after putting their all into Russell Wilson’s return to Seattle on Monday Night Football. While the final score was close, the game really wasn’t. Denver had nearly seven yards per play and left lots of points on the field. The Seahawks defense looks as bad as advertised and Geno Smith’s offense was shut out in the second half. This isn’t a good football team at all and the 49ers are better than what we saw.
Denver Broncos (-9.5) over Houston Texans
The Broncos are also on a short week, but are coming back home as a sizable favorite against Houston. The Texans had a chance at a signature early-season win over the heavily-favored Colts, but had to settle for a tie after blowing a 20-3 lead. That Colts tie hurt a ton of Survivor players.
The Broncos had major issues inside the 10-yard-line against Seattle that made the game far closer than it should have been with two lost fumbles at the goal line and a couple of short field goals. Opinions may sour a bit on Denver, but the final score was not at all indicative of how that game went. The Broncos offense looked great and should overwhelm the Texans
Historically, Denver has been great at home early in the season. The altitude and the thin air play more of a role as teams are trying to get into midseason shape. The Broncos are 19-3 straight-up in their last 22 home openers. According to StatMuse, the Broncos are 55-12-2 SU at home in the first two weeks of the season in franchise history. As you would expect, they have a great ATS record in that span as well. I don’t know if they cover the 10, but they should certainly win the game.
Pick: Denver Broncos