Survivor Clean Slate Week 13: Minnesota Malaise
As the season moves, Survivor players spread their picks wider and wider. In Week 12, more than half of the 32 teams that took the field received more than 1 percent of entries. Five of them cost their believers dearly.
No one betrayed more Splash Survivor players than the Vikings; the Bears ruined Monday night for the Twin Cities and 16.55 percent of Survivor entries.The two-point defeat is a tough pill to swallow for the playoff-hopeful Vikings and Survivor players banking on the Bears bowing like they have eight previous times this season, but it’s the harsh reality.
If you put your eggs in Minnesota’s basket, you need to know where to turn next. The same goes for if you threw your weight behind a different loser. You need to know how to best position yourself to win the $6,000 guaranteed to the winner of the Week 13 Splash NFL Survivor Sprint. You will have to get three picks right to see Week 14. It’s important that you choose wisely, even if you didn’t a week ago.
Let’s clean the slate, forget about the past and make a better tomorrow.
The Vikings were the most popular pick in Splash Survivor Week 12 contests. In return for such incredible support, the team came up short against one of the NFL’s more fledging franchises. The Bears beat the Vikings, 12-10, embarrassing both Minnesota and more than 16 percent of Splash Survivor entries in primetime.
But that wasn’t the only outcome that sunk a significant amount of Survivor entries in Week 12. The Lions lost their seventh Thanksgiving Day game in a row, waving the white flag to fellow NFC North competitor Green Bay, 29-22. That cost 9.51 percent of Survivor entries their shots at their grand prizes. The Bengals could not overcome the Steelers, 16-10, cutting 3.51 percent of entries out of their respective competitions. The 2.43 percent of entries that assumed the Patriots would gazump the Giants turned out to be wrong, and the Broncos taught the 1.85 percent of entries that staked their survival on the Browns a hard lesson to learn.
NFL Survivor is an unforgiving endeavor. If Week 12 cut you deep, I offer you my sincerest condolences.
If You Want This Week’s Biggest Favorite…
Early lines indicate the Dolphins as 9.5-point favorites in their road fight at FedExField on Sunday. It’s become a common occurrence for Miami to find itself among the biggest favorites each week as Mike McDaniel has transformed the team into the AFC East’s best, at least this far into the season.
It’s been a different story for Washington. The Commanders are 4-8 with a three-game losing streak currently credited to their name, which has included allowing a struggling Giants offense to put up 31 points two weeks ago and a 35-point pummeling via the Cowboys on Thanksgiving. In fact, the team's defense has been so woeful lately that it cost defensive coordinator Jack Del Rio his job.
Now, Washington is faced with one of the most potent offenses in the NFL. The Dolphins have made several opposing defenses look invisible in 2023, and the books have reflected that in the line. Also of note: the Commanders have performed worse at home than on the road, only achieving one victory in five tries in Landover.
If You Want This Week’s Next Biggest Favorite…
Every week, the Cowboys come up in this article. Dallas has been a major favorite for several games running, and that trend is continuing into Week 13.
The Seahawks are set to take on the Cowboys in Arlington on Thursday night, and they are 9-point underdogs in the contest. Seattle has lost three of its last four after starting the season 5-2, currently coming off of back-to-back defeats at the hands of divisional nemeses San Francisco and Los Angeles. Meanwhile, the Cowboys banished the Giants, Panthers, and Commanders to the shadow realm in each of the last three weeks, building plenty of momentum for their Week 13 challenge. The last and only time this season that an opposing defense has kept Dallas under 20 points was the 49ers on Oct. 8.
Seattle is a more formidable foe than any of the last three that Dallas has faced, but the books still view the Cowboys as one of the biggest favorites this week.
Another major favorite in Week 13 is Jacksonville. The Jags will host the Bengals this Monday night as 8-point favorites after succeeding in each of their last two times out. After starting the season 1-2, Jacksonville has come out on top in all but one of its eight outings since. Last week, the Jaguars outlasted the upstart Texans, 24-21, snapping Houston’s three-game winning streak as Trevor Lawrence threw for 364 yards and a touchdown. It was quite the turnaround from the first matchup between these AFC South counterparts - the Texans tamed the Jaguars by 20 points in Week 3.
The Bengals find themselves in a different reality. Joe Burrow won’t take the field again this season after tearing a ligament in his right wrist, and the difference his absence makes is clear. Cincinnati put up 10 points in its defeat to the Steelers last week, and the offensive fluidity that was there during the team’s four-game success streak roughly a month ago is all but gone. Jake Browning is no Joe Burrow, and even in a league as slanted toward passing as the NFL, it’s tough to pile on points when you can only muster 25 rushing yards in a game.
These teams appear to be on opposite trajectories in the final third of the regular season. The books have responded in kind.
If You Want A Value Pick…
The Colts are 2-point favorites as they head to Nashville to take on the Titans this weekend. Indianapolis has won each of its last three games and finds itself in the thick of the wildcard race in the AFC at 6-5. Even with Gardner Minshew receiving the snaps, the Colts have found ways to add to their win column.
The Titans put an end to their three-game losing streak by pouncing on the Panthers last week, but beating the only team in the NFL with one win through 12 weeks does not mean all is well. It’s been a tumultuous campaign for Tennessee fit with a quarterback change and selling at the trade deadline. The Colts’ pass rush particularly concerns me for the Titans in this one.
Tennessee suffered 10-total sacks during their recent run of defeats, a weakness Indianapolis is poised to exploit. The Colts defense has accumulated 36 sacks in all, tied for the sixth-most in the league, and it had six the last time it took the field in the team’s 27-20 victory over the Bucs in Week 12. These are not positive numbers for Nashville.
I would expect more Survivor players to place their attention on the other games mentioned in this article, among others, before Indianapolis. Per usual, there is risk involved, but the Colts could help slide you through to Week 14 while others look elsewhere for their golden geese.
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