NFL SURVIVOR POOL: WEEK 1 PICK FROM TOP NFL EXPERT
Mike Tierney is the No. 1 alltime NFL expert at SportsLine. Here he reveals his NFL Week 1 NFL Survivor Pool pick.
SportsLine’s all-time No. 1 NFL expert, Mike Tierney excels both straight-up and against the spread. Anyone who has followed his picks is up more than $3,700.
Last year, Tierney went 161-94-1 on straight-up picks, beating the vast majority of experts on NFLPickWatch.com. A renowned sportswriter who’s reported from seven Super Bowls, Tierney is an authority on the Survivor Pool format, which calls for picking one team to win each week but never using the same team twice.
For Week 1, we can tell you he’s not going with the Bills even though they’re hosting the lowly Jets, who are mired in turmoil and missing several key defenders. “Buffalo is drawing plenty of support in Survivor pools,” Tierney told SportsLine. “I will land on the Bills later, with plenty of appealing weeks on their soft schedule.”
There’s a much better option on a team that will come out hot, Tierney says. Using THAT team will set you up for the rest of the season. You NEED to see who he’s going with before locking in your survivor pick.
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Here’s Tierney’s Week 1 write-up for Survivor pools:
The NFL season is waiting at our doorstep, and among the gifts it brings is another survivor pool. The name is appropriate nowadays. Such activities, insignificant as they are, enable us to survive these challenging times.
If you have read this far, you likely know the pool procedure. A brief review: Pick one team each week to win straight-up. No team can be selected more than once during the season. If your choice loses, you are eliminated. If it wins, you advance to the next week. The goal is to be the last man — or woman — standing.
As usual in Week One, I am being tugged in different directions. The biggest favorites in their matchups tend to be the best teams from the previous year. It is tempting to opt for one of them because, with the usual unknowns surrounding a fresh season, the safest play is a strong carryover.
At the same time, the notion of grabbing a squad that others will ignore and hope for upsets that would thin out the field of competitors is equally alluring.
The opening-week schedule offers a boatload of decent selections, with almost half of the games carrying spreads of six or more points. (The Colts-Jaguars line was seven before temporarily coming off the board.)
I generally scratch off the Super Bowl finalists for fear of a hangover, so that eliminates the Chiefs (versus the Texans) and the 49ers (versus the Cardinals) for me. Plus, I figure the competition will gravitate toward the pair. The roster churn at New England puts me in a wait-and-see mode, so I will pass on the Patriots against Miami.
Intriguing are the Bills and the Eagles, mainly owing to recent turmoil plaguing their opponents — the Jets and the Washington Football Team.
Buffalo is drawing plenty of support in pools. I will land on it later, with plenty of appealing weeks on a soft schedule.
If you feel compelled to break away from the crowd, Philadelphia might be your team.
Mine is Baltimore. Here is why: To say that the Ravens jump out of the box quickly is an understatement. A year ago, they kicked off by steamrolling Miami 59-10. In 2018, they pulverized Buffalo 47-3. In 2017, they stuffed Cincinnati 20-0.
Those results imbue me with confidence that coach John Harbaugh will have his team primed from the get-go.
A supporting factor is Baltimore’s foe, the Browns. Cleveland’s defense already has taken some injury hits.
Safety Grant Delpit (Achilles) is done for the season. Linebacker Mack Wilson (knee) is shelved for up to six weeks. Cornerback Greedy Williams (shoulder) is iffy for the opener. Dealing with Ravens quarterback Lamar Jackson at full strength is daunting enough for a defense.
Confronting the defending Most Valuable Player with less than a full deck? Good luck with that, Browns.
The Ravens provide the most attractive possibility to survive and advance in round one of the survivor pool.