NFL Week 3 Survivor Picks: Money Mahomes Pays Out at Arrowhead

Survivor pools are back with the NFL season, and Covers' Jason Logan is piloting us through the biggest pool in Vegas with Circa Sports. Get his Week 3 survivor picks as we break down our NFL survivor pool strategy.

Sep 23, 2021 • 14:07 ET • 4 min read
Patrick Mahomes Kansas City Chiefs NFL
Photo By - USA TODAY Sports

Baby we can talk all night, but that ain’t getting us nowhere. I told you everything I possibly can. There's nothing left inside of here.


That was the tune for my NFL survivor pick strategy last week, which was spot on with Tampa Bay as my safe survivor pick and New Orleans as my team to avoid. But my featured pick on Pittsburgh came out looking like two-day-old meatloaf and not the improbable rock god who gave us the above poetry.

Here are my Week 3 survivor pool picks – take ’em or leave ’em.

My pick: Kansas City Chiefs 

I was leaning toward the Titans with this selection, but I don’t feel good burning up a team that still has two matchups against both the Jaguars and Texans. So that leads us to Kansas City.

The Chiefs are installed as -300 moneyline favorites hosting the rival Chargers in Week 3, panning out to an implied win probability of 75 percent. 

This is a tough game to stick since I actually have a bet on Bolts +7, but when measuring that probability of victory against the pick popularity for Week 3, KC jumps out like a sore thumb with only 1.6 percent of survivor poolies backing Patrick Mahomes & Co.

More pool players are leaning to Denver, Carolina, Arizona, Baltimore, and Buffalo. Even Las Vegas and Tennessee are drawing more Week 2 survivor pool picks, despite having a lower win probably than Kansas City. 

The Chiefs are coming off a Sunday night loss at Baltimore and since Mahomes became QB1 in 2018, Kansas City is 7-2 SU coming off a defeat including 3-1 SU coming off a loss when playing inside Arrowhead Stadium.

Will this pick stay survivor pool poison? We’ll see whose lyrics I use to explain that result next week.

Safest pick: Denver Broncos 

The Broncos not only have the math to back them up hosting the Jets in Week 3 – boasting an implied win probability of 85.71 percent – but they also have history on their side. Since 2000, Denver is 18-3 SU in home openers and plays its first game of 2021 in front of the Mile High faithful this Sunday.

That trend has some traction due to a strong narrative: opponents aren’t in full game shape early into the schedule and must climb the mountain and play in the thin air of Empower Field, giving the advantage to the home side which has been training and practicing in high altitude for a while.

Plus, the Jets are dog shit. New York was smashed 25-6 by the Patriots at home last weekend, with Bill Belichick feasting on four interceptions from rookie QB Zach Wilson. Now, Gang Green hits the road to play another stingy stop unit – albeit missing some key players – and an offense that is just as draining, holding an average TOP of 37 minutes through two weeks. 

I’m tired just writing about it.

Here’s a look at the Top 5 favorites, in terms of moneyline odds and implied probability, for Week 3:

Team Moneyline odds Implied probability
Denver -600 85.71%
Carolina -425 80.95%
Baltimore -400 80.00%
Arizona -370 78.72%
Buffalo -360 78.26%

Odds above current at time of publish. Check live NFL moneyline odds and use our odds converter to convert any line to implied probability. 

Team to avoid: Las Vegas Raiders

Regression is coming. The Raiders have lit up the boxscore with a pile of passing yards in wins over Baltimore and Pittsburgh but take on a dangerous Dolphins defense in Week 3. Miami has made a name for itself by creating chaos, leading the league in takeaways last season and sitting with four so far in 2021.

The Fins may be without Tua Tagovailoa but the gap between him and backup Jacoby Brissett isn’t as big as you’d think. Las Vegas is also ripe for a letdown spot after picking up a rare win in Pittsburgh last week and could also fall into a lookahead trap, with a huge divisional game on Monday Night Football in L.A. in Week 4.

The Raiders have an implied probability of 67.74 percent in this home game (ninth-highest in Week 3) but are among the more popular picks for Week 3 survivor pools, garnering 4.9 percent of selections (sixth-highest). There are better – and safer – selections available.

2021 survivor pool pick results

Week Survivor Pick Result Safe Pick Result
1 Minnesota LOSS L.A. Rams WIN
2 Pittsburgh LOSS Tampa Bay WIN
3 Kansas City TBD Denver TBD

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