NFL Week 8 survivor picks
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With six teams laying at least a touchdown, Week 8 is bursting with survivor options.

It's safe to assume everyone still standing has picked the New England Patriots by now, but you still have up to five legitimate options to rely on to get you to Week 9.

Luckily, there's one that stands out.

Safest pick: Minnesota Vikings

Kirk Cousins welcomes his former team, the Washington Redskins, to Minneapolis this week. The Vikings are riding a three-game win streak that started when the polarizing quarterback was called out by wide receivers Adam Thielen and Stefon Diggs following an ugly loss to the Chicago Bears.

Since then, the Vikings have ripped through the New York Giants, Philadelphia Eagles, and Detroit Lions with reckless abandon. Cousins is throwing darts all over the field, Dalvin Cook continues to steamroll opponents, Diggs has rediscovered his form, and the defense remains as stingy as ever. They've scored a league-high 108 points over the last three weeks.

Minnesota has been unstoppable in its three home games this season, outscoring teams 100-46, with 19 of those points against coming in garbage time. Its defense will feast on a Washington team that has managed just three touchdowns over the last four weeks. The Redskins lost 24-3 at the New York Giants and almost lost to the Dolphins in Miami, winning 17-16 because of a botched two-point conversion.

They won't go into Minnesota and spring a shock on Mike Zimmer, one of the NFL's all-time great head coaches as a favorite. The Vikings are 40-10-1 straight up all-time under Zimmer when favored (28-5 at home), and 15-1 when laying at least six points.

Adding to the Vikings' cause is the fact that playing on a short week typically presents a big advantage to the home team. Thursday Night Football came into existence during the 2006 season, and since then, road underdogs of 10 or more points are 1-16 straight up. Ride the Vikings with confidence on Thursday, then spend your Sunday cheering for some big upsets to whittle down the field in your pool.

If you're feeling lucky: Seattle Seahawks

It didn't matter who the Atlanta Falcons were playing this week, I was going to pick against them. Their reluctance to fire Dan Quinn midseason is stunning. He's done a lot for the team, sure, and I can understand preferring to wait until the end of the season, but they don't have that luxury anymore. How can Arthur Blank watch this dross week after week, yet sit on his hands and do nothing? The players have completely quit on Quinn, and it's only going to get worse with Matt Ryan injured and Mohamed Sanu traded. It's time to evacuate the house and have it fumigated.

Of course, for survivor purposes, it helps our cause that they're playing the Seattle Seahawks this week. This is a terrific bounce-back spot for Seattle after losing to the Baltimore Ravens last week. There's no better get-right team in the NFL right now than the Falcons. Russell Wilson is 29-7 in his career following a loss, and 23-2 when favored. The Seahawks will get back to winning ways on Sunday at Mercedes-Benz Stadium.

Avoid: The rest

You probably skimmed my write-up on the Vikings and are wondering what makes them a better option than the other big Week 8 favorites, including your favorite team, which I clearly hate because I didn't pick it. Let me assure you, I don't. Here's my quick reasoning for the selections:

  • You might be tempted to pick the Pittsburgh Steelers against winless Miami. However, anyone who picked the Buffalo Bills last week probably had to wash their underwear after the scare Ryan Fitzpatrick and the Dolphins put into them. Do you really want to live through that again?
  • I'm done doubting the New Orleans Saints, and I expect them to win this week. However, Kyler Murray and the Arizona Cardinals are hot, having won three straight. Is Teddy Bridgewater really going to go perfect as a starter and then be sent back to the bench?
  • The 2019 Los Angeles Rams are volatile and already lost at home to Jameis Winston. How much different is Andy Dalton, really?
  • Can anyone else see the Detroit Lions collapsing after dropping successive divisional games? Two weeks ago they were in the thick of the division race and unlucky not to be 4-0. Now they're looking at the likelihood of another losing season and that reality might hit them hard.
  • The Patriots will win, but we both know you picked them already.

Week 8 safety rankings

Safety rankings (SR) are out of 10 based on the author's picks

AWAY HOME (SPREAD) WINNER (SR)
Washington Minnesota (-16) MIN (9.5)
Cleveland New England (-10.5) NE (9)
Seattle Atlanta (+3.5) SEA (8)
Cincinnati LA Rams (-13) LAR (8)
Arizona New Orleans (-9.5) NO (8)
Miami Pittsburgh (-14.5) PIT (7)
Oakland Houston (-6.5) HOU (7)
Denver Indianapolis (-6) IND (7)
NY Giants Detroit (-7) DET (7)
NY Jets Jacksonville (-6) JAC (3)
Carolina San Francisco (-5.5) SF (3)
Green Bay Kansas City (+4.5) GB (2)
Tampa Bay Tennessee (-2.5) TB (1)
Philadelphia Buffalo (-1.5) BUF (1)
LA Chargers Chicago (-4.5) CHI (1)

Alex Moretto is a sports betting writer for theScore. A journalism graduate from Guelph-Humber University, he has worked in sports media for over a decade. He will bet on anything from the Super Bowl to amateur soccer, is too impatient for futures, and will never trust a kicker. Find him on Twitter @alexjmoretto.

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NFL Week 8 survivor picks
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