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Survivor: Backing the Dolphins

Chris Liss

Chris Liss is RotoWire's Managing Editor and Host of RotoWIre Fantasy Sports Today on Sirius XM radio.

Surviving Week 7

Last week, the only notable casualty was the Texans who I would have taken had I not used them up in Week 2. I got stuck with the Chiefs who played a close game with the Raiders until the last two minutes. Likewise, the 49ers, Bears and especially the Bengals also had some shaky moments before pulling it out.

Okay, let's take a look at this week's slate:

Team Opponent %Taken Vegas ML** Vegas Odds
PACKERS Browns 44.00% 450 81.82
Chargers JAGUARS 17.70% 335 77.01
Dolphins Bills 17.20% 350 77.78
Falcons Buccaneers 8.00% 290 74.36
CHIEFS Texans 5.50% 240 70.59
Seahawks CARDINALS 1.80% 260 72.22
PANTHERS Rams 1.70% 240 70.59
GIANTS Vikings 1.20% 170 62.96
Home team in CAPS
** Average of the two moneylines

Looking at these numbers, it's between the Packers, Dolphins and Falcons. Miami at 78 percent to win and only 17 percent picked narrowly beats the Chargers on both fronts, and the other picks are too risky and don't offer a much better payout than Atlanta.

The chance of a Packers win/Dolphins loss is 18 percent. A Dolphins win/Packers loss is 14 percent. 18/14 = 1.29.

If the Dolphins win and Packers lose, though, 44 percent of your pool is gone, plus another nine from other teams losing. Assuming our hypothetical $10, 100-person pool, that's 47 people left or $21.28 in equity.

A Packers win/Dolphins loss means 17 people are gone along with another nine from other teams. In our hypothetical pool, that means 74 people are left or $13.51 in equity. The ratio of $21.28 to $13.51 = 1.58. Clearly, the Dolphins are a better pick than the Packers given the pot odds.

What about the Dolphins vs. the Falcons?

A Dolphins win/Falcons loss happens 20 percent of the time. A Falcons win/Dolphins loss happens 16 percent. That ratio is 1.25.

In our hypothetical pool the former scenario means 8 people are gone, plus 15 on other teams, so 77 left. That means the $10 grows to $13. In the latter scenario, 17 are gone, plus 15 from other teams, so 68 left. That means the $10 grows to $14.71. The ratio of $14.71 to $13 = 1.13. So the Dolphins beat the Falcons here - at least according to the Vegas odds.

My Picks

1. Miami Dolphins

I think the Bills are okay, especially against a Dolphins team that can't run and can't protect the quarterback, but at home, coming off a bye and facing a backup quarterback is about as good as it gets. I give Miami a 78 percent chance to win this game.

2. Green Bay Packers

This is the best game from a "survive this week only" standpoint as Brandon Weeden isn't good, and the Packers defense has picked it up of late. But with so many people on Green Bay, the payout if they lose is too good to pass up here. Moreover, they're down a couple receivers, and Cleveland has one of the top defenses in the league. I give Green Bay an 82 percent chance to win this game.

3. Carolina Panthers

The Panthers might have been my top choice but for two factors: (1) Their propensity to lose close games; and (2) Their poor coaching. Otherwise, they look like a good bet against the Rams who are coming off a big road win, but one that was aided by some defensive TDs and an injury to the Texans' starting quarterback. I give Carolina a 75 percent chance to win this game.

4. Atlanta Falcons

Atlanta's typically good at home, but after a loss to the Jets on national TV, all bets are off on that front. Moreover, the Falcons are missing their best player in Julio Jones, and Roddy White is unlikely to suit up either against a good defense. On the plus side, the Bucs offense has been terrible, and Mike Glennon is very much a work in progress. I give the Falcons a 74 percent chance to win this game.

5. San Diego Chargers

Jacksonville put up a fight in Denver, and if Cecil Shorts comes back (and it looks likely) the Jaguars have a top WR tandem against San Diego's weak pass defense. Plus this game is an early road game on the east coast for a west coast team. Still, the Chargers offense is probably too much for the Jaguars, even in good circumstances. I give the Chargers a 75 percent chance to win this game.

Notable Omissions:

New York Giants - I think the Giants will win here, but can you really take an 0-6 team in Survivor with decent options on the board?

Seattle Seahawks - The Seahawks drop off on the road, and the Cardinals are a good deal better at home. Plus, the Thursday night game is a wild card.

Kansas City Chiefs - The Texans aren't nearly as bad as they've played the last two weeks, and the Chiefs are decent, but not nearly as good as their record.