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Optimal NFL football knockout, survivor pool picks, strategy, advice for Week 3, 2021

CBS Sports logo CBS Sports 9/26/2021 CBS Sports Staff
a close up of a person wearing a helmet: Dec 6, 2020; Kansas City, Missouri, USA; Kansas City Chiefs tight end Travis Kelce (87) gestures before the game against the Denver Broncos at Arrowhead Stadium.  © Provided by CBS Sports

Dec 6, 2020; Kansas City, Missouri, USA; Kansas City Chiefs tight end Travis Kelce (87) gestures before the game against the Denver Broncos at Arrowhead Stadium. 

The Baltimore Ravens are among the top-scoring teams after two weeks of the 2021 NFL schedule, ranking fourth at 31.5 points per game. Teams have been scoring at will against the Detroit Lions, who have allowed an average of 38 points to rank 31st in the league. The Ravens will hope both teams stay true to form, as they are 7.5-point favorites against the host Lions in the latest Week 3 NFL odds from Caesars Sportsbook, and many will jump on them with their NFL survivor pool picks.

Other favorites that could attract attention for NFL knockout pool picks include the Arizona Cardinals (-7 against the Jacksonville Jaguars), Buffalo Bills (-7 against the Washington Football Team) and Denver Broncos (-10 against the New York Jets). Before making any Week 3 NFL survivor picks, see which team the red-hot SportsLine Projection Model just went all-in on.

The model, which simulates every NFL game 10,000 times, is up almost $7,800 for $100 players on top-rated NFL picks since its inception six-plus years ago. It went a sizzling 24-14 on top-rated NFL picks last season, returning more than $800. The model also enters Week 3 of the 2021 season on an incredible 122-81 run on top-rated NFL picks that dates back to the 2017 season.

The model also ranked in the Top 10 on NFLPickWatch four of the past five years on straight-up NFL picks and beat more than 94 percent of CBS Sports Football Pick'em players four times during that span. Anyone who has followed it is way up.

Survivor players who have followed SportsLine's top pick have made it to Week 3 without much of a sweat. In Week 1, the model recommended the 49ers, who beat the Lions. And in Week 2, the model was all over the Packers, who pulled away for a 35-17 win over Detroit. 

Now the model has locked in on the Week 3 NFL schedule and found its top survivor pick. You can only see who it's backing this week here.

Top Week 3 NFL survivor pool predictions

For Week 3, the model is shying away from the Tampa Bay Buccaneers against the Los Angeles Rams. The Buccaneers have won 10 straight games and scored at least 30 points in their last nine, but the Rams have kept 16 of their last 17 opponents under that total. Since SoFi Stadium became its new residence, Los Angeles has allowed 23 points or fewer in each of its nine home contests.

The Rams have received strong production from receivers Cooper Kupp and Robert Woods in their last two meetings with Tampa Bay. The wideouts have combined to make 45 catches for 560 yards and a pair of touchdowns, with both players registering at least 121 yards in each game. Owners of a 20-6 record at home since the start of the 2018 season, the Rams are too dangerous for the model's projections this week.

How to make Week 3 NFL survivor pool picks

Instead, the model is backing a team that has gotten off to a strong start in 2021 and is facing an opponent that's compromised by a key injury. Picking this team not only will get you to Week 4, it also will put you in the optimal position to go deep in your NFL survivor pool. The time to pick this team is now, and you can only see the play over at SportsLine

Which surprising team is a must-back in your Week 3 survivor pool? Visit SportsLine now to see which team carries you to victory in Week 3, all from the advanced computer model that consistently crushes the NFL, and find out. 

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