ESPN Eliminator Challenge Week 14: Strategy, advice and picks

Bay Flowers and the Baltimore Ravens are one of the top picks this week, if you still have them available. Kevin Reece/Icon Sportswire

If you survived Week 13, congratulations on making it this far in Eliminator Challenge. Three favorites of at least 5.5 points lost last week, tied for the most in any week this season. The Pittsburgh Steelers were the most popular selection among ESPN entrants at 33% but fell 24-10 to the Cardinals. The Kansas City Chiefs and Jacksonville Jaguars also both lost in prime time.

This week, the Dolphins and 49ers stand out as the two best choices. If the Dolphins are available to you, use them either now or next week against the Jets, with next week being preferred. The 49ers have four games left with at least an 80% chance to win, according to Mike Clay, so saving them makes a lot of sense if you can stomach the other options this week.

That leaves the Texans as the top option as the biggest remaining favorite according to ESPN BET and Mike Clay. If you have tailed this article this far, the top pick will be the Steelers, who get a slight edge over the Green Bay Packers due to remaining schedules.

Projected remaining path: Steelers-Rams-Packers-Jaguars-Eagles

Click here to download Mike Clay's Eliminator Cheat Sheet, updated weekly.

Houston Texans at New York Jets
MetLife Stadium, East Rutherford, New Jersey
Sunday 1 p.m. ET

The Texans are the second-biggest favorites this week according to Mike Clay's model, only behind the 49ers. This is their easiest remaining game all season. The Jets have the fewest offensive touchdowns through 12 games by any team since the 1993 Bengals.

No matter who plays quarterback, they will likely need more than one touchdown to beat C.J. Stroud and the Texans.

  • Odds by ESPN BET: Texans -5.5 (-270 money line)

  • Mike Clay chance to win: 82%

  • ESPN Analytics chance to win: 66%

Los Angeles Rams at Baltimore Ravens
M&T Bank Stadium, Baltimore
Sunday 1 p.m. ET

The Ravens are the third-biggest favorites according to ESPN Analytics. Their only easier game in that model will be in Week 18, which is always the hardest to predict this far in advance. There is also a chance next week against the Jaguars is viable if Trevor Lawrence is out.

The Rams are a tricky team to fade as they currently rank ninth in ESPN's model going forward, but given the Ravens' quality and remaining schedule, there may not be better opportunities to pick them.

  • Odds by ESPN BET: Ravens -7 (-340 money line)

  • Mike Clay chance to win: 74%

  • ESPN Analytics chance to win: 74%

Carolina Panthers at New Orleans Saints
Caesars Superdome, New Orleans
Sunday 1 p.m. ET

In the next two weeks, the Saints host back-to-back games against the two worst teams in the NFL according to ESPN Analytics, the Panthers and Giants. Any time those two teams go on the road, their opponents are a strong choice.

That applies to the Saints, who will be a strong pick in each of the next two weeks, even with questions around Derek Carr's status.

  • Odds by ESPN BET: Saints -4.5 (-225 money line)

  • Mike Clay chance to win: 78%

  • ESPN Analytics chance to win: 71%

New England Patriots at Pittsburgh Steelers
Acrisure Stadium, Pittsburgh
Thursday 8:15 p.m. ET

The New England Patriots have been as bad as any offense in the NFL recently, having failed to score more than seven points in three straight games.

Meanwhile, the Pittsburgh Steelers are coming off an upset loss to the Cardinals at home. The Steelers have won and covered all four games after a loss this season and have covered at a 58% rate under Mike Tomlin.

While Kenny Pickett will likely miss this game, there isn't a large drop-off to Mitch Trubisky. Plus, the Steelers are as healthy on defense as they have been all season.

  • Odds by ESPN BET: Steelers -6 (-280 money line)

  • Mike Clay chance to win: 74%

  • ESPN Analytics chance to win: 65%