The sledding gets tougher this week for NFL Survivor Pool entrants as the season marches on and top teams fall off the list. Week 12 presents a vast number of options, with the Ravens, Patriots, and Chargers all favored by double-digits. But lasting deep into the season isn't about just picking the biggest favorite each week. Just ask the Vikings, who were crushed by the Bills, 27-6, in Week 3 as 17-point favorites. Or ask the Saints, who gave up 48 points to Ryan Fitzpatrick and the Bucs in a Week 1 loss as 10-point favorites. Before making your NFL Week 12 Survivor Pool picks, you'll want to hear what SportsLine's Mike Tierney has to say. He's a national sportswriter who has reported from seven Super Bowls and has his finger on the pulse of the league.

Tierney excels both against the spread and straight-up. The past two seasons, he hit on nearly 65 percent of his straight-up NFL office pool picks (330-180-2), beating the vast majority of experts on NFLPickWatch.com. 

Tierney is an amazing 78-35 picking every NFL game straight-up over the last eight weeks. Now, he has studied the matchups and locked in his optimal Week 12 NFL Survivor Pool pick, in which you need to pick one team each week to win but cannot select the same team twice in a season. 

This week, we can tell you he's not going with the Ravens (-10.5) despite being sizable home favorites against the Raiders

Tierney knows the Ravens didn't miss a beat last week with quarterback Joe Flacco out with an injury hip. Rookie Lamar Jackson made his first start, throwing for 150 yards and rushing for 117 more as Baltimore snapped a three-game losing streak with a 24-21 win over Cincinnati. Rookie running back Gus Edwards added 117 yards and a score on the ground.

Jackson will once again get the nod again against Oakland, whose defense allows a whopping 142.3 yards per game on the ground, next-to-last in the NFL. 

If Oakland's defense can slow Jackson, however, the rookie was mediocre throwing the ball, which could be a major issue if the Raiders get a lead. Baltimore has allowed 25.8 points per game in its five defeats this season, so its heralded defense can be scored on. The Raiders have shown they can put up points, including a 45-42 overtime win against the Browns in Week 4. Raiders quarterback Derek Carr threw for 437 yards and four touchdowns in that one.

Instead, Tierney is revealing a confident pick that sets you up well in your pool without causing too much stress. The time to pick this team is right now, and he's sharing his play over at SportsLine. He's also naming backup teams in case you've used his optimal option. 

So which team is a must-back in your Week 12 survivor pool? Visit SportsLine now to see which team will survive and advance, all from the man who went 166-88-2 in straight-up office pool picks last season and 78-35 the last eight weeks.