A big part of NFL survivor strategy is not using the best teams early, and many players are learning that when they look at the Week 4 NFL schedule. The Ravens are fired up after a Monday Night Football loss to Kansas City and now face a reeling Washington team. William Hill lists Baltimore as a 13-point favorite in the latest NFL odds, so the Ravens would seem like a no-brainer to use for your NFL survivor pool picks. Unfortunately, for many, the Ravens are no longer an option.

The good news is there are plenty of big favorites for your NFL knockout pool picks. At William Hill, seven teams are 6.5-point favorites or better, and many are at home, including the Rams (-13 vs. Giants), Bucs (-7 vs. Chargers), 49ers (-7.5 vs. Eagles) and Packers (-7.5 vs. Falcons). Before making any Week 4 NFL survivor picks, see what NFL guru Mike Tierney has to say. 

SportsLine's all-time No. 1 NFL expert, Tierney excels both straight-up and against the spread. Anyone who has followed his NFL picks is up more than $4,000. 

Last year, Tierney went 161-94-1 on straight-up NFL picks, beating the vast majority of experts on NFLPickWatch. A renowned sportswriter who's reported from seven Super Bowls, Tierney is an authority on the survivor pool format.

In Week 1 -- when hundreds of thousands of Survivor players blew their entire season by picking the Colts, Eagles or 49ers -- Tierney rolled with the Ravens over the Browns. The result: Baltimore 38, Cleveland 6. In Week 2, Tierney advanced with the Steelers (over the Broncos), and in Week 3 he cruised with the Colts demolishing the Jets. In fact, Tierney warned readers to avoid Arizona in Week 3 and sure enough, the Cards got upset at home by a Lions team that entered on an 11-game skid.

He has studied the entire regular-season schedule, plotting out which team he plans to take each week. You can only see his optimal survivor pool strategy over at SportsLine

Top Week 4 NFL survivor pool predictions

For Week 4, Tierney is not going with the surging Buccaneers, even though they're favored by more than a touchdown against the 1-2 Chargers. The Bucs have won two in a row, and quarterback Tom Brady has returned to winning form, so a touchdown spread at home is enticing. Tierney isn't biting because he knows the Chargers are a strong team capable of pulling the upset. The Bucs also are facing injuries to receivers Chris Godwin (hamstring) and Scotty Miller (groin) as well as running back Leonard Fournette (ankle).

The Chargers are sixth in the league in total offense and eighth in defense, so they are capable on both sides of the ball. They also took the Super Bowl champion Chiefs to overtime just two weeks ago. The Bucs have Brady's mojo, but they are 25th in total offense and there are too many chances to take the Bucs in future weeks to risk it in Week 4.  

How to make Week 4 NFL survivor pool picks

There's a much better option, Tierney says. He has a confident pick on a team he says will cruise to a convincing Week 4 win. Picking this team not only will get you to Week 5, Tierney says, it 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 team is a must-back in your Week 4 survivor pool? Visit SportsLine now to see which team carries you to victory in Week 4, all from the No. 1 expert who crushes the NFL year-in and year-out, and find out.