NFL Survivor pools have become one of the most popular gambling options for fans in recent years. Nationally recognized brands post contests with millions of dollars in prizes. Sharps and newbies alike take their shots and hope to get lucky. Each week, TheLines will run through some of the best survivor options to help you win your pool. Read on for NFL Survivor Week 1 plays.
Remember that you must plan for the long term, and you must take into account the size of your pool. The larger the pool, the more contrarian a path you should plan. It’s not as simple as clicking the biggest favorite every week.
Reaching the end and splitting the pool 50 ways kills much of your expected value. Plus, avoiding the top pick of the week gives you a chance of seeing the biggest chunk of your rivals knocked out.
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Be sure to scroll to the bottom of this post as well to compare NFL Week 1 moneylines and bonus offers across sportsbooks in your state.Editor’s Note
NFL Survivor Week 1: The Obvious Chalk
Week 1 already brings an interesting dynamic to Survivor. We think we know who the bad teams we want to target are but a lot of guesswork is still involved. You can see that reflected in the betting lines. We’ll regularly see double-digit spreads later in the season, but not a single one populates the board as of Sept. 2.
Thus, even the top favorites have some amount of uncertainty-based risk baked into the implied probability.
Indianapolis molly-whopped Houston twice last season by a combined 62-3. So, if you like matchup-based priors, this is the side for you. The issue here is they look like the most popular side of the week. Plus, they have numerous large favorite spots down the road, and Matt Ryan may take some time to gain comfort with a new offense.
San Francisco has, by far, the least pick popularity among these sides. So, this would help differentiate your pick while still staying safe, according to the market. However, the 49ers have among the widest ranges of outcomes in the league while Trey Lance remains the QB. There’s a chance he falls on his face and blows up your entry.
Perhaps the most interesting of these is Baltimore. Popular? Yes, but the Ravens also get a juicy matchup against Joe Flacco and the Jets. So, you don’t have to worry about a year-two leap from Zach Wilson catching you by surprise. More importantly, though, the Ravens don’t project as favorites this large until Week 16 hosting Atlanta.
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Less Clear But Still Strong Favorites
Better to fade the Steelers early with Mitch Trubisky starting or try to prey on them later when Kenny Pickett tries to find his footing? That may be in the eye of the beholder. Cincinnati gets Atlanta and Carolina at home fairly early in the season, so most will gravitate toward those games.
Likewise, many will have Denver circled for Week 2 against Houston or Week 7 against the Jets, both at home. You can pivot off those and play them here on the Monday Night Football hammer to end the week. The Seahawks have one of the worst rosters in the NFL, but they do have a notoriously tough home field. The locals may get restless later in the season but they should bring some heat Week 1.
The Titans are way too popular relative to their market expectation. Not only do they get Houston and Jacksonville at home later in the year, but their run-first approach doesn’t match up especially well against a Giants team whose strength is on the defensive front. Read why TheLines’ Eli Hershkovich likes the Giants spread here.
New Orleans gives you some contrarian quality on a decent favorite, but divisional road games bring frequent upsets. It may also be prudent to see how Jameis Winston looks with a freshly reconstructed knee and a new coach backing him.
Two Sneaky, Contrarian Options For NFL Survivor Week 1
This section will highlight an option or two each week for those of you looking to do this the hard (but probably more profitable) way.
The case for Washington is clear. Hardly anyone will click on them, and after this week, they don’t have any especially appealing spots aside from home against Atlanta Week 12. The Jaguars should stink once again.
However, the Carson Wentz blow-up always looms, as evidenced by a Week 18 loss last season with the Colts to these same Jaguars. And perhaps no player seems more poised for a step forward than former No. 1 overall pick Trevor Lawrence, freed of Urban Meyer and finally playing for a coach with a clue.
Still, for the boldest players who expect or just desire chaos at the top of the board, Washington makes sense.
The ultra-aggressive can try Carolina. Once again, Atlanta at home (Week 10) looks like the only other spot they may be in play. For those playing in leagues where you can only pick against each team once, this one also makes some sense. You’ll want to fade Cleveland prior to the return of Deshaun Watson, but at Buffalo looks like the only clear spot to do so and that’s not until Week 11. You might have won the league by then with picks like this one.
But you can also lose it in NFL Survivor Week 1.