NFL Survivor Pool Picks: Week 1 Win Probabilities Tool
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.
Week 1 this year features some unusual options. One wouldn’t expect to find Washington high on the list of options, for example. However, we also see some classic spots like the Ravens and Vikings at home. Week 1 always brings an interesting and unique dynamic due to the inherent uncertainties surrounding every team. We think we know who is good and bad but we can’t know for sure until they step onto the field.
Weekly survivor reminders: 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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NFL Survivor Week 1: The Obvious Chalk
Just like in 2022, the Ravens enter Week 1 as a clear top survivor play. They are by far the likeliest Week 1 winner according to the market.
Indeed, there are very good reasons to select the Ravens. Perhaps foremost among them, this is a team survivor players will want to use while Lamar Jackson remains healthy. Given how his past two seasons have gone (24 total starts), one can expect he’ll find himself banged up at the very least at some point. A healthy Jackson — not to mention a presumably healthy receiving corps, also not a given — should have little trouble against an improving but still mediocre Houston defense.
At the same time, with the Ravens taking up about a third of the pick equity, that makes for a good enough reason to stay away as well. Not to mention home games against Indianapolis (Week 3) and LA Rams (Week 4) loom down the road, meaning more games with short Ravens odds to pick for survivor.
And that brings us to Washington. The major draw for Washington, naturally, surrounds their later-season usage. They are not currently projected as meaningful favorites (more than -2.5) for the rest of the season. Arizona looks like an incredibly awful team, and fading them as often as possible until and unless Kyler Murray returns should prove fruitful.
Of course, at the end of the day, staking one’s survivor season on Sam Howell brings its own obvious dangers.
- Best NFL survivor pools for 2023
Less Clear But Still Strong Favorites
A few weeks ago, the Chiefs would have belonged in the above tier. However, a combination of some market sentiment behind Detroit plus the newly announced Travis Kelce injury has pushed this line toward the Lions. With two key pieces of the roster potentially out and easier home games down the line, using the Chiefs now looks foolish.
The opposite situation exists in Seattle. Fading the Rams, a team with a market win total of , can never be the worst pick in the world. But with Cooper Kupp almost certainly sitting out Week 1, the time seems more ripe than ever. With few picking the Seahawks here, they make a ton of sense unless you’re dead set on using them at home against Arizona in Week 7.
Still, fading divisional underdogs can be a dicey proposition. Look no further than last year’s Texans victory in Week 1, wiping out a huge chunk of survivor entries immediately. That strike obviously counts against the Jaguars and Broncos as well, particularly the former playing on the road.
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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.
Market sentiment has clearly been behind Atlanta this offseason, with sharp groups on the record expecting a big season out of the Dirty Birds. They get a pretty friendly start to the season, catching a rebuilding Carolina club before new QB Bryce Young finds his sea legs.
If you’re a believer in the Falcons — I’m on the record the other way — using them now makes some sense. Note that they do get Houston and Washington at home back to back starting Week 5, though.
Taking a team in a coin flip this early, like the Bears, probably only makes sense in leagues that offer early rebuys. They have other closely lined home games down the line, but if you want to be ultra-aggressive and hope for early chaos, perhaps Chicago finds its way onto your card somewhere.
Good luck in NFL Survivor Week 1.