NFL Survivor Pool Picks: Week 18 Win Probabilities Tool

Written By Mo Nuwwarah on January 9, 2022
NFL survivor week 18

Survivor pools — the few still running — have reached the final week, so TheLines will switch things up a bit. Normally, we’d run through a slew of options to help you get through Week 18 of NFL survivor.

However, that seems a little unnecessary this week as only one selection remains. There’s no more planning for the future. Just pick one more winner and you will realize at least some equity in the prize pool.

Instead, we’ll highlight a couple of under-the-radar potential pool winners for you and also briefly run through how you should approach the final week of survivor.

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NFL Survivor Week 18: How To Play For The Win

Making your Week 18 selection for NFL survivor depends heavily on a number of questions. A few key ones:

  • How many people are left in your pool?
  • Which selections do they have left?
  • What is your risk tolerance?

If you are playing strictly for dollar expected value (EV) and you don’t mind potentially busting and wasting 17 weeks of winning picks, you may be best served picking an underdog to close the season. In some situations, it might be best to pick a large underdog.

To illustrate this, look no further than Week 12 of this season. A large majority of the huge Circa survivor pool had saved the Cowboys for that week, correctly anticipating they would be the biggest favorites on the Thanksgiving Day slate. They wound up being around -320, roughly 73% implied win probability. Of the 134 remaining entries, nearly 60% selected the Cowboys as they had planned.

However, a few enterprising players — four, to be exact — went next level. Knowing more than half of the field would pick the Cowboys, they went the complete opposite direction and picked the Raiders. Yes, they selected a 27% win probability side in survivor.

Lo and behold, the Raiders prevailed, and these players gained a massive amount of equity.

Again, some players simply may be content to just get to the finish and split the pool multiple ways. If that’s your thinking, and some percentage chunk of the prize pool is meaningful to you, by all means go for a favorite you feel confident will win.

But, if you want the most dollar EV, consider an underdog that may knock out multiple opposing entries with a win.

Two Sneaky, Contrarian Options To Close The Survivor Season

Moneylines below from DraftKings Sportsbook. Pick percentages via SurvivorGrid. Note that pick percentages are not available early Tuesday and will be added to this piece at a later time.

TeamML Implied Win%Opp.Pick%
Washington Football Team-280~71%@ NYGTBD
New Orleans Saints-210~65%@ ATLTBD

Keeping everything above in mind, if you don’t want to pick an underdog against a popular favorite, but you do want to stay away from the premium sides, there are still a couple of options that can get you to the middle ground. The betting market has infrequently favored both of these teams big enough to make them clear survivor choices.

If picking Washington doesn’t excite you, fading the New York Giants should. We highlighted the opposing side in this space each of the last two weeks. It’s not often you lead a survivor article talking about how the Bears look like a top selection, but that’s how bad the Giants are playing to end the 2021 season.

What’s perhaps most striking about the Giants’ latest L is not that the Bears somehow beat them by 26 points. It’s that the team genuinely didn’t seem to care to do something to change that result. Where basically every NFL team ever will narrow the offense to pass-only when down 20+ points, the Giants somehow threw 11 passes in a game they trailed by 14 from the first quarter. They ran the ball 40 times and wound up with -10 net passing yards.

Washington has had plenty of its own struggles in recent weeks. But, they look levels above the Giants, who have reached a level of passing offense futility even teams starting fourth-string QBs can’t sniff.

Speaking of such teams, the Saints are in play as well. The Falcons have blessedly been eliminated from contention, while the Saints still have a shot to make the playoffs.

These teams find themselves in the same ballpark record-wise, but DVOA has the Falcons as a bottom-three team. The Saints look like a fine pivot from the big guns to close the season.

Good luck in NFL survivor Week 18.

Mo Nuwwarah Avatar
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Mo Nuwwarah

Mo Nuwwarah got his start in gambling early, making his first sports bet on his beloved Fab Five against the UNC Tar Heels in the 1993 NCAA tournament. He lost $5 to his dad and got back into sports betting years later during a 15-year run in the poker industry. A 2011 journalism graduate from Nebraska-Omaha, he combines those skills with his love of sports and statistics to help bettors make more informed decisions with a focus on pro football, baseball and basketball.

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