Survivor pools have become one of the most popular gambling options for NFL fans in recent years. Big brands like DraftKings and Circa are among those offering monster prizes in 2021. Each week, TheLines will run through some of the best survivor options to help you win your pool. Read on for NFL survivor Week 2 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.
NFL Survivor Week 2: The Obvious Chalk
In Week 2 of the NFL season, three teams stand out clearly above the rest in terms of win probability: the Packers, Browns and Bucs. All have greater than 80% win probability according to the market, and all make for fine selections if future value and public pick percentage isn’t a concern.
Of course, those are critical factors in survivor, so we must factor them in.
The Bucs sport the most future value since they have the ideal combination of looking like one of the strongest teams plus having one of the easiest schedules. Furthermore, Atlanta’s passing attack under new head coach Arthur Smith did not perform as advertised in a putrid showing at home versus the Eagles. That inflated this week’s line a bit.
Factor in the future value of the Bucs with the fact that plenty of entries have used them already — they ranked an easy fourth in popularity in Circa’s massive contest — and they might be a little less popular in Week 2 than they deserve.
Cleveland and Green Bay represent interesting cases because both lost in Week 1. In particular, Green Bay performed very poorly in a neutral-site whitewash at the hands of New Orleans. How will that balance in people’s minds against the fact they aren’t expected to be huge favorites often if at all the rest of the season?
Less Popular But Still Strong Favorites
Seattle utilized a balanced offense that performed effectively both on the ground and through the air against Indianapolis. QB Russell Wilson was incredibly efficient in averaging 9.3 yards per dropback. A Titans defense that offered no resistance against the Cardinals looks like easy pickings.
However, Seattle also appears the strongest of this bunch. They figure to present the most value down the line.
The other two teams surprised a bit more with their Week 1 play. Denver was favored small but drubbed the Giants while the Steelers pulled off a road upset over presumptive Super Bowl contender Buffalo.
Denver has the most inept Week 2 opponent, but they must hit the road to play the hapless Jaguars. Just how bad is Jacksonville? Like we noted with the Jets last week, fading this team early seems prudent as QB Trevor Lawrence figures to improve rapidly as he adjusts to the NFL.
Two Sneaky, Contrarian Options for NFL Survivor Week 2
The Patriots actually have about the same implied win probability as the Steelers, a very nice 69%. Note that DK Sportsbook seems the highest on their chances though, compared to their competitors.
However, they have a couple of things working against them: they play a divisional opponent and they play on the road. Those two things tend to increase the likelihood of an upset.
On the plus side, the Pats offer few chances for a survivor play down the road. Only home against these same Jets in Week 7 and home against Jacksonville in Week 17 look good unless you want to roll the dice on the road at Houston in Week 5.
Probably the sneakiest play relative to your competitors here is going to be the LA Rams. Short-ish road favorites should usually make you very nervous. So why should we look at the Rams?
Two factors make them an attractive play. First, a large chunk of the contests burned through them in Week 1 against the Bears. Fair play to them, the Rams rolled pretty easily. Those who did not click Rams likely have them earmarked for use versus Detroit or Jacksonville or at Houston. Hardly anyone will play Rams this week.
The concern: a run defense that invited David Montgomery to run 16 times for 108 yards. Giving Jonathan Taylor those sorts of lanes is asking for a lot more trouble since he boasts more breakaway speed.