Now that the NFL season is back underway, it’s time to select your Week 1 survivor picks! To maximize expected value and select only the highest scoring options each week, a successful survivor pool strategy requires making the most intelligent possible decisions when selecting survivor pool picks.
Baltimore seems like an attractive pick for Week 1, although their future value could decline after kickoff.
1. Dallas Cowboys
Survivor pools are also underway as the NFL season kicks off this week. To maximize your odds of success and to help maximize winning this year, I have designed a new tool that uses matchup data and betting odds analysis to analyze what I believe is the optimal survivor picks each week.
This tool considers future value, home-field advantage, and rival schedule strength to deliver customized weekly pick advice for your pool. It’s an effective way to gain an edge against the competition – and is accessible for Sporting News readers!
This week, the model suggests the Dallas Cowboys as one of the best survivor picks. While they are slight favorites against the Indianapolis Colts, their superior team defense will help secure victory. Furthermore, Dallas is an excellent pick in survivor pools featuring weekly double-picks, as two less demanding home games are scheduled.
Jacksonville Jaguars: One top survivor pick worth considering is the Jacksonville Jaguars, who are only favored by 5.5 points against Houston Texans in their divisional home opener. Though more risky than some of our other options, this team offers strong odds of victory with excellent Expected Value.
Additionally, the Jags boast an easy road schedule, which could make them an excellent selection in survivor pools with double picks weekly. Furthermore, their future value exceeds other teams safe to use right now, such as Washington or Minnesota.
Finally, the Jaguars boast lower pick popularity than some of their safer competitors this week, such as Baltimore and Kansas City, providing them with +EV potential in survivor pools if their pick popularity decreases by kickoff time.
2. New York Jets
Surviving NFL season means it’s survivor pool time! Success requires planning and smart decisions to outlast your competition and reach Week 18.
One of the best survivors’ picks this week is the Baltimore Ravens. At double-digit favorites against one of the worst teams in the league – Houston Texans – Baltimore’s win probability will make them a popular selection in survivor pools.
Do not be misled by the Ravens’ high win odds – they boast some of the worst Expected Value ratings among Week 1 picks. Expected Value (EV for short) measures the three essential elements of pick data – win probabilities, over/under, and future value. It is a critical indicator when selecting teams in survivor pools by providing insight into risk/reward tradeoffs associated with setting units.
The Jacksonville Jaguars should be on your radar if you seek a safer pick this week. While only slight favorites against the Indianapolis Colts at 5.5-point favorites, they have better future value than Washington or Minnesota and boast lower win/over/under rates than Kansas City or Baltimore.
The Commanders are often used late in the season, making them ideal candidates to use in Week 1 of Survivor Pool. On Sunday, they face off against Arizona Cardinals as heavy favorites, giving Sam Howell and company an excellent opportunity to begin with a bang. Utilizing them early allows you to save your top teams for later and benefit from an early victory!
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Week 1 offers several intriguing matchups and compelling storylines like Patrick Mahomes making his first impression as a Chief against the Lions as huge favorites against them. If Travis Kelce is out Thursday for any reason, that could dramatically shift betting market favoritism and pick popularity, potentially making them a better survivor-choose option than otherwise.
Our model ranks them as the safest picks of the week, though their value will ultimately depend on their popularity. If they reach over 30% popularity, they should be avoided as negative EV picks. Otherwise, they could prove invaluable later in the year when their win odds substantially reduce.
Similarly, the Commanders are just on the edge of being positive-EV teams and should make for an ideal mid-of-the-road pick this week against an Arizona team starting either Joshua Dobbs or Clayton Tune at quarterback. Our models show them to be one of the biggest Survivor Pool sleepers this week.
The Jaguars boast an excellent expected value (EV), as they’re double-digit favorites against an uninspiring Texans roster that ranks near the bottom in terms of talent. Their win odds fall slightly short of some safer options, but their future value surpasses Washington and Minnesota while having lower pick popularity, thus making them ideal candidates for Week 1 picks; however, they likely aren’t recommended in larger survivor pools.
4. Arizona Cardinals
The NFL season is underway, and Survivor Pools have officially kicked off. Each pool varies in its rules, prize structures, and scoring systems, so there are numerous choices when choosing your team to make survivor picks each week – some allow double picks starting later, while others may require using specific teams from each division or conference – no matter what rules apply it’s essential to consider how your choices could impact future games when picking your survivor team picks.
Risking early can be an effective strategy in Survivor Pools, but you must carefully weigh risks and rewards before selecting. This is especially important during Week 1 when popular favorites often underperform against weak teams. Our NFL projection model uses win odds and pick popularity data to calculate an Expected Value score, providing insight into expected investment return for survivor pool picks.
Baltimore is the overwhelming favorite on the NFL odds board in Week 1 and will likely be among the top choices among survivor picks. But fading the Ravens could prove fruitful if they get upset by Washington Commanders, as Jalen Hurts is an emerging talent under Sean McVay and has shown the potential to exploit their weak defense.
Arizona Cardinals are an unpredictable but worthwhile pick in Survivor Pools. Arizona fans should expect an uphill struggle this year due to an inconsistent coaching staff and rookie backup quarterback, yet our models indicate a positive Expected Value from Arizona in this matchup.
Utilizing our advanced projection model can help you win weekly Survivor Pools and lay a solid foundation for the rest of the season. Register a free SportsLine account now to see which teams our projection model recommends picking or fading this week; our predictions are powered by the same robust computer algorithm used to dominate Fantasy Football leagues – so within just a few clicks, you could be on your way to dominating your company!