Turns out, we aren’t very good at this whole Survivor Pool thing. Sure, we stayed alive last week with the Patriots, who won (but failed to cover) as 10.5-point home favorites against the New York Jets.
But it was lucky. Incredibly lucky. And we’ve used plenty of luck to get to this point.
The Patriots took a halftime lead, did their best to blow it, went to overtime and then escaped with a 29-26 victory. That makes us 7-for-7 in this little experiment.
Before going any further, here’s the song of the week.
Now that that’s out of the way, let’s move on.
USING POINT SPREAD PROJECTIONS TO HELP WITH SURVIVOR POOLS
All we’re doing is using Cantor Gaming’s point spreads for every regular-season game, tweaking them based on year-to-date performance after every week to come up with new projected point spreads, and then attempting to have at least a touchdown favorite each week while choosing the most optimal route through the season.
Week 1 pick: Lions over Rams (win, but barely)
Week 2 pick: Bengals over Browns (win)
Week 3 pick: Bears over Rams (win)
Week 4 pick: Ravens over Browns (win)
Week 5 pick: Giants over Browns (win)
Week 6 pick: Falcons over Raiders (win, but barely)
Week 7 pick: Patriots over Jets (win, but lucky)
In Week 8, there are only three strong options, but two of them (Patriots and Bears) aren’t even available to us. We took the Patriots last week and used the Bears all the way back in Week 3 against the Rams. So, this week’s pick is a no-brainer.
We’re going with the Green Bay Packers, a 14.5-point home favorite over the Jaguars. While it will no doubt be a popular choice, remember that the original purpose of our strategy was simple: Select at least a touchdown favorite every week for as long as possible. The Packers give us that opportunity.
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Below, you’ll find the updated week-by-week list of every team projected to be favored by at least a touchdown (or, later in the season, 6 points). As with any Survivor Pool Strategy Guide, the same disclaimer still applies.
Disclaimer: Survivor pools are wildly random, and upsets happen all the time in the NFL. That’s what makes them so fun. The following is merely an attempt to most optimally plan for survivor pools, NOT a foolproof strategy by any means.
A few notes:
- The bolded games are the selections for each particular week.
- Games in red represent a change from the most recent edition of this strategy guide.
- In weeks where more than one game is bolded, both teams are an option, but the one with the asterisk is the most optimal.
- Notice that we saved some of the worst teams on the list (Seahawks, Chargers, Steelers, etc.) for the final few weeks. If you’re still alive by then, you won’t have the greatest teams to choose from, but at least those teams are projected to be significant favorites.
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Already used: Lions, Bengals, Bears, Ravens, Giants, Falcons, Patriots.
WEEK 8 (3)
Packers -14.5 vs. Jaguars
Patriots -7 vs. Rams (in London)
Bears -7.5 vs. Panthers
WEEK 9 (3)
Packers -8 vs. Cardinals
Texans -11 vs. Bills
Chargers -7 vs. Chiefs
WEEK 10 (4)
Patriots -11 vs. Bills
Steelers -8.5 vs. Chiefs
Ravens -8 vs. Raiders
49ers -9.5 vs. Rams
WEEK 11 (4)
Cowboys -8 vs. Browns
Patriots -10 vs. Colts
Texans -14 vs. Jaguars
Falcons -9 vs. Cardinals
WEEK 12 (3)
Eagles -7 vs. Panthers
Patriots -7 at Jets
Bears -6.5 vs. Vikings
WEEK 13 (4)
Broncos -7 vs. Buccaneers
Falcons -7 vs. Saints
Packers -7.5 vs. Vikings
Texans -9 at Titans
WEEK 14 (3)
49ers -9 vs. Dolphins
Packers -7.5 vs. Lions
Seahawks -6.5 vs. Cardinals
WEEK 15 (3)
Saints -7 vs. Buccaneers
Texans -11.5 vs. Colts
Chargers -6 vs. Panthers
WEEK 16 (6)
Packers -13.5 vs. Titans
Steelers -6 vs. Bengals
Patriots -8 at Jaguars
Texans -10 vs. Vikings
Broncos -8 vs. Browns
Eagles -7 vs. Redskins
WEEK 17 (WHO CARES)
If you’re still alive by this week, and you haven’t won your Survivor Pool, well, let’s cross that bridge when we come to it.