NFL Survivor Pools Take More Hits in Week 2: Browns, Bengals Fall as Big Favorites

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The Browns' collapse against the Jets eliminated large numbers of NFL survivor contestants in Week 2. (AP Photo/David Richard)

Week 2 of the NFL season delivered more upsets, further trimming NFL survivor contest fields across the country.

Circa Sports’ Survivor contest lost over half of its field in Week 1 and saw another 358 contestants eliminated in Week 2. Heading into Week 3, only 2,055 of 6,133 (33.5%) remain in contention.

The Browns were among the biggest culprits Sunday, falling to the Jets at home. Defeats by the Bengals, Raiders, Colts, Ravens, Steelers, Panthers, and Commanders added to the Week 2 casualties.

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Yahoo’s survivor contest was hit hard as well, thanks primarily to the losses suffered by Cleveland and Cincinnati. Thirty-four percent of contestants selected Ohio’s teams in Week 2. Given the odds, the Browns and Bengals certainly seemed like smart picks.

These results serve as our weekly reminder that there’s no such thing as an “easy” win in the NFL.

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NFL Survivor Pools: Week 2 Lessons & Takeaways

The biggest lesson through the first two weeks of the season may simply be that nothing is guaranteed in the NFL. It doesn’t get more cliché than that, but some lessons aren’t complicated.

Digging deeper, there are a couple of things NFL fans and survivor contestants can keep in mind as they shape and sharpen their approach.

Injuries Matter

Credit to survivor contestants who resisted the trap of the Colts in Week 2. On the surface, a Colts-Jaguars matchup appeared friendly. Even on the road, the Colts moneyline closed -170 at PointsBet Sportsbook. Those odds imply a 63% chance of winning for the Colts.

Not only were the Colts playing in Jacksonville, where they are now 0-5 under Frank Reich, but they were dealing with a number of key injuries. Among the wounded were top wide receivers Michael Pittman Jr. and Alec Pierce, and stud linebacker Shaquille Leonard. The line shrunk throughout the week as the injury news around Indianapolis crystallized.

Hindsight is 20/20, so we want to avoid simply stating “you shouldn’t have done X, Y, Z”, but in Week 2, when 30 of 31 teams are still eligible to be selected, it’s a good idea to consider factors such as playing on the road and dealing with a number of absences.

The Colts may not have accounted for the biggest losses in survivor contests this week, but they certainly serve as an example of what bettors and NFL “survivalists” can avoid.

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Nothing Is Guaranteed

This isn’t a lesson as much as it is a fact that we should all take to heart.

Let’s look at the Cowboys and Bengals for instance. Dallas was trotting out a backup quarterback behind a compromised offensive line and entered kickoff as a significant home dog.

Want some more implied odds? Cincinnati’s -357 moneyline price at Caesars Sportsbook suggested a 78% chance of winning. As a contestant, sometimes there’s nothing else to do but shake your head and move on.

The same goes for those let down by the Browns in frustrating fashion. The Jets had a 99.9 percent chance of losing after a Nick Chubb touchdown extended the Browns lead to 30-17 with 1:55 left in the contest. Those odds would would’ve hit the 100% mark if Chubb slid short of the goal line rather than score his third TD, a maneuver that vexes fantasy owners, but one that would’ve guaranteed the W.

Kareem Hunt also missed an opportunity to salt the game away.

By the time the clock read 0:00, the Jets had pulled off a miraculous comeback.

That’s life as an NFL gamer, whether it’s survivor, betting, fantasy, or DFS. The best thing to do to combat such improbabilities ruining your season is to play in as many contests as possible — within reason of course.

There’s no way to completely avoid bad beats, but diversification certainly allows someone to live to fight another week.

What is an NFL Survivor Pool?

Survivor pools are simple to grasp. Generally speaking, each member of the pool selects one team to win each week. The players who select a winning team remain in the pool. Those who pick a losing team are eliminated. The last one standing claims victory. Easy enough, right?

It’s not quite that simple though. The frequency with which a team can be selected is limited. In traditional survivor pools, a team may be selected only once during the season.

If you picked the Baltimore Ravens in a cushy Week 1 matchup versus the New York Jets, you would not have been able to select them at home against the Miami Dolphins in Week 2. Lucky you. The stakes climb each week as more contestants fall and another team is eliminated from the pool of options for Week 3.

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About the Author
Craig Williams

Craig Williams

Craig Williams is a Charlotte-based writer for Gaming Today, who has worked professionally in the gaming, fantasy sports, and sports business industries. He’s an avid fantasy football player, managing over 100 leagues across multiple formats. When he’s not pouring over Vegas odds and statistics, he’s indulging in soccer and enjoys anything from LigaMX to Champions League.

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