SIX FAVORITES – DETROIT, MIAMI, WASHINGTON, DALLAS, JACKSONVILLE, AND SAN FRANCISCO – EXPECTED TO SPLIT THE CONSENSUS PICKS IN WEEK 11
Last week produced another bloodbath. After two relatively quiet previous weeks, the topsy-turvy 2023 Circa Survivor contest took a dramatic detour off the guardrails of predictability as nearly half of all contestants went bust.
The worst damage was done by Cincinnati, Buffalo, and Baltimore — which all crashed and wrecked the dreams of hundreds of contest players. All three teams lost on last-second field goals as sizable favorites in Week 10.
The final carnage totaling 544 bust-outs now leaves just 609 survivors to continue on into Week 11.
WEEK 10 REVIEW
I got hammered on social media for my admittedly incendiary comments that were posted last week. Let me explain.
Even before the Cincinnati-Houston game kicked off last Sunday, I couldn’t believe what I was seeing. Did 422 contestants actually pick the Bengals?
Now days later, I’m still baffled as to what exactly Cincy backers were thinking, especially since the cats were facing the dangerous and fast-improving Texans. Had just a few dozen contestants picked Cincinnati, that might have been understandable. But then to see a whopping 38 percent of the entire pool plucking such a risky team at this critical juncture of the season in the contest was such an unnecessary waste.
An admission: I was dead wrong on my midweek prediction in last week’s column that 50+ percent of all the remaining Circa Survivors would pick Dallas in Week 10 — which was the most obvious play of the entire season based on the closing -17.5 point line. But what do I know? Only 380 contestants — about a third of all survivors — picked the lead-pipe lock of the week, as Dallas coasted to a 32-point blowout.
Honestly, I’m still shaking my head. I just can’t figure out what so many people were thinking.
Okay, enough grave dancing. Let’s take a look ahead to this coming week and the possibilities.
WEEK 11 PREVIEW
All other factors being equal, first let’s take what (presumably) will be the most obvious picks, based on point spreads:
Miami -12.5 vs. Las Vegas
San Francisco -11.5 vs. Tampa Bay
Dallas -10.5 vs. Carolina
Washington -9.5 vs. NY Giants
Detroit -8.5 vs. Chicago
Jacksonville -7 vs. Tennessee
All the other matchups are lined at a touchdown, or less. Also, five favorites are playing at home. Dallas is the only favorites that’s a road team. One expects contestants to pick home teams most of the time, so that bears mentioning.
Listed in the order I expect to see – ranked fewest to most (prediction):
Dallas – Speaking of the Cowboys, this appears to be the worst possible pick of any of the big six, assuming they’re still on the table as a selection. Dallas’ ideal punching bag was last week at home versus the Giants. Moreover, it could be advised that the Cowboys should be saved for Thanksgiving Day (see the discussion of Week 12-A below). Will Dallas beat Carolina? Sure, probaby. But this looks like a waste given several other enticing teams to pick from.
Detroit – One expects that many contestants will conserve the Lions for Week 12-A. If Detroit is still in the basket of choices, that matchup at home hosting Green Bay looks to be the optimal strategic decision.
Jacksonville – This game hosting Tennessee could be tricky. Can the erratic Jaguars really be trusted and do they deserve the respect as a team to bank on to win versus a division rival? Based on history, this game could go down to the wire and be tougher than one expects based on the spread. Would anyone really be surprised to see the Titans pull off an upset? Nonetheless, I expect to see a scatter of tickets on the Jags this week.
Miami – The Dolphins are the biggest favorite of the week. Miami is an obvious pick hosting Las Vegas, even though the reinvigorated Raiders are 2-0 straight up since the midseason coaching change. I expect Miami could be the consensus play among those who still have them available.
San Francisco – Even though the 49ers play on Week 12-A’s limited schedule (which means conserving them is ideal, if at all possible), they might be a popular pick with many contestants this coming week. It would be hard to argue against the logic of taking San Francisco hosting outclassed Tampa Bay as double-digit favorites. Perhaps the 49ers have already been used up by many survivors, but those lucky enough to still have them on the shelf might consider putting San Francisco in action.
Washington – The Commanders rank as the gutsiest pick of the week among big faves, even though they’re laying -9.5 points to the division rival Giants. Most Washington pickers won’t be banking on their team so much as fading the struggling Giants, who appear lost with a backup starting quarterback. New York has looked awful and are likely to be a popular “bet against” team the remainder of the season and contest. Given that the Commanders might be still live among the team options on most contest sheets, this could make them one of the top picks this week.
Note: Be sure and read John Alesia’s excellent article on NFL Week 11 “By the Numbers” by clicking here: https://survivorsweat.com/article/2023/survivor-week-11-by-the-numbers/
AN EARLY LOOK AHEAD – WEEK 12-A PREVIEW
First, let me explain that “Week 12-A” refers to the four NFL games to be played on Thursday, Nov. 23rd and Friday Nov. 24th. These four games constitute a separate week of contest picks. Given such a limited range of possible teams to pick from, it’s essential to think about these games and teams now, which could impact Week 11 strategy (actually, contestants should have been thinking about this special week from the start of the season).
The four games are:
Green Bay at Detroit (Thu.)
Washington at Dallas (Thu.)
San Francisco at Seattle (Thu.)
Miami at NY Jets (Fri.)
The obvious three picks are Detroit, Dallas, and Miami. Selection likely depends on which teams are still available to the contestants still alive at this later stage of the contest. Presumably, many contestants will have ‘used up” one or more of these popular favorites. Hence, the Week 12-A pick largely depends on which team is still left in the pool of the live teams.
Again, this is why it’s critical to think about saving at least one of those three teams in the weeks leading up to Week 12-A. Also note that Week 16-A (a month from now) will pose similar issues for those who survive.
WEEKLY CONTEST SUMMATION
The 2023 Circa Survivor contest cost $1,000 per entry. There were 9,267 initial entries.
After just 10 weeks, there are only 609 live entries remaining. Several contestants hold multiple entries, meaning they will have a strong advantage heading into the stretch run of the season and contest (more will be written on this aspect of strategy in coming weeks).
Circa Survivor offers a winner-take-all prize of $9,267,000. The implied value per entry is now up to $15,216.
For the latest updates, be sure to follow @SurvivorSweat on Twitter / X.
Also, be advised that active Circa Survivor entries may be for sale on this site at the marketplace. So, if you have the bankroll, you can still get in and play!