Upsets are Great in Survivor Contests (So Long as Your Team isn’t the Victim)
“It’s not personal; it’s strictly business.”
One of the thrills of being in the Circa Survivor contest is being in action on almost every game.
Think about it.
So long as you hold a live entry into the world’s richest and most prestigious survivor contest, not only do you care about your team and your key game of the week. You also have a rooting and financial interest in almost every other game. That’s because you want your team to win, so as to advance. But you also want the other teams picked by the most contest entrants to lose.
Are there general assumptions to make about who we are rooting for and against? The answer is – yes. We presume the majority of contest players are picking favorites most weeks. So, when underdogs win, that eliminates more competitors. Hence, upsets are our friend.
The early weeks of NFL action have been good for underdog bettors (dogs are 17-13 ATS, and 11 won outright*). That also means upsets have been bad for many Circa Survivor contest players. In Week #1 – 1,992 were eliminated. So far in Week #2 – 1,340 have been eliminated. Two games are still to play on this week’s slate, both kicking off on Monday night. However, contest picks on these four teams aren’t as significant.
As for rooting against other players, I’ll borrow the classic line from The Godfather, which offers life lessons for everything important. “It’s not personal; it’s strictly business.”
What Happened in Week #2
I was a huge Arizona fan on Sunday.
It wasn’t that I bet on the Cardinals. Rather, it was because their opponent (NY Giants) were one of the most popular Circa Survivor picks of the week.
When Arizona led 28-7 late in the 3rd quarter things looked bleak for Giants’ backers. Had the Cardinals hung on to win, a whopping 1,292 entrants would have been eliminated on tht upset alone. However, the G-Men made a furious comeback and rattled off the final 24 points of the game, winning 31-28, which allowed Giants backers to breathe again and live to play another week.
A few other favorites were not so lucky.
Here are some other highlights and lowlights (if you had these teams) worth noting while looking back at Week #2:
- Denver – I’m not sure why so many contestants picked the Broncos this week, especially given all their question marks. I mean, they’ve lost 13 out of their last 18 games. Why would anyone select the Broncos? But somehow, 847 tickets were punched with Denver. To be fair, the Broncos looked like they’d coast to an easy win, but then they turned into donkeys. In their second straight home game, facing Washington, Denver roared out to a 21-3 lead. The Commanders never gave up and after a wild finish, won a thriller 35-33. So, 11 percent of the field bit the dust.
- Detroit – I have similar questions about picking Lions. Why was that team chosen? Was it based on one admittedly impressive win, the upset at Kansas City on opening night? There were 348 tickets punched with the Lions, about 5 percent of the field. Detroit got into a catfight with the Seahawks, and the birds ended up pulling off the outright upset as +5 point underdogs.
- Houston / Cincinnati / LA Chargers – These were the 10th, 11th, and 12th most popular choices in Week #3, respectively (out of 32 teams). While they weren’t a huge number of tickets, their outright losses as betting favorites combined to eliminate another 112 entrants. Excuse me for grave-dancing, but who were the 41 entrants who picked the Houston Texans and what could they possibly have been thinking (or smoking)?
- A Final Question – It’s even more puzzling that 7 tickets had no pick this week. That’s basically throwing an entry in the trash and lighting it on fire (okay, maybe betting the Texans is worse). With 31 entrants that didn’t make a pick last week, that’s $38,000 in free money added to the winner-take-all prize pool.
My Circa Survivor Tickets
Good news. I survived.
Buffalo was my weekly pick that was posted here in advance. The Bills were not a bold nor creative choice. But, I’m not looking for style points. Buffalo’s win accomplished the goal, which is – to advance.
READ LAST WEEK’S FINAL REPORT HERE: https://survivorsweat.com/article/2023/nolan-dallas-survivor-week-2-pick/
That leaves me with two tickets going forward. Note that one entry was burned in the first week.
I’ve used the following teams so far, which means I cannot pick them again:
ENTRY 1: Washington, Buffalo….
ENTRY 2: Baltimore, Buffalo….
ENTRY 3: Minnesota (eliminated)
An Early Look Ahead to Week #3
Based on early lines, these are the five teams (and opponents) many “survivors” are likely to be considering:
- Kansas City (vs. Chicago)
- San Francisco (vs. NY Giants)
- Jacksonville (vs. Houston)
- Seattle (vs. Carolina)
- Baltimore (vs. Indianapolis)
Later, I’ll discuss some thought-provoking contest advice given out by Mike Buchmiller and Russ Rosenblum. Here weekly at SurvivorSweat.com, Mike and Russ provide lots of great content about gambling theory, contest strategy, NFL handicapping, team matchups, and even tell some terrific stories. Call me biased, but these guys might be worth listening to since they were co-winners in last year’s Circa Survivor contest.
Let me also call out the excellent analytics work published here courtesy of John Alesia. His quantifying methods in making selections are a fascinating read. I continue to learn more, thanks to John’s great work on this.
READ LAST WEEK’S REPORT HERE: https://survivorsweat.com/article/2023/navigating-survivor-pools-for-nfl-week-2/
This year’s season-long 2023 Circa Survivor contest attracted a record 9,267 entrants. Each entrant paid $1,000. Heading into the two Monday night games, 5,936 entrants still remain.
Later this week, I’ll have lots more to say about the Circa Survivor contest, including my strategy and reasoning behind making the final selection.
Naturally, I’m hoping my team(s) win and I advance, and all the other favorites lose. Just remember – it’s not personal, it’s strictly business.
Coming Next (Projected Release Date – Friday, Sept. 22)
My Week #3 Circa Survivor contest pick(s).
*Note: Results are valid through end of Sunday night on Week #2