Seahawks Expected to Be the Overwhelming CircaSurvivor Pick in Week 7
Few mismatches and several closely-lined NFL games this week likely means an easy prediction for the upcoming slate of games in the CircaSurvivor contest.
A significant percentage of remaining contestants are expected to pick the biggest home favorite in Week 7. That choice appears to be the Seattle Seahawks, who are hosting the Arizona Cardinals. CircaSports currently lists Seattle as 7.5-point favorites over Arizona in this NFC West battle of the birds.
While Seattle and their 3-2 record doesn’t necessarily inspire overwhelming confidence as a stand-alone selection, what matters most right now is the pickings are so slim elsewhere. In fact, out of the 13 games played in Week 7, nine are lined at a field goal or less. Assuming we agree these closely-lined games tend to be more unpredictable, this should make the Seahawks a popular choice–simply by default. In other words, what other options are there?
Answer: Slim to none.
In this week’s column, I’ll examine the Week 7 betting card more closely. I’ll also offer some thoughts as to how this week may fit in with broader season-long survivor contest strategies.
But first, let’s take a quick look back to how we got here and recall what happened last week.
NFL Week 6 Review
Week 6 was relatively uneventful compared to the wild and crazy results of Weeks 1 through 5, which trimmed away more than 80 percent of the starting field. The top six survivor picks all won, thus saving the contest from another weekend of mass chaos.
[Note: INSERT THE POST WEEK #6 SURVIVORSWEAT GRAPH HERE (which was posted on TwittterX]
From the chart, we see the Rams were the most popular contest pick – followed by the Dolphins, Bills, Chiefs, Ravens, and Jaguars, in that order.
Seeing there were 783 picks out of the 1,835 contestants who began Week 6 picking the Rams was a bit surprising. After all, that figure constituted a whopping 42 percent of the total pool, one of the highest percentages of the season. Rams’ backers placed their faith in a 2-3 team that’s struggled since its Super Bowl win two seasons ago. However, the “hold your nose” strategy also seemed optimal given there are so few spots on the schedule to take marginal teams like the Rams.
Strategy Tip #1: Let’s face it, picking unreliable teams is almost mandatory at some point, necessary for inclusion since the contest could run the full 20 weeks and require the very last of the survivors to select teams with losing records. So, why not get them out of the way now, when they’re playing versus even worse teams?
Miami was another popular pick last week (440 picks), though they got an early scare by the dreadful Carolina Panthers. The Dolphins fell behind 0-14 early. However, Miami’s offense was too much and they ended up running away with the game. Buffalo (382 picks) also got a scare versus the Giants. And Kansas City (84 picks) was a popular pick as well versus Denver, which prevailed in the Thursday night game. Baltimore (34) and the Jaguars (25) rounded out the top six, and also won.
Sunday included a few major upsets, including the two previously undefeated teams, which both lost despite being touchdown favorites. However, only 25 entries included the Eagles, and fewer still (just 13) had the 49ers. Atlanta also lost last week, but only 4 entries picked the Falcons.
A few other teams got a sprinkle of support. Then, there was 1 lone entry that failed to make any pick. Thanks for playing!
When it comes to the gutsiest pick of all, kudos to the 2 contestants who selected Houston, who were home underdogs to New Orleans (and won). Whoever used Houston, presumably to save the best teams for later, is probably in decent shape going forward.
As for the most bizarre pick of the week, that’s a tie. It’s hard to figure out who (or why) someone selected the Patriots or Bears, which got 1 pick each.
Playing CircaSurvivor – For Fun
Even though I’ve been eliminated, it’s still fun to play along.
A few weeks ago, I created my season-long strategy plan. This was based on scheduling. I wanted to conserve as many good teams as possible. Most important, my goal was to keep my options open on later week when there are expected to be few standout choices.
We’ll continue to see how this plays out. That said, I’m posting it here for public consideration. Perhaps there’s even something to be learned which might apply to future survivor contests and survivor strategy.
Here are those notes I made back after Week #3 (with my tentative upcoming picks):
LIKELY CIRCA PICKS (LOOKING AHEAD):
Week 4 — SFO vs. ARZ
Week 5 — DET vs. CAR or WASH vs. CHI (Note: I picked Washington, and was eliminated)
Week 6 — MIA vs. CAR
Week 7 — SEA vs. ARZ
Week 8 — LAC vs. CHI
Week 9 — NOR vs. CHI or CLE vs. ARZ
Week 10 — CIN vs. HOU
Week 11 — DET vs. CHI or JAX vs. TEN
Week 12A — DAL vs. WASH or MIA (road team) at NYJ
Week 12B — MIN vs. CHI
Week 13 — PIT vs. ARZ
Week 14 — NOR vs. CAR
Week 15 — CLE vs. CHI
Week 16A — 3 toss up games….going to be problematic
Week 16B — GB (road team) at CAR
Week 17 — PHI vs. ARZ
Week 18 — NWE vs. NYJ (but could be someone unusual because of “meaningless” final games)
Why Seattle is the Obvious Consensus Pick for Week 7
Seattle is the clear choice at home playing against Arizona (1-5 this season), which has dropped three consecutive games. The Cardinals are also regressing badly following an impressive start to their season, which included an upset of the Cowboys a month ago. Arizona has not covered the spread since that game. Hence, this looks to be just as much a bet-against Arizona pick as a bet-on Seattle decision.
Strategy Tip #2: It’s important to factor in that this is the portion of the season where contestants really must start paying attention to who’s playing versus who the next week (and thereafter) and then plotting matchups that could be optimal in the weeks to come. This could create some seemingly bizarre picks as the season progresses based on those who have used up the so-called “good teams.”
We always should remember the “Any Given Sunday” theory in the NFL. It’s true that any team can beat any other team on any day (not just Sunday). Just ask the 49ers who lost to the Browns and a third-string quarterback last week.
Yes, it’s early, but it’s never too early to take the long approach. A look ahead to Week 8 shows several possible mismatches, including:
….Dolphins over the Patriots
….Eagles over the Commanders
….Chiefs over the Broncos
….Ravens over the Cardinals
The two primetime games could also be attractive targets to survivor tickets, including:
….Chargers over the Bears
….Lions over the Raiders
So, while this week has limited options, next week is quite a feast of possibilities.
The 2023 Circa Survivor contest cost $1,000 per entry. There were 9,267 initial entries. After just 6 weeks – about one third of the season completed – there are only 1,789 live entries remaining.
Comparing this season’s bust-out rate with other years, eliminations are slightly higher than normal, but not as high as last season (when about 85 percent was already gone by Week 5).
So long as Seattle wins and this prediction is correct the majority taking the Seahawks, the elimination rate will flatten out.
CircaSurvivor includes a winner-take-all prize of $9,267,000. The implied value per entry is now up to $5,179.