I’m thrilled to be a part of the Run Pure Sports team. I hope to bring the community some tools and strategies to help you make winning builds. Hopefully, one of you can win the milly!
Today, let’s dive into one of my personal favorites: Survivor Pools. These pools offer plenty of excitement, but the key to success depends on factors like your pool size, rules, and how much risk you’re willing to take.
To navigate this, I’ve developed a handy spreadsheet that assists me in making Survivor picks. This sheet factors in the future value of each team to give you suggestions. It’s not the ultimate solution, but it’s a valuable tool to make more informed selections. I also rely on data from Survivor Grid to gauge the market’s sentiment each week.
Now, I understand that everyone’s Survivor situation is unique. That’s why I encourage you to join our Discord community if you haven’t already. There, you can ask me your Survivor questions directly.
In Survivor pools, I aim to secure 2-5% of the total entries if possible. For example, if there are 100 entries, I aim to hold five tickets. This strategy not only increases my chances of winning but also diversifies my picks, so I’m not cornered as the week’s progress.
I play it safe when dealing with smaller pools (fewer entrants), just like in a cash game in DFS. I stick to more conservative, chalkier picks. However, as the pool size grows, I’m willing to take more calculated risks to gain an edge and increase my equity.
Speaking of equity, it’s a term you’ll hear me mention often. Your Survivor ticket’s equity on day 1 equals your entry fee. If half of the participants drop out in week 1, but you stay in, your equity just doubled. This is crucial because the higher your equity, the less risk you need to take. I’m more inclined to take risks with my picks when I’m trailing behind the competition. As the season unfolds, you’ll see this strategy in action.
Now, let’s get into Week 1 and look at my spreadsheet. I’ll keep it simple with 100 entries to simplify the breakdown.
- Win Projection: I calculate win probability based on each game’s mid-point of the money line.
- FV (Future Value): This value comes from look-ahead lines. Lower numbers indicate more future value for a team.
- Pick%: This shows how frequently a team is selected across major websites, according to survivorgrid.com.
- # Unique teams: If you have multiple entries, you can decide how many teams to spread your risk across.
In this initial view of the spreadsheet, we haven’t factored in future value. This approach consistently suggests picking the biggest favorite on the board, Baltimore, this week. Keep in mind that these lines may change, so stay updated.
Baltimore is selected in 32.1% of pools because they’re the most likely to win. This would be the safest and most strategic choice if you have just one entry in a small pool. In these pools, you aim to watch others take risks while steadily increasing your equity as they drop out while you advance.
Let’s shift the focus to future value, setting it at 25%. This introduces more options, with both Baltimore and Washington becoming attractive picks. Washington enters the mix due to its low future value. Choosing them this week is smart, especially in slightly larger pools or when you have multiple entries in a not-so-large pool.
When we crank up the future value to 100%, Washington emerges as a standout play. If you’re in a larger pool with just one entry, this should be your go-to choice. If you have multiple entries, it’s time to assess your risk appetite. You’re taking a significant risk on these two teams by allocating picks in a 2-to-1 ratio favoring Washington over Baltimore. However, the potential benefit is substantial equity gain if they win while others falter. In the most aggressive risk-spreading scenario, you’d primarily pick Washington and Baltimore, with some consideration for Minnesota, Seattle, Denver, Atlanta, and Jacksonville.
Ultimately, you have to decide how you will play your pool. Hopefully, you will be around for many weeks with me as we try and survive!