After the chaotic events of Week 3 in NFL Survivor Pools, it’s likely that fewer people are reading this article this week. Considering how many people were eliminated from the pools last week, I suspect the number of readers has dropped by around 40%.
After my previous article and video for the Sharp App were finished, I thought about an alternative strategy for last week. I thought it might be a good idea, with a few picks in large pools, to pick the San Francisco team as one of your selections. The idea was to choose them because they were the least popular choice among the top four favorites, hoping that some unexpected upsets would occur in the other games. I shared this strategy with the viewers in the video’s comment section, especially those playing in large pools. However, the downside of this approach was that this week you wouldn’t be able to pick the most heavily favored team.
Regrettably, I went with a different strategy in my own pools. In the biggest pool I’m part of, we had 53 entries remaining. I mainly selected Jacksonville and Dallas, and now I’m down to only ten entries left. The thinking behind this choice was to hope for a loss in either the Kansas City or San Francisco game and then go all-in with San Francisco this week. Unfortunately, things didn’t go as planned, but we still have those ten entries to work with. In another large pool where it was a double-pick week, I had 23 out of 24 entries still alive. I used either Dallas or Jacksonville for each entry, applying the same logic. Sadly, all of those entries are now out of the game. In my small pool with just two entries, I chose Dallas for both, and those entries are now eliminated as well.}
Due to the eliminations, many of you may have transitioned from a medium-sized pool to a smaller one. In small pools, it’s a good idea to adopt a more conservative approach. In these situations, we should aim to take the safest and most optimal path while letting others take risky chances. Just like last week, the safest path may not always lead to victory, but it gives you a better chance compared to taking unnecessary risks. When only a few entries are left, we can start discussing strategies like hedging our bets.
- 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.
Now, let’s dive into my Week 4 analysis using the spreadsheet. First, we’ll consider a scenario where we don’t account for future matchups, essentially giving future games a 0% weight in our decision. In this case, our primary focus will be on the teams with the highest odds of winning.
Remembering that these betting lines are subject to change is crucial, so staying up-to-date with the latest odds and developments is imperative.
San Francisco emerges as the clear top choice for this week. They have the strongest probability of winning their upcoming game. Another solid option is Kansas City, with an impressive 80% chance of victory against the Jets. Many of you may have already used one of these top two teams in previous weeks, so it might be a good strategy to switch to the other for Week 4. Alternatively, you can consider Philadelphia, which boasts a nearly 78% chance of winning their game against Washington.
For those looking to weigh future value a little heavier here is a look at the spreadsheet with a 25% weight to future value.
The current sheet doesn’t differ significantly from the previous one. If you’re participating in medium to small-sized pools, your strategy will likely align with one of the top three teams we discussed earlier. However, in mid-sized pools, it’s important to consider future matchups a bit more carefully.
Looking ahead, the next time you’ll have a chance to pick San Francisco as a 7-point favorite or better is in Week 11 when they face Tampa Bay. Kansas City will be playing at home against Denver in Week 6, which could be a strong pick. Philadelphia has some favorable games coming up, including matchups against the Rams, the Jets, and the Commanders in Week 7. These are all potential weeks to consider selecting them.
If you’re seeking a departure from the most popular choices this week, Dallas emerges as an intriguing option. Currently, it’s projected to be selected by only around 5% of entries in most pools, making it a less crowded pick with potential upside.
Now, turning our attention to the larger pools, we’ll analyze the sheet with a 75% emphasis on future value. As we progress through the pool, it becomes clear that the weight we assign to future value should decrease, and this reasoning should be fairly evident. With fewer participants remaining and fewer future games ahead, the importance of future considerations naturally diminishes.
San Francisco remains a strong choice, but let’s shift our focus to the team emerging as the second-best option. Denver, facing an away game against Chicago, might not seem like the most appealing pick at first glance. However, it’s worth considering, especially in very large pools. The decision to highlight Denver is solely based on the fact that there’s limited future value associated with this team. In fact, when we examine their upcoming schedule, this game against Chicago might be the only one where they are favored for the rest of the season.
This situation resembles last week when the sheet suggested picking New England over the Jets. In smaller to mid-sized pools, there’s no compelling reason to consider Denver. However, in large pools, there are two significant reasons to contemplate this choice. Firstly, it allows you to stand out by selecting a team that few others will pick. Additionally, if we experience another week similar to the previous one with numerous eliminations, choosing Denver could significantly boost your chances of success.
Another reason to consider Denver is the possibility that it might be the optimal play in a pool that extends for all 18 weeks. Towards the end of these pools, you often find yourself in a situation where you have to select a team as a 1 or 2-point favorite, or even an underdog. While it might feel uncomfortable to make such a choice in Week 4 when there are better options available to advance to Week 5, it’s akin to the decision of hitting on 16 when the dealer has a 10 in blackjack. It’s a risky move, and you’re likely to bust, but it’s the right play because you need to take calculated risks to improve your odds of winning in the long run.
Now, moving on to a less risky high-risk option with limited future value, we have Minnesota. Apart from a home game against the Bears in Week 12, there aren’t many strong weeks to consider picking them. While more people will likely choose Minnesota compared to Denver, it’s currently selected by only 6% of participants.
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!
We had another week of turmoil in the NFL Survivor streets. Jacksonville and Pittsburgh combined for over 50% of entries being eliminated. Circa went from 80 to 30 entries. That pool started with 9,267. My buddy Sully joins my mom in becoming the second person in...