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Betting Tips to Help You Win Your 2021 NFL Survivor Pool

| September 7, 2021 12:31 pm PDT

NFL survivor pool, or sometimes known as eliminator, is a fantasy game that allows bettors to pick one team each week they think will win. If their pick wins, then they stay alive.

The catch is, they can only use a team once a season. It may sound easy, but it’s not. There’s a lot of strategy that goes into it, and whether you’re using the best NFL contests for 2021, betting on it, or doing it for fun, I bet you could use a little advice.

With the 2021 NFL season almost here, the time is now. Let’s discuss some of the best betting tips to win your 2021 NFL survivor pool.

Save the Great Teams for Later in the Season

This is probably the number one tip anyone will tell you for an NFL survivor pool.

Everyone wants to make sure they get off to a great start. What better way to do that than go with one of the top teams in the league? That Survivor pool strategy may help you early in the season, but it’ll cost you late in the year.

It’s easy to look at teams like the Kansas City Chiefs and Tampa Bay Buccaneers and see the big point spread in their games, but you have to realize their opponent.

In week one both teams are facing a team that has legit playoff hopes. An upset is certainly possible and your season would be over just like it.

Instead, you should target teams in the second tier that still have a good matchup.

I imagine the San Francisco 49ers will be a popular pick in Week 1. The 49ers will take on the Detroit Lions. San Francisco will likely compete for the NFC West title while the Lions will likely be one of the worst teams in the league. The 49ers are a good team, but not elite enough that you have to worry about saving them for later.

Week 1 is probably the toughest week to predict because we don’t know how good or bad most teams will be.

We are going off preseason predictions that are usually right, but not always.

It’s imperative to save some of the top teams until late in the season. You don’t want to get to week 6 or 7 then realize you can’t use Kansas City, Tampa Bay, the Green Bay Packers, and others.

When it comes to NFL survivor pool betting, it’s all about thinking long-term. After all, they don’t pay out until the end of the season.

Avoid Divisional Matchups

The term “trap game” is when a team looks past a so-called easy matchup to a tougher matchup the following week. It typically applies to college football, but I think we can use the same concept when it comes to divisional games in the NFL.

I wouldn’t say NFL teams look past their division opponent, but maybe they don’t realize how tough of a matchup it can be.

Overall, it’s just best to avoid division games when it comes to survivor pools. I’ve seen it ruin seasons many times.

There are so many instances of this over the past few years. Last season, the Kansas City Chiefs went 14-1 in games Patrick Mahomes started. Their one loss was at home to the Las Vegas Raiders.

Las Vegas nearly beat them in their second matchup before the Chiefs scored the game-winning touchdown with 28 seconds left.

Kansas City played the Baltimore Ravens, the Buffalo Bills, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, and the New Orleans Saints in the regular season last year. Yet the Raiders were the team that they had the most trouble with.

When it comes to division matchups, I think the two teams just know each other very well. They play each other twice a year, so they get a feel for each other’s play style and tendencies.

There are only two division matchups in Week 1 this season.

  • Jacksonville Jaguars vs Houston Texans
  • Miami Dolphins vs New England Patriots

Miami Dolphins vs New England Patriots is a pretty even matchup, so I wouldn’t touch that either way.

Jacksonville will probably attract a lot of attention this week but do you remember last season when the Jaguars pulled off the upset last season against their division rival Indianapolis Colts? Houston probably won’t win many games this season but maybe they will surprise as they face a rookie quarterback and head coach.

Be Aware of Injuries/Off-Field Issues

This applies when placing any bet on an NFL game. There is almost always an outside factor that affects a game.

In this year’s kickoff game, Dallas will be without top guard Zack Martin. Understandably so, that impacts how you may want to bet on that game.

Injuries can change the landscape of the NFL from week to week. An injury to a starting quarterback will no doubt hurt a team’s chance to win that week. You have to watch out for things like that.

Imagine picking the Kansas City Chiefs ahead of time to later realize that Patrick Mahomes won’t play. Without Mahomes, they are vulnerable.

The NFL has already made it known that they won’t postpone any games for COVID-19. Because of that, there’s a chance a team goes into a game shorthanded.

Thankfully, it looks like every team in Week 1 will have their starting quarterback ready to go.

Indianapolis Colts quarterback Carson Wentz is the main one in question but it sounds like he’ll be ready to go.

That affects things because the Colts opponent, the Seattle Seahawks, are no longer a sure thing.

Late in the 2020 season, we saw the Cleveland Browns matchup with the New York Jets. Cleveland entered the game 10-4, looking to improve their playoff seeding. The Jets were coming off their first win of the season, but they were still one of the worst teams in the league.

Off the field, Cleveland was dealing with a COVID-19 outbreak that kept multiple key players off the field.

New York went on to win the game 23-16.

Those are the things you need to look out for. The Browns still had Baker Mayfield and Nick Chubb but they had to use players from their practice squad. I know they were playing the Jets but you can’t take anything for granted in the NFL.

Just do yourself a favor and avoid that game. It’s not worth the risk.

Always Plan Ahead

It’s important to always think ahead in your NFL survivor pool. However, you don’t want to think too far ahead.

I wouldn’t look any further than two or three weeks ahead. I say that because you never know what’s going to happen in two months.

In Week 18, the Tennessee Titans have a great chance to close out their season with a win over the Houston Texans. But you don’t know what the Titans team will look like then.

What if Ryan Tannehill and Derrick Henry go down with an injury? Truthfully, that’s the final week of the season, so it’s possible they rest their starters if they are already in the playoffs.

The Los Angeles Rams are a good example of why you should plan ahead this season. Check out their opponent from week 6 to week 8.

  • Week 6: @ New York Giants
  • Week 7: Detroit Lions
  • Week 8: @ Houston Texans

Los Angeles can beat the New York Giants, but why not wait a week or two when they have a sure-fire win over the Detroit Lions or Houston Texans.

That allows you to look at the Cincinnati Bengals for Week 6. They will be a risky team to use in most games, but they play the Lions Week 6.

It can be difficult at times, but you have to be one step ahead. If not, you’re in danger of going into a week with limited options.

You may get lucky with a risky pick but do you really want to take that chance? I’d rather just play it safe and try and plan ahead.

Let the Odds Guide You

No matter how much you strategize and plan ahead with your picks, there are likely going to be weeks where there isn’t a sure-fire pick.

It happens, and it can be tough to decide which team has the best chance to win. Sometimes, it’s just best to go with the odds.

There are plenty of reputable NFL betting sites out there that will give you odds on the money line as well as the spread. The bigger the spread, the likelier a team is to win their game.

I mentioned earlier that the San Francisco 49ers were probably the best team to pick Week 1 because they were playing the Detroit Lions. The spread in that game is 7.5 points – which is the largest point spread in Week 1.

Let’s look ahead to Week 2 and a few of their biggest spreads.

  • Houston Texans vs Cleveland Browns (-13)
  • Detroit Lions vs Green Bay Packers (-10)

This may not be the best example because there is a clear favorite this week when it comes to your pick. However, the Cleveland Browns are the obvious choice.

It’s not surprising why. The Browns are one of the best teams in the AFC and are Super Bowl contenders. The Houston Texans don’t have a lot of talent and will likely compete for the number one pick in the 2022 NFL Draft. Not to mention, it’s a home game for Cleveland.

At the end of the day, the pick is yours to make. If you are going back and forth between a few teams, check out the odds and the spread. They are going to give you a good guideline on which team has the best chance to win.

How to Win Your NFL Survivor Pool in 2021

When the new season begins, everyone thinks they’ll easily last the whole season and win their NFL survivor pool. But trust me, it’s not as easy as it seems.

You have to consider all the factors that affect a certain game as well as look ahead to future games.

Following these NFL Survivor betting tips will give you an excellent chance to survive all the way until the end.

Do you enjoy future bets? Consider reading these articles.

Nicholas Sterling

Nicholas has been a Sports Writer with GamblingSites.com since May 2021. He has a rich sports background, writing about NASCAR, NFL, NBA, MLB, NHL, Golf, etc. Nick is always ready for a new challenge.

He enjoys rooting on D.C. sports teams, including the Commanders, Wizards, and Capitals.

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