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    The electric thrill of the NFL season is a phenomenon known to every football fan. The suspense, the exhilaration, and the dynamic energy make every game a spectacle to behold. One way to heighten this experience is by participating in an NFL Survivor pool. Whether you’re a seasoned veteran or a novice, understanding survivor pool strategy can give you an edge and make the season even more exciting.

    The Basics: What is an NFL Survivor Pool?

    An NFL survivor pool, sometimes known as an eliminator pool or knockout pool, is a game where participants pick one NFL team to win each week. If your chosen team wins, you advance to the next week. However, once a team is picked, you cannot select it again for the rest of the season. The game continues until there is one participant left standing, thus earning the title “survivor.”

    Developing a Winning Survivor Pool Strategy

    Navigating through a survivor pool requires a balance of knowledge, intuition, strategy, and foresight. Here are four key steps to help you enhance your survivor pool strategy.

    1. Do Your Research

    No football fan is a stranger to the importance of research. It’s imperative to stay updated with NFL news and game statistics. Are there any crucial injuries that might impact a team’s performance? Has the weather forecast predicted conditions that could influence the game’s outcome? Is Patrick Mahomes known to dominate certain teams when he’s playing at home? Are there injuries that could affect the outcome of the game? These are the types of questions your research should answer.

    2. Consider the Ownership Percentage

    In survivor pools, the concept of ‘ownership percentage’ refers to how many participants have chosen a specific team. It’s beneficial to consider this because if a heavily picked team loses, a significant number of participants get knocked out of the pool, increasing your chances of winning.

    To illustrate, let’s say that the Denver Broncos have a high win probability for Week 5 and a large part of your pool decides to pick them. But what if they lose? This outcome will knock out a large percentage of participants, giving you an advantage if you’ve chosen a different team. Therefore, occasionally opting for a less popular team, yet one with a reasonable chance of winning, can be a smart move.

    3. Analyze the Win Probability

    While considering ownership percentage, you should also look at the win probabilities of the teams. As an example, if Team A has a 60% chance of winning and Team B has a 75% chance, choosing Team B seems to be the safer option, despite the potential rewards of picking Team A if their opponents are more popular in your pool.

    4. Evaluate Future Value

    Future value refers to the potential usefulness of a team in later weeks. Let’s say the New England Patriots have a high win probability in Week 1, but they also have a series of potentially easy games later in the season. Picking them early could rob you of a good pick in a later week when the other options aren’t as appealing. Thus, it’s crucial to not just focus on the current week, but also keep future matches in mind when making your picks. You need to walk the line between picking teams that you think will win and saving the ‘safe’ matchups for later in the season when your pool has less and less people still alive.

    Survivor Pool Math: Unpacking the Numbers

    On the surface, survivor seems straightforward, a test of basic predictive acumen where you simply pick the strongest team each week. However, the game’s restriction of not repeating your team selections adds a layer of complexity, forcing participants to strategize and ration their choices of the top-performing teams. Some might opt for a proactive strategy of preserving the best teams by projecting future matchups, but this approach has its drawbacks due to the unpredictability of the NFL landscape. Injuries, sudden improvement or decline in a team’s performance, or other unforeseen circumstances can dramatically alter the expected outcomes.

    Rather, the smartest strategy builds upon choosing the biggest favorite each week, with an additional consideration: ownership percentage. The primary objective in survivor is not merely survival, but survival while others don’t. Your “equity value” or worth in the pool escalates when you survive alongside a smaller group of people. Therefore, the concept of ownership percentage, which represents the proportion of participants picking a certain team, becomes a key determinant in the strategic process.

    This is where ‘Survivor Math’ comes in. It’s a decision-making method that incorporates not only the odds of a team winning but also how much that win is worth to you in terms of surviving with fewer people. The Vegas odds might tell you the likelihood of a team’s win, but they can’t quantify the worth of that win in terms of equity in the pool. To put it simply, a win is more valuable if it leaves fewer survivors with you.

    The utility of ‘Survivor Math’ is best demonstrated through an example. Let’s consider two teams, say the Seahawks and Chiefs. If the Seahawks, as the majority’s choice, lose, you survive alongside a smaller pool of participants, thus increasing your equity. In contrast, if the Chiefs, picked by a smaller group, lose, you survive with a larger group, thereby reducing your equity. Using RunYourPool’s pick data, one can approximate ownership percentages and hence calculate prospective equity in each case, aiding in more informed decision-making.

    The appeal of survivor lies in its deceptively simple premise that, once you scratch the surface, reveals a strategic minefield. Incorporating Survivor Math in your strategy not only enhances your chances of survival but also the value of that survival. Sure, the game can be unpredictable and nerve-racking, with the outcomes often hanging on seemingly arbitrary plays or last-minute twists. But the challenge of outsmarting the competition using shrewd, mathematical strategy is what makes survivor a riveting game of skill, luck, and nerve, well worth the risk of possible misery.

    Frequently Asked Questions

    Let’s clarify some common queries about NFL survivor pools:

    • What if everyone loses in a Survivor Pool? Rules may vary, but generally, if all remaining participants are eliminated in the same week, the pool may continue. Our pools are fully customizable so the commissioner has control over how they would want to handle this scenario.
    • How many weeks do Survivor Pools last? Typically, survivor pools last the entire NFL regular season, which is 18 weeks. However, some pools may end earlier if there is a clear winner.
    • What are the odds of winning a survivor pool? The odds depend on the number of participants and their strategies. But with a well-planned strategy, you can certainly increase your chances.
    • How do you win Survivor pools? Simply put, to win, you must outlast your fellow participants by making successful picks each week, without reusing teams.

    Conclusion: Putting the Strategy to Work

    Creating a solid survivor pool strategy requires a blend of knowledge, foresight, and calculated risk-taking. The thrill of an NFL survivor pool lies not just in the sweet victory but also in the journey that leads to it. Each game, each week, presents new opportunities and challenges, and navigating them successfully is a rewarding experience in itself.

    Are you ready to put your NFL knowledge to the test? Join an NFL Survivor Pool on RunYourPool and embrace the exhilarating journey of an NFL season from a vantage point like no other.

    NFL FAQs

    How do you play football survival pool?

    Players pick one team each week they think will win the game outright. They may only pick a team ONCE per season, meaning you can't pick the same team twice in one season. If their pick is correct, the player survives another week and continues to play. An incorrect pick eliminates the player from the contest entirely. This is sometimes called an elimination or suicide pool. The last person standing wins.

    How to make a football pool?

    A football pool generally requires the creation of a shareable spreadsheet (like Google Sheets) so that members may pick teams. Then depending on the game type, creators must use several kinds of formulas (e.g. CountIF), data validation, and conditional formatting. Or, you can just use football pool hosting service like RunYourPool where we do all the work for you!

    How to run a weekly football pool?

    In order to run a football pool, you must first crown yourself as Pool Commissioner. Begin by picking a game type like Survivor or Pick'Em. You'll want to establish rules before inviting friends, family, and colleagues to join. As commissioner, you make the rules and also need to enforce them equally and fairly.

    What is a football survivor pool?

    In a Football Survivor Pool, players choose one team weekly they think will win. Usually, a team can be picked one time per season. Picks are made "straight up," no spreads necessary. If a pick is correct, members survive another week. An incorrect pick eliminates the player, unless a mulligan is used.

    How does a football pool work?

    Football pools are games of skill played among a group of people. There are a variety of pool types to fit every players needs, from casual to competitive. Pool commissioners can set up pools manually, or use a hosting service like RunYourPool whiel still customizing your own settings. Some examples include NFL Squares, NFL Survivor, NFL Pick 'Em, and Playoff Brackets.

    What is an NFL pickem pool?

    In an NFL pick’em pool, simply pick the outcome of each NFL game throughout the season. You can pick straight up winners or losers, or pick each game against the spread.

    How to play a football pool?

    The way one plays a football pool varies on the game type. For example, in Survivor, you pick one team to win each week and can't pick that team again. Guess wrong and you lose. Another example is Pick'em Pools in which you simply pick every game each week.

    How does a fantasy football pool work?

    Fantasy football pools don’t involve a traditional fantasy football draft. You can have as many members in your pool as you’d like, meaning no more 12 or 14 team limits! You pick a new lineup of players each week, and once you use a player once, you can’t use them again for the rest of the season.

    What is a fantasy football pool?

    A fantasy football pool is similar to a traditional fantasy football league but without the draft. Pick a new lineup each week, and once you use a player, you can’t use them for the rest of the season. Your players will receive points based on their in-game stats, and the member with the most points at the end of the season is the winner.

    What is a football pool?

    "Football Pool" is a broad term for a group of people competitively guessing the outcome of one or more football games. There are many types of formats, each assigning winners differently. They can be played informally between friends or through a more formalized system. They are often considered a great alternative to fantasy football given the ease of playing, although there are fantasy football pools as well.

    How do football pool squares work?

    There are different kinds of football square pools. Most have a 10x10 grid with one team for the rows and columns. In an attempt to win, participants select a square where they believe the last digit number of each team's score will intersect at the end of each quarter, and the game's end.

    How do you play football squares pools?

    To play a football squares pool, you're going to want to pick the squares with the best odds. As winners are determined by the point totals at the end of each quarter, try to consider options where scores are most common. Some of the most popular squares include 7-3, 7-0, 7-7, and 0-0. Numbers divisible by seven are good starting points.

    How many squares in a football pool?

    In a traditional football squares pool, a grid is sectioned off into 100 squares with 10 columns and 10 rows. This accounts for a direct relationship between each possible digit from 0 to 9 on both the X and Y axis. For smaller square grids like 5x5, multiple numbers can be assigned to each column and row.

    How to play squares football pools?

    Football squares are played by creating a grid, in which Team 1 takes the column and Team 2 the rows. In some cases, participants may claim as many squares as they like. In others, commissioners limit them to one. At the quarter times and end of the game, the winner is decided at the point the scores final digit intersect.

    What is a football squares pool?

    Also called Grid, Block, or Box Pools, Football Squares Pools can be played with any single game, but are most popular during the Super Bowl. Pool members claim squares on a 25, 50, or 100-square grid by putting their information in the square. Game scores are matched to the winning square(s), usually with winners being determined every quarter.

    How to read a football pool sheet?

    In Squares formats, football pool sheets include a grid, where one team is the column and one is the row. Winners are determined at the end of each quarter when the last number in the team’s score (on each side) is matched to the numbers on the grid, and the intersecting square wins.

    How do you play football credits pool?

    In the credits format, all players start with the same number of credits. Players make picks each week by risking a certain number of credits on games, assigning more credits to the picks with a higher confidence level. Members receive double the credits risked for each win. The member with the most credits at the end of the season wins.

    What is a football credits pool?

    In Football Credits Pools, players start with the same number of credits. They then make picks each week by risking a number of credits on games, assigning more to the picks they have more confidence in getting right. Members double credits risked for each win. The member with the highest credits at the end of the season wins.

    How to run a football pool?

    How you decide to run a football pool varies greatly depending on the game type. In each case, however, you'll want to determine the rules and settings before you begin inviting members to join you. You'll want to clearly establish how score will be kept, how tiebreakers work, and how winners are decided before anything else.

    How do you play football confidence pool?

    A football confidence pool is played straight up, not with a point spread. Not only do members pick the winning teams, they must back up their picks by giving them a relative confidence ranking. Your score reflects the number of confidence points given to winning teams. So if your confidence for a team winning is '1', then you can only win one point at most. If your confidence for a team winning is '5', then you can win five points for a win. The member with the most credits at the end wins.

    What is a football confidence pool?

    "Football Confidence Pool" refers to how you rank the teams that you think will win each week. For example, in the NFL, there are often 16 games weekly. In this scenario, you would rank each game from 16 to 1, based on the your confidence in that team winning.

    How do you play football margin pool?

    Margin pools are an NFL pool format that rewards members for picking a winning team each week. Pool commissioners can decide whether they award points equal to a winning teams margin of victory or the point spread for that game. When a commissioner chooses the point spread option, this format is often referred to as an NFL Underdog Pool.

    What is a football margin pool?

    In a Football Margin Pool, you are awarded points for picking a winning team. Pool commissioners get to decide whether they award points equal to a winning teams margin of victory or the point spread for that game. The player with the most points at the end of the season wins.

    How do you play football 33 point pool?

    The football 33 pool format is a casual pool where members are each assigned an NFL team (these pools are 32 members max, as there are 32 NFL teams). Members win when their team scores 33 points. Options for changing the target score, or having the closest to the target win each week is also available.

    What is a football 33 point pool?

    In the football 33 pool format, each member is assigned a unique NFL team (32 members max). A member will win when their team scores 33 points. This is a casual pool where you can change the target score or the option to have the closest to the target that week win.

    How to run a weekly football pool?

    In order to run a football pool, you must first crown yourself as Pool Commissioner. Begin by picking a game type like Survivor or Pick'Em. You'll want to establish rules before inviting friends, family, and colleagues to join. As commissioner, you make the rules and also need to enforce them equally and fairly.

    What is an NFL Playoff bracket pool?

    NFL Playoff Bracket pools are simple NFL pool formats where members pick every round of the playoffs before they start in an attempt to predict every match up correctly. It's optional to configure a multiplier for each round, or add a tiebreaker option of total points in the Super Bowl.

    How to make a football pool?

    A football pool generally requires the creation of a shareable spreadsheet (like Google Sheets) so that members may pick teams. Then depending on the game type, creators must use several kinds of formulas (e.g. CountIF), data validation, and conditional formatting. Or, you can just use football pool hosting service like RunYourPool where we do all the work for you!

    How to set up a football pool?

    To set up a football pool, you'll need to first choose a pool type like Survivor or Pick'em. Then, you'll need to set the ground rules. As pool commissioner, you'll enforce these rules and make sure the game runs smoothly throughout the season. Many commissioners use pool hosting sites like RunYourPool to make it easier and more engaging.

    What is a football power ranking playoff pool?

    In a power ranking playoff pool, members rank all 12 NFL teams competing in the playoffs from strongest (12 points) to weakest (1 point). Picks are made only ONCE before any games begin. Members are awarded the number of points assigned to a team when they win. Commissioners can optionally set up a point multiplier for each playoff round.

    What is a football confidence pool?

    "Football Confidence Pool" refers to how you rank the teams that you think will win each week. For example, in the NFL, there are often 16 games weekly. In this scenario, you would rank each game from 16 to 1, based on the your confidence in that team winning. This is similar to the Playoff Pool Power Ranking, just less teams.

    How to run a football pool?

    How you decide to run a football pool varies greatly depending on the game type. In each case, however, you'll want to determine the rules and settings before you begin inviting members to join you. You'll want to clearly establish how score will be kept, how tiebreakers work, and how winners are decided before anything else.

    What is a football playoff precision pool?

    In a playoff precision pool, members attempt to pick the winner of every playoff game each week. You can decide if it’s straight up or on a point spread picks, but point totals are also added. Points are awarded for correct picks AND for how close to the correct combined point total they were.

    How to read a football pool sheet?

    In Squares formats, football pool sheets include a grid, where one team is the column and one is the row. Winners are determined at the end of each quarter when the last number in the team’s score (on each side) is matched to the numbers on the grid, and the intersecting square wins.

    What is a Super Bowl Prop Bets Pool?

    A Super Bowl Prop Bet Pool is a fun and thrilling way to compete against friends and family during the big game! It's a simple questionaire of prop betting questions revolving around the Super Bowl, and whoever earns the most points based off correct answers wins!

    How does a Super Bowl Prop Bets Pool work?

    Pool members simply fill out a wide range of prop questions, each question worth a different value. Commissioners decide on the point value for each question, along with the amount of questions. Whichever member earns the most points based on corret answers wins the pool.

    What is a football Super Bowl Squares pool?

    Also called Grid, Block, or Box Pools, Football Squares Pools can be played with any single game, but are most popular during the Super Bowl. Pool members claim squares on a 25, 50, or 100-square grid by putting their information in the square. Game scores are matched to the winning square(s), usually with winners being determined every quarter.

    What is a prop bet?

    Prop bets are any sort of pick or wager on a game that has nothing to do with the score or the final score outcome. Props can range from game types, to team types and even player types - such as who will score the game's first and last touchdowns? Other props, such as novelty or exotic, feature bets on things such as the coin flip or the Super Bowl Halftime Show.

    How to read a football pool sheet?

    In Squares formats, football pool sheets include a grid, where one team is the column and one is the row. Winners are determined at the end of each quarter when the last number in the team’s score (on each side) is matched to the numbers on the grid, and the intersecting square wins.

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    About Author

    Matt K

    Matt is the Social Media Manager at RYP and currently resides in Boston, Massachusetts. He has experience managing social media accounts with agencies, small brands, and large companies. He’s a diehard New England sports fanatic, and if he’s not watching the Celtics, he can be found roaming around Boston discovering all that the city has to offer.

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