Top crypto sportsbook Nitrogen (review) host a series of NFL survivor pools every year. Here is how survivor pools work
- All entrants contribute an entry fee to the prize pool.
- Each entrant picks 1 team to win every week.
- If that pic wins the entry survives until the next week.
- If that pick loses the entry is eliminated.
- Each entry can only pic each team once during the season.
- The winner is the entry that survives the longest into the season without picking a loser.
There are few cool things about the way Nitrogen have set up their NFL survivor pools
- There are 9 pools, one to suit every budget with entry fees from free up to 1000 m฿.
- Even the free pool has a 200 m฿ prize guaranteed!
- Someone will win every pool. You don’t have to last to the end of the season, just longer than other players.
- The pools are 0% house edge, Nitrogen is taking no hosting fee or cut! All entry fees will be payed to the winner with no withdrawal requirements.
The full details, the number of entrants and the guaranteed prizes in each pool can be seen here.
Playing in survivor pools is awesome! Every week you have games to watch with different teams to support. It’s particularly fantastic if you are not an NFL fan yet, enter a survivor pool and watch the games and you will be!
The survivor pool format gives you passionate interest in a new team every week. Add the magic of sports with its drama, suspense, controversy, interwoven storylines and you get the greatest entertainment in the world!
Nitrogen’s Survivor pool starts with a 0% edge. You can turn this into a slight edge in your favor by
- Making multiple entries. This allows for strategies that are not available to players who only make single entries.
- Playing better than the average entrant.
Even with that small edge the variance is huge, most of the time this edge would not be realized because
- It’s a winner take all contest. You can play much better than the average player and finish 2nd; you still lose 100% of your entry fee.
- While skill plays a role, luck plays a bigger role. This means an edge could take dozens of competitions to materialize, but each competition only happens once a year.
You can have more than one entry per pool (except in the free pools) so you can run multiple strategies simultaneously.
Pick the shortest price favorite available every week
This strategy is problematic in all but the smallest pools for 2 main reasons;
- Many other players will be making the same picks, meaning the only way you survive is along with a lot of other players.
- If you survive until halfway through the season you will start to run out of good picks because you will have already picked all the top teams in previous weeks.
However if there are only 2 or 3 players in a left in a pool it makes a lot of sense because;
- You have a good chance of winning just by surviving 1 more week.
- If you pick the same team as all other player in the pool and you all lose, then you equally win the pool and share the prize.
Pick based on chance to win and value to hold
I run a strategy with multiple entries in single pools and picks based on a combination of how likely a team is to win and how valuable a team is to keep available for future weeks.
The oddsmakers know more about NFL and the matchups than I do, so the odds for each game tell me all I need to know about how likely a team is to win that week. The odds for the super bowl winner and each teams projected wins for the season tell me about how valuable a team is to keep available for future weeks.
I bet on favorites but not necessarily the shortest priced favorite every week. If the shortest priced favorite is one of the top teams in the league it might be better to keep that team available to pick later in the season.
Often I identify a handful of favorites that are around the same odds and pick the one that is least valuable to hang on to as a pick for later. This pick has the same chance of winning that week as the better teams and I lose less equity by losing this team as an available pick in the future.
For the first half of the season I judge how valuable a team is to keep available for future weeks based on the odds for that team to win the super bowl and that teams projected wins total. Later in the season I consider each team’s performance in the season so far and their opponents for the remaining games.
Zig while others zag
This is particularly important if you are a single entry in a larger pool. Your best shot to win is to let most of the other entrants make the obvious picks while you pick a team most others don’t. Then hope the obvious pick loses, which happens multiple times every season!
You can follow my entries as player number 189.
I won 40,280 m฿ across the 5 pools I entered! A huge success that you or I could replicate next season.
Due to time constraints I did not participate this year 🙁
I entered 3 free pools
- Nitrogen’s social media pool.
- Exclusive BitEdge pool.
- Free pool.
I bombed out in every one! hahaha, I can’t even say there were too manny other players, my pics just did not work out at all.
I lost every survivor pool I entered and won 14,524 m฿ by hedging against my survivor pool position in the last week! Full details here.