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Aug 26, 2023; Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA; Minnesota Vikings wide receiver Justin Jefferson (18) reacts after a game against the Arizona Cardinals at U.S. Bank Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brad Rempel-USA TODAY Sports
- With the start of the NFL season also comes the start of survivor pools all across the country
- Some of the biggest Week 1 favorites are the Ravens, Commanders, Chiefs and Vikings
- Looking for the best NFL Survior Pool picks for Week 1? Read on for our top selections here
The NFL season is about to kick off and amongst all the ways you can bet on the NFL, many bettors will also be sweating their weekly NFL Survivor picks. Whether you’re playing in a friendly survivor pool among friends or competing in some of the bigger survivor pools in the industry, survivor players all have one question in Week 1? And that is which favorites are the best bets for Week 1 Survivor?
Of the top seven largest favorites, we’ve narrowed down our NFL survivor picks for Week 1 to three teams.
First, let’s take a look at the biggest NFL Week 1 favorites at Bet365. Then we’ll dive into a couple of our best bets from that group. Plus, we’ll look at any teams that may be worth avoiding for your Week 1 Survivor picks.
Biggest NFL Week 1 Favorites
- Ravens -10 (vs Texans)
- Commanders -7 (vs Cardinals)
- Chiefs -6.5 (vs Lions)
- Vikings -6.5 (vs Buccaneers)
- Jaguars -5 (at Colts)
- Seahawks -5 (vs Rams)
- Eagles -4 (at Patriots)
These seven teams are lined as 4-point favorites or higher at Bet365. Be sure to claim this NFL Week 1 Bet365 bonus code to use for all of your NFL wagers.
Buccaneers vs Vikings
The Vikings may be big 6.5-point favorites in the Week 1 NFL odds but that’s a spot they aren’t expected to be in very often the rest of the season. A quick scan at the season-long lookahead lines will show they are only listed as favorites in seven more games and only one of those seven is by a even a field goal. At best the Vikings are favored by no more than 2.5 points in the ten games after playing the Bucs in Week 1. Obviously things can change, but as of now, there doesn’t look to be any more enticing a spot to play on the Vikings coming up that in your NFL Week 1 survivor picks.
The Bucs won the NFC South last season but at only 8-9. Baker Mayfield enters the season as Tampa’s new starting QB and C Ryan Jensen has gone down with a season-ending knee injury, to go with WR Russell Gage who also already suffered a season-ending knee injury. Needless to say the outlook in Tampa Bay is grim.
Survivor Picks: Vikings
RANKINGS: Three Minnesota #Vikings players made ESPN’s top 100 players list for the 2023 season:
— SKOR North (@SKORNorth) August 28, 2023
Texans vs Ravens
The Ravens were 10-7 last season, finishing second in the AFC North to the Bengals. They’d go on to the playoffs where they met the Bengals in the Wild Card Round, losing 24-17. The Ravens played without star QB Lamar Jackson from Week 14 onwards with a knee injury, but he’s back this season with a new five-year $260 million contract to lead Baltimore on another run at the playoffs and Super Bowl. The Ravens were 2-4 (playoffs included) without Lamar and were 8-4 in games he played in or started prior to the injury. Over Jackson’s career in Baltimore, the Ravens are 45-16 when he’s started.
Their opponents, the Texans, went 3-13-1 last season and are in full rebuild mode. In comes ex-fan favorite as a player DeMeco Ryans. The 49ers defensive coordinator, comes back to Houston as the new head coach. They also drafted what they hope will be new cornerstones for the franchise in second overall pick CJ Stroud at QB who will replace Davis Mills and third overall pick Will Anderson Jr at DE.
Against a Ravens’ defense that ranked tenth in overall yards allowed per game and fifth in sacks, it will be an uphill battle for the Texans to pull the upset here.
The Ravens will likely be one of the most popular Week 1 Survivor picks this weekend as Baltimore are 10-point favorites on Sunday. If you don’t use them this week you may look to avoid them in Week 2 when they travel to Cincinnati. But a home game on September 24 to Indy and away to Arizona on October 29 as heavy favorites, will also be prime opportunities to ride with Lamar and co. in your survivor pools.
Survivor Picks: Ravens
Jaguars vs Colts
The Colts don’t have high expectations this season after going 4-12-1. They were 2-6 both at home and on the road.
They start the season with a new first-time head coach in Shane Steichen and also a new rookie quarterback in Anthony Richardson. Steichen was the Eagles’ offensive coordinator and had that unit ranked top-ten in a whole host of categories including third in points per game at 28.1. Richardson was the fourth overall pick in the draft and has a ton of upside. But still, both will need time to adjust to their new roles.
They had, one of the top running backs in the game in Jonathan Taylor. Technically do still have him, however, the star running back wants out of Indy and is currently on the PUP list. That leaves Zach Moss next in line to shoulder the rushing load.
Christian Kirk: Coaches have “definitely” given Trevor Lawrence more responsibilities. https://t.co/06oihmFlbK
— ProFootballTalk (@ProFootballTalk) September 5, 2023
The Jaguars didn’t have a great regular season being just 9-8. But that was enough to win the AFC South title. They finished the regular season on a five-game winning streak. Then went on to mount an incredible comeback win over the Chargers in the Wild Card Round and came up just short in the Divisional Round to eventual champions Kansas City losing 27-20. The Jags were 5-3 at home last season and beat the Colts 24-0 at home, while losing on the road 34-27.
There’s no doubt the arrow is pointing up for the Jags and starting QB Trevor Lawrence. Lawrence ranked ninth in passing yards, to go with 25 TDs and just 8 INTs.
If you don’t use Jacksonville in your Week 1 survivor picks when the Jags are five-point favorites, there will be more opportunities. The Jags are currently lined as favorites in three of five games following Week 1. This includes being 7 and 6.5-point favorites over the Texans and Colts again in Weeks 3 and 6 respectively. But Jacksonville also has games against the Chiefs (Week 2) and Bills (Week 5) you’ll want to avoid.
Survivor Picks: Jaguars
Survivor Pool Favorites to Avoid
When looking at all of the top NFL Suvivor Pool picks for Week 1, the Commanders look like an obvious choice. Washington “should” beat Arizona, but here are some reasons you could look to avoid them in your Week 1 picks.
Cardinals vs Commanders
There are few sure things in life. But one thing that looks pretty sure this NFL season is that the Arizona Cardinals will be bad. Probably very bad. Possibly 0-17 bad. You could make the argument for picking against them every week in your NFL Survivor picks. Or at least until you’re forced to pick elsewhere when they play a divisional opponent for a second time.
If you were to follow that strategy, then it starts right here with taking the Washington Commanders who are 7-point favorites. However, Washington weren’t great last season, but were at least a .500 team going 8-8-1. The Commanders were 12th in rushing yards per game on offense. Defensively the Commanders were fourth in defending the pass and 11th versus the rush.
Neither Carson Wentz or Taylor Heinicke were the answers at QB. So this season the baton gets passed to Sam Howell and Jacoby Brissett. Howell enters the season as the starter but has just one start to his name.
The sale of the team from Daniel Snyder to the Josh Harris group and the addition of Eric Bieniemy as offensive coordinator are great long-term moves. But the Commanders made little notable additions in free agency or in the draft. Washington is still better than the Cardinals. But I’m not sure I’d want to start off my survivor season with a bet on the unproven Howell in my Week 1 NFL survivor picks.
How to Bet on the NFL?
Looking for more on how to bet on NFL games? Whether you go deep into your Survivor pool or get knocked out in the early rounds, there are endless ways to bet on the NFL 2023/24 season.
Every week you can monitor the NFL odds for that week and see how the spreads and totals are adjusting to make your picks against the spread. There are also endless ways to bet on NFL props or the Super Bowl 58 odds.
And when you’re doing so, you’ll instantly make the experience even better by claiming one of the top bonuses from the best NFL betting apps here!
Ryan is SBD’s resident soccer pro, though his repertoire is by no means limited to a single sport. His articles have been published by the Canadian Hockey League (CHL), Ontario Hockey League (OHL), and the Kitchener Rangers, and outlets like SportsXpress and Shredthespread.com