NFL Survivor Pool Picks 2017 Season Outlook: Good and Bad Teams According to Season Win Totals

$60 in Free Picks

Since the NFL Preseason started last night, I thought this would be a great time for our first blog post of the 2017 NFL season. This week I will look at NFL futures odds for season win totals in order to try and indentify who the good and bad teams will be for the upcoming season. Every season sportsbooks release an “over/under” line for each team in the league. For example, the New England Patriots have a season win total of 12.5 this season at Bovada. So bettors have the choice to bet on whether the Pats will win 13 or more games or whether they will win 12 or less by betting the over or under, respectively.

Getting off to a good start in your NFL Survivor Pool is essential. The early season is tough. Many pool competitors don’t follow NFL news in the offseason and will make their picks according what they remember from last season when making early-season selections. Some teams that were good last season will struggle this season. Some bad teams will play much better. Good teams can get off to slow starts while bad teams can exceed expectations early. Those factors along with the fact that many Survivor Pool players don’t have any idea what they are doing means that a big chunk of the participants in your pool will probably be out by Week 6. We don’t want to be one of those people, so it’s best to do plenty of research in order to make the best early-season picks.

For this blog I will look at the teams with the highest season win totals on the Bovada betting board as well as the teams with the lowest totals, and we will also check their early-season schedules to see whether there will be good spots to follow or fade.

Possible Teams to Back

New England Patriots (Over/Under 12.5 Wins)

The defending Super Bowl Champions steamrolled through the league last season, and this squad got even better this offseason. Tom Brady just turned 40, and you have to wonder how much longer he can keep up his stellar play, although he looked better than ever last season. But I also remember Brett Favre, who also looked indestructible throughout most of his career. And then in a snap of a finger it seemed he was on the Jets bench cold and injured with that grey beard looking like anything but an NFL QB. But it looks like Brady will have a couple good years in him, and like last year I will probably suggest the Patriots almost every week for my weekly Survivor Pool picks. However, I don’t save teams and it’s likely I will be using them very early in the season myself.

Early-Season Games to Use for Survivor Pool Pick:

Week 1 vs. Kansas City

Week 2 at New Orleans

Week 3 vs. Houston

Week 6 at New York Jets

Pittsburgh Steelers (O/U 10.5 Wins)

The Steelers are one of just three teams with a win total above 10.0. I think they are good for 10 or 11 wins this season, and I would stay away from this team for betting the win total but will be likely using them early in my Survivor Pool. Steelers QB Ben Roethlisberger was a much different QB on the road than he was at home, and this is a team you are going to want to back in home games this season because they won’t lose many. RB Le’Veon Bell is playing for a new contract and will likely have a monster year. I would stay away from this team in divisional and road games early in the season, but they will probably be a popular early-season pick with some of the dregs of the NFL on the schedule.

Early-Season Games to Use for Survivor Pool Pick:

Week 1 at Cleveland

Week 3 at Chicago

Week 5 vs. Jacksonville

Seattle Seahawks (O/U 10.5 Wins)

The Seahawks have won at least 10 games and have made the playoffs every year since drafting Russell Wilson at QB in the 2012 draft. But this team has been in somewhat of a decline the last couple years, winning 10 games in 2015 and 2016. They lost a lot of talent off the team, and they aren’t the same force they were several years ago. But this team is in a pretty easy division and they will probably win five games in the division without breaking much of a sweat, and they have a pretty easy schedule overall, especially at home.

Early-Season Games to Use for Survivor Pool Pick:

Week 2 vs. San Francisco

Week 4 vs. Indianapolis

Week 5 at LA Rams

Green Bay Packers (O/U 10 Wins)

The Packers have made the playoffs in eight straight seasons. They will probably make it nine this year. However, this team has had the propensity to start slowly. It was a minor miracle that they made the postseason last year after a 4-6 start. They slow start no doubt doomed many a Survivor Pool player in 2016. This season they have a pretty tough slate to start off the season, and this might be a team that I will have hanging out in my arsenal, assuming I make it in my pool, until later in the season, assuming I don’t use them in Week 4 vs. Chicago.

Early-Season Games to Use for Survivor Pool Pick:

Week 4 vs. Chicago

Atlanta Falcons (O/U 9.5 Wins)

The Super Bowl hangover is real. Not since 1993 has a team that lost the Super Bowl returned to the big game the next season. In the last decade, three such teams, including the Carolina Panthers last season, failed to make the postseason altogether. Atlanta had the Super Bowl practically sewn up with a 25-point lead over the Patriots. Losing in such a fashion could cause even more of a Super Bowl hangover than normal. I like Tampa Bay in the NFC South this season and expect the Falcons to be worse than last year. This is a team I will be staying away from in my Survivor Pools unless they look really, really good the first couple of weeks

Early-Season Games to Use for Survivor Pool Pick:

Week 1 at Chicago

Week 4 vs. Buffalo

Week 6 vs. Miami

Dallas Cowboys (O/U 9.5 Wins)

The Cowboys were somewhat of a surprise last year, finishing 13-3 behind a rookie QB and rookie RB. For me this is always a team to be wary of. They normally falter under heavy expectations and shine with zero expectations. They have had a lot of off-field distractions this offseason, and Dak Prescott, last season’s Offensive Rookie of the Year, may endure the sophomore slump that so many quarterbacks before him have suffered from. Dallas is a team I will be watching closely in their first couple of games because they have a very favorable matchup Week 4 when hosting the Rams.

Early-Season Games to Use for Survivor Pool Pick:

Week 4 vs. LA Rams

Week 7 at San Francisco

Possible Teams to Fade

Cleveland Browns (O/U 4.5 Wins)

This will be a bad team again in 2017, but I can guarantee they will win more than one game. They have a bit more talent this season, they are well-coached, and they will probably have a lot more of a positive attitude this season. Plus, even though they won only one game last season, they should have won more. They lost two games in overtime and should have beaten the Ravens in Week 2 as they squandered a big lead. However, the Browns have won five or less games in eight of the last nine years, and this team isn’t going to win many this season although I think they will pull an upset or two and wind up pretty close to this win total. There, however, will be plenty of spots to fade the Browns, especially in the early season.

Early-Season Games to Fade for Survivor Pool Pick:


Week 1 vs. Pittsburgh

Week 2 at Baltimore

Week 4 vs. Cincinnati

Week 6 at Houston

New York Jets (O/U 4.5 Wins)

The Jets might be like the Browns from last year. This has been one of the oldest teams in the NFL for years but they lost nearly all their veterans in the offseason and now they have the worst roster in all of football from a talent standpoint. I think this team will struggle to win four games this season, and this is my top fade team this year. They have a horrible quarterback situation right now and probably want to position themselves at the top of the draft to pick one of the best QBs on the board. There are lots of spots to fade early in the season, and I will be looking to play against this team quite often.

Early-Season Games to Fade for Survivor Pool Pick:

Week 1 at Buffalo

Week 2 at Oakland

Week 4 vs. Jacksonville

Week 6 vs. New England

San Francisco 49ers (O/U 4.5 Wins)

How the mighty have fallen. A few years ago this was one of the best teams in the NFL, and now they are in the running for the top pick in the draft. This is probably going to be the worst team in the NFC, and they will struggle to win four games. They were 2-14 last season, and I don’t expect much improvement here as this squad is lacking talent across the board. This team will struggle to compete all season, especially on the road, and this is a team you will want to look to fade every week for your NFL Survivor Pool.

Early-Season Games to Fade for Survivor Pool Pick:

Week 1 vs. Carolina

Week 2 at Seattle

Week 4 at Arizona

Week 6 at Washington

Chicago Bears (O/U 5.5 Wins)

This team won three games last season. Although they are projected to be a bit better this season, it will still be a long year in the Windy City. This team is in rebuild mode big time, but I do like their QB, Mike Glennon, and think he will be able to lead the team to 4-5 wins. They have a really tough schedule, especially to start off the season, and if this team starts off really slow then they might lose all confidence and wind up with just a couple wins on the season. Lots of fade spots early to go against this team.

Early-Season Games to Fade for Survivor Pool Pick:

Week 1 vs. Atlanta

Week 2 at Tampa Bay

Week 3 vs. Pittsburgh

Week 4 at Green Bay

Week 5 vs. Minnesota

Week 6 at Baltimore

Los Angeles Rams (O/U 5.5 Wins)

This will probably be most winning of the fade teams I mentioned here. This team still has a ton of issues and a real lack of talent, but they will probably be good for between 4-6 wins on the year. They have a tougher road schedule then their home schedule, so there will be some good spots to fade this team when away from home. Second-year QB Jared Goff looks like a bust, and the line is pretty shaky to protect him. However, this team normally has a decent defense, and that could be the case as well here in 2017.

Early-Season Games to Fade for Survivor Pool Pick:

Week 2 vs. Washington

Week 4 at Dallas

Week 5 vs. Seattle

Week 6 at Jacksonville