It’s the NFL’s version of March Madness.
Survivor pools are becoming more and more popular thanks in part to contests being run by sports betting operators. However, just like with NCAA Tournament brackets being busted early and often, folks are being eliminated from these pools left and right.
The Buckeye State’s NFL teams have not helped contestants. The Cincinnati Bengals and the Cleveland Browns have combined for five losses through the first four weeks of the NFL season. That includes a loss the Bengals suffered against the Browns in Week 1.
DraftKings offers several survivor pools with $1, $10, $100 and $1000 entry fees. Each contest is separate and has its own entry fee and payout structure.
According to a DraftKings representative, 3,194 entries have been eliminated from these contests through the aforementioned five losses. That’s not great news for fans of teams that had playoff expectations coming into the season.
Bengals loss to Browns dealt massive blow to survivor pool entries
The Bengals came into the 2023 season as one of the Super Bowl favorites. Despite a preseason calf injury to quarterback Joe Burrow, folks competing in DraftKings NFL survivor pools still had faith in the Bengals when they opened the season with a matchup with the Cleveland Browns. Boy, was that faith misplaced.
The Browns stomped the Bengals 24-3. Not only was the result a shock across the NFL world, but it also rocked survivor pools. 1,606 entries were eliminated from DraftKings NFL survivor pools after picking the Bengals to win in Week 1.
Overall, 2,416 entries have been eliminated from the Bengals losses in Weeks 1, 2 and 4. 499 were eliminated following the Week 2 loss to the Baltimore Ravens, and 311 were eliminated from the team’s Week 4 loss to the Tennessee Titans.
To make matters worse, most sportsbooks favored the Bengals to win all three of the games they lost. Granted, the spread in each of those games never got over -3.5 according to Ohio online sportsbooks. So these weren’t expected to be cakewalks. However, for a team with Super Bowl aspirations, fans should expect Cincy to win these games.
It’s not all bad news. There are 126,413 entries that either picked the Bengals correctly in the team’s lone win over the Los Angeles Rams or were eliminated due to losses by another team. So maybe let’s look at the glass half full.
DraftKings also says 34,333 entries still have the Bengals available to be picked. So there is still hope, just like there is hope for the Bengals to make a playoff run.
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Browns not doing as much damage to survivor pools
Meanwhile, the story is a bit different for the Cleveland Browns. They were the ones that got that big upset win over the Bengals. The Browns are 2-2, with wins over the Bengals and Titans. However, their two losses are to the Ravens and the Pittsburgh Steelers.
There were 778 entries eliminated from DraftKings NFL survivor pools thanks to the Browns losses in Weeks 2 and 4. There were 734 entries eliminated from the Week 2 loss to the Steelers, while just 34 were eliminated from the Week 4 loss to the Ravens.
It’s hard to judge the survivor pool outlook on this team. There are 34,127 entries that can still pick the Browns. Cleveland has been favored twice this season. There are more opportunities for them to be a viable option to be a pick for the week. However, you have to hope you make it to those weeks.
Cleveland can beat most teams in any given week. The problem is that most teams can beat them as well. It’s a tricky balancing act because taking the Browns could be a risk, but it could give you more options down the road if the team can pull through.