Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports. Pictured: Kansas State head coach Bill Snyder
- I'm sure almost all of you have previously participated in an NFL survivor pool — but not a college football one.
- Whether you want to make it an against-the-spread pool or restrict the eligible teams, there are a few ways to make a college football survivor league fun and competitive.
In part four of our football betting contest series, we will take a look at a couple of survivor contest variations that can work for college football.
Most people are familiar with standard NFL season-long survivor pools, where you must pick one team to advance straight-up each week. Most don’t allow you to use the same team twice, which is where the strategy comes into play. I personally try to avoid road teams (and the Browns).
Some NFL survivor pools also allow those who have been eliminated to buy back into the contest by a certain date. That option not only keeps it interesting for those who get eliminated early, but also increases the prize pool.
Now, what about a survivor pool for college football bettors? You can’t follow the same NFL rules since so many college teams are favored by 30-plus points each Saturday.
Here are two solutions to address that problem:
- Single digits only: This straight-up survivor variation only includes teams favored by 9.5 points or fewer each week. The league commissioner would simply send out all eligible games based on the lines at a certain point in time early in the week. If a line moves from 9.5 to 10.5, that team still remains eligible.
- Against the spread: One way to easily solve the large number of favorites issue is to make the pool an ATS survivor. Participants must correctly pick a team that covers the spread to advance. Make sure that you use all half-point lines to avoid pushes (or make a rule that all pushes are wins or losses).
I’ve done and enjoyed both. And just because Week 1 is already over, it doesn’t mean that it’s too late to start a college football survivor pool.
Simply start it from this Saturday (or even the next one) through the end of the season. If you want to get really creative, you can do a combined NFL and NCAA survivor pool.