Week 1 NFL Survivor Picks Round - Bucs, Rams Expected as Top Choices

Aaron Donald (99) and the Los Angeles Rams host the Chicago Bears with Andy Dalton starting Week 1 over rookie quarterback Justin Fields.
Aaron Donald (99) and the Los Angeles Rams host the Chicago Bears with Andy Dalton starting Week 1 over rookie quarterback Justin Fields. / Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

NFL teams have a “survive and advance” mindset throughout 17 grueling regular-season games. Get through one week at a time, one game at a time, and hope to move onto the following week in better shape than you were the week before.

It’s what makes NFL survivor pools so exciting. One game could make or ruin your whole season!

Survivor contests provide bettors with the same type of mindset as the teams they’re rooting for. A major slip-up early on could be the difference between winning and losing your league.

So how do you decide on which team to take?

The best place to start is by looking at the latest odds. WynnBET Sportsbook has the Tampa Bay Buccaneers (-8 vs. Dallas Cowboys), San Francisco 49ers (-7.5 at Detroit Lions), and Los Angeles Rams (-7.5 vs. Chicago Bears) as the three biggest favorites of the week.

Don’t forget, WynnBET is offering the ability for bettors to triple the spread of the Thursday Night Football game between the Bucs and Cowboys, giving bettors the opportunity to grab Dallas at +24 to cover the spread! That means if Dallas loves by 23 points or less, your bet will still cover! 

Depending on the size of the survivor league and that week’s set of matchups, survivor pool strategy can either be about finding the best matchups just to remain alive to contend for next week or fade the majority of the popular picks in hopes that those teams unexpectedly fail; leaving less competition in the league from that point forward.

Here are our team’s favorite “survivor” picks for Week 1!

NFL Week 1 Survivor Pick: Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Once upon a time, this was set to be a highly intriguing matchup vs. the defending Super Bowl champs. Dak Prescott was playing at an MVP-level a season ago for the Cowboys before a devastating ankle injury, and expectations still remain for the Cowboys to win the NFC East.

The issue now is Prescott hasn’t played during the preseason after dealing with a shoulder strain throughout Training Camp. The start of the season isn’t an ideal time to try and get back into game action, especially with Zack Martin out on the offensive line for the Cowboys.

It’s also a bad matchup for Dallas. The Buccaneers were the top-run defense in the NFL a season ago with the same starters coming back. If the Cowboys’ goal is to get Ezekiel Elliott going on the ground to help Prescott ease in, this is not the game to make it happen.

The line still feels inflated, but if it’s purely an issue of “survive and advance,” I’d be stunned if the Bucs don’t win at home, being the healthiest they’ll be all season. -- Ben Heisler

NFL Week 1 Survivor Pick: Los Angeles Rams

The Matthew Stafford era begins in Los Angeles, and it's going to be a strong coming-out party for the former Lions quarterback. Even more important than that, arguably the best defense in the NFL is going to get a chance to feed on Andy Dalton. 

The day that Andy Dalton torches this Rams defense in a Sunday Night Football game as the entire country watches is the day that I give up betting on sports. Rams win on Sunday night. -- Iain MacMillan

NFL Week 1 Survivor Pick: Buffalo Bills

The Bills went 13-3 last season and have most of their team coming back. As long as they have Josh Allen and Stefon Diggs, the offense is going to be fine. This is the year for Buffalo to prove it was legitimate last season, and I think they start this year off with a win.

Also, we all know the Steelers were frauds last season. Ben Roethlisberger is old and he looks the part. Despite adding Najee Harris to help preserve Big Ben, Pittsburgh simply isn’t as good as the AFC elites, and Week 1 should show everyone just how different both the Bills and Steelers are. 

-- Donnavan Smoot

NFL Week 1 Survivor Pick: San Francisco 49ers

There are only three Week 1 games that have a spread greater than seven points, and the 7.5-point line in the 49ers-Lions matchup happens to be one of them. 

When making survivor picks, there are two main things that I try to consider. First, whether or not there is a clear favorite in the week’s slate of games, and whether or not it is worth using that team or waiting for later in the season. 

San Francisco is expected to be one of the NFL’s better teams in 2021, but I’m not sold on Jimmy Garoppolo as a quarterback, and Trey Lance could be volatile as a rookie if called upon. 

So why not use the 49ers when they’re a massive favorite against the lowly Lions? Kyle Shanahan’s offense should be able to run all over the Lions, and a healthy 49ers defense is going to make things tough on Jared Goff in his debut for Detroit. 

I don’t love betting against a home underdog, but the fact that San Francisco is favored by 7.5 points has me confident that they’ll at least pull out a win in Week 1. -- Peter Dewey

After a season of disappointment, the 49ers want to come out and make a statement against the Lions. I expect them to do just that. 

Jimmy G is fighting for his job and San Francisco is fighting for a top seed in the playoffs. No taking it easy in Week 1. I like them to win big. 

-- Brian Giuffra

Now that you're ready for your Survivor league, how about picking your favorites to win straight up in a parlay at WynnBET?

Bucs, 49ers, Rams, and Bills to win straight-up pays out at +174 (bet $100 to win $174) odds!