Week 1 Eliminator best bets

Projecting the safest selections for Eliminator pools in Week 1

Updated: September 3, 2013, 11:32 AM ET
By Nik Bonaddio and Keith Goldner | numberFire

Andrew LuckPatrick Smith/Getty ImagesAndrew Luck and the Indianapolis Colts are a good bet to win Week 1 against Oakland.

Eliminator pools may not have the popularity of fantasy football just yet, but they are another fun option for NFL fans. The trick, though, is not only staying in the game by picking a correct team to win each week but maximizing your value by saving teams with good matchups for later in the season.

To help you in your Eliminator pool, Insider will use numberFire's predictive modeling to help you survive and advance. Our job is to provide you with the best information possible to empower smarter decision-making.

First, we will provide you with the win-maximizing pick of the week. This is based on the probability of a team winning combined with the percentage of the population selecting each game. For example, the Patriots might be the top favorite one week, projected to win 80 percent of the time (see Week 2, 2012, versus Arizona), but if 50 percent of the population is picking them, selecting them will not help you win your pool. Instead, in the 1-in-5 scenario where the Patriots lose, you would survive while the Cardinals eliminate half of your pool. To do this, we generate every possible combination of outcomes each week (65,000-plus) so you can maximize your potential gains. In addition, we will look forward to future matchups to let you know which teams to keep in reserve, as well as highlight the most likely wins each week.

To help you visualize, here's our Eliminator Pool threat matrix that shows you how each team projects each week based on our model. It will be updated each week as results come in over the course of the season.

Green: Our win-maximizing pick of the week.

Red: The popular pick. This is the consensus pick by you, the player on ESPN's Eliminator Challenge game.

Brown: The max method. This finds the best matchup of the year and works backward to maximize total win percentage throughout the season.


To see the best Eliminator pool Week 1 bets, you must be an ESPN Insider.