Next to March Madness brackets, the NFL season can act as the next best litmus test of sports fans’ ability to predict the future. Pennsylvania NFL survivor pools not only offer the chance for PA residents to document their soothsaying abilities but win lucrative prizes doing so, too.
BetMGM Sportsbook and DraftKings Sportsbook have contests ready for the first week of the 2021-22 season. The contests have some different rules but they both center on your ability to call who will win NFL games outright.
How do NFL survivor pools work?
It’s essentially a weekly prediction game with a twist. These games have been around for a long time, long before BetMGM, BetRivers, DraftKings, or any other Pennsylvania sportsbooks came into being.
Traditionally, a group of people would agree to an entry fee before the NFL season began and all put their money into a pot. Then, each member of the pool picks one team each week to win its game.
If you miss on your pick, you’re eliminated from the game. The last person standing takes home the biggest share of the pool, the runner-up the second-biggest share, and so on.
BetMGM, BetRivers, and DraftKings have taken this concept of a friendly wager for fun and kicked it up several notches. In fact, DraftKings has taken it up a million notches to be exact.
Details of DraftKings’ Pro Football Millionaire Survivor contest
Entry is now open for all Pennsylvanians of legal age (21) and costs $333. The DraftKings Pro Football Millionaire Survivor contest starts on Thursday, Sept. 9, and runs through the remainder of the regular season. Among the three options, this works most as a true Pennsylvania NFL survivor pools game.
Each week, your picks are due by 1 p.m. ET on Sundays. All NFL games for that week, including Monday Night and Thursday Night games, are eligible.
The top prize is $1 million. You aren’t competing against just other Pennsylvanians, though. All customers in every state DraftKings has a sports betting license join a single pool. Last year, hundreds of thousands of people participated.
Your fee gets you up to three separate entries and if there are multiple entries still valid at the end of the season, those victors will share the million dollars. If that $333 entry fee is a little too rich for your blood, there is another option.
How to become King of the Weekend with BetMGM
This is a free-to-play game for Pennsylvanians and BetMGM customers across the nation. There’s as much as $50,000 up for grabs every week despite the $0 entry. The game is simple but challenging.
Every week of the season, BetMGM will pick five NFL games. Your task is then to rank the six teams that you think will score the most points in those games in order. If you achieve that feat, you stand to win at least a share of $50,000 each week you succeed.
It isn’t an all-or-nothing premise, though. Even if you only pick just one of the top six highest-scoring teams that week out of the pool of 10 eligible franchises, you get a prize. If no one gets all six right, the top entry gets $1,000. For Week 1, the games are:
- Steelers at Buffalo Bills
- San Francisco 49ers at Detroit Lions
- New York Jets at Carolina Panthers
- Arizona Cardinals at Tennessee Titans
- Denver Broncos at New York Giants
Picks are due before the first game begins each Sunday, so you’ll want to rank your squads each Sunday morning. With all these Pennsylvania NFL survivor pools in place, it could be a rewarding season for PA residents who endeavor to presage this fall.
What happened to BetRivers NFL Pick’Em?
Last year, BetRivers did a $500,000 Pennsylvania Pick’Em. It had a $150 entry fee and guaranteed at least $500k in prizes along with weekly payouts. In a cute twist, the person with the most incorrect picks over the course of the season got $2,500.
However, the BetRivers Pick’Em is not happening for the 2021 NFL season. BetRivers replied to multiple tweets asking about the status of the contest with “unfortunately we are not running the NFL Pick Em content this season.”
BetRivers sportsbook is doing a “Beat the Spread” challenge where you make spread bets each week for a chance at $1 million. The promotion starts on September 8, 2021, from 12:00 a.m. ET through January 9, 2022, at 11:59 p.m. ET.
BetRivers Beat the Spread Challenge details
- Place a bet of $25+ on any NFL pregame spread (-125 odds or greater) to earn points.
- One point is earned for each correct pick. If you get the “Game of the Week” pick right, you get 3 points.
- Pick every game correctly any week and get a $500 free bet.
- Only the first qualifying wager on any game is eligible for promotion. Game of the Week to be announced prior to every Sunday.
- Each week on Tuesdays, the Top 200 point earners on the leaderboard will be awarded a bonus money prize, up to a top prize of $5,000 each week. At the conclusion of the promotion, the top 1,000 point earners on the leaderboard will be awarded a bonus money prize, up to a top prize of $50,000.
Lead image by Ed Zurga/AP