Adam Thompson for

By Adam Thompson | | 2 mins

Week 1 NFL 2020 Survivor Pool: Do Not Overthink First Pick

Week 1 NFL 2020 Survivor Pool: Do Not Overthink First Pick

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NFL survivor pools have exploded in popularity. They have grown at levels for all kinds of fans, from family pools to those with thousands of dollars in cash prizes on the line.

The simple nature of it is a major NFL betting draw: Survivor Pools entail picking one team to win each week, but never picking the same team twice in a season.

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It's not how much your team wins by in a Survivor Pool. Simply, it's about picking a winner and moving on — and sometimes saving the biggest favorite for a future week.

We will share our picks each week, helping you get to the next week of your Survivor Pool and put you in good position for future weeks.

Here is the pick for Week 1:

New England Patriots

Last season, Tom Brady was under center and the Patriots had one of the league’s all-time great defenses through 10 weeks before New England tapered off down the stretch.

Week 1 NFL 2020 Survivor Pool: Do Not Overthink First Pick 1

Brady is gone, but Cam Newton is in — that’s quite a trade-off. Coach Bill Belichick and offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels have had an offseason to think of ways to use Newton, a unique player and former NFL MVP.

New England’s defense has issues, but will still be a top-half unit. It certainly has the chops to take care of what Miami will bring to Foxborough on Sunday.

QB placeholder Ryan Fitzpatrick gets the nod over Tua Tagovailoa, which means now is a good time to fade the Dolphins. There is no run game to speak of and the run defense should be among the worst in the NFL as well. This type of game is a Belichick specialty. New England isn’t letting this one slip away at home as a 9.5-point NFL odds favorite.

Other Week 1 contenders:

San Francisco 49ers: They host the Arizona Cardinals, but Kyler Murray gave them troubles and Arizona is an improved team.

Buffalo Bills: Buffalo is poised to challenge the Pats in the AFC East while the Jets are a mess. But I like the idea of holding on to the Bills for a future play.

Philadelphia Eagles: Philly should roll at Washington, but last year the Eagles barely beat the then-Redskins in Week 1, and that was at home.

About the Author

Adam Thompson for
Adam Thompson

NFL writer and expert Adam Thompson joined in 2019 after a successful run as senior handicapper for SportsLine and He has consistently produced profitable seasons in NFL and college football and established himself as an elite MLB expert in 2018, hitting 61 percent of his money line picks for a profit of $4,062 to $100 players, ending the season on a 22-4 run including 100 percent on World Series games. Previously the award-winning sports editor of the Green Bay Press-Gazette, Adam spent nearly 20 years covering the NFL, MLB and college football. Now he shares the insight he gained at through well-reasoned picks and thought-provoking articles and on Twitter at @_Adam_Thompson_.