Pick’em Pool Pick Advice for Subscribers in 2023 NFL Playoff Pools
Welcome to the PoolGenius pick strategy article for 2022-23 NFL playoffs pick’em pools (and for pools that include both the regular season and playoffs). This is a premium article available to subscribers with access to our Football Pick’em Picks product.
If you don’t already have access, you’ll see a button at the bottom of this page to subscribe.
Because of the unique complexity of NFL playoff pick’em pools, our Football Pick’em Picks product does not provide customized, pool-specific pick recommendations for playoff pools like it does for regular-season pools.
Instead, this article provides our data-driven pick advice for playoff pick’em pools, from the Wild Card Round to the Super Bowl. We update it multiple times weekly throughout the playoffs, and include news updates that are likely to impact pick’em pool strategy.
The Super Bowl is here, which means there’s only one game remaining in playoff pick’em pools. Here are the updates and plan for the Super Bowl:
- Mon, Jan. 30: Super Bowl Matchup and Spread
- Wed, Feb. 1: Super Bowl Pick Popularity Data
- Thu, Feb. 2: Game-Winner Super Bowl Strategy
- Thu, Feb. 2: Spread Pool Super Bowl Strategy
If you want to see our previous content, you can see our schedule for Conference Championship Week here, Divisional Round content, here, and Wild Card Round content, here.
Subscribers who still have questions after reading this article can submit them via the product’s Q&A Forum. Just make sure to do it by Friday at noon before the Super Bowl to guarantee that we have time to review it. The earlier you get your question in, the better the odds that we can respond in time.
SUPER BOWL CONTENT
2023 Super Bowl Matchup, Spread and Total
A year after we had a Super Bowl without any No. 1 or No. 2 seeds, we get both of the conference’s top seeds squaring off in Super Bowl LVII.
The Philadelphia Eagles won handily 31-7 against the short-handed San Francisco 49ers, as Niners QB Brock Purdy tore his UCL on the first drive and backup Josh Johnson also suffered an injury later in the game. Meanwhile, the Kansas City Chiefs finally won a close game by a field goal over the Cincinnati Bengals after losing three similar games to them in the last two seasons.
Philadelphia is a 2-point favorite against Kansas City, with 54 percent win odds, in a game being played in Arizona. The over/under is 49.5 points.
2022 Super Bowl Pick Popularity Data
Here are the early pick popularity numbers in game-winner and spread pools:
- Philadelphia, 52 percent win odds, 63 percent popularity
- Kansas City, 48 percent win odds, 37 percent popularity
- Philadelphia, 51 percent cover odds, 62 percent popularity
- Kansas City, 49 percent cover odds, 38 percent popularity
Right now, the spread is somewhere between one and two points in favor of Philadelphia, so it’s not surprising to see the game-winner and spread data in line with each other. In both cases, Philadelphia is more popular, so Kansas City does present some contrarian coin-flip value or upset value as of now.
Game-Winner Pool Strategy
We are down to the final game, so pool strategy is pretty simple.
Right now, the game odds are pretty even for the two teams, with the Eagles a slight favorite with 53% win odds. Meanwhile, the Eagles are more popular, drawing around 63 percent of picks.
Our advice would be to take the Eagles if you’re in the lead, giving you the slight favorite and the better chance of covering an opponent. You should take the Chiefs if you are trailing, since their odds are nearly as good and there’s a higher chance of uniqueness.
If you’re part of a group of entries tied for a pool lead, the decision comes down to a few things: how many you are competing with, and the prize structure and drop-off in value. With two or fewer tied, staying with Philadelphia is probably better. Three others could go either way. Once you get to a larger group, you have a better chance of finishing at a higher average value by taking Kansas City, even as a slight underdog, as long as the pick rate for the Chiefs is under 40 percent.
If you are in a confidence pool, you are likewise limited to one remaining spot. Whether you should go with the Chiefs as the underdog or the Eagles as the popular choice depends on whether you will be in the lead if you get the final point value if your pick is correct, regardless of what others do. If you can win the pool by securing the points, regardless of others, take the Eagles. If you need to diversify and try to pick opposite another team you are chasing (but can catch), take the Chiefs.
Spread Pools Strategy
Our current spread shows the Eagles -1.5, and Philadelphia’s popularity is very similar to game-winner pools, at 62 percent. Our models are neutral on which is the better side, so you should let any line value in your specific pool play a role, and then make a decision based on whether you should be on the popular side or not.
If you are in a leading position, you should probably take the Eagles. If you are trailing, go with the Chiefs.
If your pool also uses over/unders, the public is slightly on the under with 55 percent going that way, while the line has moved to 51.0 after opening at 49.5. Our models are neutral on this one as well. (We also took a look at some Super Bowl-specific over/under trends in a BetIQ article.) This one could still move either way, as there are some injury question marks with Kansas City that could impact the offense positively or negatively depending on the news.
Our main advice here is to take any line value you are getting relative to your contest line.
We’ll update this advice next week as we continue to monitor the lines and movement as we approach the Super Bowl.
CONFERENCE CHAMPIONSHIP WEEK CONTENT
- Mon, Jan. 23: Conf. Champ Matchups and Spreads
- Tue, Jan. 24: Round-By-Round Advancement Odds
- Tue, Jan. 24: Champ Game Pick Popularity
- Wed, Jan. 25: Game-Winner Pick Strategy
- Wed, Jan. 25: Spread Pool Pick Strategy
- Thu, Jan. 26: Over/Under Pick Strategy
- Thu, Jan. 26: Advice for Confidence Pools
2023 Championship Game Matchups and Spreads
The AFC and NFC title games are set, and three of the teams who were in last year’s championship games are back this year. Newcomer Philadelphia is joining Cincinnati, Kansas City, and San Francisco.
Here are your spreads, win odds projections, and over/unders for the upcoming games.