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Nover: NFL Survivor Pools on Life Support

This Sunday is going to have a different feel for millions of NFL bettors. They are the ones who already have been eliminated from various survivor pools and contests courtesy of the New Orleans Saints losing as double-digit home favorites to Tampa Bay last week.

Survivor, or knockout pools, grow in popularity every year. The format is simple: Pick one team to win straight-up. Lose once and you're out. The trick is you have to use a different team each week. You can't play the same team twice in a season.

Saints Burned MANY POOLIES IN WEEK 2

So even though the Saints had lost in their previous five home games, they still were the consensus play.

It could be a while before the Saints gain anyone's trust again. A number of people also took the Saints in Week 2 of last season and were knocked out when New Orleans fell to Cleveland as five-point road favorites.

One gambler paid a $30 entry fee to compete against 2,388 other people for a chance to earn a winner-take-all $70,000 in a survivor tournament. He fell victim to the the Saints.

"At least I went out early," he said. "And I wasn't the only one."

No he wasn't. There are only 120 contestants left in that tournament after the Week 2 carnage that also featured the Dolphins, Ravens, Eagles and Colts all losing, too, as favorites in the six-point range. That means 89 percent of the field is gone after just two weeks.

It was a similar casualty rate in Yahoo's Fantasy Survival Pool where 87 percent of the entries were knocked out. It's estimated around 50 percent of those knocked out had the Saints.

EARLY UPSETS DECIMATE SURVIVOR POOLS

Survivor pools have been going on for a long time. I can't recall there ever being so many people eliminated this early in the season.

Nobody still around in their survivor pool is taking the Saints this week. Not with New Orleans on the road against Carolina and starting Luke McCown in place of injured Drew Brees.

Let's just hope Seattle doesn't lose to Chicago and New England doesn't get upset by Jacksonville. If that were to happen there might not be anyone left to collect.

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