Run Your NFL Football Pool in 2023: The Complete Guide to Picking Winners All Season

Everything You Need to Know About Running a 2023 NFL Football Pool

Football pools are a fun way to get more engaged with the NFL season. Friends, family, coworkers, and complete strangers have been coming together for years to try their hand at picking winners each week. With the 2023 NFL season rapidly approaching, now is the perfect time to start planning your own football pool. This comprehensive guide will walk you through everything you need to know to run a successful NFL pool this year.

What is an NFL Football Pool?

A football pool, often called a survivor pool or pick'em pool, is a contest where participants try to pick the winner of each NFL game each week. There are many popular pool formats, but most involve making picks against the spread or straight up. The goal is to pick as many winners as possible, last the longest without an incorrect pick, or accumulate the most points based on correct picks. Football pools can range from large online contests to small private groups of friends or coworkers.

Why Run a 2023 NFL Pool?

Football pools are popular for many reasons:

  • They make watching NFL games more exciting when you have a stake in the outcome.
  • They foster camaraderie and friendly competition among pool participants.
  • You can win prizes like cash, gift cards, or bragging rights.
  • Running a pool is easy with user-friendly software and sites.
  • Pools engage those less interested in fantasy football.
  • It's a fun way to get through the long 17-week NFL season.

  • How Do Football Pool Formats Work?

    There are several different football pool formats to choose from:

    Survivor Pools

    In survivor pools, players pick one team to win each week and can no longer pick that team again all season if correct. The goal is to pick one winner a week and survive the longest without an incorrect pick.

    Pick'em Pools

    In pick'em pools, players simply try to pick more game winners than anyone else each week either against the spread or straight-up. It's all about accumulating the most correct picks.

    Confidence Pools

    In confidence pools, players rank their picks from most to least confident each week. Point values are assigned to each pick based on rank, with higher confidence picks worth more points. The goal is to accumulate the most points.

    Square Pools

    Square pools involve a grid of numbers 0-9 for each team playing. Participants purchase individual squares with two numbers that correspond to the last digits of each team's final score. Whoever has that square wins a prize if their numbers match up.

    What Are the Key Steps to Start an NFL Pool?

    Follow these steps to get your NFL pool up and running:

  • Choose a format. Select a format you and your players will enjoy most. Survivor and pick'em pools are the most straightforward.
  • Find players. Decide on the number of players for your ideal pool size. Promote the pool to friends, family, coworkers, on social media, or through sites designed to fill pools with strangers.
  • Set rules and scoring. Establish clear rules for gameplay, scoring, prizes, and tiebreakers. Make sure everyone understands how the pool works.
  • Select platform. Use spreadsheet software, an online pool hosting site, or pool management app to run your pool. Manage sign-ups, handle scoring, and share results.
  • Promote and manage. Encourage smack talk and keep players engaged all season through email, text, social media, or the platform you choose. Monitor play to avoid cheating.

  • What Are the Best NFL Pool Hosting Sites?

    Some top sites for hosting NFL pools include:

  • CBS Sports:User-friendly interface and mobile access with a variety of pool formats. Integrates with CBS Fantasy.
  • ESPN: Trusted name for pools. Offers bracket challenges, survivor pools, and confidence pools with customizable scoring settings.
  • Yahoo Sports: Allows both private and public pools with flexible settings. Offers mobile app and integrated payment options.
  • Yahoo Sports: Allows both private and public pools with flexible settings. Offers mobile app and integrated payment options.
  • Rundown: Simple design great for pick'em pools. Custom scoring options and integrations with other sports

  • How Do You Pick Winners in an NFL Pool?

    Consistently picking winners requires skill and some research. Here are some tips:

  • Study expert picks, power rankings, and Las Vegas betting lines to spot consensus picks.
  • Look at strength of schedule and how teams match up based on offensive and defensive stats.
  • Consider injuries, home field advantage, divisional rivalries, and short weeks.
  • Don't make picks based solely on fandom. Do unbiased research.
  • Balance safe picks with a few risky upset picks for potential big rewards.
  • Pay attention to trends around bye weeks, coaches returning to old teams, etc.
  • Listen to sports podcasts and shows for extra context beyond stats.

  • What Are Some Creative Football Pool Ideas?

    Basic pools can get repetitive over 17 weeks. Spice up your pool with some creative ideas like:

  • Allow two lives per season in survivor pools.
  • Award bonus points for picking upsets or primetime game winners.
  • Give the lowest scorer each week an embarrassing punishment.
  • Create a migrator pool where the lowest scorer each week is eliminated.
  • Use alternate or studio announcers for a square pool instead of scores.
  • Allow players to buy back in after losing survivor pools.
  • Give consolation prizes to those knocked out first to keep interest.

  • Key Takeaways to Running a Successful 2023 NFL Pool

    Follow these tips for a fun and engaging pool experience:

  • Provide clearly defined rules and scoring early. Print or email to all players.
  • Make joining the pool and submitting weekly picks easy through your platform.
  • Keep players informed with emails recapping picks, standings, and results every week.
  • Add side contests like picking Monday Night Football totals or fantasy-style prop bets.
  • Make sure to collect entry fees up front and pay out winnings in a timely manner.
  • Offer a mix of weekly prizes and overall season-long prizes.
  • Foster camaraderie and rivalries among your players.
  • Get creative with special weeks like opening week, Thanksgiving, and playoffs!