One of the new gambling rages on the NFL is the suicide pool.
To recap for those not familiar with the term or have heard about it in their office and are interested in getting involved; the NFL suicide pool allows you to choose one team each week with no point spread.
If your team wins then you move on to the following week, but you can no longer use that team for the rest of the season.
And if you lose, adios; your season is over.
Some of these pools get ridiculously large and can have jackpots well into the tens of thousands of dollars.
Entry fees usually range anywhere from $10 on up to $500 or more.
So what's the best way to approach the suicide pool each week?
1. Don't be a sheep
Don't go with the obvious favorite just because everyone else is. And that especially goes for week one when strange things have been known to happen.
In 2003, the two touchdown underdog Houston Texans, in their second year of existence, beat the Dolphins, a playoff team, 21-20 in Miami, and in 2008, the heavily favored Chargers lost to the Panthers on the final play of the game 26-24.
2. Save the better teams for later on in the season
Just because the Patriots should win an easy matchup early on, why not look for a lesser publicized game and keep your better teams in your back pocket for later in the season? It's an incredibly powerful position to be in when you're left in it with a few others and still have top teams to choose from while they're scraping the bottom of the barrel.
3. Road records
I always keep an eye on terrible road teams and will take their opponent, even if that opponent is a bad team themselves, because of the likelihood that the road team will lose.
Case in point was last season when the hot Houston Texans, on a four-game winning streak, went into the Blackhole and were beaten 27-16 by the horrendous Raiders. Poor road teams are about as consistent as it gets.
Remember, with suicide pools we're not talking about beating the point spread, but rather winning straight up. So if a team gets on a roll and strings a number of wins together, it might be worthwhile to parlay one of those wins for yourself.
The art of winning an NFL suicide pool is as much about luck as it is strategy, but if you keep these points in mind, it'll greatly increase the chances of your being around when the money is on the line.