‘Survivor: Game Changers’ predictions: Brad Culpepper leads odds to win as merge arrives

This Wednesday “Survivor: Game Changers” is celebrating the merging of the tribes with a special two-hour episode, titled “There’s a New Sheriff in Town.” With the merge comes a refocusing of the game from tribe play to individual play and physical assets become threats while challenge liabilities become safe bets. But in a season of all-stars anything can happen, including players as physically capable as Brad Culpepper, Sarah Lacina and Ozzy Lusth continuing to dominate our exclusive odds as the most likely to win. So read my analysis of how these players at the top of the leaderboard are faring and then update your “Survivor 34” predictions in our weekly event.

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Brad leads Gold Derby’s cumulative predictions to win for the second week in a row with 23/10 odds. Brad is expected to enter this week’s merge with the numbers on his side — not only does his current Mana tribe boast seven strong over the Nuku six, but two of the Nuku members (Tai Trang and Debbie Wanner) are former allies of Brad’s, giving him a potential nine to four advantage over his competition.

Currently, Brad’s closest allies appear to be Sierra Thomas and Troyzan Robertson, each of whom hold a hidden advantage in the game that can help them and Brad get further. I expect those three to be the core of a vote-controlling alliance that includes Brad’s newest recruits Cirie Fields and Aubry Bracco and possibly Hali Ford as well, all three of which can be picked off rather easily once they’re down to the final six.

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Brad’s main opposition will come from Sarah and Ozzy. Sarah comes in with second place 13/5 odds and Ozzy is right behind with 9/1 odds of winning. The two are the leaders of the Nuku foursome that includes Zeke Smith and Andrea Boehlke. One of the biggest question marks for this group heading into the merge is whether or not Tai and Debbie stick with them or flop back to Brad. If Tai and Debbie do stick with the Nuku side then Sarah and/or Ozzy will have to bring in someone from the other side in order to have majority say at tribal council.

The likeliest to flip is Hali since she’s been on the outside of the Mana tribe since the first swap. But Hali has never played with the Nuku group so that seems like an unsure bet. Cirie is an option, but she was drawn into Brad in the last episode after the two shared an emotional bonding moment at the Mana camp.

Sarah may have an in with Troyzan after they made an unofficial pact to help one another during their time at Tavua, but Troyzan will probably see Brad as a safer bet than working with the Nuku members that were ready to vote him out as soon as they got the chance. Though Sarah and Ozzy’s path forward seems tough, it’s not impossible and I can’t wait to see how it all shakes down this week!

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Get a closer look at the Season 34 contestants by clicking through our cast photo gallery. In our “Survivor” predictions center, you get to answer the following questions before each episode airs on CBS every Wednesday at 5 p.m. PT / 8 p.m. ET.:

Who will win “Survivor”?

Who will be eliminated?

Who will win Reward?

Who will win Immunity?

Will a hidden idol be played?

Will anybody quit or be medevaced?

Who will win ‘Survivor: Game Changers’? See exclusive odds

Gold Derby readers just like YOU often turn out to be our smartest prognosticators, so it’s important that you give us your predictions. You can continue to update and change your forecasts throughout the week, just click “Save” when you’ve settled on your choices. You’ll compete to win bragging rights and a place of honor on our leaderboard. Be sure to read our contest rules and sound off on the season of “Survivor” in our reality TV forum.

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