What is a Pick ’em in Sports Betting?
When betting, point spreads create a more balanced line than moneyline bets, where there is generally a significant favorite. In doing so, they create a predicted point (or run or goal) differential between the two teams involved in a match up. When, however, there isn’t a favorite, a game is listed as a pick ’em (also called a pick or PK). In this scenario, there is no point spread, with all bets on the outcome that are moneyline wagers.
When a game is listed as pick ’em it means that sportsbooks believe that it is evenly matched. Does this mean the strengths of the two teams is equal? Not necessarily. Remember that sportsbooks are changing the odds to ensure their bets are balanced and that there are, therefore, many different factors that do affect betting lines. Quality of the teams is certainly an important one, but so are recent performances, head-to-head matchup, weather conditions, home advantage, injuries and so on.
Gambling problem? Call 1-800-GAMBLER
Can Pick ’em games can still have a favorite?
Absolutely. A game being listed as a pick ’em doesn’t necessarily mean that odds have to be equal. For instance, the home team could be -115 while the away team could be -105, or something similar. What pick ’em indicates is that there is no spread. We have seen many games that had the spread and then subsequently were changed as pick ’em. As we have seen before, the decision to list a match as pick ’em depends on many different factors, and the situation can change pretty rapidly, with lines that are modified to respond to the different conditions. This is why line shopping is always advised, as you might well find good opportunities by checking how the different sportsbooks are pricing the same event.
Betting pick ’em games
When placing a moneyline bet or a spread bet, there are many different factors to consider when choosing which side to take on a pick ’em bet. Nothing changes from how to wager on the game, which is technically done in the same way as when we have a favorite and a spread.