The ultimate guide for the sharp bettor

What is a Pick'em in Sports Betting?

Pick'em A pick ‘em (sometimes referred to as a “pick” or “PK”) refers to a sports bet that is evenly matched across both teams in the betting line. While they don’t have to be exactly equal in actuality...
Uno July
Author:
Uno July
Updated:
13 October 2021
Table of Contents

    What Is A Pick Em In Betting?

    A pick ‘em (sometimes referred to as a “pick” or “PK”) refers to a sports bet that is evenly matched across both teams in the betting line. While they don’t have to be exactly equal in actuality, the sportsbook must view both teams as being close enough to the point that the odds effectively amount to a coin flip.

    The balance (or imbalance) of a betting line can be dictated by multiple outside random variables:

    General team quality
    Recent team performance
    Overall team performance
    Rivalries between teams
    Home field advantage
    Player injuries
    Weather conditions
      
    However, since these odds are (near) equal in the case of pick ‘em bets, there is no point spread in this case, as an equal “spread” would effectively amount to 0. Therefore, in the case of pick ‘em betting lines, you would simply be wagering on the moneyline, or which team you anticipate winning the game. 

    That said, like any spread bet, pick‘ems still demand that you lay down your own juice, usually defaulted at -110. This means that for every $100 you’ll want to win from your wager, you’ll have to put down $110 on the line. Should your bet pull through, you’ll be able to walk away with a total payout amounting to $210.    

    But how do you go about picking the best pick‘ems, especially if you’re a novice bettor who’s still trying to get a handle on the rules of the road? Keep reading this page for a full in-depth overview on picking the best pick ‘em bets in your sportsbook.

    Pick Em Betting Lines: How They Work

    Picking pick‘ems is as easy as picking the team you anticipate to win the game you’re betting on; simple as that! Or is it?

    We love to build up exciting narratives around prophets, psychics, and mythical, larger-than-life people like Nostradamus, but the harsh reality is that no one on this Earth can truly know with 100% certainty what the future holds.

    Smart bettors and oddsmakers can do a lot to ascertain the most likely implied probability of an implied wager, but at the end of the day, that’s all it is; probability, not a guarantee.

    Therefore, as you should be with any wager you take, you should be fully comfortable with the risks you’re taking before placing a bet. Below are some tips you may want to consider before putting down money on a pick ‘em:

    Keep Home Field Advantage In Mind: As we’ve stated before, not all pick ‘em betting lines are innately created equal. Sometimes, the location of the game may tip the scales of your own personal betting game. If you’re considering wagering on the home team on the money line, then we would strongly encourage you to review that team’s overall home record.

    Review Power Ratings, If There Are Any: Sometimes sportsbooks and oddsmakers provide power ratings, value figures that assess the overall strength of a team. Consider evaluating these power ratings when evaluating the best side of your pick ‘em to pick.  

    Pick The Perks On The House: The house needs to do what it needs to do to bring home the bacon, win the bread, and keep the lights on. They’re as unhappy with pushes and losing money as you are, and will offer several generous, risk-reduction benefits to mitigate them, like parlay insurance and no-deposit bonuses.

    Consider Working With A Professional Handicapper: Handicappers are essentially like the detectives of the sports betting industry, scouring around to find the best betting picks and sell their findings. They might offer more insights than you could find independently, so if they aren’t too expensive, consider working in tandem with them if you feel that would be necessary. 

    Don’t Pick Pick ‘Ems Based On Team Record Alone: We cannot overemphasize or overstate enough how many influential forces can sway the odds and probabilities behind different outcomes. Don’t just go with your gut, and don’t just bet best on team records alone; consider taking ALL of these factors into account before placing your wager.

    Can There Be Favorites In Pick Em Betting?

    Of course there can! While it’s true that pick ‘em results are close to being equals, you may still be able to find cases where there are clear betting edges; while pick ‘ems might not have different spreads, there may still be different juices (or vigs), and those figures can indicate the favorites in a pick ‘em.

    For example, if the home team is listed at a -120 vig whereas the away team has a -100 vig, then that disparity would indicate a clear home-field advantage. It’s a small disparity, but a disparity that’s noted enough to indicate the clear favorite in this hypothetical.  

    While you would be risking more on the favorite in this scenario than you would be risking on a standard -110 vig wager, you’re also netting a potentially higher payout than you would be on a standard -110 vig wager. Whether or not that higher risk is worth it for you is a matter of preference.

    Once you find a pick ‘em worth picking, you sound then to get finding a sportsbook platform worth using. As of writing states, 13 states and the District of Columbia allow for legalized online sports betting markets in the United States, and now that sports betting has effectively been legalized in the United States, it’s only a given that these markets will continue branching out. 

    Some of the best online sportsbooks you should consider giving a look at include:

    Caesars Sportsbook

    FanDuel Sportsbook

    PointsBet Sportsbook

    BetMGM Sportsbook

    BetRivers

    WynnBet

    Unibet Sportsbook

    Fubo Sportsbook

    Golden Nugget Online

    Borgata Sportsbook

    DraftKings Sportsbook

    888 Sport

    Sugarhouse Casino

    Fox Bet Sportsbook

    BetAmerica Sportsbook

    Tipico Sportsbook

    The Score Sportsbook

    SI Sportsbook

    Betway

    Betfred Sports

    Bet365


    For more on those, worthy pick ‘ems to pick, and more exciting iGaming industry news, we’d strongly encourage you to stay in touch with us. 

    Sports Betting Strategies

    Want to bet like the best of them? Read these detailed strategies written by expert sports bettors to help you understand the sharpest ways to bet!

    Sports Betting Calculators

    The best bettors only strike wagers when they know their exact risk & exact reward - use these calculators to help yourself make the best bets.