The letters pk in sports betting stands for pick'em or pick, which means the line has been set where neither team is favored. This also means there is no points spread as the bookmakers have deemed the teams equal when they take to the field that day.
When it comes to betting on PK games, soccer is often much different than most other sports because many of its games end up in a tie. A tied game is often referred to as a draw in soccer lingo. As a result, there are three ways to bet when betting on a winner in soccer.
For the sake of clarity, let's use two English Premier League teams - mighty Arsenal and current juggernaut Manchester City - to provide an example. One way to bet on a PK game between these two is for Arsenal to win. Another way is to put your money on Pep Guardiola's Manchester City team. With these two bets in order to collect all you need to do is correctly pick the winner.
The third way to bet on a soccer game - and this is how it is different - is you can also bet for the match to end in a tie. Unless you are betting the over/under on goals, it doesn't matter what the final score is in this type of bet. All that matters is the game ends in a tie for you to collect on your bet.
While betting on a tie might seem like a long shot to some, it actually is not. According to various league statistics, the percentage of games that end up in a draw is approximately somewhere between 25 and 33 percent of the time.
Keep in mind ties are much more likely to happen in league or exhibition games. In tournament (or cup play) there must be a winner between the two teams in order to determine which one will advance. In games such as these if the teams are tied after regulation, they will play an extra 30 minutes to determine a winner. If the game is still tied after the additional 30 minutes, then it is decided by penalty kicks. There are occasions when a tied match can also result in a replay of the entire game.
Another very big variable to consider is sometimes a team will take to the field knowing it does not need to win and will happily settle for a tie. This is particularly true between two teams playing a home-and-home series in tournament play. The reason a team can play for a tie is because it won the first game and does not need to win the rematch to advance.
Bettors should be aware that in soccer the letters "PK'' can also stand for penalty kicks. Furthermore, while you can bet on a team to advance in tournament play, in terms of a moneyline bet what counts is where the game stands after regulation time. In other words, the extra time and penalty kicks do not count on a moneyline bet and the game goes down as a tie for betting purposes. A moneyline bet is when you simply pick which team you think will win.