If you see the letters PK in a National Football League betting line, what it means is neither team is the favorite and the point spread is subsequently zero. The "PK'' is an abbreviation for pick'em or pick. In sports gambling, you might also see the letters EV, which stands for even and is another way of saying there is no point spread or favorite.
In an effort to make sure each bet has a winner and loser, the oddsmakers will therefore often add a .5 to a whole number when setting the line. If you see a game listed at 6.5, this means the favorite must win by seven points to produce a winning bet. On the flip side, the underdog in the game will produce a winning bet if it loses by six points or less, or actually wins the game outright.
When the line is just a whole number such as 6, if the game ends with the favorite winning by winning six points the result of the bet is what’s known as a push or a tie. In the case of the spread ending up as the same as the result of the game, there are no winners or losers and bettors get their money back.
Since oddsmakers list NFL games as PKs approximately 1 percent of the time and games that end in ties are even rarer, the odds of a PK game in the NFL producing a push are slim, to say the least.
In addition to wanting to have winners and losers on bets, the reason NFL games rarely are listed as PKs is simply because oddsmakers will nearly always judge one team to be better than the other.
This can be offset, however, by factors such as the home-field advantage, injuries, and weather conditions. For instance, if a favored team relies heavily on the pass and the conditions are calling for heavy rain and wind, the point spread for how much it will win by could come down.
It's always a good idea to keep your eye on the line as the week goes along. To be a more successful bettor, you should also do your homework by studying team and player trends, and statistics. While relying on a gut feeling can often produce a winning bet, it doesn't hurt to use additional information when wagering your money.
When placing a bet on a PK game, keep in mind the sportsbook will charge you a standard "juice,'' which is the fee for handling your bet. As an example, suppose you see a game listed as New York Giants-PK (-110) and New England Patriots-PK (+110). This means the Giants are the favorite and you will need to wager $110 to win $100. The plus sign is assigned to the underdog and in this case if you put $100 on the Patriots you would win $110.
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