If you’re new to betting, you might be wondering what does PK mean in betting. Well, it stands for “point-skew factor” and it is a way of measuring the difference in value between winning and losing bets. In simple terms, the point-skew factor is how much more you should win or lose on a bet compared to what you would if the spread were to pop sideways.
Point-Skew Factor Explained
In most sports betting, we’re accustomed to seeing the spread printed out in front of us. For instance, if an NCAA football game has an implied spread of Michigan +6, it means the Wolverines are 6 points better than odds-on favorite Ohio State. In terms of point-skew factor, this means you should win 6 points on a Michigan-Ohio State wager.
Similarly, if Indiana +4 is the spread on a game between Purdue and Indiana, you should lose 4 points on a bet placed on the Boilermakers. When it comes to the point-skew factor, that’s a net 4 point win for the underdogs.
Now, what if either team scores a touchdown or the score is tied late in the game? Well, in those cases, the point-skew factor essentially disappears. Because the spread becomes meaningless, we can’t apply the point-skew factor to those bets. In other words, a touchdown would cancel out the -6 point spread, leaving you with a tie and even money, essentially. Same thing if the game ends in a tie.
How Does Point-Skew Factor Work?
So, how does point-skew factor work? It’s pretty simple, considering there’s no “skew” involved at all. When you look at the point-skew factor, all you’re really doing is comparing the winning odds to the losing odds. For example, let’s say the spread is 3 points and you’ve got a 90% chance of winning. If the number comes up, you’ll get 3 points and the winnings (10%), you’ll get 2.7 points, which is more than the 3 points you’ve been risking. Hence, this is a positive point-skew factor. Now, if the spread is -3 points and you’ve got a 60% chance of winning, you’ll lose 3 points and the winnings (40%), you’ll lose 6.3 points, which is less than the risk you assumed, meaning this is a negative point-skew factor.
As you can see, when it comes to point-skew factor, all you need to do is compare the winning odds to the losing odds. In most cases, you’ll see the losing odds printed out before the winning odds, making it a lot easier to keep track of the point-skew factor. Most sportsbooks will also display the point-skew factor next to each bet, so you can easily compare your current position to the point-skew factor for any given bet.
The Ups and Downs Of Calculating Point-Skew Factor
Now, one of the biggest headaches of calculating point-skew factor is figuring out what to do with ties. If you want to avoid headaches, you should avoid bets where either team is a perfect 50/50 shot at winning. In those cases, the point-skew factor essentially disappears because there’s no difference in the winning and losing odds. For example, if the spread is 3 points and both teams have a 50% chance of winning, you’ll have a tie and neither team wins nor loses, meaning the point-skew factor is zero, leaving you with a 50/50 shot at winning or losing, which is meaningless. That’s why it’s best to stay away from those types of bets if your goal is to keep your head clear of technical headaches. Still interested? Here are some tie breakers you might consider using:
1. Vegas Odds
Most sportsbooks will break down all the available odds for you, making it easy to find the winning odds if the spread is printed out in front of you. Simply take the total number of points on the board and divide it by 2 to find the winning odds. If the total is even, you’ll get a push; if it’s odd, you’ll get a nod. In most cases, you’ll see the underdogs get the nods and the favorites get the pushes, making it easy to figure out which team you’ll want to back. Keep in mind: when you’re backing the underdog, you’re basically playing the “long” bet, which has a longer winning window. In general, underdogs are more favorable bets, meaning you have a higher chance of winning. When you’re picking the favorite team, you’re effectively taking the “short” bet, which has a shorter winning window, but higher payoff if your team wins, assuming the wager is placed at even odds.
2. Money Line
If the bet is not tied to the outcome of a specific game, but rather it’s between two teams, using the money line is the preferred option. In football, for example, you may see this option listed as “Betting Line,” or “Total Odds.” As the name implies, the money line allows you to bet on the total amount of winnings, rather than the result of a single game.
On a money line bet, your stake is how much you want to risk. For example, you may bet $100 on the Cleveland Browns +3 to win the Super Bowl. The minus sign before the number means “to lose” and the plus sign before the number means “to win.” When the money line is listed as “Bears +3,” this means you’re risking $100 on the Cleveland Browns and expect to win $300 if they win the game. In terms of point-skew factor, this is effectively a zero-point bet, meaning you have an equal chance of winning or losing, depending on the outcome of the game. In general, this type of bet has the highest odds of any type of bet, making it a very attractive option for those unfamiliar with betting, or those who want to reduce their chance of losing. Still, keep in mind: if you want to calculate the point-skew factor, you need to compare the winning odds to the losing odds, not the total amount of winnings or loss, as you do with a money line bet. For example, if the total is -3 and you’ve got a 60% chance of winning, you’ll lose 3 points and the winnings (40%), meaning you have a 60/40 shot of winning or losing.
3. Half Time
Many sportsbooks will offer two side bets: one that starts before the game begins (usually referred to as “pre-game”) and the other that starts after the game ends (usually referred to as “post-game”). The pre-game side bet is a great way to hedge your bets or bet on a game that you think may be particularly competitive, but it’s not tied to any particular outcome. The post-game side bet usually has a specific point-skew factor attached to it, usually calculated using the half time result. For example, if the halftime score is Florida-Mountain Lakes 35, the post-game score is Colorado 37, and you’ve got a 64% chance of winning, you’ll get 4 points for a win and the winnings (36%), you’ll get 5 points for a tie, meaning you have a 60% chance of winning. In terms of point-skew factor, this is effectively a 4-point bet, meaning you have a 60/40 shot of winning or losing.
Include the scores and half times of the first and second halves in your calculations, as well as the final score, when making decisions about wagering. Using these numbers will give you the best shot at coming out on top, provided the game ends in a tie.