This article is part of our DFS Tennis 101 series.
Tired of salary cap based DFS games? PrizePicks might be right up your alley. Rather than picking a team of players from a pool, PrizePicks sets a point line for each player in the field. Then, users decide whether said player will go under or over their projected point total in a given matchup. Users can pick between two and four players per contest, and win money by getting all, or just some, of the totals they pick correct.
If this sounds confusing to you, just imagine that you have the opportunity to enter parlays, with the difference being you can recoup money even if all of your parlay picks don't come in. Much like betting lines, projections will change over the course of the day, so it's important that players lock in totals they like as soon as possible.
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Here is an exact rundown of how it works:
How to Play
Four correct under/over calls on one slate will net the player 10 times their wager.
Three correct under/over calls on one slate will net the player five times their wager.
Two correct under/over calls on one slate will net the player 2.5 times their wager.
That all seems pretty straightforward but what happens if you aren't perfect? In that case:
Three out of four correct under/over calls will net a player .2 times their wager.
Two out of three correct under/over calls will net a player .15 times their wager.
One out of two correct under/over calls will net a player .1 times their wager.
The rules may take some getting used to for those unfamiliar with this type of structure, so new players may want to refer to the above explanation while they learn the ropes. Once we have that down, however, it's time to focus on employing strategies that will help us make the most correct picks possible. To that end, let's take a look at the scoring system.
Scoring and Strategy
The categories are all fairly streamlined but those who have played DFS tennis elsewhere will notice one major difference, as aces and double faults are given equal weight in opposite directions. Once we get that down, the main thing to keep in mind is how the different surfaces will affect our point totals. While aces are suppressed due to the speed of most clay courts, for example, double faults remain relatively consistent, which could be a point in favor of leaning towards unders in clay events.
When playing for under/overs we must decide how competitive the match will be. Remember that sets/games won or lost negate each other in terms of point value, and there is no bonus/penalty for a match won or lost. In addition to the A:DF ratio, then, we must also drill down into some other stats to make our best decisions.
For an example of how to think about plays, let's look at Dominic Thiem's upcoming match with Karen Khachanov taking place in the quarterfinals of the French Open on Thursday. PrizePicks has Thiem's line set at 25.5 points. Interestingly, Thiem has dropped a set in all but one of his matches at Roland Garros thus far, while notching a 3:1 A:DF ratio over that span. It is also worth noting that this ratio is enhanced by an atypical 11:1 mark in the four-set victory against Tommy Paul.
Turning our attention to this match specifically, we see that Khachanov has beaten Thiem in all three of their matchups, although two of those were exhibition contests. The two have never played on clay but Thiem looks to have a massive advantage on the surface, holding a 26-10 record in the last calendar year while Khachanov comes in at 10-6. Thiem also leads by a decent margin in most relevant categories, including service hold and return points won percentage. Khachanov does have the A:DF ratio in his favor but the margins are close enough where that could be considered a wash.
So, how do we call this one? Both players will be well rested, and despite Thiem's experience and record advantage, I'm not sure the Austrian will do enough to put separation between himself and Khachanov, as we must remember that Thiem doesn't typically produce overwhelming ace numbers to pad his point total. This would lead me to wager that Thiem scores under 25.5 points in a reasonably competitive four-set match. Keep in mind that this analysis isn't in any way exhaustive but I believe it is a reasonable starting place when attempting to decide on totals.
While PrizePicks is a fun, novel approach to DFS, the site is not currently accepting players from quite a few places. That information, as well as more on the general rules of the site can be found here: https://www.myprizepicks.com/ under the "see full rules" heading.
Still, with diverse contest choices such as tennis and MMA, PrizePicks is well worth a look if you are in an eligible state/country. Particularly if you would like a bit more of a sports betting feel to your DFS play.