Underdog Fantasy Pick'em Strategy

Guide To Fantasy Props On The Underdog Fantasy Platform

One of the best things about the NFL is all the various different contest types that are available to us. Fantasy football, daily fantasy football, best ball leagues, and betting are some of the most popular forms, but by no means are they the only ways to get some action.

Underdog Fantasy has emerged as one of the leaders in this space, and they offer a variety of different contests types for users in 40+ US states and most of Canada. They’re most famous for their best ball contests, including a $15M prize pool in their Best Ball Mania IV, but they have other formats as well.

That includes their Fantasy Pick’em contests. They operate similarly to NFL props, with users having to select overs or unders for certain players in specific categories. The number of selections you include will ultimately determine the potential payout, with the more picks resulting in larger figures.

Let’s dive into everything you need to know for Underdog Fantasy Pick’em contests.

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How Does Underdog Fantasy Pick’em Work?

Underdog Fantasy was founded in 2020 by Jeremy Levine and has quickly blossomed into one of the top daily fantasy sports sites in the business. Part of that has due to with their investment backers – including Mark Cuban, Adam Schefter, and Kevin Durant – but they also have some of the coolest contests in the industry.

They’re most known for their best ball contests, which allow users to compete in year-long contests without the hassle of week-to-week management. Simply draft your team, and your starting lineup is automatically optimized every week to give you the most points possible.

There’s zero in-season management, so you don’t have to worry about trades or scouring the waiver wire, either. Simply draft your best team and let the rest happen naturally.

However, Underdog Fantasy also offers a few additional formats. There are weekly drafts, which operate the same as their season-long best ball leagues but are only good for one week instead of the whole year.

They also offer Fantasy Pick’em contests, where you’ll make selections on whether or player will go over or under a certain number in a specific category. You’ll combine your selections into one entry, with the more selections providing you a chance at a larger payout. For example, nailing two of two picks will provide you with a 3x return on investment, while going five-for-five returns 20x.

Underdog Fantasy Pick’em Rules

Essentially, Underdog Fantasy Pick’Em operates very similarly to the traditional player prop market. Most of the top players for each team will be assigned a number across a variety of categories.

That can include QB’s passing yards, completions, passing touchdowns, interceptions, receptions, receiving yards, rushing yards, receiving touchdowns, and rushing touchdowns. You can even select the over or under on a player’s listed fantasy total.

However, you can’t just take one selection individually. You need to combine it with at least one other offering on the same entry to make your selection.

Ultimately, the number of lines that you choose and contest type will determine your potential payout. You can combine pick’em entries from different games, the same game, or combinations of both.

There are two ways to play the Underdog Fantasy Pick’Em contests: standard and insured.

Standard Pick’em Contests

Standard contests operate like a traditional parlay; you need to get all of your selections correct in order to win.

Insured Pick’em Contests

Insured contests give you a bit of wiggle room. You can still win if you get one of your picks correct, but it comes at the expense of your ceiling. The minimum number of picks you need for an insured contest is three, while two is the minimum for standard contests.

You can see the differences between the contests types in a full payout table:

What Is The Payout For Underdog Fantasy Pick’em?

Number of PicksStandard UpsideInsured UpsideInsured if One Wrong
Two3xN/AN/A
Three6x3x1x
Four10x6x1.5x
Five20x10x2.5x

Going 5-for-5 in a standard contest is going to pay you 20x your initial investment, while going 5-for-5 in an insured contest will only pay you 10x. That’s a pretty significant difference.

However, you’ll still receive a 2.5x payout if you go 4-for-5 in an insured contest, while you’ll receive nothing with a 4-for-5 showing in a standard.

Whether or not the added security is worth sacrificing some upside ultimately comes down to your own risk tolerance.

In addition to the traditional overs and unders, you can also choose from Underdog Fantasy’s “Rivals” offerings. That will pit two players against each other in a specific category, occasionally with a spread built in.

For example, you can choose who will have more receiving yards between Kyle Pitts and Brandon Aiyuk this season. However, Pitts gets the benefit of a +24.5-yard adjustment. That means that if Aiyuk finishes with less than 25 more yards than Pitts, Pitts would be declared the winner.

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Underdog Fantasy Pick’em Strategy

The first big question you have to ask yourself is what size contests provide the most value? There are a few different ways to calculate value, but I think comparing the payout on Underdog Pick’em contest to traditional parlays makes a lot of sense.

With that in mind, the best value – by a sizable amount – is with the two-pick entry contests.

Making a two-leg parlay at a sportsbook is going to pay you in the vicinity of +265. That’s assuming that both legs are for the standard -110. Getting the upside for a 3x payout on two pick entries at Underdog (otherwise known as +300) is far better than we could ever hope for at a traditional sportsbook.

Three-leg contests are priced pretty similarly to what you can find at most sportsbooks, with standard three-leg parlays paying out at +596. The +600 payout for a three-pick entry have as much value as a three-leg parlay at a sportsbook.

However, once we get into the larger contests, we’re starting to lose some value. The 10x payout for a 4-for-4 in standard contests is lower than the +1228 at online sportsbooks, while the 20x payout on 5-for-5 is well below the +2435 mark.

Of course, online sports betting is not available in every state, which is another reason why Underdog Fantasy is so popular. However, from a pure math perspective, we’re getting the most value with our two- and three-leg contests.

Another way we can use the online sportsbooks to our advantage is by checking the pricing for player props across the industry. There is no “juice” on Underdog Fantasy, so every leg for all contest types are priced the exact same way. That’s not the case for a traditional sportsbook.

For example, Lance Lynn’s strikeout line is set at 7.5 on Underdog Fantasy on the day I’m writing this piece. However, the over on that line is priced at -122 on FanDuel Sportsbook, while the under is at -106. Since there’s no juice on the Underdog Fantasy line, the over on 7.5 strikeouts could be considered a slight value.

You could do this kind of shopping for nearly all of your Underdog Fantasy Pick’em contests across a variety of sports, including the NFL, MLB, and NBA. Even if you’re not necessarily winning all of them, you’re making good choices from a purely mathematical standpoint.

Finally, keep in mind that nobody likes to take unders. They’re boring to root for, and no one wants to sweat out a player performing poorly. That tends to make unders the superior side in this types of contests.

This is particularly true for season-long contests. Injuries are an unfortunate part of the game – especially in the NFL – and they’re nearly impossible to predict.

Taking the over on a certain player’s rushing or receiving yards might feel like a good value, but you should factor in at least a few missed games due to injury. Taking a season-long over needs to be such a slam dunk that I think a player can get there in 14 games or fewer in the NFL season.

I also tend to lean towards younger players for season-long overs since they have less overall wear-and-tear on their bodies. That theoretically should make them a bit more durable.

Underdog Fantasy Pick’em FAQ

What is pick’em on Underdog Fantasy?

Underdog Fantasy pick’em games are fantasy contests that function much like prop bet parlays would at a sportsbook.

All pick’em contests at Underdog require that you make multiple picks, and you win if you get all picks correct. For instance, a five-pick entry requires that you get all five picks correct; a four-pick entry requires that you get all four picks correct; a three-pick entry requires that you get all three picks correct, etc.

The payout on an Underdog pick’em entry depends on how many legs you place on the contest.

Pick’em contests are available for several different sports, and revolve around player stats from games in those sports. For example,

What states allow Underdog Fantasy pick’em games?

You can legally play Underdog Fantasy Pick’em contests in the following states:

  • Alaska
  • Alabama
  • Arizona
  • Arkansas
  • California
  • Florida
  • Georgia
  • Illinois
  • Indiana
  • Kansas
  • Kentucky
  • Maine
  • Massachusetts
  • Minnesota
  • Mississippi
  • Nebraska
  • New Mexico
  • New York
  • North Carolina
  • North Dakota
  • Oklahoma
  • Oregon
  • Rhode Island
  • South Carolina
  • South Dakota
  • Texas
  • Utah
  • Vermont
  • Virginia
  • Washington D.C.
  • West Virginia
  • Wisconsin
  • Wyoming

Is Underdog Pick ’em legal?

Yes. Underdog Fantasy operates as a daily fantasy sports platform, operating legally in all states in which it offers games. The Pick’em contests, as well as all other games you’ll find at Underdog, are legal contests.

Note that there are some states in which you can play the draft contests at Underdog, but not the Pick’em contests.

Is Underdog Fantasy available in the U.S. only?

Underdog Fantasy is available in more than 40 U.S. states, as well as most of Canada. The only province in which you can’t legally play at Underdog Fantasy in Canada in Ontatrio.

What happens if you push in Underdog Fantasy Pick’em?

If you push one leg of an Underdog Fantasy Pick’em entry, the contest is graded as if that entry was removed from the ticket.

For example, five-pick entries with one push would be graded as four-pick entries. If one or more pushes reduced your Pick’em to one entry, you’ll get a refund on that contest.

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