DraftKings Launches Over-Under Pick6 DFS Game

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DraftKings has launched a daily fantasy sports game centered on picking a combination of different professional athletes to go over or under a given statistic.

DraftKings Pick6 debuted in six states Wednesday as a standalone DFS app and website, with additional states planned for the future:

How DraftKings Pick6 works

Pick6 allows DFS users to select between two and six athletes to go either “more” or “less” on a given statistic for a game, in peer-to-peer contests.

Users pay an entry fee that is pooled as prize money and distributed among winning players of that contest. Those with the most correct selections versus their peers win an amount of money depending on entry and contest size.

The games are currently limited to selections for NFL and NBA players.

Peer-to-peer versus other pick’ems

Pick6 is similar to the pick’em DFS contests popularized by PrizePicks and Underdog Fantasy, which a growing number of states have cracked down on, amid what they see as overlap with player prop sports betting. Those games pit users against the house, however, not against themselves.

“Prizes are determined by historical data that informs us what the likely win rate is for a particular number of selections. For example, a user might see that the estimated prize for getting five out of five correct is around $900,” said Corey Gottlieb, DraftKings’ Chief Product Officer.

“The only thing different than [our] traditional DFS is the flow and the interface. As far as the way that we guarantee your prize pool, indicating who the other competitors to you are in the contest, it’s all a mirror image of all the parts that are critical to our [other] fantasy products.”

Underdog recently announced its own shift to peer-to-peer pick’em games in a few states, while PrizePicks has switched over to free-to-play in Michigan.

Why these states?

Only two of the six states where Pick6 is live, Maryland and Tennessee, have legalized online sports betting.

Gottlieb said the launch is “purposely iterative” so the company can gather feedback before expanding to other states and that states were chosen “because of a mix of the right populations and information that DraftKings has about those user bases.”

He added that DraftKings had “elaborate conversations” with regulators in each state where Pick6 is now available to ensure compliance with their rules and get to the final product.

DraftKings Pick6 comes after DFS decline

Pick6 comes more than a decade into DraftKings’ DFS business and half a decade into its sports betting business, which now sits at 23 states.

Through the first 13 weeks of the NFL season, DraftKings DFS downloads are down 19% year-over-year, per Citizens JMP Securities. DraftKings ranks fifth among DFS operators in downloads, behind PrizePicks, Underdog, Sleeper and Betr — each of whom offers pick’em. Those operators’ app downloads are all up at more than 100% year-over-year.

Several DFS operators have pointed fingers at DraftKings and FanDuel, attributing a surge in regulatory scrutiny to their activities. In one instance, state records reveal that a lobbyist tied to these sports betting giants engaged with regulators prior to cease and desist orders issued to PrizePicks and Underdog.

Patents hinted at DFS games earlier this year

Rumors of a potential over/under style DraftKings DFS game first surfaced in October when the company applied for three trademarks:

“Increasingly, we have gathered data that’s pushed us to this opportunity. This is a product space and audience ripe for continuing to put innovative, simple experiences in front of,” Gottlieb said. “Particularly, an athlete orientation, is what we understand about our user. Really obsessing with it, loving individual athletes has become very apparent, as opposed to teams. We’ve learned that through our fantasy product and sportsbook. We’ve been thinking for some time about how we get at that itch.”

DraftKings gathered user feedback to build games

A DraftKings survey shared with LSR shows the company began building Pick6 as early as this summer. It asked users to pick the most and least appealing aspects of a “peer to peer game where you select the over/under for a variety of player stat types.”

Options included:

Progressive parlay to launch next week

DraftKings also reecently announced a new sportsbook product called “progressive parlay”, which allows users to win money from parlays even if one or more leg loses. Gottlieb indicated that progressive parlays will likely launch sometime next week.

The company has been adamant on the discinctions between both new products, referring to progressive parlay as “regulated as sports betting” while Pick6 as a “peer-to-peer fantasy sports product.”

DraftKings offers more traditional peer-to-peer DFS contests in 44 states.