We've made a lot of changes this year, but most of them are smaller and in keeping with the same Pickwatch that you've known and loved for many years.
Here's a run through of the main ones:
Our MLB page launched in April, soon to be followed by our NHL and NBA products in October, in time for their respective season start dates. As always, we're tracking experts and fans, and we've already seen some separation between the good and the bad in Baseball.
The underlying technology will power all of our services once we bring College Football into the same system this year, allowing all the changes we make in any sport to easily be applied to all of the others. We want your experience to be consistent, across the board.
Our Pro product is also in testing for MLB, and will be available soon after launch for other sports. We will not be changing the price at this stage, so any annual subscribers will get all 4 sports for the same price of $30 for this year!
The Main Table
You'll notice that for the first time we've integrated users and experts!
This is your choice, you can select experts only, fans only, or both combined. When combined, you'll be able to see experts (marked with a blue tick and yellow highlight) alongside the fans. This was a widely requested feature for some years.
In addition, we've improved the column selection tab in the top right of the table. You can select which columns to show or hide very quickly, and in the 'settings' cog, you also have more control of what information is displayed in the table, such as odds, spreads and other information that you may or may not wish to see.
The tables are more flexible, scale better across all devices, and the underlying data allows us to add new filters over the season, something we'll be focused on in the second half of the NFL season.
Back for 2021 are your favorites! You can once again select experts and fans to add to your custom 'favorites' table, and see the consensus of only those pickers. Favorites will launch in week 1!
This feature was introduced as a trial at the back end of 2018, but with some refinements, it now works very well and is ready for you to use. Search for and select the experts and fans you like most, save them in your favorites, then select 'favorites' from the dropdown above the table.
Making your Picks
We've moved all picks into the pick form we introduced last season. Your feedback last season was that it was much easier to select games one after the other, rather than opening and closing pop ups to make picks. Now, if you click your picks, you'll be taken to the pick form. On mobile, once again, you can simply open that tab at any time from the right of the page.
You'll see the auto-pick option on our pick form. At the moment, if this is ticked, at the start of the week, it will generate random picks for you, in case you miss the week. In the NFL, this is not as much of an issue as in other sports, and we'd advise only using it if you'll be away for an extended period with no internet access!
Over time this feature will be expanded to allow you to set an auto-pick that follows another user of your choosing.
We launched Pickwatch Pro quietly at the end of last season and saw a big takeup from you. The feedback from those users allowed us to improve it, which we've done in a number of ways for the full launch this season, rolling out from next Wednesday:
- Firstly, we've added Pro Picks. This is your weekly cheatsheet for every game and allows you to see who will win based on our Pro data, without needing to explore it.
Of course, if you want to, you can still drill down and change the parameters to show those who pick best over lifetime, or the last 5 games, but we had feedback that ultimately, some of you just wanted the best picks, and now you have them!
- Secondly, we've added Pro Insights. We show you which stats predict each team's games the best, and which team they are in favor of for the next game.
For example, you can see in the card below for the Vikings and Bengals, that 74% of games that these two teams played last season were decided in favor of the team who (going into the game) allowed the least rushing yards.
This, again, allows you to see what really matters in a matchup. Some teams rely on strong defense and running the ball, and others rely on a strong passing attack. In this case, you can see clearly that passing yards are not an important metric for either team, therefore you can focus your energy on who is likely to win the running game.
Pro Insights will soon be upgraded to show every stat we cover in our Game Hubs, so you can see whether first downs matter, time of possession matters, or turnovers matter, for example!
- Finally, we've added Excel downloads and Upset Watch to our Pro package.
At $30 a year, we think the combination of our best data, best picks, best article, and the ability to download the core data to create your own models is pretty much unbeatable. These are our most popular features and really, two things that we think most people would consider decent value at 57c a week for 12 months!
This is our biggest new release, and it deserves a column all of it's own!
In brief, we wanted to clean up the handicapper space which is awful everywhere else, and validate the records of people you buy picks from. In short, we want to put some trust into that industry!
We also wanted to give you the power to switch between experts at your own leisure, rather than purchasing (for example) a full season's worth of picks from one guy, and hoping he doesn't have a bad month!
We're also offering a guarantee - if the pick doesn't win, your credit (used to unlock picks) is returned so you can unlock another pick completely free.
As with our main picks service, we won't allow people to change anything after a game, and we ensure the validity of everything posted on our site. It's all about helping you get the best
For full details of our handicapper picks service, see here.
More weekly prizes
This year we're offering over $12,000 in weekly and season long prizes. There will be prizes for the most coins won, and the most games won each week (with a prize draw to break ties). There will also be big prizes for the season winners in both straight up and ATS.
We'll also be doing more ad-hoc prizes based on social media interactions, so watch out for communication from us regarding more chances to win money from us!
New weekly columns
Social media followers will already know that alongside Upset Watch and KC Joyner, we've also veteran NFL media editor Michael Schottey, formerly of Bleacher Report and Fanduel. Schottey will be collating our weekly game recaps, previews and power rankings, as well as chiming in on the latest NFL news.
We also inked a deal with 538's Ty Schalter to write a weekly article based on Pickwatch's stats, which should give newcomers and veterans alike an insight into how you can use Pickwatch to win more games.
We have some other developments on the horizon, some of which will make it in even over the course of this season, others that are earmarked for the future.
With the addition of new sports, Pickwatch has become a year-round site, and that means that you'll be able to win prizes and learn more every week. It also means that our development cycle will not be completely focused on the NFL season start, as it has been previously.
What's on our roadmap:
- NHL and NBA (Both by October)
- Alerts when your favorite experts/fans pick games (this season)
- The first native Pickwatch app (Likely to be our first development next season)
- Prop and Player related picks
- In-play/Live picks.
- Expansion of our handicapper page to allow users to sell and trade picks without our interference.
Of course, there are more developments than that, much of which are smaller and will impact your quality of life on Pickwatch. We always listen to feedback, and so if there are things that you'd love that we can add, we will of course consider them.
That's it for now. If you have any questions, our now very thorough FAQ will likely have the answer, but I'd also encourage you to ask our support team using the Intercom button on the bottom right of pages!