It’s undoubtedly an understatement to say that golf is a popular sport – with fans from all over the world and more Americans playing the sport than ever before, the game has easily captivated its audience in a way that extends even beyond the green.
In the past few years, online betting has risen in popularity as well, giving way to a host of Golf betting sites not on GamStop that players worldwide have joined to try and make money off their knowledge. If you’ve ever been intrigued at the idea of doing the same but found yourself befuddled by the various betting odds displayed on each site, know that you’re not alone.
Fortunately, a little bit of work will quickly decipher the more complicated aspects of golf betting odds and, once demystified, they’ll serve you well toward making golf betting decisions.
Understanding The Terminology Involved
It doesn’t matter what the subject is – you won’t get far if you can’t understand the words being used. Here’s what you need to know before jumping into golf betting:
• Outrights – Also known as “outright winners,” outrights are straightforward bets on which player is going to win the tournament overall. Even backing a favorite can be a lucrative choice since there are usually more than 100 players in PGA tournaments.
• Finishing position bets – For a slightly more broad type of prediction, finishing position bets guess which players end up in the top 5, 10, or 20 of a tournament. Since you’re casting a wider net on the outcome, the potential payout is typically smaller.
• Matchups – These bets predict which player wins a round matchup, as opposed to the entire tournament. Odds are listed with a favorite, marked with a minus (-) and an underdog, marked with a plus (+).
• Prop bets – Golf betting has a huge variety of potential prop bets, which can be nearly anything you’ll think of. Perhaps you might put money on whether Tiger Woods will score under or over a specific number in the first round, or guess that he’ll get a hole-in-one.
• Value bets – These aren’t a type of bet, exactly, but rather describe odds in relation to payout.
Reading Golf Betting Odds
Learning to read odds is crucial to succeeding in any sports betting endeavor, and so it should be considered heavily before making even a single wager. As difficult as this task may be, it’s incredibly valuable – at a minimum, they express what the bet will ostensibly pay if you win.
Since most PGA tournaments have up to 150 golfers competing every week, the odds can vary considerably between underdogs and favorites. Take Rory McIlroy, for example – a common favorite like him is typically within the range of 6/1 to 12/1, or +600 to +1200.
A golfer who ranks well outside of the top 100 can often be expensive bets, too, especially during one of the four major tournaments: The Masters, U.S. Open, PGA Championship, and Open Championship. In these cases, you’ll see the cost as high as 500/1.
Expressed in what is known as American odds, +600 indicates an example of what you would earn if you were to wager $100. So if you were to wager on McIlroy with those odds, you’d profit $600 with that $100 bet. A $50 wager, likewise, would profit $300 from the same odds.
Depending on the sportsbook used, odds may alternatively be expressed as fractions. These are just as straightforward, requiring you to multiply your bet amount by the odds to determine what you’d win.
Basic Golf Betting Strategy
Of course, golf betting odds really tell you more than what you’re liable to win, so don’t just blindly put money on your favorite player each week and hope for the best. Taking this new knowledge and applying it to a basic golf betting strategy can considerably improve your chances of winning.
• Do pre-tournament research – Golf is different from most American sports; the best players tend to play fewer tournaments than your average PGA professional. Top players earn exemption status while others have to hustle to accumulate points, resulting in shifting roster each week. Consider who else is playing and may be a challenge to a favorite, as well as the course in play.
• Know key golfing stats – Depending on the tournament, different stats should be emphasized, too. For example, on more complicated courses, you might consider golfers better skilled at bogey avoidance since fewer opportunities to score are available.
• Build a Card – Rather than put all your money down on one prediction, it may be wiser to spread it out across several smaller bets. Using McIlroy as an example again, consider putting four $25 wagers on his win, top 5, top 10, and head-to-head finishes rather than the full $100 on his win. You’ll still win quite a sum if he wins, but also retain money if he merely places inside the top 10.
Understanding golf betting odds is about more than making sense of the numbers – it’s about making the most informed decision you can make. The numbers tell you how much you’ll make if you win, but they’ll also give you valuable insight into that outcome’s probability, and thus what your potential return on investment will be.
Certainly, arming yourself with this information adds an entire new dimension to your knowledge of the game, and it may well enhance your love for it. At the very least, it will give you far more of an edge when placing bets – and as always, remember that gambling should remain fun and responsible!