With the dramatic rise of online gaming sites like Bovada, betting on golf has soared to the next level. There are so many more wagers to consider than just picking the winner of the next prestigious 72-hole tournament.
Does Tiger Woods win his 15th major? Will Brooks Koepka capture his third straight U.S. Open title? Is it worth betting on Team USA in the Ryder Cup?
Don’t be intimidated by all the names and betting numbers. They will become easier to understand as we play a few holes and develop a betting strategy.
Best Golf Betting Lines
Golf’s four majors — the Masters, U.S. Open, PGA Championship and British Open — draw the most betting action, but there are many other stroke-play events throughout the year that draw a crowd as well.
Those odds will be listed in the following widget, with the favorites at the top, then players with mid-range odds, followed by the longest shots on the board.
The most common listing that beginners should focus on when learning how to bet on golf is future odds. This is a wager where the bettor is strictly picking the winner of a future event, like the $11-million Players Championship at TPC Sawgrass.
Golf Betting Odds Explained
The sportsbook oddsmaker will give the bettor moneyline odds on specific golfers to win a tournament or event. If your selection wins the tournament, you win the bet. It’s as simple as that.
The favorite in the event of about 120 golfers is typically listed around 8-1 or +800. Odds on the remaining players will vary from 10-1 to 200-1. Often, there is a selection called the “field,” which is made up of lesser known players.
What’s the payoff on a winning ticket? It depends on the odds. The return on the favorite (8-1) on a $100 bet would be $900 ($100 bet + $800 profit = $900 total return). The return on one of the longshots (200-1) would be $20,100 ($100 bet + $20,000 profit = $20,100 total return).
Here are some other examples of winning tickets with different odds:
• 15-1 or +1500 ($100 bet + $1,500 profit = $1,600 total return)
• 25-1 or +2500 ($100 bet + $2,500 profit = $2,600 total return)
• 50-1 or +5000 ($100 bet + $5,000 profit = $5,100 total return)
Where the game gets more interesting and, for some, a lot more fun is the addition of prop bets: Will a certain player make the cut, finish in the top 10 or top 25, lead after the first round, or beat another popular golfer head-to-head?
As you can see, this is much more than just betting on a golfer to win a tournament. Keep searching the betting lines until you find the right pick for you.
Your favorite player (Golfer A) is matched against his nemesis (Golfer B) in this week’s tournament. The prop betting lines are as follows: Golfer A is listed at +155, while Golfer B is pegged at -175 in head-to-head play. Neither player has to win the tournament, they just have to shoot a lower score than the other.
Here are the payoffs for both players: If Golfer A posts a better score than Golfer B, a winning ticket would pay $255 on a $100 bet ($100 bet + $155 = $255 total return). If Golfer B wins the best, a bettor would have to wager $175 to make a profit of $100 ($175 bet + $100 profit = $275 total return).
Golf Betting Strategies
If you’re looking for a fool-proof plan to win on golf, there isn’t one. That’s why it’s called gambling. But there are some different ways to approach a tournament that will help you make a good decision when making your bet.
• Hot players: All of the top players tend to go on streaks — good and bad. If a player has not been putting well, it’s hard to put money on them in the next event. If another has finished in the Top 10 three weeks in a row, they have to be considered one of the favorites in the next event.
• Top rankings: The No. 1 player in the world has reached this status for good reason. Typically, World No. 1 is the favorite on the betting line in all the majors. It is not uncommon to see the winner of an event be ranked in the Top 25, which will help reduce your possible selections.
• Course form: Some pros just do better at certain places over others, especially if they’re playing close to home. It’s likely a layout they’ve seen many times before. If a player has performed well at a certain spot in other years, odds are that level of play will continue this year.
• Overall tour stats: No one course is the same. Some demand a player to hit the fairway at all times, others feature lightning fast greens. Tour stats will help you make a selection based on this week’s venue. For example, the Masters at Augusta National demands superb putting on their famous greens. The champion can miss a fairway or two, but they must have command of the short stick.
Golf Tournaments to Bet On
Events in the United States, specially the PGA Tour, draw the most action. This is where the top-ranked players in the world make a living in multimillion-dollar events.
The U.S. also offers some of the toughest and most beautiful courses in the world, which sets the stage for some dramatic finishes at places like Pebble Beach, Riviera, Bay Hill, Murfield Village … all the way to the Tour Championship at East Lake. Add in golf’s four majors, and there’s something to cheer about every week of the year.
There are also lines posted for events in the LPGA, PGA Champions Tour, European Tour and many more stroke-play and match-play championships around the world.