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With the legalization of sports betting now spreading across the country like wildfire, the variety of bets offered by sportsbooks are only logically following suit as the menu of options is as big as it’s ever been. One of the fasting growing sectors of the menu is golf betting, which offers bettors not only a number of ways to bet, but nearly year-round action with the golf calendar rarely taking a week off. For sports bettors who love the data side of the industry, golf also offers a plethora of statistics and splits with events often held at the same course every year, allowing golfers to perform better at certain places or certain styles of course. In today’s piece, let’s explore some of the options available for bettors looking to get down action on the next PGA Tour event or otherwise.
Win Tournament Outright
The most common type of wager you can place on golf is for a golfer to win a tournament. The field is often priced similar to future markets in other sports, with the best golfers in the field (based on recent finishes, FedEx Cup rankings, etc.) priced with the shortest odds. The first major of the year, for example, The Masters, has Rory McIlroy and Brooks Koepka, arguably the two best golfers in the world, priced at +700 and +800, respectively. This means that a bettor who places a winning wager on either McIlroy or Koepka would win $700 and $800 respectively.
One of the most unique to golf bets that bettors who bet the sport professionally, or at least actively, partake in is matchup betting. In matchup betting, two golfers are paired against each other and if you pick the golfer who finishes higher on the final leader board, you win the bet. Just like betting money lines in other sports, the two golfers involved are rarely the same odds, and in some events, one golfer may be laying strokes to another. For example, if Tiger Woods is -1.5 vs. Hideki Matsuyama, he has to finish at least two strokes ahead of him on the final leaderboard for you to be declared a winner. Much like the half-time bet in other sports, matchups are also reset after each round, allowing bettors who follow the sport closely to identify edges that oddsmakers may not be factored into the subsequent round matchup odds.
By far the most unique to golf bet a sports bettor can make is whether or not a particular golfer will make the cut and play into the 3rd and 4th rounds. In most golf tournaments, the opening field of golfers can be well over 100, and the 70 lowest scores (with exceptions) after the first two rounds will make the cut to play the third and fourth. This is important not only from a visibility standpoint for golfers to play in the most televised later rounds, but they don’t get paid for the tournaments where they fall short of the weekend. Never to miss an opportunity to get money down, some sportsbook like FanDuel Sportsbook offer odds whether or not a golfer will make/miss the cut. As you would expect, the bigger names like Woods and McIlroy are often heavy favorites to make the cut each week, while journeymen like Cameron Smith can offer shorter odds for those who feel like they have identified an edge.