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What are Head-to-Head Bets?

by January 5, 2022

Head-to-head bets are wagers in which you are betting on an outcome between two athletes rather than two teams. All of the major American sports have head-to-head betting, and I will give some quick examples below.

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Say the Colts are facing the Vikings, and you feel like the Colts’ game plan will be to ground and pound with Jonathan Taylor all game. Instead of betting on the Colts as a team, you can opt to wager on Jonathan Taylor to have more rushing yards than Dalvin Cook. This hypothetical bet would look something like this:

Who will have more rushing yards: Jonathan Taylor (-130) or Dalvin Cook (+110)


If the Masters are coming up, you may be doing research and find some information that Rory McIlroy got a new swing coach and the decision has paid off big time in his last five tournaments. While betting on him to win the whole event presents a lot of risk due to the size of the field, you could opt to bet on Rory to finish closer to the top position than another golfer such as Jon Rahm. This hypothetical bet would look something like this:

Golfer with the better finishing position: Rory McIlroy (+250) or Jon Rahm (-400)

In this example, say Jon Rahm has an atrocious Thursday and Friday and misses the cut while Rory advances to the weekend, then Rory is the winning wager at +250 regardless of whether he finishes twelfth or thirtieth.


Prop bets can also be used head-to-head. For example, if the Lightning are playing the Canadiens and you think that the Lightning should control the offensive zone most of the game, you could bet on a certain player to get more shots on net than another:

Which player will have more shots on net: Brayden Point (-200) or Cole Caufield (+165)

If Brayden Point and Cole Caufield each finish the contest with the same amount of shots on net, then the wager is a push.

Head-to-head betting can present an abundance of more betting opportunities rather than the traditional spread and over/under, and are particularly popular in events that have large player fields such as PGA, NASCAR, and Tennis.

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Whether you’re new to sports betting or a betting pro, our Sports Betting Strategy and Advice page is for you. You can get started with our 101 section — including 10 Sports Betting Tips for Beginners — or head to more advanced strategy — like Key Numbers When Betting Against the Spread — to learn more.

Tony Sartori is a featured writer at BettingPros. For more from Tony, check out his archive and follow him@tony_sartori.

Bet Types, Betting 101