Betting on golf can be very profitable if you are able to correctly pick the winner of the tournament, or even the players who finish in the top 3 or 5 positions. With sometimes upwards of 100 golfers or more entering a PGA tournament on any given weekend, there will be some very high returns offered, even on some of the best golfers in the world.
Betting on a Golfer to Win the Tournament
The most common form of wagering on PGA golf is to select a golfer to win the entire tournament. The lowest odds on a golfer are usually about 10/1, and that includes top stars like Rory McIlroy, all the way up to 500/1 for fringe PGA players or fading veteran golfers.
Usually the winner of the tournament will come from one of the middle of the pack golfers or from one of the favorites, but once in a while a very long shot golfer will overcome the odds and win it all.
If you select Phil Mickelson to win a tournament with 20/1 odds, for every $1 do you bet you will win $20 if he wins the tournament. Many times gamblers will wager on multiple golfers to win the tournament, as the return on investment for correctly selecting the winner makes it worth having multiple wagers even though you know only one of them can be a winner. A few things to consider when deciding which golfers to bet on are how well the golfer has been playing recently, what type of success they have had at that course in the past, and what other golfers are in the field.
Many times the top golfers in the world will not all be playing the same tournament. When you get a tournament without a clear cut favorite, the odds will be higher for each golfer that is playing because it is so wide open. While all wagers must be placed before the start of the tournament, many times sports books will offer betting on who will win the tournament between rounds, known as Live Betting. Of course, the odds will be adjusted and lowered based on the leader board at that time. While Phil Mickelson may have had 20/1 odds to start the tournament, if he shoots -6 in the first round and has a two shot lead over the second placed golfer, his odds may be reduced to 3/1 after the first round. The more golfers there are in contention between rounds, the better the odds will be because more players have a realistic chance of winning the tournament.
Another popular form of betting is known as matchup betting. This is where you select between two players and whichever player finishes higher up the leader board will win the bet. As an example, if Tiger Woods is -160 over Martin Kaymer who is +140, gamblers would need to risk $160 to win $100 on Tiger Woods or they could risk $100 to win $140 on Martin Kaymer. If Woods finishes in 8th place, shooting -9, and Kaymer finishes in 12th place, shooting -7, those who bet on Woods would be winners and those who bet on Kaymer would be losers.
These bets take into account all four rounds of a tournament before a winner is determined, but there are some sports books that will take bets on a per round basis, as discussed below.
This is similar to tournament matchups except in this case you are wagering on which golfer will shoot the better score in one particular round only. On day one of the tournament if Bubba Watson and Ryan Moore are paired together the odds may be Watson -130 or Moore +110 for the first round. If Watson shoots the lower score in the 1st round, people that wagered on him would win, if Moore shoots the lower score people that wagered on him would lose.
It does not matter what the player does in future rounds, the bet will be graded based on who shoots best in that particular round.Round matchups are usually set before each round of a tournament and are based on pairings set by the PGA.
Group betting is usually done between a group of five or six golfers, with the golfer that finishes with the best score for the tournament winning the group.
Here is an example of a group in a group betting scenario:
Tom Watson +250
Fred Couples +150
Ernie Els +200
Sam Snead +350
Ben Crenshaw +400
Whichever golfer from the group above finishes best in the tournament will be the winner, while wagers placed on all other golfers for that group would be graded as losing wagers. If the scoreboard looks like this at the end:
The wagers on Ernie Els would be winners. His odds were +200, so for every $100 wagered on Els, $200 would be won in return.
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