Golf provides a number of options for bettors. From outright markets to head-to-head matchups and specialty props, there’s no shortage of variety for those seeking value each week.
Before we jump into discussing different types of bets, let’s go over a few key items. A good place to start is…
How do odds work in golf?
Let’s start by looking through the lens of the outright (to win) market. For example, let’s say Rory McIlroy is +1000 (also written as 10/1) to win a tournament. That means for every $100 you bet on McIlroy, you win $1,000 if he wins the event. A $10 bet at +1000 odds will win you $100, meaning you collect $110 including your original stake.
Typical favorites near the top of the market in golf will range from +500 to +1500, but the odds can vary wildly from week to week based on event and field composition. Several players will have lofty odds, with longshots often as high as +50000 (500/1). The higher the number, the more you can win – but the less likely that win is to occur.
Matchup betting is where the odds more closely mirror those seen in other sports. Matchup bets can include two or three players and will compare their scores, either over a single round or the entire tournament.
For example, let’s say Jordan Spieth and Justin Thomas were playing against each other in a final-round matchup and both were priced evenly at -110. While the +1000 in the McIlroy example was how much you win with a $100 bet, a minus price (like -110) indicates how much you have to wager to win $100. So if you like Spieth and your friend likes Thomas, you can each wager $11 to win $10 at a -110 price, meaning $22 in total bets. One of you will win and collect $21 – your original $11 plus the $10 win – while the house keeps the extra dollar. That’s considered the “juice” and part of the fee a sportsbook charges for creating a market and taking wagers.
How to read American odds
American odds are centered around winning or wagering $100 on a given bet.
If you’re betting a favorite: The odds for a favorite typically have a minus (-) sign in front of them, indicating the amount of money you need to risk to win $100.
If you’re betting an underdog: The odds for an underdog will usually have a plus (+) sign in front of them, indicating the amount of money you’ll win for a $100 wager.
But wagers don’t just work in increments of $100. A $1.30 wager on a -130 favorite would win $1, while a $1 bet on a +110 underdog would win $1.10.
Keep in mind that odds are anything but static – instead they’re a snapshot of a given moment in a given market. Oddsmakers are constantly adjusting odds and prices based on bets received, player-related news, weather forecast changes and everything in between. So a player that’s listed at +2000 to win on Wednesday could be up to +2500 (or down to +1500) the next time you look at the odds.