Golf on the TV might serve as the perfect backdrop for a Sunday afternoon siesta, but that all changes if you’ve got money spread out all over the field.
If you’re able to select even a couple of the players who are in the running come Saturday, the excitement level is taken to a place you never thought golf would be capable of reaching. Even so, many bettors have ignored golf in favor of more traditional sports like basketball and football, but that doesn’t mean you have to.
In this article, I’ll go over the 4 most overlooked real money golf betting options and explain how you can capitalize.
1 – The Outright Winner
I know, I know – how can you put the outright winner on a list of most “overlooked” bets? It’s a fair question, but in my experience, many people shy away from this play because it’s so difficult to win.
While there’s no debating the challenge that comes with trying to pick the winner of a tournament out of a field with 100+ players, it’s important to also consider the odds. For example, in the 2021 Travelers Championship, the “favorite,” Bryson DeChambeau, is 11 to 1, or +1100, to win the tournament. If there’s another sport where the favorite is 11 to 1, I’d be interested in hearing about it.
It should be noted that it’s probably not a good idea just to select one winner and hope for the best. Instead, try to find three or four golfers you can split your money between to give yourself more opportunities to win. For example, you might choose DeChambeau at +1100, Tony Finau at +2900, and Jason Day at +7500. Obviously, if any of those bets hit you’ll more-than-cover your losses.
It can be frustrating when the golfers you choose make it apparent early on that they won’t be competing for the championship, but in my opinion it’s still worth taking a flyer before the start of the tournament. If there’s one thing that is almost always true about sports betting, it’s that you need to tolerate some risk if you want to get a big payout.
Don’t just close your eyes and throw darts at the field to pick your outright winning “package” either. Dive into the research and see if you can find a player who has played particularly well at that specific course in the past. Judge who has been playing well lately, and determine who seems poised to take home the title.
You won’t be able to pick them consistently, but if you’re able to get even one outright winner bet right, you’ll experience some serious growth in your bankroll.
While this isn’t the best option for every tournament, I often take a long shot flyer on 1 or 2 golfers for a low bet. These bets almost never hit, but when one does it’s a big payment for a small bet.
2 – Prop Bets
Golf has no shortage of prop bets, if you’re into that kind of thing. While ordinarily I would recommend being wary of these types of plays, sometimes they can be a useful part of your overall strategy.
In terms of which bets give you the best chance to profit, it varies based on the level of risk you want to take on. My personal favorites are the bets which allow you to put money on whether or not “X” player will finish in the top “X”. For example, Max Homa might be +750 to finish in the top 10 at the Masters.
Similar to choosing the outright winner, the benefit of these picks are the outstanding odds. But the flip side is also true – they’re not easy to win.
Because so many people who bet on golf don’t actually understand the sport, if you put in the time to do thorough research you will be rewarded for your hard work. My advice would be to find a good golf betting blog that can provide you with some good arguments for or against certain picks.
In addition to the bets I described above, prop bets can also include some more unique circumstances. For example, you might bet on whether or not there will be a hole in one during the tournament. In order to get these right you must spend some time doing your rese…just kidding, these types of prop bets are complete guesses. But they’re fun to play nonetheless! Remember, if the odds have value, any bet is worth considering.
Rounding out the list of props I’ve had success with, most sportsbooks offer a bet where you can choose whether you think the winner of a tournament will be American of European. Though I tend to root for the Americans, the smaller number of European players usually means better odds.
3 – Futures
In our generally-impatient society, futures bets usually don’t get a ton of action because most people simply don’t want to wait weeks or months to know if they’ve won or lost. But if you’re really trying to make money gambling and don’t care about the wait, golf provides some great options that all bettors should consider.
The range of futures bet offerings can go from selecting the winner of an upcoming tournament to where players will land in the world golf rankings at a certain point. Not to sound like a broken record, but these bets also come down to evaluating the odds and the value that can be found within them.
While there’s no magic formula that can help you predict the future, there are some factors to consider before placing a futures bet. For example, looking back at a player’s performance during the previous season might shed some light on how he might perform in the upcoming season. If a player has risen in the rankings each of the last three years, perhaps that’s a trend that’s worth betting on.
Even if you’re just making educated guesses, futures bets are an underrated way to take advantage of favorable numbers. When the “favorite” for anything is +1000 or better, why not take a shot and see if you can get lucky?
4 – Group Matchups
Most golf bettors are well-aware of “matchup” bets. If you’re unfamiliar, they’re very simple to understand. In a traditional matchup bet, sportsbooks will pair two golfers together and whoever has the better score wins the bet. Typically the players will be evenly-matched, and thus the odds for the favorite will usually be around -120 and the underdog will be in the neighborhood of +110 (obviously these can vary, but generally there isn’t a huge discrepancy).
Matchup bets aren’t a bad play per se, but I believe there’s a better option: group matchups.
Group matchups function just like 1v1 contests do, except, as the name suggests, there are multiple players involved in the group. Whichever player finishes with the best score in the group wins.
If you’re wondering why I prefer these bets over traditional matchups, let’s continue on with the theme of the article: it’s all about the odds.
Whereas in a 1v1 matchup you’d have to risk more than you stand to win if you bet on the favorite, in a group matchup you can take the favorite at a “plus” number. If you’re looking for even more value, betting on the underdog in a group matchup could get you +250 or better odds. Anytime you put yourself in a position where you have to win fewer bets to win more money, it’s worth exploring the potential.
Ready to put some skin in the game? Golf bets add an entirely new element to the game that may have been missing for those who are not huge fans of the sport. Once you begin to follow along with the action throughout the summer, you’ll start to see why people get so into it.
Try out these bets next time you log in to your preferred sports betting action and see if you can take home a little bit of “prize money” for yourself.