Breaking Down the Different Types of Golf Bets

June 17, 2021by Action Jackson0
Betting KnowledgeFeaturedGolfPGASports Betting Knowledge

Breaking Down the Different Types of Golf Bets

Breaking Down the Different Types of Golf Bets: 2021 U.S. Open - John Rahm
The 2021 U.S. Open tees off today and if you’re anything like us, you’re thinking one thing – how can I bet on this thing? Chances are, you haven’t really followed golf outside of the majors and the Brooks vs. Bryson memes. And when you head to your sportsbook to put down a wager, you’re overwhelmed by all the different options available. We’re here to help. Today we’ll be breaking down the different types of golf bets, sharing examples for this weekend’s tournament, and offering guidance around when and how you want to use these bets.

Breaking Down the Different Types of Golf Bets

1. Outright Winner

The most straightforward bet available in golf is the outright winner, where you wager on one golfer to win the entire tournament. Obviously, as opposed to a team sport like baseball or basketball, there are tons of different guys who can win any given tournament, which makes the odds particularly strong across the board. Even the clear favorite in a golf tournament will generally have at least 5-1 odds, which puts you in a position to hedge bets across a few strong golfers and still make money. Let’s look at the U.S. Open outright winner odds for this weekend’s tournament. Breaking Down the Different Types of Golf Bets: 2021 U.S. Open Outright Winner OddsAt these odds, a $25 bet on the favorite Jon Rahm would pay out to $287.50. The same bet on any of the 2-4 guys (Bryson, Dustin, Xander) would pay out to $400. Let’s say I end up placing $150 total in outright winner wagers across 6 different golfers at $25 a pop. If any of my bets hit, even if it’s Rahm at +1050, I’m still at least doubling – and in most cases tripling – my money. Plus, I have a rooting interest for the entire weekend across a bunch of different golfers. Win-win.

2. Place or Finishing Position

Slightly different than the outright winner, this bet is on a golfer finishing inside the Top 5, 10, or 20 in the tournament. As you can imagine, these have smaller payouts than an outright winner bet. But are much safer and will keep you alive in the action for longer in the weekend. I generally tend to heavy up on these bets for one simple reason – it’s very hard to win a golf tournament, especially a major tournament (when I do the majority of my betting). There’s nothing more heartbreaking than watching the guy you put $100 to win outright blow a late lead in the Masters (looking at you, Jordan Spieth, you rat boy). Or watching an upstart get hot (and a little lucky) and take down your chances of winning late. Decrease your risk of going broke and having a heart attack by changing your outright winner bet to a Top 10 finishing position wager. You’ll thank me later. Here are the finishing positions for the U.S. Open: Breaking Down the Different Types of Golf Bets: 2021 U.S. Open Finishing Positions While the odds are slightly lower, there’s still great value to be had with Top 5, 10, or even 20 bets for all the major contenders. Plus, it’s a great opportunity to bet on a long shot and cash in as they somehow slide into the Top 20 on Sunday. Even more than the outright winner bet, a finishing position keeps you invested the entire weekend as a single putt can be the difference between a Top 10 finish and you making rent this month.

3. Matchups

In this bet, you’re wagering on two golfers in a head-to-head matchup for the entire weekend. While these two golfers may never be in the same actual pairing during the tournament, the books will generally offer even or -110 odds for two golfers who are close to equal in skill and performance. For context, here are the matchup bets offered this weekend for the top golfers: Breaking Down the Different Types of Golf Bets: 2021 U.S. Open Matchup Bets

Factors to Consider When Betting

Generally, you’ll want to use these bets to either fade a golfer that has been slumping or hammer a guy who you’re excited about. Some factors to consider when betting on or against certain golfers which require a bit more research:
  • The Course: Has the player played at this course or similar courses before and how did they perform? For example, Dustin Johnson plays well at Augusta. (He's finished in the Top 10 at the Masters every year since 2015.) Meanwhile, heavy-hitters like Rory McIlroy or Bryson DeChambeau thrive in longer courses. My bets for this weekend (Rahm and longshot Cameron Smith) are based on their history of success at Torrey Pines, this tournament’s course.
  • Recent Performance: Is this golfer hot or playing the worst golf of his career? For example, Jordan Spieth is in the Top 10 favorites to win the tournament based on his recent hot streak (8 Top 10s in the first 13 events of the year). Do you ride that streak or bet on him coming down to Earth?
  • Weather: Keep an eye on the weather report for the weekend, because it affects players differently. For example, wet conditions mean drives will have less rollout but that greens are more receptive on approach shots. Windy conditions may favor those golfers that have more experience playing in windy conditions or are considered good “links players.” These golfers can control their iron shots in the wind and have lower trajectory that negates the effect of the wind.

4. Prop Bets

We love prop bets here at The Odds Factory and surprisingly, there are a ton of props available when betting on golf, especially during the major tournaments. Similar to other sports, there are either player (golfer) props and game (tournament) props. For golfer props, you can bet on things like over/under score for the tournament or round (i.e. over 71), total birdies for the tournament or round, and if they’ll make an eagle or not. This is another great opportunity to fade or hammer a certain golfer based on your research. The real fun comes from tournament bets, where there are a ton of options to wager on what will happen over the course of the weekend. Here are some of my favorites:
  • Top Lefty (5 total lefties in the PGA tour at the moment)
  • Top Player by College (there are 7 University of Georgia alumni, 5 Arizona State alumni, and 4 University of Texas alumni in the tournament)
  • Nationality Bets (top player from each country)
  • Hole-in-One Props (will there be a hole in ones? On what hole? In what round?)
Happy betting this weekend. For more help with golf betting, check out our 9 tips for betting golf and check out our Gambling 101 guides for any and all your betting needs.

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