Betting on golf can be very challenging but also extremely rewarding because of the sizable odds that can be found, especially when wagering on a particular player to win a tournament. With many betting options available, from major championship futures to head-to-head matchups and finishing position bets, there are plenty of ways to make (or lose) money.
Betting on PGA Tour golf can definitely make watching golf a little more excited, but it can be very complicated. Here are five of the biggest mistakes that bettors make when wagering on golf.
Betting on golf isn’t easy. Make sure you don’t make these mistakes!
1. Only Betting the Favorites
A great year for a PGA Tour golfer is to win two or three tournaments. In his prime, it wasn’t unusual to see Tiger Woods rack victories up by the half dozen in a single year. But that’s Tiger Woods, one of the greatest golfers of all-time. These days, the likes of Dustin Johnson, Jon Rahm, Xander Schauffele and Rory McIlroy are the favorites in virtually every tournament in which they play…but winning isn’t easy.
With dozens of events every season on the PGA Tour, these betting favorites only account for less than 20% of the wins. That leaves 80% of tournament wins that are captured by players farther down the betting odds list, meaning wagering just on the top players leaves out a lot of possible winning bets. A lot of value you can be found further down the odds list, so taking the time to research and look for good value can pay off in the long run.
2. Not Placing Multiple Bets for Winners
When placing winner bets, wagering on just one player can be a big mistake. In golf, the top ten players in the futures odds are generally in the +800 to +2500 range, meaning a $10 wager can pay out between $80 and $250.
With 125 to 156 players in the field, the straight odds of any one player winning are roughly +15600. So it can really pay off over time to wager on somewhere between three and six players per tournament, taking a favorite or two, a couple of underdogs, and a real longshot that can pay off in a big way.
3. Only Placing Winner Bets
As more states legalize sports betting and an increasing number of options become available, sportsbooks are getting more creative in the types of wagers they are offering. While futures betting on who will win and matchup wagers, where players are pitted against each other like in the team sports are the most prevalent, there are sites that have top five, top ten, top twenty-five, and making/missing the cut bets.
If a player has made 16 of 17 cuts in a season or has finished in the top ten of a particular tournament in five of his last seven appearances, it makes sense to find wagers that will pay out good odds for a bet that you have a great chance of winning. Finding a sportsbook that offers a wider variety of wagers, or even proposition bets, is a great way to increase the chances of picking up a nice payday.
4. Betting on Golfers Who Have a Poor Track Record at a Particular Course
With so many PGA Tour players (conservatively in the 200+ range) that compete during the season, it’s impossible for the oddsmakers to have a good handle on all of them. On the PGA Tour, different courses tend to suit certain players’ games, so they tend to not only enter those tournaments but play well in them.
A major mistake many bettors make is to place a wager on a player without doing the research on their performance at that particular golf course. Betting on a player who is having a good season but who has missed the cut four out of six years in that event is just being lazy and is a good way to toss some cash away.
5. Not Using More Than One Sportsbook for Your Golf Bets
For those bettors that are fortunate enough to have multiple wagering options, open accounts with more than one sportsbook to make it possible to shop the odds instead of staying with one provider that might not be offering attractive options. If there is a player that is high on the list of the bettor to finish in the top ten or to win the tournament, look for the best odds instead of leaving money on the table because it might be more convenient to stay with one operator.
This is also true of looking for matchup bets for a player you like that week. Instead of taking the only matchup available in one book for the golfer you want to bet on, take a look at multiple sportsbooks to see if you can find other options for matchups with this golfer. A little research can go a long way when wagering on a sport with so many participants and a high number of variables.