Golf betting guide: Available markets for the Masters and other tournaments
Golf may not be as popular as basketball, baseball, American football, and soccer, but it should not be forgotten by the betting public. There is plenty of value to be found on the links, and perhaps bettors’ favorite tournament on which to take action is taking place this week. It’s The Masters, back at Augusta National this spring after being held in the fall last year.
Let’s discuss some of the common golf markets before getting into more Masters specifics.
Golf betting markets
Futures probably draw the most interest when it comes to golf. It’s easy to see why. This sport is unique in that there aren’t really one-on-one, head-to-head matchups (the recent WGC-Match Play Championship is one exception). Although there is a market for arbitrary matchups between certain players on certain days to see who can go lower, they aren’t actually playing against each other like two players would in a tennis tournament. Thus golf betting is driven mostly by futures. Odds for most tournaments will be posted by sportsbooks a few days before they begin (generally Thursday is the starting day, with very few exceptions outside of the aforementioned Match Play Championship). For the four majors, those odds are generally posted many months in advance.
The most popular futures bets, as you might expect, are on outright tournament winners. Pre-tournament, favorites to win are generally in the +800 to +1100 range. Yes, it’s that hard to win a golf tournament even for the best players in the world. Maybe if someone is totally dominating the tour at the time of an event and the rest of the field at that particular event isn’t overly strong, you could find a favorite at +700 or so. But that is rare—and it has to be said most likely wouldn’t offer a lot of value.
Of course, you don’t have to go big by betting someone to win an entire tournament. There are also markets for finishing in the top 10, the top 20, and making the cut. Someone who is +1200 to win a title, for example, could be +150 to finish in the top 10 and -170 to place in the top 20. Cuts happen after two of the four rounds at traditional tournaments are complete. Generally speaking, two-thirds of the field advances to compete on the two ensuing weekend rounds. Title favorites could be as low as -1000 to make the cut.
The total for an individual golfer’s score is another betting option. Such a market is most often offered for opening Thursday rounds—especially at the four majors. It’s a simple concept, similar to game totals in other sports. Will a player shoot over or under his quota? If the over/under for a golfer’s round is 69.5 and he shoots 70 or worse, an over bet cashes; 69 or better gets the win for under tickets.
As mentioned above, some books will pit two golfers against each other in a figurative but not necessarily literal head-to-head matchup and you can bet on which one will post a better score on a particular day. The official name is two-ball betting. Three-ball betting is the same concept, one you will often find for the first two rounds of majors when competitors are playing in groups of three.
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Dustin Johnson is the defending Masters champion and he is +950 favorite to win it again in 2021. The American is also +225 to finish to in the top five, +120 to finish in the top 10, -225 for a top 20 spot, and -1000 to make the cut.
Reigning U.S. Open champion Bryson DeChambeau and last week’s Valero Texas Open winner Jordan Spieth are next at +1150 outright. They are both +275 to place in the top five, +125 to place in the top 10, and -200 for a top 20 finish. DeChambeau is -1000 along with Johnson to make the cut, while Spieth is -560.
For the Masters and other majors, there are other markets such as the leader from a certain country. For example, Johnson is a +700 favorite to be the low man from the USA. Jon Rahm is a +350 top choice to be the low European. Paul Casey is a +350 favorite to be the best among the Englishmen.
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Pickswise is the home of free expert Golf Picks and Predictions. Our outright PGA expert picks go live every Tuesday, so be sure check out our golf picks, best bets, and analysis for the Masters when those go live. We will also have our 2021 Masters 3-ball picks and our best golf prop bets for each round of the 2021 Masters.Last updated: Tue 6th April 2021