How to bet on the PGA tournaments
How mainstream has golf betting gotten in the past 2-3 years? Norm MacDonald, comedian and worldwide celebrity, recently tweeted an entire tournament round’s worth of odds-tracking and bet touting just for fun.
Those who want a faster outcome in a slow-moving sport can take part in 3-balls betting. Gamblers wager on which of 3 PGA players in a weekday grouping will turn-in the best scorecard through either 18 or 36 holes. Rory McIlroy and other superstars are often (-200) or shorter bets to prevail among a PGA Tour group’s Round 1 or combined Round 1 and Round 2 scores. Sentimental favorites like Phil Mickelson make popular underdog lines at (+300) or (+500).
There is a fine line between prop, or proposition bets, and “futures” bets on PGA professionals. For instance, odds on “Team USA or Team Europe winning the next Ryder Cup” are technically futures, but have been known to show-up among a gambling site’s long-term sports prop bets. A more clearly-defined PGA prop bet might be “Will Rory McIlroy finish 2020 with the #1 World Ranking? Yes: (-110) No (-110).” Even though the final rankings of 2020 are definitely far in the future as of Hard Rock Digital's press time, making the hypothetical PGA Tour prop bet a “prop-future.” Proposition gamblers who placed bets on the 2020 season over the winter couldn’t have envisaged how a pandemic would change the calculus. With fewer events to play and more time to prepare for the crucial summer schedule, it’s possible that Rory, Tiger, and other top-rated PGA golfers will trounce the competition.But the idea that a talented rookie could be shooting secret 59s in solitude will keep bettors looking for long-shot prop bets on new faces to rule the links.
Golf futures bets are made against “moneyline” style odds-to-win a given tournament or points chase, with every market calculated to reflect $100 or $1.00 wagers. (+500) odds mean that payoff is 5-to-1 on a winning bet, while a bet made at (-500) means that $5.00 or $500 must be risked to gain a potential reward of $1.00 or $100 respectively.Moneyline odds for team sports revolve around numbers like (-110), or roughly a 1-to-1 risk and reward. That’s because only 1 of 2 opponents can win. Consider that in golf, tennis, and a bevy of Olympic sports, far more competitors will fall short than even the top-10 or top-25 finishers. Golf odds weigh the chances of a player beating dozens, even hundreds of other top professionals just to have a chance to prevail in Round 4. Thus, almost every golf futures bet is made against a “plus” line which promises more payout than risk.If a player is a “minus” futures bet to finish in the top 10, she’s having a great season. If a player is a “minus” bet to win a major, he’s either leading on Saturday night…or he’s Tiger Woods from the year 2000.Most handicappers think a top-ranked PGA professional has about a 10% chance to win a major tournament if all goes well. Brooks Koepka, winner of several important titles near the end of the last decade, has been a (+1000) pre-tournament bet at many big events in the last 24 months.Futures odds on outright-winner and Top 10 finishes are far from the only popular betting line for golf watchers. For instance, some less-patient viewers prefer to bet on 18 holes at a time.Here’s a sample of other golf markets with high-rolling action at least 4 or 5 weeks per year.