Understanding Golf Betting Odds and Lines

With the PGA alone, there are 36 professional golf tournaments every year. Including events such as the Masters and the US Open. And once you factor in NCAA golf, and even big-name amateur tournaments and qualifiers that gain a lot of traction, you're looking at a different tournament to bet on every week via a quality betting site. However, before you rush out to bet, you should first take some time to become familiar with golf betting odds. Even if you're an avid golf fan and understand the game's many ins and outs, you may still want to focus on how these aspects of golf translate into the legal golf betting world. Bookmakers act independent of the rules of golf, and this means that odds and pairings are calculated per what the number crunchers behind the book think, not based on anything to do with golfing per se.

So, before you bet, let's have a quick look-see at some of the different golf betting odds you'll run into.

Tournament Favorites

The first type of odds you're going to run into are the tournament favorite odds. To put it simply, these odds are calculated just like horse racing odds and are extremely easy to figure out. For instance, look at these numbers: 2:1, 4:1, 6:1, 8:1, 20:1. What's the common denominator here? Why it's the 1, of course, and that tells you everything you need to know. With this type of bet, always look at the last number first. That's basically telling you what you need to bet in order to win the first number. So, with the number 8:1, or eight-to-one, you're basically betting one dollar to win eight. But these numbers can sometimes be a little more confusing. Let's say Tiger makes a roaring comeback next year and is heading into the final major with three previous wins. He's the odds-on favorite, and his odds are calculated as 4:7, making him an extremely heavy favorite. While this number may seem very confusing, it's actually just as easy to calculate. The second number is what you have to bet to win the first. So, with this line, you'll be placing $7 to win $4. Extrapolate that percentage out based on your bet. Betting $10 will win you $7.

These are the most popular odds figures for golfing matches, and they will typically change per round of golf. And since the average tournament is four rounds, you will have plenty of opportunities to bet on your favorites.


Moneylines in golf are basically based on pairing bets. For instance, let's pull Joe back out of retirement again for another example of golf here. Joe is our go-to golfer at this point. Anyway, let's say Joe is playing with Jack through his first 18 rounds, and the bookmaker thinks Joe can win. So, what you're dealing with here isn't a tournament favorite; your odds are much better, in fact. You're actually dealing with a pairing favorite. So, Joe doesn't have to beat the field. Joe just has to beat Jack. So, in other words, you might see a line that reads: Joe -150, Jack +140. The number in this equation is the moneyline, which means that you have to bet $150 on Joe to win $100, whereas betting $100 on Jack wins $140 if Jack wins. But, remember, with this type of pairing bet, Joe or Jack don't need to beat the field; they only need to beat one another.

This makes a golf pairing bet an absolute favorite for sports gamblers of all stripes. Rather than having to place a bet on a player to win an entire tournament, or even an entire round, you'd only betting that they do better than the next golfer. So, in essence, it's like picking winners and losers in the NBA, NFL or NHL, etc. A team match-up basically. And best of all, these pairing bets change per round, so it's easy to leverage.

Round-by-Round Odds

Speaking of golfing rounds, you should keep your eyes peeled for the way the pairings and moneylines change per round. For instance, let's say you won with Joe in round one, and now he's going to be paired up with John in round two. The odds aren't going to be exactly the same. Even if Joe's still a favorite, the moneyline is going to be slightly different. So pay attention to how these bets change after each round, and make sure you adjust accordingly so that you're able to leverage and stay ahead of the curve.

You can learn more about improving your results with our page on golf betting tips and tricks.