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Golf has been synonymous with betting for most of its history. There are not shortage of variations for golfers wanting to bet on the outcome of their game from the venerable Nassau to countless of more esoteric wagering formats. While betting among golfers is old news there’s another form of golf betting that has skyrocketed in popularity in recent years—betting on professional golf tournaments at Las Vegas sports books.
At first consideration golf would appear to be a poor fit for sports betting enthusiasts. The pace of the game is ‘leisurely’ at best with many considering it downright boring. A tournament takes several days to determine the outcome. It’s the antithesis of fast moving and popular betting sports like basketball or football. Despite all of this, golf betting is one of the fastest growing betting sports in Nevada sports books. It’s popularity now rivals—if not exceeds—long established betting sports like baseball and hockey.
So what makes golf such an attractive sport for sports betting? Statistics—and plenty of them. There’s a wide assortment of metrics that allow handicappers to evaluate golfers, courses and most importantly how individual golfers perform at specific courses or types of courses. In addition to the availability of analytical data golf is a very ‘formful’ sport yet one in which players can go on ‘hot’ or ‘cold’ streaks. There are plenty of tournaments featuring hundreds of golfers every week which creates a myriad of betting opportunities.
There are two primary types of golf wagering. The first is a ‘to win’ wager on the individual tournament. This is definitely the most simple form of golf betting in which the bookmaker quotes odds to win on all golfers entered in a tournament. The bettor selects which golfer(s) he wants to back and if ‘his’ player wins he cashes a bet.
The other common golf bet is the head to head matchup. In a matchup bet, a sportsbook will pair up two golfers and quote moneyline odds on each. The golfer that finishes with the best score wins the matchup. Matchups are posted on the entire tournament as well as each individual round. Many people like to bet on golf due to the simplicity in lines presented to users. For a full list of golf sportsbook reviews, you can take a look at the list on Sports Betting Pal.
There are other proposition wagers offered to golf bettors at some sports books. Players can bet on the nationality of a winning player, whether or not he’ll make the cut, whether he’ll finish above or below par and many other elements of the sport.
At North American sportsbooks it’s almost inevitable that Tiger Woods will be heavily bet for any tournament in which he’s entered. ‘Sharp’ golf bettors look for other players that offer better returns on investment or who might not be as familiar to the casual fan or recreational bettor.