The first and the most obvious golf bet type is win betting, which is simply selecting a player to win the event in question. As discussed back in part one, golf betting lends itself to big priced winners through the pure nature of the sport on a professional level. There is surprisingly little separating the top twenty golfers in the world. One ten foot (three metres) putt, which should move four inches (ten centimetres) right to left, which continues straight could cost you a substantial collect. Basically, any price up to 81.0 – 101.0 may be thought of as ‘in the market’.
We have discussed the implications of the bigger priced winners and the difficulty of hitting winners with some regularity. We listed a number of different ways, in which to smooth out the ups and downs you will experience, betting the winner market including ‘dutch’ betting. Bet types where you can lower the odds of receiving a collect is a great way, in which to reduce the effects of bankroll fluctuations, and thus, save you a lot of heartache!
There are some great prices available in the win betting market for all of the events on the two major tours on Betfair. Always shop for the best price for your selections making use of an odds comparison service such as Sports Punter to guide you.
Win betting is a bet type, that if the luck does not flow your way, you may well find yourself encountering a very frustrating year of golf betting with top five finishes without selecting a winner.
Place only betting is a great option for targeting players, who consistently are close, without breaking through. A lot of the time, backing these types of runners, hoping they will break through often is not smart play. The big problem with this bet type is that many bookies do not even offer a place only market. You may have to ask for a quote on a player. Those who do set a place only book, generally offer poor prices. You may obtain an excellent idea of the price your place bet should be by taking 1/5 of the win odds (assuming we are betting with a bookie who offers top five betting).
For example, a golfer is quoted at decimal odds of 51.0 (fractional odds 50/1). To calculate the place dividend that you will be paid, simply take the fraction that you will receive (1/5 in this example) of the decimal odds minus 1 then plus one. Therefore, it would be: 51.0 – 1 = 50.0 x 1/5 = 10.0 +1 = the decimal place odds of 11.0.
Although we would be able to take this price for the place portion if we were betting each way, chances are we would not be betting into a place bet only market. If you believe that the player will perform indeed, and particularly begin with a good start, then consider taking the each way bet, with the sole intention of laying it off on an exchange. (Note – don’t forget to account for commission in your calculations).
Each Way Betting
Golf each way betting is similar to horse race betting. An each way bet is effectively two separate bets. Some like to think of the place portion of an each way bet as a type of insurance, as in, ‘if my horse/player/team doesn’t win, I will at least get my money back’. In theory, the degree to which this is correct may be debatable. In any case, each way golf betting can provide a great opportunity to hedge your bet.
Bookmakers treat each way bets quite a bit differently, depending on the bookmaker in question. Some bookmakers will pay the top four placegetters, while others will pay the top five. In rare occasions, as a special bet type, some bookies will even bet up to six placings. Also, they offer different payouts if you are to win a bet: ¼ the win odds or 1/5 the win odds.
You should become aware of your favoured bookmakers’ offers. Should you bet ¼ the win odds with a bookmaker, who pays top four only, or bet with a bookmaker who pays less at 1/5, but will pay top five. This is a tough one to answer because you will find that those who offer to pay out at the top five, will offer win odds, which are slightly less than the bookies offering the ¼ odds, which naturally means a lower place payout.
72 Hole Two Match Bets
This bet type is simply where the bookmaker will pair two players, who are very close in the market order in the win betting. You simply have to bet on which of the two players listed, will score lower over the four rounds of the tournament. There is the option for the draw to be offered in case the players should finish on the same score.
This bet type is where I focus a lot of my time. There are a few reasons for this, primarily, because it is the easiest bet type to beat in my opinion. ‘Easiest’ probably is not the best choice of words.
The reason is relatively simple. We now have a ‘two horse race’, as there are only two players, from which to choose. You will find that after careful analysis, you might not be backing one of the players, because you do not think he will play well enough, and therefore, you would back the other player, in the head to head contest.
In the past we have had excellent winning runs backing against particular players. One player, who sticks out is Lee Westwood. He is a class act and is as good as anyone on his day. However, when his confidence is shot, he is flat out struggling to make the cut, let alone be in contention on the last day. There was about seven weeks in a row there in 2004, where we really ‘loaded up’ on the opponent, simply because we believed we held such a big edge on such a bet. As Westwood is a very handy professional, he is always matched up with an opponent who has some class and can hold his own.
Another reason I just love the 72 hole two balls, is purely a bankroll factor. Due to reducing the bet down to two possible outcomes, with prices below odds of 2.0, we can expect to win at least 50% to make a profit, and thus, we have helped to solve the problem of bankroll fluctuations which we have discussed.
One of the small problems/opportunities (depending on which way you look at it), is the fact, that generally, aside from the favoured players, most bookmakers will have different players matched together. Generally up 50 different match-ups over different bookmakers. The favoured match-ups are offered by many bookmakers, possibly providing arbitrage opportunities.
What is great, is when we take a tournament match-bet and our player makes the cut, but the opponent does not, which means we have a winning ticket. Plenty of time for the good luck and bad luck to even itself out over the four rounds, so the true form/skill/class of the players can shine through. You only have to look at the two players not the whole field. The bookies do not spend as much time as they possibly should, because match-ups are not high profile markets, attracting large turnover. (The bookies pay a little more attention than they used to, but there still are great opportunities available for the skilled punter with this bet type.) Generally, they will base the player head-to-head prices on their respective prices for the players in the win market. It may be argued that this is not truly an accurate measure, simply because there are only two players in the bet, and they both have different skills, temperaments, tee times etc., which may not be reflected in the player’s outright golf betting odds.
18 hole Two, Three and Four Balls
Many bookies simply match together the playing groups and will offer a bet on who you believe will score the lowest in the group. I really have not been able to become interested in this form of betting. The thinking being, that in a golf game, anything can, and does, happen in just 18 holes, therefore, the element of ‘luck’ becomes a factor. If you bet on the two ball games, you will to understand what I mean.
In saying that, there can, of course, be exceptions to the rule, as in everything else. For example, there may be two players in an 18 hole match bet, and both are in contention. Quite often, the pressure of the fourth day may cause a player to falter. Your research may help identify such players, and as such, you could be lining yourself up with a smart bet, by betting against the player, who has a habit of failing to handle the pressure, and as a result, scores poorly on the final round.
At the time of writing, there was little liquidity on Betfair for bets of this nature.
Miscellaneous Bet Types
By no means have we provided a conclusive list of bet types. Bookmakers are very creative these days in creating golf bet types to tempt punters to their businesses. There is opportunity in ALL bet types. However, some are more open and conducive to profitable betting than others.
A small sample of further bet types include, betting players to simply make the cut, betting the best Australian, European or US player in a tournament, betting if there will be a hole-in-one during the tournament, and betting on a player to be the first round leader.
Wrapping Up the Golf Betting Series
That brings us to the close of this five part series on golf betting. I believe anyone who is willing to put in a little work, and follow a few of the guidelines listed in this series of articles, will stand a great chance of success.
Indeed, golf is one of my most profitable betting sports. As mentioned, aside from predicting accurately which players will perform above market expectations, you also need to be able to manage you bankroll intelligently. You can be the best golf handicapper in the world, but if you are trying to hit the 21.0, 31.0, 51.0 and even 201.0 chances every week, with only one or two selections per week, then you have very little (probably more like zero) chance of making a reasonable sum of money over the long-term. Look for options to increase your chances of striking winners on a regular basis, whether that be by ‘dutch’ betting in the race, or through careful selection of bet types (that is, 72 player match-ups for example).
One thing is for sure though, you have no shortage of betting opportunities with the golf. You have two main tournaments played each week, with many different bet types available in each event, to sift through to find the value. Do not bet, unless you are confident that you have a good bet on your hands.