How To Read Golf Odds & Bet Online

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Jordan Spieth walk of the tee box on the 17th hole during the final round of the Travelers Championship golf tournament, Sunday, June 24, 2018, in Cromwell, Conn.
(AP Photo/Stew Milne)
BetMGM @BETMGM Jul 27, 2022, 9:05 AM

Golf betting provides bettors with several different options every week. It doesn’t matter if it’s a major like the U.S. Open or a regular PGA Tour event like the RBC Heritage, you can always find value.

With a tournament each week of the year (except for much of November and December), there are endless opportunities to bet on golf.

Here’s a guide on how to read golf betting odds and place a bet online if you’re new or need a refresher on terminology, calculating payouts, and more.

What Is an Outright Bet?

Outright bets are simply betting a player to win the tournament. They must be placed before the first tee shot of the event is struck. These provide some of the best long-shot options in any sport.

For example, Rory McIlroy might have +1000 golf odds to win the Masters. If you placed a $100 bet on McIlroy the Wednesday of tournament week and he slipped on the green jacket Sunday evening, you’d receive a payout of $1,100 (including stake).

Since McIlroy is one of the best players on the PGA Tour, he usually has the shortest weekly odds. The payouts get even bigger for players with higher odds.

For example, Kevin Kisner might be +15000 to win. If he wins, you’d receive $15,100 (including stake).

What Is a Place/Finishing Position Bet?

These give bettors an option to decide whether players will finish inside the top 5, 10, 20, or even top 40. The payouts are not as big as outright bets but are an excellent alternative to strictly betting outrights.

Typically, you can get even or plus money on these bets, just not as great of a value as outrights.

For example, McIlroy might be +225 to finish in the top 5 at the Masters. If you placed a $100 bet and he finished in third place, you’d receive $325 (including stake).

What Is a Matchup Bet?

This is when you’re picking one golfer against another. They can be for one specific round (first round, second round, etc.) or for the entire tournament. 

Typically, players chosen for matchups are close in terms of outright odds, which means the lines are usually close to -110 for each bet.

When it comes to which players to target, perhaps a player is coming into an event in great form or has a great course history, these would be great to pick against a player who is struggling of late or has a lousy course history.

For example, if you placed $100 on Jordan Spieth (-110) vs. Collin Morikawa in a first-round matchup at the Open Championship and Spieth beat Morikawa by one stroke, you would win $190 (including stake).

What Are Golf Prop Bets?

In addition to outright, place and matchup bets, there are prop bets like any other sport.

Here are some examples:

  • Will there be a hole-in-one at the AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am?
    • Yes (+225), No (-190)
  • Will there be a playoff at the AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am?
    • Yes (+150), No (-120)
  • Origin of Winner at AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am
    • American (+175), Spaniard (+250), Englishman (+300)

These usually offer plus money and are fun to monitor throughout an event.

What Are Golf Parlays?

Just like other sports, parlays are great for golf wagering.

A parlay bet is placing a bet on multiple outcomes to occur and requires all outcomes to be selected correctly to win. For example, if you like Justin Thomas to beat Morikawa and Jordan Spieth to beat McIlroy in a head-to-head tournament matchup at the U.S. Open, you can parlay that bet.

It might be +250, which on a $100 bet would pay $350 (including stake).

Parlays are risky bets but offer solid rewards.

Live Golf Betting

Golf is the perfect sport for live golf betting. 

Outright odds change by the minute, so if Spieth opened the tournament at +1500 to win but then struggles early in his first round and his odds fall to +3000, a live bet on Spieth might be worth it if you feel he’ll turn it around.

Another example: Going into the final round, McIlroy leads by two shots at the RBC Canadian Open with golf odds of +225 to win, and you’re confident he will. A live bet on him at that number would make a lot of sense, as a $100 bet could payout $325 (including stake).

With live betting, you can also bet on players on a specific hole in some tournaments.

For example, at the 5th hole at the AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am, you might see these golf odds for Spieth:

  • Birdie or better: +500
  • Par: -175
  • Bogey or worse: +200

Betting on each hole can be an exciting way to watch a golf tournament. 

Golf Betting at BetMGM

At BetMGM, you have access updated golf odds at the best online sportsbook.

Whether you’re a first-time bettor browsing PGA Championship odds or a longtime fan monitoring live betting odds for the BMW Championship, there’s something for everyone.

If you don’t have a sportsbook account, sign up for the BetMGM welcome bonus, one of many sportsbook offers at BetMGM.

BetMGM First Bet Offer $1,500
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Our BetMGM editors and authors are sports experts with a wealth of knowledge of the sports industry at all levels. Their coverage includes sports news, previews and predictions, fun facts, and betting.

Our BetMGM editors and authors are sports experts with a wealth of knowledge of the sports industry at all levels. Their coverage includes sports news, previews and predictions, fun facts, and betting.