Making Smart Picks with Golf Odds

Golf odds are a bit different than they are in other sports. To make smart picks in golf, you should have a good understanding of golf odds, what goes into the golf odds, and the mistakes that many betters make. Here's a quick look at why golf odds go beyond the scorecard. 

Golf Betting Odds: What You Need To Know? 

Golf betting odds are pretty simple to understand. You choose a tournament that you want to bet on and pick a player that you think will win the event. 

Let's say it's the Master's Championship 2024, and the golf odds for Rory McIlroy to win are 17/2. The number shows the amount you can win, whereas the denominator shows the amount you need to bed. 

Therefore, you have to bet $2 in this situation, but you could win $17 should Rory pull off the win. Higher odds often give you a higher potential return, but it's tough to always call these great bets. 

What Factors Influence Golf Betting Odds? 

Golf betting odds change. As the field changes, the bets will also change. Golfers' ability to go low on the course and their recent performance are the main factors included in the betting odds for golf. 

However, in addition to these factors, the course characteristics and weather conditions also come into play. Some golfers are known for stepping up in poor weather, while others completely lose their skills and abilities. 

Strategies and Mistakes In Golf Betting 

Once you have the golf odds, you start to scope out which picks you might want to make. It's time to do your own research to make sure you are making a smart investment. Here are a few strategies for making smart picks and a few things to avoid as well. 

Strategy 1: Look at Player Stats

In addition to researching golf odds, look at individual player stats. Most importantly, things like strokes gained, putts, and driving accuracy should give you the most data. 

Strategy 2: Analyze Past Performance 

Some golf tournaments are held at the same course over and over again. When you see this happening, you can go ahead and look at historical data. You may find that some players are always in the top 10 because the course suits their game. 

Pay attention to things like this and incorporate this data into your picks. 

Strategy 3: See What Experts Are Saying 

Find experts with good records on choosing the best players to win the Major Championships. Take their point of view into consideration, along with other data and historical trends. Look into how successful these experts have been in the most recent years. 

Mistake 1: Not Paying Attention to Course Conditions 

Course conditions matter. Whether the course is playing long or if it's hard and fast, you have to know these things. Let's say the course is playing long; golfers with higher average driving distance will likely have an easy time scoring. 

Mistake 2: Looking Only at History 

History matters, but so do current abilities on the golf course. When you are making your picks, you can't always look at who the player of the year was in years past; look at new and emerging talent and make some decisions accordingly. 

Mistake 3: Choosing Players You Like

It does not make sense to choose players you like as much as you like them. These players may be enjoyable to watch, but when making best use of the golf odds, the data, and stats, you have to make choices based on data and stats. 

If your favorite golfers happen to be a good pick, certainly don't avoid it, but lean heavily into knowledge and data as opposed to making this a popularity contest. 

Final Thoughts 

Golf odds are a starting point when making your selections for the next golf tournament you bet on. However, you must go beyond the golf odds and even the most recent scorecard to make the best choices. Golf betters who are good at what they do know how to analyze performance over time, look into things like strokes gained, and ultimately choose a player who truly has a chance to win. 

*Credit for all of the photos in this article belongs to AP Photo*

Britt Olizarowicz is a professional golfer and writer with more than 30 years of golf under her belt. She lives in Savannah, GA, and has worked for major golf publications and blogs, sharing her advice and experience in the game. When not on the golf course, expect to find Britt playing pickleball, boating, cooking, or running.