How Do Golf Odds Work?

Most of us have seen sports odds before and understand why a golfer is favored and the other is a dog — particularly if Rory McIlroy or Dustin Johnson are playing!

Golf betting has many popular options, particularly future bets and live betting. There are prop bets too, which allow you to wager on almost anything which can occur in a golf tournament. 

Vegas usually sets the standard and determines golf odds for sportsbooks across the United States. Wanting to know the why behind the odds you see in our Golf Bet Hub and sportsbooks America-wide?

All of the answers are here for you, right now!

How are golf odds determined?

The function of golf odds making isn’t to truly represent the probability of an outcome occurring. Vegas and sportsbooks actually put forth certain odds to make a profit and in the hopes of attracting bettors to both sides (either player etc). 

Ultimately oddsmakers are aligned with the sportsbooks, in that they are trying to reduce the risk of sportsbooks losing large. 

That’s why 'books hate when a big favorite wins, because they lose big. LPGA and PGA Tour betting odds certainly aren’t determined on the gut feel of a sports predicting genius. 

Sports analysts, statisticians and mathematicians are involved in the odds you see on a sportsbook’s site and app. Those X’s and O’s you see on golf odds involve an examination of the wider betting market, statistics and data. 

In the case of golf future bets — like US Open winner — odds makers will look at previous performances at the course, form, injuries, weather forecasts, even a down to a player’s strengths and weaknesses to determine the odds. It isn’t that simple of course, algorithms and other data-crunching goes into it, but this gives you an idea. 

In other words, it’s not too different to Dimers’ predictive analytics model where 10,000 simulations of each golf tournament are conducted, based on the variables above, all to give you an unrivaled edge before you make that winning play.

MORE: How to Bet on Golf

Why are golf odds not real probabilities?

Like any business, sportsbooks want to make a profit. They don’t sell shirts or pants, but they do sell odds to you; the bettor. How do they profit? Let’s look at the below.


  • The Masters Tournament Winner Odds
  • Justin Thomas  -250 (implied probability of 71.43%)
  • Tiger Woods +200 (implied probability = 33.33%)


For the nerds out there, yes those percentages don’t add up. Well, they do, just not to 100% (and we concede, we had to use a calculator). The sum of the two percentages equals 104.76%. How can a golf tournament have an implied probability of 104%?!

It can’t really. The extra 4% is the profit margin this sportsbook is taking home. With such a strategy — commonly implemented across America— a book will make a profit over time.

Favorites lose = Sportsbooks win

When there’s a big upset during the golf season, bookmakers rejoice. This is because most of the money is heavily poured on the favorite, meaning the sportsbook takes all of it home. Big favorites losing is a sportsbooks’ golden goose.

Now that you know where odds come from, find the best PGA and LPGA Tour odds in America with Dimers. We have exclusive promo codes for each of the biggest and most secure sportsbooks. If you’re wanting to succeed at grand slam betting, check out our golf Bet Hub.

MORE: How to Make Live Bets on Golf

Why do sportsbooks have similar odds?

Sports betting is going gangbusters on a global scale. Surprisingly, golf betting is far more advanced in places like Australia, United Kingdom and Asia, while it is just getting started in America (Vegas aside of course).

Due to the globalization of golf betting it isn’t uncommon for sportsbooks to simply copy the odds of other books. This method is cost effective and they end up with the same odds without all the data and betting analytics research. 

We don’t know which books copy others but we do know how you can find the best odds for all the big sports in the United States.

MORE: Best Sports Books in Your State

How to take advantage of golf odds

Sportsbooks look to make money off your bets, and set odds in such a way to favor their interests. So, how do we fight back and win money from sports betting?

The answer is simple — take advantage of the edge. What is the edge, you ask? 

This is where the probability of an event occurring is more likely than the sportsbook’s odds. In other words, our predictive analytics model suggests a golfer has a much better chance of winning than the sportsbooks think.

Taking these bets gives you a better chance of being a successful gambler long-term. Of course, the higher the edge, the better. While you’re never guaranteed a win (remember, a lot of edges are on the underdog), taking picks with an edge gives you a greater chance of being profitable well into the future. This is super important when trying to be a successful golf bettor.

For every major sports match including golf, NFL, College sports, NBA and more, Dimers has the edge and exclusive promotional codes waiting for you.

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