Betting on GolfMost golf bets are money line wagers. The money line, also referred to as odds, lists how much money your wager will return. Often, “-110” will be offered for all side and total bets. For the moment, we will only discuss this number.

The easiest way to understand the “-110” figure is to consider $110 the price of the bet if you would like to win $100: if you bet $110 and your bet wins, you will receive earnings of $100. Of course, you may bet any amount between the minimum and maximum and it is this fraction (110/100 or 11/10) that will always be used to compute your winnings. For example, if you bet $11 and your bet wins, you will win $10. If you bet $55, you’ll win $50.

The -110 money line is used by the house to guarantee that it receives some payment for its services. If the house offered even odds (1/1) and the action, or the total of all wagers received, was divided evenly across the two teams, the house would be doing volunteer work: handing all the loser’s money over to the winners with nothing left over. This money line comprises, in a sense, even odds with a 10% house commission – sometimes called the juice, vigorish, or vig – for providing the action.

Money line wagers are common not only to golf but also baseball, tennis, horses, and futures, and can also be applied to football and hockey.

You make a golf wager on a player at -120. A bet of $120.00 would win $100.00 if the player wins (plus return of the original $120 bet).



The player or team wagered on must win by the point spread given at the time of the wager. The player or team perceived to have less chance of winning is given a handicap of a certain number of points for wagering purposes. This handicap is known as the point spread, and is sometimes called the line or price. If a player or team has a greater number of points after the point spread has been factored into its final score, the bet is said to have covered the spread.

The favorite is always listed with a negative number. Why a negative number? For wagering purposes, points are subtracted from the favorite’s final score to determine if the favorite is a winner.

Conversely, the underdog is given a positive number because points are added to the underdog’s final score to determine a wager’s winners and losers.

Unless otherwise indicated, the odds are generally $1.10 to win $1.00. Events that tie are considered “no action” – no one wins or loses. Due to changing events, the point spread may fluctuate at any time.

These bets are common in football. Let’s say a player makes a football bet of $110.00 on Miami -7 to beat Buffalo +7.

If Miami wins by more than 7 points the player wins $100.00 so the total payout including the initial wager would be $210.00. If Miami only wins by 7 points, then the game is considered “no action” and all money is returned to the bettor. If Miami wins by less than 7 points the wager is lost.

These types of bets are also common in basketball and some hockey (puck line) wagers.


The bet is on the combined score of both teams for games wagered on. All totals generally lay $1.10 to win $1.00 unless otherwise indicated.

The player lays a football bet of $220.00 on the Over in the Miami/Buffalo game. The total, or over/under, for the game is 45. If both teams’ combined score is more than 45, then the player would win $200.00. If the combined score is equal to 45, the game is considered “no action” and the money is returned. If the combined score is less than 45, then the wager is lost.


A parlay is a single wager that links together several individual bets. The parlay can be comprised of a series of bets on a team, over/under bets, or any mixture of the two. For the parlay to be a winning wager, every one of its individual bets must win. If any of the individual bets is not a winner, then the entire parlay wager loses.

If, however, one of the individual plays is a push or no action, then the parlay is still on for the remaining plays. For example, a three-play parlay would become a two-play parlay; a two-play parlay would become a straight bet, with corresponding reductions of the payoff.

Why wager on a parlay and not make several individual bets? The payouts for parlays are significantly higher than for individual bets. But remember, since every one of the individual plays must win, it’s an all-or-nothing bet. If you win two out of three plays, the parlay still loses, whereas you would have won those two plays as individual straight bets. You are given better odds because predicting the outcomes of several events together is significantly more difficult than predicting any individual event.



Miami -7, New York +3, Seattle -4, Denver -10, and San Francisco -8.

If all these bets win, then the player would have won at 20-1 odds. If only 1 team loses then the entire parlay loses.


2 Teams 13/5
3 Teams 6/1
4 Teams 10/1
5 Teams 20/1
6 Teams 40/1
7 Teams 75/1
8 Teams 150/1
9 Teams 300/1
10 Teams 7000/1


A teaser is a parlay in which you adjust the point spread or total of each individual bet.

Like a parlay, a teaser is a single wager that links together several individual bets (generally from 2 to 8 in the case of teasers). You can combine a series of straight bets, over/under bets, or any mixture of the two. A teaser allows you to buy points – adjust the point spread or totals in your favor – on the individual bets that comprise the multi-part wager. Adjusting the spread and/or the totals gives you more favorable odds, thus less of a return on your wager.

You cannot select different point adjustments for the different bets: the amount of points you buy will be applied to all of the individual bets that comprise the teaser. You cannot buy, say, 4 points on one game and 5 on another.

What are the advantages of playing a teaser rather than a series of individual buy wagers? You receive significantly better odds than you would playing the adjusted money line wagers. Also, compared to a money line wager, the teaser generally offers you a greater number of points with which to adjust the point spreads and totals. The disadvantages? As in a parlay, winning two out of three or three out of four is still a loss. If those winning bets had been individual wagers, you would have come out ahead. As always, going for a bigger payout entails a bigger risk.


2 Teams 10/11
3 Teams 8/5
4 Teams 5/2
5 Teams 4/1
6 Teams 6/1


If bets are used by many players as a method of money management. Like a parlay, an if bet links together 2 or more individual bets. Unlike a parlay, an if bet is not an all-or-nothing wager: the individual bets remain individual bets and pay at the listed money line if they win.

For example, let’s concentrate on an if bet that contains just two wagers. You bet on an initial team or total, if that bet wins then the second bet that you chose will automatically be placed. You should therefore always list the bet you are most confident about first. If your initial bet loses, then the second wager is not placed. The status of the linked bets has nothing to do with the games’ starting times or what order they are played; it is strictly a logical relation. Even if the first game in your ‘if bet’ is played hours after the second one, the status of the second bet must wait for the first game’s results.

The amount of the total wager is collected at the time you place the entire bet sequence. All individual bets that comprise the ‘if bet’ must be for the same amount. You can only bet the same or less on the following wager. The advantage of playing an ‘if bet’ is that it reduces your exposure to losses. Since the second wager is placed only if you win, the maximum amount that you can lose is the amount of the first wager. If the first wager wins, then the original stake is used to place the second wager and so on.

‘If bets’ can generally contain up to 6 individual bets, and the process just described continues for each one. If at any time an individual bet loses, then the remaining wagers will not be placed.

Players have an option for choosing the conditions of an if bet: “single action” or “double action.” Single action specifies that the remaining bets in the sequence will only be placed if the preceding bet wins. If the preceding bet is a “push” or is cancelled for any other reason, then the remaining bets will not be placed. Double action specifies that the remaining bets in the sequence will be placed if the preceding bet wins, results in a “push” or is cancelled for any other reason. In other words, “double action” means that the remaining bets in the sequence will not be placed only if the preceding bet loses.


European odds are different from the North American style of odds. In North America, money lines are used to determine the line. In North America, a team that is +140 would be a 40 point underdog. This means that for every $100 wagered the bettor would win $140. The total return would be $240 (the winnings plus the original amount bet). In a European style of betting, these odds would be expressed as 2.40 — meaning that for $100 wagered the bettor would receive $240 … the 2.40 represents the amount won and the return of the original bet.