Golf Betting Strategy: Reducing Risk with Two Ball Betting


Golf Betting Strategy: Reducing Risk with Two Ball Betting

Golf betting can seem like something of a minefield, especially when you’re trying to pick an outright winner from a field of over 100 players. But with particularly tempting odds on a variety of markets, and a PGA Tour that spans most of the year, many punters still take the swing. Fortunately, there are ways to reduce your risk, indulge in multiple bets across the field and earn regular returns.

The Risk Issue

With such large fields and fine margins between the players, choosing a winner is never easy. Even when players like Rory McIlroy hit a rich vein of form, the 'outright' market makes matters difficult. The odds on the favourite drop considerably, and risk may start to outweigh reward – punters who backed McIlroy at 7/2 with Coral Sports to win the 2014 Tour Championship would’ve been stumped by Billy Horschel’s late triumph. Of course, taking the long odds on credible pack members has some allure, but can be like trying to find a needle in a haystack.

The Solution

For players who prefer to play for regular and less risky returns, the solution is to play the 'head-to-head' market (sometimes called two ball or three ball betting). This offers punters the chance to bet on which player in each of the tournament pairings or groups will finish the round (all 18 holes) with the lowest score.

In most instances, the odds will be in the vicinity of evens on either player, and the tie is commonly offered at around 15/2 - as was offered by Coral Sports on all pairings ahead of the fourth round of September’s FedEx Cup.

Punters who suspected Horschel could outplay McIlroy on the day, but didn't want to risk the 'match winner' market, could've backed the American at 7/4. Alternatively, those who saw Jim Furyk was on form, and expected to him to beat Fowler, but not McIlroy and Horschel, could’ve made a healthy return with odds of close to evens before tee-off.

How to Choose

Picking which player to back may ultimately come down to personal preference, but you should consider the merits of each by weighing up these important factors:

  • players’ form in recent tournaments
  • previous head-to-heads between the players
  • whether either player performs better in particular rounds; for example, one may be a strong starter but crumble under pressure during the final few holes
  • how both players' games suit the course
  • weather conditions, which might make results unpredictable.

By breaking down the playing field into manageable chunks, you’ll be able to make a rational assessment of each pairing or group. You can then identify the best opportunities at the same time as managing your risk.

Formulating a Strategy

Identifying opportunities is one thing, but building your strategy into one that makes regular returns requires practice. There are three basic approaches that can be taken with the 'two ball/three ball' market:

  1. limiting yourself to a few carefully selected bets on the 'two ball' market
  2. spreading the risk by betting across several pairings, with the aim of covering a sufficient number of bets to mitigate the chances of ties or unlikely upsets
  3. using the 'two ball' market to hedge against high risk plays in the 'match winner' market.

To try out this system and get the best odds available, visit Coral Sports today.

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