I’m Tony Johnson and I’d first like to thank Aaron and everyone else at Vegas Squares for inviting me in for hopefully some great sports fun and a few laughs along the way. Like most of you out there, I grew up playing a variety of sports and remain an enormous sports fan to this day. Unlike the many others, I’m a true degenerate due to an affinity for obscure and individual based sports. These include golf, tennis, bowling, mma, boxing, volleyball, softball, curling, and even badminton. Seriously. I’ve always enjoyed making a bet or two on the outcome of these festivities (if available) and in the last few years have found that there is some value to be found in these non-mainstream sports. My goal here is to share my thoughts on some of this and hopefully find a few good bets to be made as well.
Let’s start with golf since the PGA tour season for the new year is finally underway with the two traditional events in Hawaii already in the books. The new “season” actually began in October with 8 official events and 2 unofficial events before a break for the holidays in December. These events are small though and most people still use the new calendar year as the start of the season. There is virtually no break with a nearly year round season and we can always be “in action”. Never a bad thing at all.
I make golf wagers both in Vegas sportsbooks and online but since this is Vegas Squares, I will only be mentioning bets that can be made in Las Vegas sportsbooks. Nearly all books have some form of golf betting each week but most of the offerings are very minimal. South Point and WIlliam Hill have separated themselves from the pack with not just future bets but a load of player matchup bets each week too. These two books usually add the LPGA and the European Tour as well.
There are only two ways to bet golf on a weekly basis: future betting and matchup betting. Future betting is simply betting on who wins the tournament and the odds winning in the long run on these bets carry a significant handicap due to the high house vigorish attached. That’s not to say there isn’t ever any value in the futures but I mostly stay away. The real action comes from matchup betting. One player versus another player and whoever scores the best (lowest) in the tournament is the winner. These bets are similar to point spreads and totals in the major sports and are based off of -110 lines. Since there is no point spread, the moneyline is what moves the action similar to hockey and baseball betting. It’s not uncommon to see a golfer -160 or more in a matchup bet.
Over the next few weeks I’d like to talk about the four factors I use in evaluating each player to determine what matchup bets should be made. These four factors are course fit, course history, current form, and miscellaneous. Course fit talks about how the specific course they’re playing this week fits with the player’s strengths and weaknesses. Course history is how this player has scored on this course in competition historically. Current form is obviously how well the player has been doing leading up to the tournament. Lastly, the miscellaneous category explores a host of other things like weather, format, schedule, personal, etc.
Finally at the end of each piece I’ll post a few plays and keep an accurate scorecard of how it goes throughout the year. No pressure, but don’t lose right? Looking forward to joining the podcast and having some fun along the way.
PGA CareerBuilder Challenge
D Lingmerth over K Streelman -110 (William Hill)
B Cauley over B Snedeker -120 (William Hill)
2018 Record: 0-0