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19th Hole

Talking golf betting in general, Masters betting in particular, with a pro gambler

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It’s no secret that the Masters is the biggest golf betting week of the year. Not only are golf fans who generally don’t punt keen to put a little cash on the line, but general sports fans tune in and pony up in a major way.

Puns aside, we wanted to pose a few questions to to a seasoned golf bettor to see what wisdom he can impart to the more recreational golf gamblers among us.

Dave is the owner of Top Market Sports, the only sports advisory site in the world that’s owned and operated by real Wall Street traders and analysts.

Q. If someone is considering getting into golf betting, what advice would you give him/her?

A. Don’t be scared to bet on underdogs. When betting futures (who will win a given tournament), the value is always in the bottom half of the board. Guys who bet golf for serious money are never going to be kicking themselves for missing out on a 6/1 or 7/1 winner. Look at the surprise winners we’ve seen so far this season. Ted Potter Jr. won at Pebble as a 200/1 shot. Patton Kizzire got the job done as a 75/1 shot in Hawaii. Those are serious payouts.

Q. There’s a lot more to betting on golf than picking who will win the tournament. Can you talk about betting during the tournament?

A. That’s what we specialize in. We’re not really big on betting futures. We’re more focused on round-by-round matchups. Example: Keegan Bradley vs Jamie Lovemark in Round 1. Who will have the lower score? These types of propositions are available at most major sports books. Again, recreational bettors look to bet on favorites. It’s human nature. But sharper players are selectively picking dogs.

Q. Is it generally a good idea to chase value in betting players ahead major tournament weeks?

A. It can work for you, but also against you. It also opens the door for hedging opportunities if you’ve established a position months in advance and the market has moved in your favor. Everyone wishes they had booked a fat ticket on Tiger to win the Masters when he was like 300/1 in October (laughs). Now he’s trading at about 10/1. A lot of guys would be looking to sell some or all of that ticket in order to lock in a profit. Buy low, sell high, right? At the same time, you could’ve gotten Hideki Matsuyama a couple months ago at 15/1. As of this morning he’s 35/1 because his form has faded a bit. So it works both ways.

Q. What resources do you rely on?

A. Statistics are readily available to the public just like they are in any other sport. Strokes gained numbers, greens-in-regulation, scrambling, etc. But if you really want to start profitably betting golf, there’s no substitute for just sitting down and grinding coverage. We like to DVR most of it so we can be efficient with our time. We also talk a lot about “boots on the ground” in our office. There’s nothing wrong or shady about actually being at the practice facility during these events. It’s public information, available to anyone at the event with open eyes and open ears. We’ve had guys at 7 tournaments so far this season. I don’t want to oversimplify it…but if a guy has the yips on the practice putting green, there might be some extra value in betting against him.

Q. Any past golf punts you’re particularly proud of?

A. One recent bet that we told our clients to load up on was Bubba Watson +145 vs Justin Thomas in the semis of the Dell Match Play. A guy who’s got two green jackets should not be that much of an underdog over the course of a single round, especially when he’s coming in hot after winning his group and then a tough quarterfinal match. Also, Bubba’s not the biggest fan favorite in the world, right? This is something we specifically talked about while handicapping the match. People like to root against Bubba, and that created even more value in the market. It was a max play for us. We really stepped out and hit that one hard.

Q. The Masters is the biggest golf betting week of the year. Do you approach it differently?

A. Golf betting markets are less liquid than most other sports. Meaning there’s a hell of a lot more money being bet on football and basketball than on golf or something like tennis. During the majors, there’s more public money AKA square money AKA dumb money in play, which can be mopped up nicely if you know what you’re doing. We’ll be making some of our biggest bets of the PGA Tour season during the Masters.

You can check out Top Market Sports for free betting picks, free articles, and a free real-time odds portal. They can also be found on Instagram @topmarketsports. Top Market Sports went 68-27-3 across all sports in the month of March.

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  1. Speedy

    Apr 3, 2018 at 4:38 pm

    I don’t think a fluke win is happening this week.

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19th Hole

Pat Perez: The R&A “do it right, not like the USGA”

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Pat Perez opened The Open, as it were, with a 2-under 69, and at the time of this writing, he’s 4 under for the second round and tied for the lead.

Clearly, there’s something Double P likes about links golf. And when he was asked whether he was surprised by how receptive the greens at Carnoustie were after his opening round, Perez shook his head with conviction and said.

“They (the R&A) do it right, not like the USGA…They’ve got the opposite [philosophy] here. I told them, you guys have it right, let the course get baked, but you’ve got the greens receptive. They’re not going to run and be out of control. They could have easily had the greens just like the fairway, but they didn’t. The course is just set up perfect.”

“The U.S. Open could have been like this more if they wanted to. They could have made the greens a bit more receptive,” Perez said. “These greens are really flat compared to Shinnecock. So that was kind of the problem there is they let it get out of control and they made the greens too hard.”

Pat Perez has no problem speaking his mind. While it has gotten him in trouble in the past, you have to respect his candor. The interesting question, as I asked in the Morning 9, is how many Tour pros agree him?

Sure, it’s unlikely any of Perez’s compatriots will join him publicly in his “R&A does it right, USGA does it wrong” stance, but it’d be very interesting to know what percentage are of the same mind.

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19th Hole

68 at the British Open in the morning, golf with hickories at St Andrews in the afternoon

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Yes, golf fans, just another day in the charmed life (or week, at least) of one Brandon Stone.

Stoney (as I assume his friends call him), came to Carnoustie on the heels of a final-round 60 to win the Scottish Open. All he did in his opening round was fire a 3-under 68. Not bad!

But his Thursday to remember was only getting started as Stone made the 25-mile trip south to the Old Course to peg it…with a set of hickory clubs! Well played, sir, well played.

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19th Hole

Jean van de Velde’s 1999 British Open collapse is still tough to watch in LEGO form

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Gather ‘round, golf fans, for the saddest British Open story ever told–in LEGOs.

Maestro of the plastic medium, Jared Jacobs, worked his singular magic on Jean van de Velde’s notorious final-hole collapse at Carnoustie in 1999.

The interlocking plastic brick cinema begins after van de Velde’s approach shot has caromed off a grandstand railing to land on the opposite side of the Barry Burn.

 

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19th Hole

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