How to Bet On Sports | Betting On Head-to-Head Matchups

Avid sports bettors are always looking for new and different ways to bet the action on the board at their favorite online sportsbook. While sports such as football, basketball, baseball and hockey garner the majority of the betting action an online book takes in, some of the best betting value on the board can be found with single participant sports such as professional golf and motor sports such as Indy Racing, Formula One and NASCAR. If you have any interest in watching these types of sporting events, then you also have an excellent shot as cashing in a few winning tickets if you know some of the best ways to bet on these weekly events.

The big difference between team sports and individual participant sports is handicapping the outcome. There are far more moving parts in team sports with a number of tangible and intangible factors that can have an impact on the outcome of any game or match. Moving to a single participant sport, it is one person pitted against the rest of the field. Either your guy (or gal) wins or loses, which adds a bit more predictability to the mix.

Also Read: How to Bet on Sports | Betting on Three-Way Lines

The downside to picking straight-up winners in sports such as golf and motor racing is the size of the field and the overall amount of talent a single participant is up against to win. Even Tiger Woods in his heyday did not win every golf tournament he entered. The betting odds for any favorite in one of these sports are often very attractive to bettors, but this is still a very low percentage bet. Just because you can get +750 betting odds on seven-time NASCAR Champion Jimmie Johnson to win this Sunday’s Cup Series race, does not mean it is a good bet. Over the course of NASCAR’s 36-race schedule in a typical Cup Series season, even the best driver wins less than 20 percent of the time.

One of the best and most valuable ways to bet on single participant sports in on the betting odds for a head-to-head matchup. One person is pitted against another with moneyline odds attached to both. All you are betting is that one participant will finish higher in the competition than the other. The person you bet on can finish second to last and still payoff as long as the person they are pitted against finishes last. The following is an example of head-to-head betting odds for a typical golf tournament:

Dustin Johnson +120

Jordan Spieth -130

In this betting scenario, you can win $120 on a $100 that Johnson shoots a better score than Spieth in that competition. You would have to risk $130 to win $100 if you want to bet on Spieth posting a lower score than Johnson. When it comes to golf, you have the added benefit of betting on head-to-head matchups for the tournament as a whole along with round-by-round matchups over the course of the four rounds are normally contested.

A typical field for a NASCAR Cup Series race has about 40 drivers, but you can actually pair things down a bit to around 10 drivers that have a realistic chance to take the checkered flag. Major upsets happen from time to time, but the best drivers with the best car that day tend to dominate this sport. This actually adds even more value to head-to-head bets given the limited field each driver is up against. It also adds quite a bit of excitement to the race when you have one car pitted against the other. Along with tracking an individual driver’s victories that season, their total runs inside the top five also adds value to their head-to-head betting odds.