Head to Head Betting

Updated Fri 6th November 2020

Head to Head Betting
Betting Basics
Betting Basics

A head to head bet isn’t who will necessarily win a particular event, but instead puts two competitors against each other. This is often seen in golf and horse racing, where the true head to head bet meaning is, you don’t bet on who will come first, but instead which one of the two golfers or horses will finish better. 

An example of a head to head bet could be:

2020 US Open Head to Head
Tiger Woods-125
Phil Mickleson+150

In this example, you aren’t betting on Tiger or Phil to win the US Open, instead betting on who you think will finish higher on the US Open leaderboard. 

Tiger is -125 favourite to finish higher on the leaderboard and you would need to bet $125 in order to profit $100, if Tiger beats Phil. 

Inversely, with Phil being the +150 underdog, if you think he will play better than Tiger during the US Open, a $100 bet would profit you $150.

Some more uncommon types of head to head bets include which team will have more regular season wins, or go further in a tournament. 

Some important tips when head to head betting:

  • Bet with what you know, or what we teach you. There are plenty of head to head markets, but if you don’t know anything about golf, don’t just bet on it because you recognise a name or have money to spend. Do your research, or let us do it for you, and stick to what you know.
  • Different players, drivers, horses or whatever type of head to head bet you are placing perform differently under different circumstances. While one horse might be better than the other, that horse might not perform as good on a wet track, so knowing all of the factors that can impact performance. Some golfers perform better than others at certain courses or in certain tournaments, so knowing their form is extremely important, and here at SportsTips, we will do the research for you, helping you become a winner. 

Sports like tennis, UFC and eSports are also normally head to head bets, where individuals are going up against each other. You will see similar odds to the golf example above, but you are betting on who will win that specific match up. 

2020 French Open First Round
Pablo Carreno-Busta-900
Yasutaka Uchiyama+500

In this tennis example of a head to head bet, you are betting on who you think will win this match between Pablo and Yasutaka. 

If you think Pablo will win, you must bet $900 to profit $100 if he wins, or alternatively if you think the +500 underdog Yasutaka will win, you can profit $500 from a $100 bet.

Head to Head Bet Draw?

Sometimes, especially in Europe and with soccer, you will have three line head to head bets as well as the usual two line head to head bets available. 

Three-Line Head to Head – Liverpool v Manchester City
Manchester City+240
Head to Head – Liverpool v Manchester City
Manchester City+150

The three-line head to head market has three possible outcomes;

  • Liverpool win – profit $110 from a $100 bet
  • Draw – profit $230 from a $100 bet
  • Manchester City win – profit $240 from a $100 bet

In the head to head market, there are two outcomes to bet on, but three possible outcomes still

  • Liverpool win – bet $200 to profit $100
  • Manchester City win – profit $150 from a $100 bet
  • Draw – bet is void and money is refunded

In the case of a head to head bet draw, it is important to know the difference between the two markets. If you bet on a team in the three-line head to head market, the odds are higher, but if there is a draw and you didn’t bet on that, you will lose your money. If you bet on the head to head market, the odds are less due to having one less potential outcome, but if it is a draw you get your money back.

These are the risks you have to consider when placing bets, whether you want better odds, or the insurance of your money back if there is a draw. 

Now you know how to place bets in head to head markets, check out our pages for the relevant sports with the main head to head sports being UFC, Tennis, Golf, Horse Racing and eSports.

For information on other betting markets, check out our betting guides on moneyline, spread, over/under, parlay, futures and prop betting.

Tim is a keen follower of all American sports, in particular the NBA and NFL. He has followed both sports for over a decade and would happily sit down and watch every game, regardless of who is playing! No matter the sport, whether it be NFL and NBA or even MLB, NHL, UFC and all sports, Tim covers it from every angle, staying in the loop to bring you the most up-to-date information and the best picks and predictions on the market.