Tiger Woods is Hero World Challenge Betting Favorite Despite Not Playing Since April

Posted on: November 29, 2023, 11:52h. 

Last updated on: November 29, 2023, 01:13h.

Tiger Woods is the betting favorite for this week’s Hero World Challenge in the Bahamas despite not playing a competitive round of golf in nearly eight months. Credit the so-called “gamble-oholics” — the swarm of golf fans who bet on him to win whenever the 15-time major winner tees it up — Tiger referred to in 2018.

Tiger Woods odds golf betting Hero World Challenge
Tiger Woods practices ahead of the Hero World Challenge in the Bahamas on Nov. 28, 2023. Woods is teeing it up for his first competitive tournament since the 2023 Masters in April. (Image: Getty)

Played at the ultra-exclusive Albany golf course in New Providence, the tournament benefits the Tiger Woods Foundation, which supports programs that improve the health, education, and welfare of children.

Seventeen players among the 20-person field are ranked inside the top 30 in the world. The exceptions are Woods, Justin Rose, and Lucas Glover, all of whom received special invitations.

Woods hasn’t played a tournament round since April 9 when he withdrew during the third round of the Masters due to injury. Tiger subsequently underwent ankle fusion surgery.

Tiger says his ankle pain is gone and he’s excited to compete. Asked if he thinks he can still win, the 82-time PGA Tour winner answered, “Absolutely.”

Hero World Challenge Odds

On Wednesday, BetMGM revealed to Casino.org that Woods represents its biggest liability for the Hero World Challenge. Woods is responsible for about 16% of its betting slips and 8% of the money wagered on the tournament.

The book isn’t overly concerned with a potential Woods victory, however. To get as much action on Woods as possible, the book has lengthened Woods’ odds despite the flurry of bets on the 47-year-old.

Woods’ odds have gone from opening at 40/1 to 66/1. On the current line, a winning $100 bet would net $6,600.

Woods has never won at Albany, but Viktor Hovland has. The two-time defending champion has the overall shortest odds this week at just 4/1.

Hovland, the fourth-ranked player on the planet, is on nearly 9% of the BetMGM bets and is responsible for 22% of the money bet.

Bettors also like Cameron Young. BetMGM says Young is its second-largest liability behind Woods. Young accounts for over 24% of the Hero World Challenge handle. His line has shortened because of the action from 25/1 to 18/1.

After Hovland, Scottie Scheffler, the world’s top-ranked player, has the second-shortest odds at 9/2 (+450). Scheffler has finished second in each of the previous two Hero World Challenges. Scheffler is on 5.4% of the BetMGM tickets but is responsible for just 3.5% of the money wagered.

Rounding out the top five in terms of shortest odds are Collin Morikawa at 15/2, Max Homa at 8/1, and Justin Thomas at 14/1.

A best-case scenario for BetMGM would be a victory from Keegan Bradley, Jason Day, Brian Harman, Justin Rose, or Sepp Straka. Each of those players has generated less than 1% of the handle.

Rusty Woods

Woods said he “loves playing” and is excited to be back.

What drives me is that I love to compete,” Woods said. “There will come a time, I haven’t come around to it yet, fully, that I won’t be able to win again. When that day comes, I’ll walk.”

As for this week, Woods is managing his expectations.

“My game feels rusty. I haven’t played in a while,” Woods conceded. “I’m excited to compete and play, and I’m just as curious as all of you are to see what happens because I haven’t done it in a while.”