Tiger Woods is back inside the ropes of an official PGA Tour event this week for just the second time in more than a year, and that has both Las Vegas and online oddsmakers excited.
Golf interest surges when the 14-time major champ is playing, and that corresponds to higher golf handles for casinos. And despite Tiger being nearly five years removed since the last time he won a PGA Tour event, and less than a year since his DUI arrest, bettors aren’t shying away from putting money on him.
A star-studded 144-man field is readying to tee off Thursday in the Genesis Open at famed Riviera Country Club near Los Angeles, but Woods is one of the favorites at 40/1.
Only 10 players have shorter odds than Tiger:
- Defending champ Dustin Johnson (5/1)
- Jordan Spieth, Rory McIlroy (12/1)
- Justin Thomas (15/1), Phil Mickelson, Tommy Fleetwood, Paul Casey (25/1)
- Marc Leishman, Chez Reavie, and Daniel Berger (30/1)
In 1992, at the age of just 16, Tiger made his first PGA Tour start at Riviera at what was then-known as the Nissan Los Angeles Open.
The Genesis Open odds on Tiger Woods are nearly comical considering he hasn’t been competitive for so long. But oddsmakers are forced to shorten their odds as bettors rush to get a ticket with his name on it at relatively long odds.
Westgate SuperBook golf oddsmaker Jeff Sherman said of Woods’ line ahead of last year’s Masters, “Remove the name, and you have a 200/1 golfer.” Woods didn’t play in the 2017 event, nor any major last year.
To put things in perspective, Tiger’s 40/1 line this week is substantially shorter than Ted Potter Jr, last week’s winner at Pebble Beach. Despite holding off big names like Johnson, Mickelson, and Jason Day, Potter enters the Genesis at 125/1.
The lines on Woods and Potter imply respective odds of 2.44 percent and 0.79 percent.
Woods has never won at Riviera, an almost surprising fact considering his storied career. But two-time Masters winner Bubba Watson has (2014, 2016), and includes six top-20 finishes in his last 10 trips there. However, Bubba is at 50/1 to win the Genesis.
Other recent tournament winner longshots include 2015 champ James Hahn (80-1), 2013 winner John Merrick (500/1), and 2012 victor Bill Haas (60/1).
In addition to Tiger Woods’ chances of winning, the SuperBook has a series of prop bets to further increase its golf handle.
Sherman, or at least bettors who have put up money and adjusted the moneyline, believe Woods will play the weekend. The current odds on making the cut are Yes -135, No +115. That’s implied odds of 57.45 percent of Tiger making it to the third round.
But as for finishing inside the top 10, bettors have little faith. The line on that is Yes +600, No -900. A winning $100 wager on Woods finishing outside the top 10 nets just $11.11.
A top 25 performance is going for Yes +250, No -310. Woods finished T23 during January’s Famers Insurance Open.