Tiger Woods Returns to PGA Tour, Sports Bettors Like His Chances at Wells Fargo, Players
Posted on: May 1, 2018, 02:00h.
Last updated on: May 9, 2018, 11:23h.
Tiger Woods will tee it up the next two weeks on the PGA Tour, with this week’s Wells Fargo Championship followed by The Players, also known as the fifth major, on tap.
Woods inside the ropes means a surge in golf betting activity at online and Nevada sportsbooks. Las Vegas always sees an uptick in activity when the 14-time major champ is in the field, and that will certainly be the case over the next 14 days.
It’s been 11 years since Woods won at Quail Hollow in Charlotte, North Carolina, site of this week’s Wells Fargo. But that isn’t stopping gamblers from taking him.
The Westgate SuperBook has Tiger at 25/1 to win, tied for the seventh-shortest line of the 156-player field.
Rory McIlroy is the justified favorite (7/1), as he’s won twice at Quail Hollow including a tournament-best -21 in 2015 where he won by a record seven strokes.
After McIlroy, the SuperBook has Justin Thomas, the 2017 PGA Championship winner hosted at Quail Hollow, at 10/1. That line is shared with Rickie Fowler, the 2012 Wells Fargo winner.
Jason Day, Masters champ Patrick Reed, and Hideki Matsuyama are at 20/1, then Woods, Paul Casey, Phil Mickelson, and Tommy Fleetwood follow at 25/1.
PGA Tour journalist Rob Bolton doesn’t even have Tiger Woods in his top 15 “power rankings” list for the Wells Fargo. But golf oddsmakers don’t set lines based solely on their belief of a player’s likelihood of winning, but also the expected betting activity associated with the individual. For Woods, it’s always rampant.
Oddsmakers walk a fine line in keeping Woods’ line long enough to attract bets, while at the same time not allowing Tiger to become a massive liability should he find a way to win his first PGA Tour-sanctioned event since 2013.
The best-case scenario for sportsbooks is when Tiger players well, but doesn’t win. He’s done a lot of that recently, which is why oddsmakers continue to offer prop bets to generate the largest handle possible.
For the Wells Fargo, bettors can take odds on whether Woods will make the cut (Yes -450, No +350). The odds imply a strong confidence that he will indeed play the weekend, with a $100 wager and Tiger making the cut netting the bettor just $22.22.
The SuperBook also features a Woods vs. Mickelson matchup, with Phil a slight favorite at -130.
After Wells Fargo, Tiger Woods will make his way to The Players Championship at Sawgrass where he’ll try to win his third title at what was historically golf’s richest tournament (the 2017 US Open overtook the event as the largest purse).
Woods will be making his first trip to TPC at Sawgrass since 2015 when he shot +3 and finished T69. But for 2018, he’s one of the favorites, with sportsbooks currently offering him around 20/1 to win.
World #1 Dustin Johnson and Jordan Spieth are the early favorites at 10/1, with Thomas and McIlroy at 12/1, and 2015 Players champion Fowler next at 14/1.
Si Woo Kim, the defending Players champ, is long at 100/1.
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