Tiger Woods now has the shortest line of any golfer to win the 2018 Masters.
The Westgate SuperBook has the 14-time major winner at 8/1 to don his fifth green jacket early next month in Augusta, Georgia. The game’s #1 and #2 ranked golfers, Dustin Johnson and Justin Thomas, trail closely at 9/1.
Johnson and Thomas have combined won three tournaments already on this year’s wraparound season. DJ also won the US Open in 2016, and JT won the PGA Championship last year, the last major title contested.
Tiger has 79 PGA Tour wins in his illustrious career, but his last victory came in August of 2013. Woods’ last of his 14 majors came nearly a decade ago at the 2008 US Open.
Woods said this week at the Arnold Palmer Invitational that the fact he’s the Las Vegas favorite for the Masters despite not having won in so long is due to “a lot of gamble-oholics out there.”
Jordan Spieth, the 2015 Masters champ, is at 12/1. Jason Day and Jon Rahm follow at 14/1, then it’s Rory McIlroy, Justin Rose, and three-time Masters winner Phil Mickelson at 16/1.
Who’s Really the Favorite?
Las Vegas oddsmakers walk a careful line, and a very calculated one at that, in determining where to set their prices. Tiger Woods having the shortest odds doesn’t mean the sportsbooks actually feel he has the best chance of winning, but simply means they’re trying to spread out money in order to reduce liability.
Jeff Sherman, golf director for the SuperBook, tells SBNation’s The Ringer that “how the public is going to bet” plays the largest part in determining odds.
Woods was around 50/1 in early 2018 to win the Masters. A series of strong performances including a T23 at the Farmers Insurance Open, 12th-place finish at The Honda Classic, and a T2 Valspar Championship earlier this month has spurred bettors to take futures on Tiger winning in the first weekend of April.
Still, Ringer podcast host Joe House says the 8/1 line is “ridiculous.”
“If you did sort of a risk calculation right now of how much golf has the guy played, what have his results been over … three years, it’s crazy to suggest that he has a one in 10 chance of winning,” House opined. His comments were made prior to the SuperBook further shortening Woods to 8/1.
Because so much money is coming in on Tiger Woods, sportsbooks are offering up some more attractive 2018 Masters lines to spread money.
Rickie Fowler, seventh in the Official Word Golf Rankings who tied for 11th last year in Augusta, is at 18/1. Hideki Matsuyama, the sixth-ranked golfer in the world who tied with Fowler during the 2017 major, is even longer at 30/1.
Two-time winner Bubba Watson, who is returning to form and won the Genesis Open last month, is at 25/1. Defending champion Sergio Garcia is at 30/1.
As for the ultimate longshot, Larry Mize and Ian Woosnam, respectively the 1987 and 1991 Masters winners, are at 5000/1. A $100 bet on either golfer winning that comes true would net $500,000. However, such bets should be considered donations to the casinos.