Can Tiger Woods become a Masters champion again? Some bettors think so, and are putting their money on it in a big way.
$10K on Woods
As March Madness nears, the tune-up tournaments toward the Masters, which are held April 11-14 at Augusta National Golf Course in Georgia, are in full swing. This means that betting on the Masters — golf’s biggest event — is also on course.
The games’ biggest name just had a big bet placed on him. Westgate SuperBook in Las Vegas took a $10,000 bet on Woods to win the 2019 Masters at 12 to 1 odds.
just took 10k on @TigerWoods to win 2019 Masters at 12/1
— Jeff Sherman (@golfodds) February 28, 2019
The ‘Tiger’ effect
Jeff Sherman is the vice president of risk management and golf oddsmaker at the SuperBook. Westgate SuperBook has the biggest menu of golf betting options and matchups in Vegas. Last year’s Masters drew a record handle at the SuperBook, thanks to Woods.
“Tiger’s effect has been about 30 percent extra to what we normally do,” Sherman said.
Last year, the SuperBook had 100 Masters props, while in more recent years, the SuperBook would post about 40 props.
Woods ranked first in ticket count to win. This year will have more Woods props after many bettors lost in the 2018 Masters when Woods finished tied for 32nd and 1-over par with the best score of 69 in the final round.
Woods prop bets
- Will Tiger finish in the Top 5? Yes +300; No -400
- Will Tiger finish in the Top 10? Yes +155; No -175
- Will Tiger finish in the Top 20? Yes -160; No +140
- Lowest round shot by Woods: 68.5
“Any time Tiger plays, he garners so much attention from the general public that his odds are generally half of what they would be had his name not been associated with the odds,” Sherman said.
Last season, Woods returned to relevance brought more fans and betting interest to golf. In fact, in late 2017 before Woods made his 2018 debut, Woods was 100-1 to win the Masters.
Woods’ last major victory
Woods last significant win was his 14th in 2008 when he won the US Open at Torrey Pines on the first sudden death hole following an 18-hole playoff.
Woods won the 2018 Tour Championship at East Lake in September for his 80th career PGA Tour victory; the event drew the highest-ever TV rating for a FedEx Cup Playoff event.
Woods is a four-time Masters champion (1997, 2001, 2002, 2005). He tied for 17th in the 2015 Masters at 5-under par. He did not play in 2016 or 2017 due to health and injury issues.
Woods sitting out
Woods was scheduled to return to Bay Hill this week for the Arnold Palmer Invitational, where he has won eight times in 18 starts. But he announced Monday afternoon that he would miss the tournament.
1) Unfortunately due to a neck strain that I’ve had for a few weeks, I'm forced to withdraw from the API. I’ve been receiving treatment, but it hasn't improved enough to play. My lower back is fine, and I have no long-term concerns, and I hope to be ready for The Players.
— Tiger Woods (@TigerWoods) March 4, 2019
Woods will likely play next week in the Players Championship at TPC Sawgrass as he makes the Florida swing in preparation for next month’s Masters.
His health and odds to win will be watched closely as well, but they can’t go much lower unless he wins an event or seriously contends leading up to the Masters. For now, one bettor thought 12-1 was good enough and hopes Woods will play at Augusta and turn his $10,000 into $120,000 with a Masters victory.
Whether you’re betting on golf or playing daily fantasy sports and fantasy golf, the Masters will be a major betting event to enjoy and be engaged in as Woods continues his pursuit of another major victory.
2019 Masters odds (Updated March 4)
Here’s a look at where things stand for betting on the Masters:
Bryce Harper mania is taking over the baseball world, especially in the Philadelphia area. As soon as his signing was made official on March 1, the sales of his No. 3 Phillies jersey went through the roof literally.
But in the NJ sports betting world, there are plenty of chances to get a cut of the Harper action. Keep in mind, with prop bets, it could take the full 182-game regular season to find out if your bet slip is a winner. And the chances of the Phillies winning this season have gotten better, according to a number of sportsbooks.
Here is a look at some of the Harper sports betting action.
Harper at the plate for the Phillies
The big question is will Harper live up to the hype that comes with a 13-year, $330 million contract. There is no doubt there will be plenty of up-and-down moments, but overall, he should certainly succeed in the hitter-friendly Citizens Bank Park.
His career numbers in Philly are impressive.
In 50 career games, his slugging percentage is .564 is No. 1 all-time in the stadium’s history. It’s even better than first baseman Rhys Hoskins (.562), who has only played for the Phillies. The All-Star outfielder comes to the City of Brotherly Love with a .268 career batting average at the home of the Phillies with 14 home runs.
In terms of overall numbers, Harper has a career batting average of .279 with 184 home runs and 922 hits.
Harper homer runs
With a new season, comes over-under numbers related to Harper’s projected performance at the plate. This includes home run totals for the season.
FanDuel Sportsbook NJ has the over/under line set at 33.5 (+100 for under/-120 for over).
FanDuel is taking things a step further with a prop bet on whether or not Harper will hit an opening day home run against the Atlanta Braves. Yes has odds of +320.
But will Harper be the Major League Baseball home run champion in 2019?
DraftKings Sportsbook NJ does not have the lefty as the early favorite (that belongs to New York Yankees outfielder Giancarlo Stanton), he is certainly one of the top contenders.
Here are the odds from DraftKings:
- Stanton: +700
- Aaron Judge: +1000
- Joey Gallo: +1200
- Khris Davis: +1400
- Harper: +1400
- J.D. Martinez: +1600
- Mike Trout: +1600
What about Phillies and the World Series?
Could the Phillies win the World Series in 2019? It’s not out of the question. The oddsmakers seem to like the Phillies chances, too. Adding an All-Star like Harper to an already much-improved lineup will do that.
DraftKings has Philadelphia listed at +1000 to win it all. Only four teams have better odds, with one of them being the defending World Series champion Boston Red Sox.
Here is a closer look at the odds:
- Boston Red Sox: +650
- Houston Astros: +650
- NY Yankees: +650
- LA Dodgers: +800
- Phillies: +1000
- Chicago Cubs: +1400
- Cleveland Indians: +1400
FanDuel also has the Phillies as one of the top teams, but with odds of +1200. The Cubs have the same odds.
The Phillies really haven’t been in the World Series conversation since 2009, when they lost to the Yankees in six games. A year earlier, Philadelphia defeated Tampa Bay for the franchise’s first world championship in 18 years.
The Phillies last winning season came in 2011 when they won a Major League-best 102 games.
National League East odds
The National League East could come down to Harper’s former team, the Washington Nationals, and his current team. The BetStars NJ sportsbook currently has the Phillies listed at 9/5 to win the division while the Nationals are 3/1. Overall, this could end up being a very tight race, minus the Miami Marlins (80/1).
The Atlanta Braves, who won the NL East last year, are 5/2 to repeat. They open the regular season on March 28 at Citizens Bank Park.
The operator opted to prematurely reward those who’d previously bet on “the Beard” to win the 2018-19 NBA MVP award. The announcement of the early payout came shortly after yet another eye-popping stat line by Harden in an interconference battle versus the Boston Celtics:
🚨NBA MVP EARLY PAYOUT ALERT🚨
We've seen enough here at PointsBet HQ. That stepback over Kyrie & Tatum was from a 2 Time MVP Winner…
— PointsBet Sportsbook (@PointsBetUSA) March 3, 2019
Harden racked up 42 points over 39 minutes in an on-the-road win versus Boston. That pushed his season averages to 36.7 points, 7.6 assists, 6.6 rebounds and 2.2 steals over 59 games. The scoring and steal averages both represent career highs.
Among the many highlights of his jaw-dropping campaign is a just-snapped 32-game streak of 30-point efforts. That ranks as the second-longest such stretch in league history.
In other words, the payout seems a reasonably safe proposition at the moment. But, it’s not as if Harden is without competition.
The Thunder’s Paul George likely represents the biggest threat to PointsBet potentially taking a bath on the decision. Like Harden, PG13 is also enjoying a career season. Despite sharing the floor with a former MVP in Russell Westbrook, George leads OKC with a career-best 28.6 points and is notably outpacing Harden in rebounds (8.1) and steals (2.3).
The Bucks’ Giannis Antetokounmpo, the aptly nicknamed “Greek Freak,” is likely the only other relatively serious challenger for the MVP crown. He’s behind both with an average of 27.6 points per game. However, his average of 12.6 rebounds is easily the highest of the trio.
Accordingly, PointsBet currently lists the three, in that order, in terms of current MVP odds:
- Harden: -125
- George: -110
- Giannis: +900
PointsBet’s move comes on heels of FanDuel’s early payout
PointsBet’s move is newsworthy, but not unprecedented, in the New Jersey market it recently entered.
On Dec. 1, FanDuel Sportsbook became the first legal operator in the United States to engage in an early payout. It was one it ultimately wouldn’t have had to make, had it stayed put.
On that date, FanDuel Sportsbook cashed out all customers who’d placed futures bets before Nov. 30 on the Alabama Crimson Tide winning a third national championship in four years.
At the time, the Tide seemingly had a leg up on the handful of potential candidates for the mantle of college football’s top team after another perfect 12-0, regular-season mark. The listed odds (at the time of FanDuel’s decision) of -280 reflected as much.
Of course, the best-laid plans of mice and men (and sportsbooks) and all that good stuff.
The Clemson Tigers ultimately handed Nick Saban‘s crew a 44-16 shellacking in the national championship game on Jan. 7.
Ultimately, FanDuel paid out $40,000 on the early bets and an additional $42,000 on winning wagers involving the Tigers. And it’s worth noting the former figure doesn’t include parlay bets including an Alabama win that didn’t close out until after the date of the game.
PointsBet strives to stand out in a crowded field
The Harden payout is the second significant ripple in the NJ sports betting pond that Australia-based PointsBet has made recently.
In the latter portion of February, the operator announced a marketing-focused partnership with Topgolf in the state that will mostly be centered around major sporting events. The most imminent example of such is a March Madness-themed Hole in One competition that will unfold at the Topgolf’s Edison and Mount Laurel locations.
It will feature a $25,000 grand prize to be awarded March 23.
Like FanDuel, PointsBet surely feels reasonably confident that the money it just shelled out was leaving its coffers later this year anyhow.
And if the “never say never” scenario plays out and say that George takes home the MVP in an upset? PointsBet is undoubtedly banking on the goodwill and promotional benefits of its move making it worthwhile over the long term in an increasingly competitive New Jersey market.