Tiger Woods hasn’t won a major since 2008 and hasn’t won any PGA Tour event since 2013, but he remains popular among bettors.
Before the 14-time major champion announced that back issues would prevent him from playing in the Masters — which tees off Thursday in Augusta, Georgia — he was the biggest liability at the Westgate sports book, according to manager Jeff Sherman.
“He was up there in ticket count and well-supported over the last eight months,” Sherman said.
Woods, who will miss the Masters for the third time in four years, missed the entire 2016 season following two back surgeries. He made a promising return to action in December at the Hero World Challenge, after which his odds to win his fifth green jacket on the 20th anniversary of his first Masters win increased to 20-1.
He then missed the cut at the Farmers Insurance Open in January and one week later withdrew from a tournament in Dubai after one round, citing back spasms. The odds on Woods to win the Masters at that point skyrocketed to 100-1 and he hasn’t played since.
The odds on Woods winning a major this season are still at 25-1 at the Westgate but Sherman said the odds are against the 41-year-old ever winning another PGA Tour event.
“If you’re talking any tournament over time, (the odds) would be plus money but it wouldn’t be as big as you’d think. I personally don’t think he will,” he said. “When he pulled out of Dubai, he said it was because of back spasms. But back spasms don’t last two months. It just seems like he’s trying to cover up some back issues.
“There’s obviously a lot more to it. He’s had three back surgeries and he’s in his 40s now. There are so many negatives. I don’t think he’s going to be able to compete against these guys on a weekly basis. He’s just not even in the conversation to win a tournament.”
Cavs, Celts vie for top seed
At 49-27, the Cavaliers will finish under their season win total of 56½. Cleveland, which went 7-10 in March, trails the Celtics (50-27) by a half-game in the battle for the No. 1 playoff seed in the Eastern Conference entering Wednesday’s matchup in Boston. Sherman projects the Celtics to be 2-point favorites.
“It’s more interesting now than we thought it would be a couple months ago between Boston, Washington and Cleveland,” Sherman said. “(The Cavaliers) went through some injuries and they’ve got LeBron playing way too many minutes. They should’ve been resting him more.
“Some guys they’ve picked up are defensive liabilities. Their biggest issue is on the defensive end.”
Warriors’ under run over
Despite leading the NBA in scoring with 116 points per game, the Warriors had cashed 13 consecutive unders before flying over 223½ in Sunday’s 139-115 win over the Wizards.
The Hawks have gone under in nine of 10 and 18 of 23 and the Heat were on a 25-4 run against the spread before going 3-5 ATS in their last eight.
Opening college football lines
Golden Nugget sports book director Tony Miller has put up the opening lines for the first week of the 2017 college football season, starting with Ohio State as a 20-point favorite over Indiana on Aug. 31 and Colorado as a 9-point favorite over Colorado State on Sept. 1.
Here are the other opening numbers for 10 games scheduled for Sept. 2: Louisville -23 Purdue; NORTH CAROLINA -11 California; Virginia Tech -4½ West Virginia; Alabama -6.5 Florida State; Michigan -5 Florida; Louisiana State -13 Brigham Young; North Carolina State -7 South Carolina; UCLA -2.5 Texas A&M; UNLV -36.5 Howard; and NOTRE DAME -8 Temple.
Contact reporter Todd Dewey at email@example.com or 702-383-0354. Follow @tdewey33 on Twitter.