Tiger Woods, Phil Mickelson match causes sports book to sweat

Updated November 21, 2018 - 4:51 pm

The Tiger Woods-Phil Mickelson pay-per-view golf match costs $19.99, which was the last year most fans would’ve considered it must-see TV.

But most Las Vegas sports books are showing the event for free, starting at noon Friday, and wagering options abound — besides the $200,000 side bet Mickelson made with Woods that he’d birdie the first hole of the $9 million, winner-take-all match at Shadow Creek Golf Course in North Las Vegas.

Woods is a minus 190 favorite at William Hill sports book over Mickelson, a plus 175 underdog at MGM Resorts.

“We had a couple customers ask if they can make a six-figure bet on it. I think we might get one on each,” MGM Resorts sports book director Jay Rood said. “We’re booking it kind of like a heavyweight fight. We’re hoping that the action shows up like it does on a fight, in the last 24 or 48 hours. I think we’ll see quite a bit of late money Friday.”

There are a plethora of props on the match, including odds on each hole, correct winning score and hole-in-one. If Tiger or Phil sinks an ace, a bevy of MGM Resorts bettors will cash 100-1 tickets on Black Friday.

“As a book, more than likely we’re going to need Phil. And I’m OK being in that position,” Rood said. “The only thing I’m going to be sweating is no hole-in-one. By the time this tees off, that will be a significant six-figure decision.”

The MGM also will offer live in-progress wagering during the event, as well as closest-to-the-pin props on par 3s and longest drive props on four different holes.

“Everyone’s betting Tiger on all those (longest drive) props. But he’s got to land it in the fairway for it to count,” Rood said. “We’ll see. His driver is a little erratic.”

The Westgate sports book has posted a Super Bowl-style prop pitting holes won by Woods against total goals scored in Friday’s Golden Knights-Flames game at T-Mobile Arena. The goals are a minus 200 favorite over Woods (plus 170).

“We’ve gotten action on the Flames-Knights goals,” Westgate sports book manager Jeff Sherman said.

Will either golfer win three consecutive holes? Will there be extra holes (all square after 18)? Yes pays 7-1 on each of those props at the Westgate.

Sherman said 73 percent of the tickets and 62 percent of the money at the Westgate are on Phil. He opened Tiger as a minus 130 favorite in the summer and the line climbed as high as minus 220 after Woods won the Tour Championship for his first win in more than five years and Mickelson finished last.

“I moved it up based on course performance, not money wagered,” Sherman said. “Every tournament these guys played together, there was such a disparity, I had to keep moving the price up.”

Rood said MGM Resorts took multiple early wagers on Woods to win $10,000 at odds ranging from minus 140 to minus 160.

“He’s been bet up by the public so I think the value is definitely there on Phil,” he said. “I would have to back Phil in this particular match. If you’re going to tell me I’m going to get 8-5 or better with guys who are fairly even, I would take it.”

Golf handicapper Wes Reynolds (@WesReynolds1) agrees.

“I don’t know if there’s any value on Tiger at this point. The value would be to take Phil,” he said. “But I don’t know the mindset of these guys. They haven’t played in several weeks.”

Woods, who shares Shadow Creek’s original course record of 60 with Fred Couples, has been off since the Ryder Cup, which ended Sept. 30. Mickelson, who has shot 61 at Shadow Creek, hasn’t played since the Safeway Open on Oct. 7.

“I expect Tiger to win based on how he’s playing. But I don’t know how serious these guys are going to take it,” Sherman said. “They’re not putting up their own money.”

Bettors should be so lucky.

^More betting: Follow all of our sports betting coverage online at reviewjournal.com/betting and @RJ_Sports on Twitter.

Contact reporter Todd Dewey at tdewey@reviewjournal.com. Follow @tdewey33 on Twitter.

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