weather icon Cloudy

A win for Tiger Woods could be an ‘all-time’ loss for the sportsbooks

Updated April 6, 2022 - 11:51 am

Jack Nicklaus was 46 when he won his sixth green jacket and 18th major at the 1986 Masters.

Tiger Woods is 46 and gunning for his sixth green jacket and 16th major at the 2022 Masters.

Woods announced Tuesday that he plans to play this week at Augusta National Golf Club. It will be his first official PGA Tour event since a car crash 14 months ago nearly cost him his right leg.

But the uncertainty surrounding Woods’ health and golf game hasn’t stopped bettors from loading up on him.

A Westgate SuperBook bettor made a $1,046 wager to win $104,600 on Woods at 100-1 odds. After the book lowered the number to 60-1 on Tuesday, it took a $1,000 bet to win $60,000 on him.

“It’s been strong support for him over the past few months, including this week,” SuperBook oddsmaker Jeff Sherman said. “He’s a six-figure liability both in Nevada and our other jurisdictions.”

Circa Sports opened a prop last week on whether Woods would play in the Masters. Yes opened at -240 and soared to -2,000 on Tuesday before his announcement. Circa then took the prop off the board.

“We will lose assuming he plays,” Circa oddsmaker Jeff Davis said.

Woods has made 21 of 21 cuts at the Masters as a professional. He dropped from 125-1 to 65-1 at Circa to win the tournament and has dipped to 40-1 at Caesars sportsbook, where he’s the ticket and money leader in the past week.

“I think it’ll be an all-timer as far as liability goes,” Caesars assistant director of trading Adam Pullen said. “It’s not like he’s 10-1. It’s a rarity that he’s priced as high as he is. At 40-1, that liability adds up pretty quickly.”

Sharp plays

Sherman said the SuperBook took a sharp bet on Woods to make the cut at +110. Davis said Circa also has taken a lot of action on that prop.

“We wrote a bunch of miss cut money a few days ago, and now everyone is betting make cut,” Davis said.

Jon Rahm is the 11-1 favorite at the Westgate to win the Masters, and Justin Thomas is the 12-1 second pick. Cameron Smith and Scottie Scheffler are 16-1, and Dustin Johnson and Jordan Spieth are 18-1.

Sherman played multiple golfers to win the Masters at longer odds, but still likes Brooks Koepka at his current odds (23-1 at Circa).

“Koepka is worth a shot at 20-1,” Sherman said. “He’s the only one I would say has a bit of value because he concentrates on majors so much and doesn’t do much in weekly tournaments. But he’s actually playing well in weekly tournaments.”

Sherman said sharp bettors are fading Adam Scott and Collin Morikawa in matchups. The book took sharp play on Rahm over Smith and Scheffler in matchups and sharp action on Thomas over Smith and Scheffler in matchups.

“So the sharps think there’s more separation than the odds indicate on Rahm and Thomas against Scheffler and Smith,” Sherman said.

The Masters best bets

Handicapper Wes Reynolds, co-host of VSiN’s “Long Shots” golf betting show, recommends plays on nine golfers to win the Masters.

He and Sherman have a consensus pick on Patrick Cantlay, 26-1 at Circa.

“Patty Ice currently sits No. 5 in the world and not only is the reigning PGA Tour player of the year with three wins in 2021, but also is the defending FedEx Cup champion,” said Reynolds (@WesReynolds1). “He has proven that he can go low at Augusta National with a third-round 64 to vault himself into contention in 2019.

“The overall game is there to win the green jacket if he has figured out the speed and undulations on these Augusta greens.”

Here are Reynolds’ other best bets:

Justin Thomas (14-1), Rory McIlroy (21-1), Shane Lowry (55-1), Tony Finau (58-1), Joaquin Niemann (60-1), Scott (63-1), Paul Casey (83-1) and Thomas Pieters (100-1).

Rebel with a cause

A Westgate bettor wagered $245 to win $1.225 million on UNLV freshman Aaron Jarvis to win the Masters. Jarvis qualified by winning the Latin America amateur title.

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

Don't miss the big stories. Like us on Facebook.