Betting Value Now Against Tigers Woods After Masters Win?

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Mar 6, 2018
[h=1]Is betting value now against Tiger Woods after Masters win?[/h]

The Tiger Woods comeback story hit a new high with his Masters win, during which he bested some of the world's best golfers to don his fifth green jacket and reach 15 major titles.

Tiger has always been a popular bet (and paid off big time last weekend for one bettor), so will his win at Augusta cause some overreaction or a market correction? Is he indeed back? How will his resurgence impact the prices of other golfers

We asked our gambling experts -- Chris Fallica, Joe Fortenbaugh and Preston Johnson -- what they think the future holds for wagering on Tiger, both in the short and long term.
[h=2]Tiger is the 8-1 favorite to win the PGA Championship next month at Bethpage, with Dustin Johnson 10-1 and Rory McIlroy/Justin Thomas at 12-1. Whom do you like?[/h] Fallica: I think Brooks Koepka's (14-1) game fits that place perfectly. You need to be a long hitter to succeed at Bethpage, and Koepka checks that box. We're talking about a guy who might be the best big-event player in the world right now, winning three of the past seven majors he has played in, with his worst finish in that span a T-39. Coming off a runner-up finish in Augusta -- where he probably feels he let one get away -- Koepka is my top pick.

Fortenbaugh: While his win at Augusta National literally brought tears to my eyes as I watched in awe with my 2-year-old and 4-month-old sons, I want no part of Tiger at 8-1 in the PGA. I'm more than aware that Tiger won the U.S. Open at Bethpage Black back in 2002, but you're going to obliterate your bankroll in the long run buying high and selling low, which is precisely what you'd be doing with Woods at 8-1 here. Everyone is going to back Woods, which is why -- if tasked with picking a favorite -- I'd take a good, long look at DJ at 10-1.
[h=2]Tiger is -350 to not win another major this year, 14-1 to hit one more, 60-1 to win two more and 200-1 to win the Grand Slam. Which bet do you like the most?[/h] Fallica: I'd lay the -350 that he doesn't win another this year. I don't want to fall prisoner of the moment to what we all just witnessed at Augusta. Remember: We're still talking about a 43-year-old who hadn't won a major in 11 years. And during Tiger's lengthy drought, the Masters was the one major he still consistently played well in. I don't think we're going to see a bunch of missed cuts in majors, but given the depth of the great players right now, I'd bet against him beating all of them again in a major this year.

Johnson: The value lies in the -350 that Tiger doesn't win another major this year. We first need to understand that as popular of a futures bet as he has been in recent years, the general public is likely to look to Tiger even more often now after his Masters win -- and at worse prices. I wouldn't be in a rush to bet this -350, as it may get cheaper, and the odds in each major will certainly be lower than Tiger's true probability of winning. Even if I were to give him a true price of 17-1 in each major at roughly 5.6 percent to win (this may be generous), the true line of him not winning another major this year would be -529, or 84.1 percent. The -350 implies he doesn't win again 77.8 percent of the time. Last I checked, a 6.3 percent edge is pretty good. That's where my money would go.

Fortenbaugh: I'd go 14-1 to win one more major championship. Based on how he has performed since the end of last year up until now, you'd be a fool to actively wager against Woods at not one, but two courses in which he has tasted the sweet nectar of high-profile victory. Winning the Grand Slam is out of the question, so it comes down to value at winning one more championship or two. I'd rather hold a 14-1 ticket for one title than a 60-1 one on him winning two.
[h=2]Tiger has historically been a public favorite. Are we going to see odds closer to his true "power ranking"? Or are there now going to be even better prices on other golfers?[/h]
Fallica: We're probably going to see the market reflect something in between the days when Tiger was the only player in single-digits and the 14-1 he was in Augusta. And I'd be willing to bet he gets a lot of play that might drive that number down. It all adds up to better value on some elite players, which should treat sharper bettors well, not only in the pre-tournament outright markets but head to heads in tournament wagering as well.

Johnson: The value from a futures perspective as well as head-to-head matchups involving Tiger will be on other golfers. Even at +800 to win the PGA Championship at Bethpage, it implies he wins the major 11.1 percent of the time. His odds may even drop, depending on the action sportsbooks are taking as the tournament draws nearer, so the opportunity will certainly be there one way or another the rest of the year.
Fortenbaugh: Tiger's win at Augusta isa significant victory for sports bettors in the sense that it opens up a world of value on terrific ball-strikers who now find themselves as an afterthought when it comes to contending for majors. Moving forward, the storyline entering the PGA Championship, U.S. Open Championship and Open Championship, respectively, will be whether Tiger will claim victory. Money will pour in on the 15-time major championship winner. So, while the squares chase the Tiger's tail, the sharps will have the opportunity to scoop-and-score valuable prices on underappreciated golfers such as Jon Rahm and Justin Rose at 18-1 to win the PGA Championship.
[h=2]Most places have Tiger about 10-1 to break Jack Nicklaus' record of 18 majors. It was closer to 25-1 last week before the Masters win. It's -2,000 to take the under. Thoughts?[/h] Fallica: That's a hard bet to make. Who wants to tie up money for nearly five years? It makes it very difficult to bet the no, which is probably the way to go. But I'm sure there will be people out there who put a little down to try and win a lot that he does break the record.

Fortenbaugh: Enjoy Tiger's victory at Augusta for what it was -- a tremendously sensational, yet nostalgic moment that will thrive in the annals of sports history until the end of time. But don't get it confused: The other three major championships are punishing tracks designed to humble the very best golfers on the planet down to their innermost core. Woods may have one more title stashed away in his gas tank, but at some point the rest of the tour will rise up and fight back. I hate to be the bearer of bad news for the dreamers in the house, but Jack's 18 majors won't be toppled by Tiger.
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