LIV Golfers Add Betting Dynamic To Masters

LAS VEGAS (AP) — The addition of LIV golfers to this week’s Masters field has created betting options for those wanting to wager on golf’s first major of the year.

Westgate SuperBook golf oddsmaker Jeff Sherman said his company’s properties have taken quite a bit of money on whether one of the LIV golfers will win this weekend.

LIV Golf began play last year as a challenge to the PGA Tour, and its players do not yet earn world ranking points. The Masters invited all 18 LIV golfers who were eligible under the current criteria. This is the third major in which players from the Saudi-backed tour compete against those from the PGA Tour.

The LIV tour, Sherman said, doesn’t attract much wagering compared to the PGA Tour.

“But interestingly enough, we’ve been writing a decent amount of handle already on the best finish out of the LIV golfers out of that 18,” Sherman said.

As of Wednesday morning, Westgate’s odds are plus-600 one LIV golfer would emerge Sunday to don the green jacket, and the line was minus-900 none would win. Someone betting on the “yes” would make $600 on a $100 bet, and conversely, a “no” bet would pay $100 on a $900 wager.

FanDuel Sportsbook has similar odds at plus-500 for a LIV winner and minus-850 for the rest of the field.

Caesars Sportsbook, because of various betting laws, can offer that kind of proposition bet in only eight states. Its odds are 4 1/2-1 that any LIV golfer will win it all.

As for which individual LIV golfers, Cameron Smith and Dustin Johnson are the betting favorites at all three books, anywhere from 22-1 to 25-1.

Tiger Woods, as usual, is drawing strong interest, but at odds higher than Sherman and Caesars lead golf trader Anthony Salleroli can remember.

Woods was up to 80-1 at Westgate, but that number dropped to 60-1 after a $1,000 bet. He is plus-140 to make the cut and minus-160 to not advance into the weekend. Should Woods conjure up some of his 2019 August National magic and walk off No. 18 a winner, Sherman said Westgate would be in the hole by six figures.

FanDuel has an entire betting section devoted to Woods. He is plus-500 to finish in the top 10 and plus-27,000 to take the lead after the first round and never give it up.

At Caesars, Woods is 70-1 to win the tournament after being at 80-1.

“We’ve got some pretty gnarly weather conditions going on in Augusta,” Salleroli said. “I hope that it doesn’t affect his ailments too much because I know previous injury and precipitous change of weather can really wreak havoc on a body. So I’m hoping his body can stay the course because the game is definitely there. It’s just the endurance factor.”

Rory McIlroy and Scottie Scheffler are each 7-1 favorites, according to FanDuel. McIlroy has the same odds at Westgate, and Scheffler is 7 1/2-1 to repeat his Masters title.

Caesars has a tight line on Scheffler at 5-1 because he was listed at 10-1 before victories at Phoenix and The Players Championship.

“We have some pretty good liability on him,” Salleroli said.

He said Scheffler could get bet to 6-1 by the time the tournament begins Thursday, and McIlroy could be up to 7-1.

Sherman and Salleroli said the Masters is easily the most-bet golf tournament each year, with Sherman saying it attracts at least twice the betting of any other major.

“A lot of it’s built-up anticipation for the first major of the year,” Salleroli said. “I’m curious if it was the last if it would have that same effect. I think a lot of the excitement builds upon the fact that it’s at the same course every year, where the other three majors change. There’s a certain pageantry that follows the Masters.”