Masters Vegas Report: Bookmakers Rooting Against Rickie Fowler and Tommy Fleetwood
Soobum Im, USA Today Sports. Pictured: Rickie Fowler
LAS VEGAS — There are no days off in the life of a bookmaker. After closing the books on March Madness on Monday night, the sportsbooks had to shift their attention to golf's first Major.
The Masters is always a big betting event in Las Vegas and it always helps when Tiger Woods is in contention.
Woods will always attract casual bettors, but he did more than that last night, as our own Darren Rovell reported that a bettor in Nevada placed an $85,000 bet on Woods to win the tournament at William Hill. If Tiger wins, that bettor will win $1.19 million.
The Westgate SuperBook is also seeing money coming in on Tiger, but sportsbook manager Jeff Sherman says he's just one of a few players they will be paying close attention to at Augusta.
"We're seeing heavy action on Ricky Fowler (15-1) and Tommy Fleetwood (20-1) at the moment," Sherman explained. "As far as overall money wagered, it's definitely going towards Tiger (12-1) and Jordan Speith (17-1) with Fowler at number three. Those four guys are our biggest liabilities at the moment."
Usually bookmakers root against favorites, but golf is a little different. In fact, Sherman said his outfit wouldn't mind seeing one of the pre-tournament favorites, Rory McIlroy or Dustin Johnson, put on the Green Jacket.
"We just bumped the odds up on the two current favorites in Rory McIlroy (8-1)and Dustin Johnson (12-1) but we're in pretty good position on the two of them at the moment," Sherman said. "We get good action on them in virtually every tournament but they're not attracting larger wagers just yet. But that may change."
Sherman, a noted golf guru and one of the most respected names in golf handicapping, has his eye on a few talented guys that are flying under the radar.
"Looking further down the list, guys I plan to keep an eye on are Justin Rose at 14-1, Jon Rahm at 20-1, Hideki Matsuyama at 50-1 and Gary Woodland at 100-1," Sherman said. "I like those guys based on a few factors: How they're playing this year, how they fit the course and statistics. I look at things like greens in regulation and approach shots to the green are the biggest things to be looking at in Augusta. Everyone seems to thinks it's all about putting with all they've seen there historically and how difficult the putting can be. But for me it's where you can place the ball to put yourself in the best position."
Sherman, who is also a golf bettor, is especially bullish on Rose.
"I actually bet him at 14-1. He's down to 12-1 here and I have him power rated at No. 3 behind McIlroy and Dustin Johnson. I do expect him to be right there. He's got a great history at Augusta and he's in solid form this year. His game suits this course so well and I don't see any reason he can't be contending on Sunday."
A flurry of bettors are also betting prop and matchup wagers at the Westgate and some sharp action has come in fading a few big names.
"If you're looking at key match ups, we've taken sharp action on Rickie Fowler against Tiger Woods, Francesco Molinari against Tommy Fleetwood and Sergio Garcia against Adam Scott," Sherman said.