PGA Championship Vegas Betting Report: ‘I’ve Never Seen Tickets Like This in My Life’

May 16, 2019 09:20 PM EDT
Credit:

Peter Casey, USA Today Sports.

  • Tiger Woods, Brooks Koepka and Rickie Fowler are among the most popular bets to win the 2019 PGA Championship at Bethpage Black.
  • Adam Staple spoke with some of Las Vegas' biggest bookmakers to find out what the betting market looks like ahead of the weekend.

LAS VEGAS — You wouldn’t believe which golfer is drawing the most betting attention ahead of the PGA Championship.

Just kidding.

After his fantastic win at the Masters last month, Tiger Woods is receiving plenty of support to win the 2019 PGA Championship this weekend at Bethpage Black on Long Island, NY.

The buzz began early last week when James Adducci, a bettor from Wisconsin who won nearly $1.2 million betting Woods to win the Masters in April, strolled back into Las Vegas, went to the same William Hill location where he won his Masters bet, and played $100,000 on Tiger to win the remaining three majors this year at 100-1. The bet would pay Adducci $100 million.

“Ever since the news of that bet came out the action has been hot and heavy,” Nick Bogdanovich, the sportsbook director at William Hill, said.

Another bettor put $8,000 at 50-1 on Tiger to win the Grand Slam. Bogdanovich said it reminded him of Back to the Future 2 when Biff Tannen makes his fortune going back in time with a Sports Almanac in hand.

“It won’t stop. I’ve never seen tickets like this in my life,” the longtime bookmaker explained. “They keep betting it like it’s Back to the Future and they’ve already read the headline. It’s the damnedest thing I’ve ever seen. In a perfect world, Tiger will win the next two majors and have the lead going into the fourth round of the British Open before losing, That would be the ultimate draining of our marketing dollars. But it would probably take 40 years off my life.”

The 2019 PGA Championship Betting Market

In terms of money wagered, Woods leads the field at both the Westgate and William Hill and he’s attracted the highest number of bets at MGM.

Interestingly, Brooks Koepka leads Woods in terms of tickets at the Westgate, William Hill and Caesars. Koepka has been hanging on at 10-1 all week, along with Dustin Johnson and Rory McIlroy, and reportedly represents the largest liability for the MGM.

Jeff Sherman, the director of risk management at the Westgate SuperBook and one of the biggest names in golf bookmaking, said he’s seen heavy action pour in on Tiger.

“Before Tuesday the largest wager we had taken was $3,000 on Rickie Fowler at 18-1,” Sherman explained. “But on Tuesday, we took a $10,000 wager on Tiger at 10-1. So I had to adjust his odds down to 8-1. He’s the only player at the moment at single-digit odds.

Sherman also noted that the handle for this year’s PGA Championship is on pace to be much bigger than it had been in the past thanks to a schedule change.

Aside from Woods, Sherman said his outfit is also seeing steady action on Koepka and the ever-trendy Tony Finau.

“As of Tuesday, we’re still seeing the most action on Brooks Koepka,” Sherman said. “He’s still number one in tickets written, Tiger is second and Finau is third,” Sherman said. “In terms of money wagered, it’s Tiger, Koepka and Rickie Fowler. In fact our liabilities really rest on those three as well. We’re in good shape on a lot of other golfers so we just need to keep an eye on that key three that are being targeted.”

As for a few golfers further down the board, Sherman, who does still bet golf regularly, has his eye on Patrick Cantlay (35-1) and Xander Schauffele (25-1).

“Both of these guys are getting solid support at the Westgate,” he explained. “Cantlay is one I’ve been eyeing since the end of the Masters. I locked him in early at 50-1 along with Jon Rahm at 20-1 so those are the two guys I really like this week. As far as a real dark horse play I think there are some real opportunities at Bethpage because the PGA plays the least like a major so the longer shots do have a chance in this one. I would recommend looking at big prices such as Jason Kokrak at 250-1, Matt Wallace at 150-1 and even Julian Suri at 400-1.”

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