2022 Genesis Invitational: Sahith Theegala’s Betting Odds Remain Long Despite Waste Management Open Success
Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images. Pictured: Sahith Theegala
Sahith Theegala has been on the radar of golf insiders who follow college stars and the Korn Ferry Tour, but he introduced himself to the rest of the audience at last week’s Waste Management Open.
What will he do as an encore at the Genesis Invitational, and how are sportsbooks preparing for who might be golf’s next young star?
Theegala, 24, earned his PGA TOUR card for the season with his performance on the KFT and wasted little time showing he belongs.
In 11 events in the official 2021-22 season, Theegala has made the cut nine times with three top-25 finishes. But it was the show he put on last week that has bettors interested and the market paying attention.
Theegala finished third, with one bounce costing him a chance at victory. Needing a birdie on the drivable par-4 17th, his drive kicked into the water resulting in a bogey and leaving him one shot shy of the lead. With 250-1 opening odds and more in-play bets along the way, he became a fan — and bettors’ — favorite.
“Theegala’s story is definitely resonating with bettors as he finished with the third-highest bet count for us at the WMPO last week,” PointsBet Senior Editor Teddy Greenstein said.
Some sportsbooks are more aggressive than others in cutting down Theegala’s odds. He’s 125-1 at PointsBet and 100-1 at the SuperBook. Meanwhile, he’s been bet down from his opening number of 90-1 to 80-1 at BetMGM, taking the 19th-most bets in the field.
No matter the book, there’s been an adjustment across the board. But that adjustment isn’t emotional.
“We try not to let the story or short-term results go too much into the equation,” Greenstein said. “Instead we rely on our normal metrics such as strokes gained and course fit when going about pricing any player, which is reflected in his opening price this week at Riviera.”
A win in this field would be a tall task for the Pepperdine grad, but he’s still getting his “fair share of tickets” in the outright market, SuperBook VP of Risk Management Jeff Sherman said.
It’s not the outright market Sherman is overly concerned with. Instead, he’s fighting off sharp money wanting to fade Theegala.
“I’m trying to force ‘yes’ money in his top-20 market with -600 on the ‘no’ compared to +450 on ‘yes’,” Sherman said. Sharps are laying the juice that Theegala will not see the same success this week in this field.
That +450 is still a better price than PointsBet and FanDuel are offering, as they protect against any influx of Theegala support.
After seeing how close the longshot came to a victory, there could be a feeling of wanting not to miss out on Theegala’s first win. But the FOMO bet everyone wants to make now belongs to Will Zalatoris, especially after Scottie Scheffler broke through with his first win last week.
Zalatoris is the third-biggest liability at BetMGM this week at +2800. The last time we saw Zalatoris, he lost in a playoff to Luke List at the Farmers Insurance Open.