Hero World Challenge Betting Guide: Does Tiger Woods Actually Have Value?
Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports. Pictured: Tiger Woods
- Justin Rose is the betting favorite to win the 2018 Hero World Challenge in the Bahamas.
- The tournament features just an 18-player field and is an exhibition, so motivation matters.
- Tiger Woods' odds are usually inflated. Is that the case for this tournament?
What a difference a year makes.
Heading into the 2017 Hero World Challenge, all eyes were on the long-awaited return of Tiger Woods.
As we learned over the course of the year, he’s back and ready to compete at the highest level.
Tiger is here again to headline the field, but without nearly the fanfare, so now this event simply falls back into its spot as an elite, 18-man exhibition during the tour’s offseason.
But exhibition or no, there’s still money to be made, so lets have a look.
Albany Golf Course in the Bahamas hosts the event for the fourth time and presents little challenge to a player who is in form. It measures between 7,300 and 7,400 yards for a par 72, so it’s a little above average in length.
Bubba Watson won in the course’s debut at 25-under par, and that was followed up by 18-under par performances by Hideki Matsuyama and Rickie Fowler.
With the course right on the water, wind can present a test to players, but for the most part, there is little danger on this resort track.
It’s built for birdies with five par 5s and usually the player who takes advantage of those opportunities will have the best shot come Sunday.
It’s a small exhibition, but many of the best players will make an appearance this week.
Justin Rose opens as a favorite at +700. It’s basically a home game for him since he owns a house on the island.
Dustin Johnson is next at +800 with defending champ Rickie Fowler clocking in at +850, followed by Woods and Justin Thomas at +900.
Bryson DeChambeau (+1000), Jon Rahm (+1200), Jason Day (+1600) and Patrick Reed (+1800) are among those in that next tier once we hit the double-digit odds range.
With this field, there are no longshots and there’s not really even a mid-tier to look at. Basically everyone is +3000 or less, so my strategy is to back a couple of guys outright and hope they come out on top.
We can grind over stats here, but with these players, it’s splitting hairs. My No. 1 factor this week is motivation. It can be tough to guess who is here to play golf and who is here for a vacation.
We can look at a couple past results and though a take a few educated guesses. Rose and DJ are off the board for me. Rose has mentioned in the past that being close to home and having so many friends in the crowd can be a distraction for him.
Meanwhile, Johnson has finished 14th and 15th out of 18 players to go along with a third-place finish in three starts here. What that tells me is if his game is on, then Johnson can play well, but he’s not out here to grind out any results.
But the guy I think who actually will care about winning this week is none other than the host himself, Tiger Woods.
Tiger knows this course well enough that he was able to finish ninth here last year after nearly a year off. At +900, his odds actually have some value, too.
It’s basically the same odds he has to win The Masters, only he doesn’t have to deal with Brooks Koepka or Jordan Spieth, just to name name a few.
Tiger is at the point in his career where I think he’s going to take any chance he can to beat this younger generation, so I expect him to show up and have a real chance to win.
My other player will be Bryson DeChambeau at +1000. Outside of motivation, form is the next most important factor to me and DeChambeau has won three of his past five tournaments.
He came back from an extended break after the FedEx Cup playoffs and jumped right in the winner’s circle at the Shriners in Las Vegas. Bryson doesn’t strike me as a guy who will show up and not be focused on golf.
- Tiger Woods +900 (2.5 units)
- Bryson DeChambeau +1000 (2.5 units)
Total Stake: 5 units
Season: -11.46 Units