Freedman: 3 Tiger Woods Matchup Bets I’m Eyeing for 2019 PGA Championship
Rob Schumacher-USA TODAY Sports. Pictured: Tiger Woods
- Matthew Freedman continues his series featuring his favorite prop bets for each day of 2019.
- The 2019 PGA Championship tees off on Thursday at Bethpage Black.
- Freedman highlights three Tiger Woods matchups he's betting for the event.
Each day, I publish 1-2 pieces on props I like. See my master list of 2019 prop bets for more information.
In this piece, I break down three Tiger Woods matchups I like for the PGA Championship.
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2019 Year-to-Date Record
781-576-42, +126.67 Units
- NFL: 21-13-0, +11.72 Units
- NBA: 379-282-7, +49.02 Units
- NHL: 108-97-9, +14.02 Units
- MLB: 47-53-12, -11.12 Units
- Golf: 9-9-2, +2.30 Units
- NASCAR: 11-17-0, -5.77 Units
- NCAAB: 125-70-12, +38.82 Units
- NCAAF: 0-1-0, -1.00 Units
- Exotic: 79-34-0, +28.50 Units
- Horse Racing: 1-0-0, +0.04 Units
2019 PGA Championship: Tiger Woods Matchup Bets
When betting PGA matchups, I’ve been most profitable with the majors.
There’s no telling if that trend will hold for the 2019 PGA Championship, but there are a few reasons I think it’s easier to make money betting on props for majors vs. an average tournament.
For one, sportsbooks post way more props for majors, which means that there are simply more opportunities to find exploitable bets.
Additionally, I think the average prop for a major tends to be more inefficient. Maybe that’s because the books are releasing more props, so they’re devoting less time to making sure that any given prop is appropriately priced. Or maybe it’s because there are more casual bettors for the majors, and they move some lines in the wrong direction.
Regardless, I have more action on the PGA Championship than I typically do for most tournaments, so I’ll highlight more than just one head-to-head matchup in this piece.
As it happens — and, remember, I’m not claiming to be a golf expert — I think Tiger Woods is undervalued in the matchup market.
Tiger Woods vs. Rory McIlroy
- Woods: +145
- McIlroy: -165
There’s a lot of warranted enthusiasm around McIlroy. He’s in good form, and Bethpage Black suits him well. It’s a long course at a reported 7,468 yards, and Rory has the clear edge over Tiger in long-term driving distance (318 yards vs. 302.5).
But the tournament isn’t being played at a driving range.
As Josh Perry puts it in his betting guide, “This will be as tough a tee-to-green test any course the players will face this year.”
Bryan Mears expresses a similar sentiment in his optimal PGA Model breakdown.
The PGA Championship is supposed to be a test of a golfer’s all-around game. Players will need length off the tee but also precision with their irons. This course will test a golfer’s complete tee-to-green game rather than just his ability to bomb.
As good as Rory is, Woods is probably just as good of an all-around golfer. He and Rory are comparable in a number of long-term metrics (per our FantasyLabs PGA Models).
- Adjusted round score: 67.8 vs. 67.9
- Greens in regulation: 68.2% vs. 68.3%
- Putts per round: 28.8 vs. 28.8
And Tiger has the clear edge in scrambling rate (63% vs. 60.8%).
Woods has the highest DraftKings salary ($11,300) in the field and the best odds to win the event (+1000, per The Action Network app).
If I can bet on the tournament favorite at a discount in a head-to-head matchup, I’m going to do it — especially when he has the superior long-term adjusted round score.
That the favorite turns out to be a motivated and healthy Tiger is even better.
I’d bet on Tiger to +110.
The Pick: Woods (+145)
Tiger Woods vs. Brooks Koepka
- Woods: +110
- Koepka: -125
Like McIlroy, Koepka has the clear edge over Tiger in driving distance (311.9 vs. 302.5). But Woods has the significantly better long-term adjusted round score (67.8 vs. 68.5) and scrambling rate (63% vs. 60.8%).
Both Tiger and Koepka are +1000 to win (per our app), and that makes sense: They are great golfers, Tiger just won at the Masters and Brooks took down the PGA Championship last year.
Given how evenly matched they are — and I lean slightly toward Tiger — I’ll gladly bet him at plus money.
I’d probably even bet on Tiger down to +100.
The Pick: Woods (+110)
Tiger Woods vs. Justin Rose
- Woods: +105
- Rose: -120
Once again, the younger golfer in the matchup has the driving advantage over Woods (304.9 vs. 302.5). But Woods has the better adjusted round score in both the long term (67.8 vs. 67.9) and short term (66.0 vs. 68.7).
And Rose has been erratic this year: In his past five events (dating back to February), he has two top-10 finishes, a 63rd-place performance and two missed cuts.
Tiger, meanwhile, has finished in the top 30 in all five of his tournaments this year, with four top-20 performances.
Given Rose’s volatility, I’d bet on Woods down to -110.
The Pick: Woods (+105)