Monday, October 2 2023

We’re hours away from golf’s crown jewel.

The 87th edition of the Masters tees off Thursday at Augusta National Golf Club as the greatest players in the world vie for an opportunity to don the famous green jacket after Sunday’s final round.

As you can imagine, American sports bettors love getting involved with this event. It’s the most popular around the country in terms of dollars wagered on golf, and there are so many markets you can bet.

“The Masters outwrites any other golf tournament we do by far,” Westgate SuperBook vice president of risk management Jeff Sherman told FOX Sports. “It’ll double the U.S. Open handle. You write so much money into this pool, and it really starts to shape things. And there’s less liability than you’ll have in other majors because there’s way more handle.”

Rory McIlroy (+700) is currently the favorite at the SuperBook, followed closely by reigning champion Scottie Scheffler (+750) and Jon Rahm (+900). McIlroy and Scheffler are co-favorites at FOX Bet (+700, bet $10 to win $80 total). 

Every other golfer on the SuperBook board has double-digit odds.

[RELATED: Masters odds, predictions, picks]


“Scheffler is built for Augusta,” Sherman opined. “He’s one of the best in terms of strokes gained tee-to-green, and he’s excelled leading up to the Masters just like last year. He has the all-around game to be in the mix every time.

“But I wouldn’t bet any of these guys in single digits right now. I would need double digits to get involved. Six months ago, you could’ve bet Scheffler at (+1200) and McIlroy at (+1500). That was the time to strike.”

Not only does Sherman make odds and manage risk at the SuperBook, he bets golf across town in Las Vegas. And he does it very well.

He’s built a Masters portfolio over the past eight months that’s full of golfers such as Rahm, McIlroy, Xander Schauffele, Tony Finau, Brooks Koepka, Tom Kim, Jason Day and Harold Varner III.

“It’s a strategy of putting together a portfolio over time,” Sherman said. “That’s how I’ve done it for years. The number is more important than the player sometimes.”

Speaking of players, nobody moves the meter quite like Tiger Woods. Even as his career winds down at age 47, Woods is still a magnet for action. And bookmakers like Sherman are rooting heavily against his sixth Masters title.

“I’ll get chased off the property if he wins,” Sherman cracked. “It’s a mid six-figure liability for us right now. That said, the odds are severely against Tiger winning over four grueling days on a hilly course when he can’t walk too well.

“We’ve seen him start out well in recent majors, but the progression of the four days takes a toll on him. I understand people betting him ‘Under’ his first-round score and making the cut. Those are realistic expectations.

“He can come out and say he expects to win, but I think his hope is to make the cut and see what happens. Outlasting Scheffler and Rahm and McIlroy [and everybody else] over four days is a different story.”

It’s also getting expensive to bet Woods to make the cut.

“We opened him -150 on the ‘Yes’ and actually got some immediate play on the ‘No’ in New Jersey that drove it down to -140/+120. Since that point, though, it’s been all pro-Tiger money. We’re at -180 on him to make the cut.”

If you’re still looking for a bet to make, you should circle Sungjae Im. The 25-year-old finished tied for second at the Masters in 2020 and tied for eighth last year. And if recent form is important to you, Im has three Top-10 finishes in his last seven events.  

You can find Im at +3300 to win (bet $10 to win $340 total), +650 for Top 5 (bet $10 to win $75 total) and +275 for Top 10 (bet $10 to win $37.50 total) at FOX Bet.

“It’s tough to find value at this point with all the saturation, but Im is enticing if you don’t have any wagers in pocket,” Sherman said. “His current form is very strong, and he’s played really well at Augusta.”

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Sam Panayotovich is a sports betting analyst for FOX Sports and NESN. He previously worked for WGN Radio, NBC Sports and VSiN. He’ll probably pick against your favorite team. Follow him on Twitter @spshoot.

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