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British Open: Bettors favor Tiger Woods despite not being favorite

Woods competing at the third annual Earl Woods Memorial Pro-Am (July 1, 2009), tags: british tiger - CC BY-SA

Woods competing at the third annual Earl Woods Memorial Pro-Am (July 1, 2009) – CC BY-SA

A lot of bettors are placing wagers on Tiger Woods to win the British Open this week. They believe the returning golfer will win at +8000 odds. But despite the popularity, the actual favorite player in most sportsbooks is Rory McIlroy at +1000.

“The Tiger appeal is always going to be there,” said Anthony Salleroli, lead golf trader at Caesars Sportsbook.

According to FOXBet, the top ten players with the best odds do not include Woods at all. After McIlroy’s +1000 are Xander Schauffele at +1400, John Rahm at +1600, Jordan Spieth at +1600, Matt Fitzpatrick at +1800, Scottie Scheffler at +1800, Justin Thomas at +2000, Cameron Smith at +2500, Collin Morikawa at +2500, and Will Zalatoris at +2500.

Woods’ odds to win is 110-1. If he truly wins, the bookies will owe the bettors a very large sum of money. He is 65-1 in Caesars Sportsbook and his liability of winning doubles other players.

“Truth be told, his natural odds are probably more like 125-1. You just have to mitigate some liability by keeping his number lower,” Salleroli said. “Nonetheless, you’re going to have enormous liability because people want the Cinderella story.”

Woods’ impact on some sportsbooks is immense as seen by the amount of handle taken in several sportsbooks. The number of money bets on Woods is more than any golfer in DraftKings sportsbook as of Tuesday. One bettor even placed a bet of $4,500 on BetMGM where the golfer’s odds is at 40-1.

Woods’ low chance of winning is backed by a few strong reasons. He just survived an almost fatal car accident in February 2021, leaving him with severe injuries. The crash caused him to recover and draw back from golf for a time. He was only involved in two other competitions after the accident. On another note, Woods’ last win was three years ago in 2019 at The Masters tournament.

Woods is not the only one to receive strangely large bets as a non-favorite player. Someone placed a $1,000 wager in BetMGM with 250-1 odds of winning for Phil Mickelson.

Tiger Woods

Eldrick Tont “Tiger” Woods is an American professional golfer. He is tied for first in PGA Tour wins, ranks second in men’s major championships, and holds numerous golf records. (wikipedia)

Rory McIlroy

Rory McIlroy is a professional golfer from Northern Ireland who is a member of both the European and PGA Tours. He is a former world number one in the Official World Golf Ranking, (wikipedia)

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