Tiger Woods won The Masters, a lot of bettors won money – including one William Hill US customer who cashed in for $1.19 million – and most sportsbooks took it on the chin Sunday.
But Woods returning to the pinnacle of golf, at The Masters no less, is hardly a bad outcome for the oddsmakers. In fact, it’s likely to have a springboard effect on wagering for the next few months and perhaps longer.
“I think it will, as far as the other majors go,” Jeff Sherman, top oddsmaker at The SuperBook at Westgate, told Covers on Sunday afternoon. “Will Tiger win two in a row? I think people who traditionally don’t bet golf will get involved.”
And they won’t have to wait as long, either. Normally, it’s a two-month lapse before the second major of the year, the U.S. Open. But the PGA Championship has moved up on the schedule, set for May 16-19 at the famed Bethpage Black course.
“Normally, fans only bet on the Masters every year. But with Woods winning, it’ll pique their interest,” Sherman said. “Some of those people will say, ‘I want to be involved in the next major.’”
Nick Bogdanovich, director of trading for William Hill US, echoed Sherman’s sentiments, remaining optimistic despite his company paying out on the largest golf ticket in its history.
“I definitely think we’ll see an increase,” Bogdanovich said. “Whether it’s 2 percent or 5 percent or 10 percent, who knows? But no question, it’ll help improve sports betting in golf.”
Matt Chaprales, head of content for PointsBet USA in New Jersey, was also thinking about the long game Sunday afternoon, rather than the short term of Woods bettors having a long-awaited banner day.
“We’re more than happy to take the hit,” Chaprales said. “We’re expecting the Tiger bump to result in much higher levels of golf interest from casual bettors going forward.”
That bump could quickly be noticeable. Within an hour of Woods’ Masters victory, The SuperBook made him the 8/1 first choice for not only next month’s PGA Championship, but also next year’s Masters.
Patrick Everson is a Las Vegas-based senior writer for Covers. Follow him on Twitter: @Covers_Vegas.