The Tiger Effect: Ratings Rise, PGA Championship Odds Fall

(USA TODAY Sports)

Tiger Woods walked down the 18th fairway with a two stroke lead, as sportsbooks around the country prepared to settle up one of their biggest losses in golf betting history.

Woods only had to make bogey to seal sportsbooks’ fate, cashing in for bettors who backed the four-time Masters winner at anywhere from 16-1 to 12-1 odds by the time the first golfers teed off last Thursday.

One bettor in particular placed an $85,000 bet on Woods to win the Masters at 14-1 odds with William and Hill U.S. Sportsbook. Additionally, FanDuel Sportsbook, DraftKings Sportsbook, and BetStars reported large losses due, in part, to Tiger promotions ran by each company

Woods made bogey, and what proceeded was a roar heard around the world.

ESPN’s Scott Van Pelt, who covered the Masters in 1997 when Woods won his first green jacket, said that he had never heard Augusta National ‘that loud for that long.’

With Tiger in contention through the weekend, viewers weren’t shy from tuning into CBS’s  Masters broadcast.

Its Saturday afternoon telecast delivered CBS golf’s highest Saturday ratings in four years. Sunday’s telecast wasn’t as strong, but only because golfers were forced to tee off early in the morning due to inclement weather. Still, it was the highest rated morning golf broadcast in over 30 years.

While fans were roaring from Augusta and from their couches, oddsmakers were busy reacting to the Tiger Effect.

Woods opened at 18-1 to win the PGA Championship months ago but his odds fell with his Masters odds, ending up closer 14-1 to win the PGA Championship before teeing off for round one at Augusta.  With his fifth green jacket and fifteenth major championship under his belt, oddsmakers dropped Woods’ odds to 8-1 Sunday afternoon, the lowest Woods backers have seen in any tournament 2013.

To add to the lure of betting Tiger in next month’s major championship, Woods has already won a major at Bethpage Black, the site for 2019’s PGA Championship, once before.

Tiger is back and U.S. sportsbooks should expect to see some of their biggest golf betting handles yet in upcoming majors.

Some sportsbooks have already added special Tiger Woods major props to their betting menu. At PointsBet you can bet on Tiger Woods to complete the 2019 grand slam at 125-1 and at DraftKings Sportsbook you can wager on Woods’ finishing position in all three remaining majors. Now, just three wins away, you can even bet on Woods to either tie or break Jack Nicklaus’ 18 career major wins at FanDuel Sportsbook, DraftKings Sportsbook, and PointsBet — a bet that could stay in your “pending bets slip” for years.

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In response to yesterday’s historic victory, Nicklaus said that Tiger has him ‘shaking in his boots.’

Though we might not see as many Tiger betting promotions in terms off odds boosters as we saw last week, sportsbooks will be happy to take public action on Woods at 8-1 to win the PGA Championship and are begging for action on the special props listed above. But if Tiger finds himself in the final pairing on Sunday at Bethpage Black, oddsmakers might end up shaking in their boots, too.

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About the Author

  • Matt Schmitto (schmitto)

  • Matt Schmitto is a staff writer for RotoGrinders Sports Betting. He grew up in Texas, graduating from Texas Tech University. He has played high stakes DFS since 2013, and enjoys betting on golf, basketball and football – and whatever else is put in front of him. Schmitto is an advocate of The Bettor’s Oath.