Insights and betting tips for LIV Golf
The PGA Tour is in full bloom heading towards the Florida Swing and this week's Honda Classic, which I preview in Forbes. I provide weekly PGA Tour coverage for various outlets along with odds, insights, picks and information you can bet on. I may add some elevated events and major championship coverage with picks and props here at OSGA in months ahead. But the second season of LIV Golf begins this week, and I'll chip-in some coverage of the event along with some of the differences in the way LIV plays their tournaments.
Despite substantial losses in its inaugural year in 2022 ($800 million), LIV Golf is hopeful it can move forward and make more birdies in their marketing and revenue efforts rather than the bogeys it sustained in Year 1 through multiple lawsuits with the PGA Tour and negativity surrounding LIV Golf, as outlined by fellow OSGA contributor Hartley Henderson. Will LIV Golf's first broadcast with its new partner CW Network be beneficial and bring more viewers, and bettors to watch and wager on the Saudi Arabia-backed league funded by the sovereign wealth fund?
LIV Golf also just announced days before it's first 2023 tournament that the league has secured its first major sponsor. EasyPost - a Utah-based shipping logistics company, has joined LIV Golf and the EasyPost Vice President of Growth says of LIV Golf and their partnership, "We share the same mission, to modernize and innovate in our respective fields.”
LIV Golf Season 2023
LIV Golf swings into the 2023 season this weekend in Mayakoba, Mexico for the opening event at El Camaleon Golf Course - A Greg Norman designed masterpiece playing to approx. 7,039 yards and par 71. Hometown heroes Abraham Ancer and Carlos Ortiz – who represented Mexico in the men’s golf competition at the Tokyo Olympics – will be among the featured stars for the upstart circuit led by LIV Golf CEO Greg Norman. Those two are part of the 12 teams of 4 players in the 48 player LIV Golf league.
LIV Players and Teams
* = captain
4 Aces GC
- Dustin Johnson*, Pat Perez, Patrick Reed, Peter Uihlein
- Martin Kaymer*, Richard Bland, Graeme McDowell, Bernd Wiesberger
- Bryson DeChambeau*, Paul Casey, Charles Howell III, Anirban Lahiri
- Sergio Garcia*, Abraham Ancer, Eugenio Chacarra, Carlos Ortiz
- Phil Mickelson*, James Piot, Brendan Steele, Cameron Tringale
Iron Heads GC
- Kevin Na*, Sihwan Kim, Danny Lee, Scott Vincent
- Ian Poulter*, Henrik Stenson, Lee Westwood, Sam Horsfield
- Bubba Watson*, Taylor Gooch, Thomas Peters, Harold Varner, III
- Cameron Smith*, Matt Jones, Marc Leishman, Jediah Morgan
- Brooks Koepka*, Chase Koepka, Jason Kokrak, Matthew Wolff
- Louis Oosthuizen*, Dean Burmester, Branden Grace, Charl Schwartzel
- Joaquin Niemann*, Davis Puig, Sebastian Munoz, Mito Pereira
Hudson Swafford was scheduled to be part of RangeGoats, but he has a hip injury and will undergo surgery and keep him out of action for at least six months.
Dustin Johnson won the season-long title in last year, and his 4 Aces won the team title. Johnson won more than $35 million playing in the LIV Golf league last year. Peter Uihlein is added to 4 Aces to replace Taylor Gooch. Uihlein finished third on the individual money list in LIV's inaugural season. Matthew Wolff replaces Uihlein on Smash GC.
LIV Golf Format and Prizes
- 48 players comprised of 12 four-man teams.
- Friday-Sunday schedule, 54 holes.
- Shotgun starts.
- No cuts.
- $25 Million prize pool for each event. $20 million in individual prizes ($4 million to winner) and $5 million for the top three teams.
- Each player is guaranteed an appearance fee with last place earning $120,000.
- Bonus pool of $30 million for the top-3 performers of the season ($18 million to winner).
- The season-ending LIV Golf Team Championship Finale will feature a huge $50 million purse. The winning team will split $16 million four ways.
- In the team event, multiple scores count toward each franchises' total each round. The franchises with the cumulative low score is champion of that event.
LIV Schedule 2023
Feb. 24-26: Mayakoba - El Camaleón Golf Course in Mexico
March 16-19: Tucson - The Gallery Golf Club
March 31-April 2: Orlando - Orange County National
April 20-23: Adelaide - The Grange Golf Club in Austalia
April 27-30: Singapore - Sentosa Golf Club
May 12-14: Tulsa - Cedar Ridge Country Club
May 26-28: DC - Trump National Golf Club Washington DC
June 30 - July 2: Valderrama - Real Club Valderrama in Spain
July 7-9: London - Centurion Golf Club
Aug. 4-6: Greenbriar - The Old White at The Greenbriar in NC
Aug. 11-13: Bedminster - Trump National Golf Club Bedminster
Sept. 21-24: Chicago - Rich Harvest Farms
Oct. 20-23: Miami - Trump National Doral
Nov. 3-5: Jeddah - Royal Greens Golf & Country Club, Saudi Arabia
Mayakoba Odds and Match-ups
Many leading online sportsbooks don't have Mayakoba odds to win, but Bovada has provided odds to win, while match-ups below are courtesy of BetOnline. There is also a prop of the any player in the field (-254) to win the event vs Dustin Johnson, Joaquin Niemann, Abraham Ancer or Cameron Smith, who are +200 if any of those four golfers win the Mayakoba.
Niemann is also a sizeable favorite in head-to-head tournament match-up vs last year's dominant LIV player, Dustin Johnson. And Abraham Ancer is an even bigger favorite over Cam Smith. How 'bout Phil Mickelson's (perceived) fall in golf and off course comments and issues? Pat Perez is better than a 2/1 favorite over 3-time Masters winner Mickelson, who will be allowed to play in the 2023 Masters along with fellow LIV golfers and Masters champions Dustin Johnson, Sergio Garcia, Patrick Reed, Charl Schwartzel and Bubba Watson. In total, 17 LIV golfers are qualified and invited to compete in the 2023 Masters Tournament at Augusta National starting April 6.
+850: Dustin Johnson
+900: Cameron Smith, Joaquin Niemann
+1100: Abraham Ancer
+1800: Patrick Reed, Paul Casey, Sergio Garcia, Thomas Pieters
+2000: Matthew Wolff, Mito Pereira, Talor Gooch
+2800: Anirban Lahiri, Brooks Koepka, Carlos Ortiz
+3300: Branden Grace, Harold Varner III, Louis Oosthuizen
+4000: Brendan Steele, Bryson DeChambeau, Charles Howell III, Dean Burmester
+4500: Henrik Stenson
+5000: Danny Lee, Jason Kokrak, Marc Leishman, Sebastian Munoz
+5500: Bubba Watson, Kevin Na, Richard Bland
+6600: Bernd Wiesberger, Charl Schwartzel, Eugenio Chacarra, Ian Poulter, Peter Uihlein
+8000: Lee Westwood, Sam Horsfield
+10000: Cameron Tringale, Graeme McDowell, Matt Jones, Pat Perez
+15000: Martin Kaymer, Phil Mickelson, Scott Vincent
+20000: James Piot, Sihwan Kim
+25000: Chase Koepka, David Puig
+5000: Jediah Morgan
- Joaquin Niemann (-140) vs Dustin Johnson (+108)
- Abraham Ancer (-154) vs Cameron Smith (+120
- Paul Casey (-137) vs Thomas Pieters (+105)
- Taylor Gooch (-130) vs Sergio Garcia (-101)
- Louis Oosthuizen (-150) vs Carlos Ortiz (+117)
- Jason Kokrak (-144) vs Marc Leishman (+112)
- Ian Poulter (-140) vs Lee Westwood (+108)
- Pat Perez (-235) vs Phil Mickelson (+185)
BetOnline also offers match-up props laying or taking 1.5 strokes. For example, Nieman (-1.5) finishing at least 2 shots ahead of Johnson is Niemann (-105) vs Johnson (+1.5) at -125.
Lean/Guess: Carlos Ortiz. The Mexican golfer has played 14 rounds at Mayakoba while on the PGA Tour. Ortiz has the highest total strokes gained in the field on at El Camaleon Golf Course in Riviera Maya - not far from Cancun. Ortiz would appear to offer some value as well in the tournament match-up.
LIV's broadcast team of Arlo White and the colorful and humorous David Feherty are making picks on the weekly events. Both broadcasters pick Abraham Ancer to win Mayakoba.
I'm not betting LIV Golf (yet?), but will continue to monitor the league. Do you want to watch and wager on golfers and supporters of the controversial Saudi Arabia groups and LIV Golf with its ongoing lawsuits and disputes with the PGA Tour?
I don't bet on minor leagues like LIV Golf, Triple-A baseball or XFL for football. It's more of a lack of interest and time to handicap and follow the leagues, players and stats. Pros might argue there are more edges to be had when betting and taking on the leading online sportsbooks in minor leagues and less covered sports or even the WBNA. But no handicapper or better can cover all sports on their own and maintain an edge. I'll bet sports I've had success in like the NFL, and more mainstream and interest with proven performance and success in college basketball and college football, MLB and golf. Just not LIV Golf. I'll also take my edge and skills to the poker table, and poker is making a return to prominence with records in 2022 at the World Series of Poker in Las Vegas.
Will LIV Golf make a surge and become a more prominent player, sport and league to watch and wager on in the years ahead?
I wouldn't bet on it.
FairwayJay is a proven sports handicapper with documented years of winning golf picks. FairwayJay chips in additional sports betting coverage and reporting on industry news and events.Read more great insights from FairwayJay and follow him on Twitter: @FairwayJay.