Tiger Woods Return At Muirfield For Memorial Event Is Big Win For Bookmakers
There will be no fans at Muirfield Village and The Memorial Tournament this week. No roars, no high-fives, except from bettors and fans at home watching on TV and streaming online or mobile. Many will be pulling for Tiger in his return, as Woods is the most popular player in the betting market this week even off a long layoff.
The 5-time winner at the Memorial event is ready to go, but Woods said at a press conference this week it's going to be strange and different for his return.
"The energy is different. There's nothing to feed off of energy-wise. You make a big putt or make a big par or make a big chip or hit a hell of a shot, there's no one there. To have no one yelling, no one screaming, no energy, the social distancing, no handshakes. It's very different, very stark really."
Check out my Memorial Tournament Betting Preview with player profiles, odds and players of interest this week. Updates with insight and information you can bet on will continue up to and throughout the tournament.
Bookmakers Chip-In on Tigers Return and The Memorial Tournament
Management at leading online sportsbook and top-rated Heritage Sports told OSGA that "the volume in golf has been very good, and with Tiger's return this should be the biggest golf event since they restarted the Tour."
Along with a high volume of win wagers, reduced juice sportsbook Heritage expects more action in other offerings like players to make the cut, or to finish in top 5-10-20.
"We will be treating the tournament as a Major, having top by Nationality, Group Betting, 3 Way Betting, To Make the Cut in most of the players, Top 5-10-20 players."
Bettors who miss out on certain bets before the tournament can join the most popular growing segment of sports wagering and golf. In-play betting during golf tournaments takes place throughout the event. In-play betting allows bettors to take advantage of the natural ebbs and flows of a tournament, and back a player when odds are more favorable to a payoff.
"In-play offerings volume is growing exponentially. It is the present and the future of the industry. Things like Outright Betting adjusted odds (in-play) and last round hole by hole are huge regarding volume and revenue for bookies."
GTBets and Tiger Woods Odds
Last week many bookmakers dodged a bullet when Justin Thomas lost in a playoff at Muirfield in the Workday Open event. Thomas had a 3-shot lead with three holes to go, but made a pair of bogey's coming in before Collin Morikawa stole the tournament on the third playoff hole. Thomas was a heavily bet favorite last week, and a representative from GTBets Sportsbook told OSGA that Thomas "is taking a good amount of action at 10/1 this week."
GTBets says that things are definitely shaping up for the Memorial to be the biggest tournament of the last few months.
"Tiger is currently down to 20/1, but with a good amount of action on him so far. Woods has the most individual bets to win this week"
GTBets also noted Tiger has taken a good amount of bets to finish top-10 (Yes +230).
Woods (-120) is a slight favorite over Round 1 playing partner Brooks Koepka in Thursday only match-up. Woods (+120) is a Round 1 underdog to his other playing partner Rory McIlroy (-150).
Woods (+130) is even a bigger underdog in a full tournament match-ups against Xander Schauffele (-160), and Woods (+120) is also a 'Dog to Webb Simpson (-150).
But GTBets biggest exposure is on two longer shots.
"At the moment, our greatest exposure is on Abraham Ancer at 50/1 odds. Our second-highest exposure is on Tony Finau at 65/1 odds."
With the Memorial tournament getting even more TV coverage this week on Golf Channel and CBS, expect another surge in betting and especially if Tiger Woods makes the cut. GTBets added:
"Whenever the rounds are nationally televised, they do a lot better. Action is certainly up, and there are a handful of golfers playing at a very high level at the moment, as opposed to the Tiger or Brooks show."
The house and golf is benefiting, but so are fans and bettors who enjoy wagering on golf. It's the only 'major' game going until August.
Heritage Sports said in conclusion, "Golf has helped the industry to breathe in the worst moment in Gambling history. The growing of Golf has been substantial for the business, and we expect this to continue in the next years."
You can bet on it.
FairwayJay is a leading national sports handicapper and is recognized as one of the sports industry's most insightful analysts. Read more great insights from Jay here and follow him on Twitter: @FairwayJay