Tiger’s run at PGA Championship increases live wagering

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Tiger Woods was always good for business in his prime. People either wanted to see him dominate and keep making history or someone rise to his level and upset him. In Sunday’s fourth-round PGA everyone seemed to be rooting for Tiger to win his 15th major championship and first since 2008. He shot a 64 Sunday, but finished two strokes behind Brooks Koepka.

CBS reported third-round TV ratings up 54 percent over the third-round in 2017. It’s the Tiger-effect. And with signs Tiger was on the rise, betting action on him and the entire tournament rose to new heights at the Westgate Las Vegas SuperBook, which offers the premier golf wagering menu in the U.S. Oddsmaker Jeff Sherman said they set a PGA Championship record for handle and it was aided by in-progress wagering accounting for one-third what they wrote in pre-tourney outright handle.

Sherman was adjusting odds to win with each stroke on Sunday. When Woods was a stroke back heading into the back nine, Koepka was 2-to-7, Tiger 4-1 and Adam Scott was 5-1. It would shortly turn to Koepka 2-3, Scott 5-4 as he was closing in late, and Woods 15-1. People were reinvesting the entire day. Huge for business.

It’s funny how all this is about Tiger, when Koepka just won his second major of the season and third overall. His win did get somewhat overshadowed, but his skills were definitely not lost on bettors before the event when offered at 20-1.

“Outright win ended up being break even for us with Koepka winning,” Sherman said. “We won on matchups and lost a bit on props.”

Despite the record for handle, it sounds like a wash on the win, which wouldn’t have been the case had Tiger won.

“If Tiger won, this would have been the first time in years he was a positive result for us and he closed at 25-1 pre-tournament,” said Sherman who immediately went to work on other golf stuff, such as jacking up Tiger’s price from -160 to -200 over Phil Mickelson (+170) in the 18 hole match scheduled for Nov. 23 or 24 at Shadow Creek Golf Course in Las Vegas.

He also posted odds to win the 2019 Masters with Jordan Spieth as the 10-1 favorite followed by Tiger and Justin Thomas at 12-1. Rory McIlroy and Koepka are both 14-1. Is 2019 going to be Tiger’s year?

“I wouldn’t say 2019 will be his year regarding majors, although I expect him to get some kind of win soon,” said Sherman.

Darnold NJ prop: The New Jersey Gaming Commission, new to this sports booking thing, said they intended to follow Nevada’s model, so it was a bit strange to see DraftKings offer a prop asking whether first-round draft-pick Sam Darnold would be the Jets’ Week 1 starter at QB.

US Bookmaking’s Robert Walker saw the prop and tweeted: “someone knows the outcome of that prop already. Or at the very least who will make that decision.”

A prop like that would immediately be forced off the board by Nevada gaming authorities because a few people can make it possible if they wanted to. Nevada doesn’t want anything gaming related to embarrass the state or its integrity.

Can you imagine if someone in the know within the Jets organization told someone Darnold was going to start, and that someone told someone else, and they all bet the prop? With so many people winning easily, at least one of them would have bragged to someone and word would eventually hit Twitter, and then New Jersey would have a problem. It would be a public relations disaster.

Credibility and integrity – real integrity, not that NBA integrity – would diminish severely. Nevada gaming authorities protect casinos and their customers from scandal. New Jersey should corral in these young bookmakers and get them in line.

NFL preseason results: Handle on the first weekend was amazing and showed America’s pastime, when it comes to betting, is clearly football, not baseball. Bettors came out firing and had some success at CG Technology sportsbooks.

“It was great for us,” said CG’s VP of risk management Jason Simbal. “We lost a lot of the bigger games but didn’t have any decisions bigger than $20,000. It was mainly recreational bettors. The Raiders beat us good and the sharps did hit us with Baltimore.”

Just one week of action and the bettors are armed with cash after cashing quite a few parlays. Keep it up bettors!

Busting Broncos: Did you see the Broncos’ awful performance Saturday night at home against the Vikings? New QB Case Keenum got the first two series and couldn’t get a first down. Back-up Paxton Lynch showed he still stinks in his third season after being a bust first-round pick by QB-legend John Elway, who is now the Broncos’ VP of operations.

Westgate has a prop asking whether or not the Broncos make the playoffs with NO being -310 and YES +250, season wins set at 7 Over -140, odds to win the AFC West at 9-2 and odds to win the Super Bowl at 40-1.

I was thinking before Saturday’s game that Denver would be a surprise team within the division and a possible playoff team. Despite second-year coach Vance Joseph needing this game for a positive, and somehow avoiding getting fired last season, I had to control my emotions of overreacting after just one preseason game.

Yes, they looked terrible, the front seven couldn’t stop the Vikings run game and the corners kept former Broncos QB Trevor Siemian, now with the Vikings, look like a good QB. There was nothing good about the game except a lot of things for everyone to get chewed out all this week prior to Saturday’s home game against the Bears. Expect better play this week in front of the home fans for the final time in preseason. Don’t write them off yet for 2018 regular season play.

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