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Are Tiger’s Honda Classic Betting Odds Worth a Wager?

Alex Kilpatrick

by Alex Kilpatrick in Golf

Updated Apr 22, 2020 · 12:01 PM PDT

Tiger Woods Bethesda
Tiger Woods recently confirmed that he'll play the Honda Classic, where he's listed at much more reasonable odds than usual. Photo by Keith Allison (Flickr)
  • Tiger has confirmed that he will play in this weekend’s Honda Classic. 
  • His odds to win are more reasonable than they’ve been all year.
  • Are the sportsbooks still overrating his chances, nonetheless? 

Tiger Woods only confirmed last week that he’ll play in the 2018 Honda Classic (February 22nd-25th), presumably encouraged by how he’s holding up to PGA Tour play, physically. Usually, a Tiger-is-going-to-play announcement comes complete with ludicrously short odds at your local online betting site. But at the Honda, he’s more reasonably handicapped than he’s been since he started his comeback.

Honda Classic Betting Favorites

Player Odds
Rickie Fowler +800
Rory McIlroy +1000
Justin Thomas +1000
Sergio Garcia +1600
Alex Noren +3000
Adam Scott +5000
Webb Simpson +5000
Brandt Snedeker +5000
Tiger Woods +5000
Graeme McDowell +6600
JB Holmes +8000
Ian Poulter +8000

Tiger’s played in this tournament before, going back as far as 1993. Back then, the tournament was held at Weston Hill G&C. Since 2007, the tournament has called the Champions Course at the PGA National Golf Club home, and Tiger has competed three times. His best result came in 2012, when he finished second overall, and obviously since then he’s struggled in a very general way.

If I described a hypothetical player to you, say one with two finishes this year and coming off a missed cut, you wouldn’t put that player at +5000. You would put him longer, not much longer, but definitely longer. The more Tiger plays, the more the betting market adapts to the reality of the player he is today, as opposed to the player he was at some point in the past.

Rickie Fowler
Defending champion Rickie Fowler is listed at pretty standard favorite odds, even though he hasn’t won yet in 2018. Photo by Chris Breikss (Flickr) [CC License].

Defending champion Rickie Fowler is listed at +800, which is pretty standard odds for the favorite. He’s been playing well enough in the 2018 season, although the closest he’s been to a win was his runner-up at Mayakoba, which was actually before the New Year. These odds are a little short for a player who has recorded just four wins since turning pro in 2009. We all remember how long it took for Fowler to get up over that hump, and there’s probably a reason he doesn’t make it often.

[I]s Tiger overrated? … [I]f so, only slightly.

Rory McIlroy (+1000) is also a past winner, and has been playing a lot recently. He’s not entirely on form — he finished just T20 in last week’s Genesis Open. He’s encouraged by the result, though, and says that it doesn’t quite reflect his quality of play. That would be great to know if he wasn’t already listed so short, but that’s golf betting.

Alex Noren (+3000) is on a run of form and is still listed pretty long. He finished T16 at the Genesis Open, T21 at the Phoenix Open, and made the playoff at the Farmers Insurance Open. The 35-year-old Swede is blooming late and becoming one of the most consistent names on tour, and at a price that’s reasonable.

So is Tiger overrated? Maybe, but if so, only slightly. He’s listed at the same odds as Webb Simpson, who similarly hasn’t delivered on his promise since 2012. There’s a bulk of players at +6600 that Tiger would fit in beautifully with, and the way the odds sheet is formatted, it looks like Tiger used to be a part of that group, but now they’ve got him up at +5000. Shame.

Betting Advice

Again, you’re going to want to take a flyer; the favorites haven’t been performing well enough recently to warrant their lines. I still really like Alex Noren, mostly because he came so close to delivering a huge payout earlier this year and an unknown quantity on the rise is always fun.

If you’ve been itching … to bet your money on Tiger Woods, this is the first week that I won’t call you crazy for doing it.

If you’ve been itching, just itching, to bet your money on Tiger Woods, this is the first week that I won’t call you crazy for doing it. At +5000, it’s hard to be a bad bet.

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