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Tiger’s 2018 Odds: Comparing the Available Bets with Reality

Alex Kilpatrick

by Alex Kilpatrick in Golf

Updated Mar 23, 2020 · 3:18 PM PDT

Tiger Woods at the US Open
Tiger Woods at the 2008 US Open, a magical performance that still inspires bettors to make bad decisions. Photo by Jim Epler (wikimedia commons).
  • Tiger played really well at the Honda Classic and is now a decent professional golfer again
  • To celebrate this development, we’ve scrutinized the Tiger props available at sportsbooks and calculated our own for comparison

Tiger played well at the Honda Classic, by all accounts. He finished in 12th, his best result in a very long time, but more importantly, his game seemed to be coming together. He was as consistent off the tee you as you could ever ask Tiger Woods to be, he played the short game well, and his irons were okay. If there’s anything I can trust Tiger Woods to figure out, it’s how to hit an approach iron pin-high and with great distance control.

Online betting sites have been offering season-long props on Tiger for months. As I said previously, they were ludicrously short. Has Tiger’s recent play made them more reasonable? Let’s compare and contrast the available Tiger Woods wagers with reality.

Tiger Woods Odds

These are the wagers and odds available at the time of writing.

Odds Tiger wins a 2018 major: +500

If you think Tiger will win a major in 2018, one site will give you +500 for your faith. They won’t let you get on the other side of that bet, of course, because that’s not how sportsbooks make money. For a while, another sportsbook let you bet “No,” but they’ve since taken down that line and most of their other player props. I’m pretty sure someone got fired for that one.

These odds are way too short. Tiger Woods played great at the Honda Classic, I’ll concede that, but not that great. Leading the field in “Proximity to the Hole” isn’t the same as leading the field in scoring. Putting up crazy club-head speed numbers is awesome, but isn’t really what you need to win a major.

Odds Tiger wins the 2018 Masters: +1600

Again, the same sportsbooks as above has Tiger at +1600, with no way to get on the other side. Awful bet. Winning the Master’s is incredibly difficult, and anyone listed this short should have no outstanding questions. No “is his back going to hold up” or “can his game develop in that time” is going to work at these near-favorite odds.

Tiger Woods David Feherty
Tiger Woods with disgraced former Irishman David Feherty. Photo by Keith Allison (Flickr) [CC License]

More Realistic Tiger Woods Odds

These will give you a slightly better understanding of Tiger’s actual chances.

Odds Tiger wins any 2018 PGA tournament: +1200

Where would an honest accounting of Tiger’s prospects put him? Webb Simpson, who had two strokes on Tiger at the Honda Classic, is all the way down at +17500 to win the Masters. If you want an older Green Jacket who’s back on form in 2018, why not Bubba Watson, who has already won a tournament this year? He’s down at +2200 for the Master’s, slightly below Tiger.

If Tiger keeps at this strategy of picking and choosing his favorite courses and tournaments, it’s not unrealistic that he’ll record a PGA Tour win in 2018. Just don’t expect that win to come at Augusta, please.

Over/under 2018 PGA tournaments played: 12.5

Tiger’s going to be choosy, hopefully. He’s had a lot of trouble trying to come back too soon or grit out niggling injuries, and has only ever made life harder for himself by doing so. His best (and only) path to PGA success is a favorable schedule that allows him to take care of his body. Anything else will get him in trouble.

Over/under Tiger’s 2018 end-of-year ranking: 50.5

Of course, playing a limited schedule doesn’t do your ranking a whole lot of favors. With some big performances (particularly at majors) Tiger will be able to climb up from his current ranking of 130, but will be locked out of the top spots. Those are generally reserved for players who grind through dozens of tournaments, making cuts and collecting prize money, which is more or less the opposite of Tiger’s approach.

Over/under Tiger’s retirement date: Jan 1, 2019

One thing you have to love about Tiger is that he absolutely never wants to quit. Even if he gets viciously hurt tomorrow, he’ll focus on rehabbing and getting back in the game, and we’ll be treated to this whole circus again in a year. That said, if he plays consistently for a couple years but never really starts contending, then he might walk away from the sport. He also might run for president, is a dumb idea I can’t get out of my head.

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