West Virginia bettors have an emerging winter companion: the PGA Tour.
The NFL season is down to three games, but golfers have a new wagering outlet.
Significant PGA events occur almost weekly, and legalized WV sportsbooks offer enough action to cover all four tournament dates.
The competition usually runs Thursday-Sunday, but this one, the Farmers Insurance Open, runs Wednesday-Saturday at Torrey Pines near San Diego.
The new format enables the PGA to avoid conflict with Sunday’s NFL conference championship games.
The good news for gamblers who miss Wednesday’s opening is that golf is a multiday affair with several entry points.
How to watch:
- Wednesday, 12:30-4:30 p.m. EST (Golf Channel)
- Thursday, 3-7 p.m. (Golf Channel)
- Friday, 3-5 p.m. (Golf Channel), 5-8 p.m. (CBS)
- Saturday, 2:30-4:30 p.m. (Golf Channel), 4:30-8 p.m. (CBS)
Farmers Insurance Open odds at WV sportsbooks
In the beginning, take players to win the tournament or finish in the top 5 through top 40 positions in advance. These offer the best futures prices.
Pre-betting odds to win the tournament at FanDuel WV reflect past-performance respect for Jon Rahm, who captured the U.S. Open on this course last year. He prevailed at -6, indicating that this is difficult terrain.
- Rahm +750
- Justin Thomas +1300
- Xander Schauffele +1700
- Bryson DeChambeau +1900
- Dustin Johnson +2100
- Daniel Berger +2100
- Hideki Matsuyama +2100
Schauffele and Berger were only five strokes off the pace here last year and garnered respect from the oddsmakers.
Matsuyama is the tour’s only two-time winner in 2022. He just won the Sony Open but was 26th here last year.
Gamblers who favor momentum over how a player fares on a course will see value in Matsuyama.
What the odds suggest:
At more than 7,800 yards, the South Course, which hosts rounds one, two and four, is the longest on the tour. It favors long hitters.
DeChambeau’s price reflects some respect for his power.
The North Course in round two is shorter and a little easier.
Betting on the PGA Tour
Watch for more props to go up near the start. Books have less time than normal to post them this week.
One comparison: Prices are much shorter at Caesars WV than at FanDuel on the win line.
Oddsmakers suggest taking a flier on someone at +2000 or above, because anyone can get hot with the blade and drain enough putts to win.
There also is value in a marginal player making the top 30 or even 40.
In case bettors can’t decide who will win, at Caesars, they can predict how much the winner will prevail by:
- One shot +250
- Two shots +350
- Three shots +450
- Four or more +333
- Playoff +300
These bets are interesting but elusive and should not command much of one’s budget.
Rahm, incidentally, won by one stroke last year.
In-match wagering categories:
Odds on who wins the first, second, third and fourth round separately. This menu can include which players card the best round each day, along with a prediction on who will lead after each round.
Prop bets on which golfer will finish better in the tournament head to head between the two golfers listed. This creates a one-on-one battle, regardless of what’s going on with the rest of the tournament.
Your favorite golfer can’t win? Here’s a separate wager.
This resembles the next-drive bet for football or the next-goal wager for the NHL.
What happens on the ensuing hole? Most holes yield a par, but there are prices regarding bogeys and birdies. That correlates with how well a player is doing, along with the nature of the course.
Watching a player’s momentum will help determine whether he is someone who deserves a bet in general.
Analyzing Torrey Pines Golf Course
There also is specific information regarding the course.
Past performance for next-hole bets, South Course:
The most recorded bogeys last year were on 11, 15, 12 and 1.
Excellent scoring holes, in which a birdie looks possible, are the long par-5 layouts on holes 9 and 18.
The 18th recorded far more birdies than any other hole. It also yielded 13 eagles. That’s because the holes are relatively straight and the pros can hit the ball to the moon.
Follow a player and watch his tendencies on various holes.
The 18th is intriguing because many players expect to get a birdie. But they hit the ball long enough to consider seeking an eagle. The risk-reward: a huge body of water on the left, just in front of the green.
On the final day, if a player is one stroke behind, he may have to gamble and flirt with that water to reach the green in two shots.
Success would yield an eagle opportunity. But a shot in the water would shove him down at least a couple of places in the standings.