Here’s an enticing weekend-long wager for Mountain State bettors.
DraftKings Sportsbook West Virginia spread its golf-prop wings for the lucrative Players Championship, which runs Thursday-Sunday. The PGA tournament headlines an interesting betting weekend, including NASCAR and the second-half NBA schedule launch.
DraftKings innovates with golf
This tour stop is one of the PGA’s richest. The $15 million purse exceeds all other PGA majors (the Masters, US Open, Open Championship and PGA Championship), and thus it’s been dubbed the fifth major.
The course it’s played on, Sawgrass in Ponte Vedra Beach, Florida, has an iconic hole that DraftKings unfurled a betting board around.
Taking a cue from the famous 17th hole, a 132-yard par-3 that involves a tee shot over water, DraftKings unfurled the Island Green Special.
Bettors can join in on any day. Holes-in-one on the first two days have a value of +600. The post-cut number, featuring fewer players, drives the number to +900 over the final two days.
And here’s a fun one. The water? Oh yes, it’s the feast-or-famine, risk-reward proposition that makes this hole tantalizing. There are bets for it now.
There’s a balls-in-the-water prop, worth a bet for the novelty alone.
The over-under for balls hit into the water for the first two rounds is 14.5. The over is -150; the under is +110.
After the cut, the bet moves to over-under 7.5 on the two final days, with the over at -112 and the under at -118.
A different type of PGA bet
Whenever bettors join this action, there’s an enticing risk-reward structure to the Island Green Special. Almost the entire distance from the tee to the green is water.
So precise are the pros that they can hit a shot that flirts with disaster, lands barely past the edge of the water and rolls into potential birdie position. On some occasions, the shot goes in the cup.
These bets are distinctly different than those on individuals battling head-to-head.
It’s the entire field versus a golf hole. And there is strategy. Players who won’t make the cut will be susceptible to off rounds Thursday and Friday. Ker-plunk.
Some gamblers will replace the phrase “in the hole” with “in the drink!” if they take the over on balls in the water.
How you can watch
- Thursday, March 11: 12-6 p.m. on Golf Channel
- Friday, March 12: 12-6 p.m. on Golf Channel
- Saturday, March 13: 1-6 p.m. on NBC
- Sunday, March 14: 1-6 p.m. on NBC
Classic golf bets are strong, too
The Island Green Special joins the usual lineup of hard choices and big values.
This is one of the most difficult tour events in which to select a winner, given the depth of the field.
That’s why there are multiple betting entries.
Dustin Johnson, at +1200, is the favorite and got 9% of early DraftKings handle.
Justin Thomas, +2000, garnered 7%, while Jordan Spieth, +3000, also obtained 7%.
Bryson DeChambeau is +1700 and at 6%. He captured the Arnold Palmer Invitational last week.
Collin Morikawa, +2000, received 5% of the action.
“Golf is tough because these guys are phenomenal players,” Johnny Avello, the director of race and sportsbook operations for DraftKings, told PlayWV.
“When you look at this field and Dustin Johnson is the favorite at 12-1, what does that tell you? You can bet Thomas at 20-1; that’s rare that you will ever find him for that kind of price.
“A lot of gamblers like to go even deeper, taking a guy like Tony Finau or Patrick Cantlay in the 20-25-1 range.”
Avello said that even if gamblers miss the early action, props from Friday through Sunday receive an increasing amount of play.
“After a round, maybe two, the players may think the field is settled a little bit and they have a better idea who can win the tournament,” he added.
Other ways to “go deep” with PGA wagers
The allure of big numbers is difficult to resist, but value abounds further down the board. Sungjae Im, a consistent player, is +100 to reach the top 40 at the tournament at DraftKings.
A gambler that likes any golfer in that payout range for the top 40 can make a big-slam wager that would be no different than an NFL bet.
William Hill WV always has a good golf menu. Look for individual matchups at various times. It can be threesomes or twosomes.
Another popular feature is a particular golfer’s result on the next hole. Most holes end in par; the bigger payouts concern birdie or bogey. A good way to handicap is to watch and see how the golfer you are tracking is striking the ball.
Mountain State bettors welcome NBA return
DraftKings received heavy play from Mountain State bettors last week. The second half of the campaign runs from March 10-May 16.
Under new rules, 10 teams in each conference qualify for the postseason.
The Washington Wizards, playing better ball lately with a win over the Los Angeles Clippers and a one-point loss to the Boston Celtics, open just 1.5 games out of the final spot.
The Cleveland Cavaliers, also popular with West Virginia bettors, are 2.5 games out.
We will know a lot about the Wizards by this time next week. Their punishing upcoming schedule includes three games against the high-flying Philadelphia 76ers and Milwaukee Bucks.
The Cavs have an easier road, including matchups against the New Orleans Pelicans, Atlanta Hawks, Miami Heat and San Antonio Spurs.
At DraftKings, Joel Embiid of the Philadelphia 76ers has become the +200 favorite to win the MVP, and the Los Angeles Lakers are +260 to repeat as NBA champions. The Brooklyn Nets are next at +300.
NASCAR betting at WV sportsbooks
The Instacart 500 unfolds Sunday from Phoenix, airing on Fox at 3:30 p.m. EST.
The DraftKings favorites:
- Chase Elliott +500
- Brad Keselowski +600
- Denny Hamlin +650
- Kevin Harvick +650
- Kyle Busch +800
Numerous race props, including one-on-one competitions, are up. This enables a race-within-a-race, as bettors can essentially design their own mini-event with head-to-head matchups.