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2024 PGA Championship odds: Bookmaker talks Scottie Scheffler, McIlroy, Tiger

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We are one sleep away from the 2024 PGA Championship at Louisville’s Valhalla Golf Club and perhaps the biggest question in golf circles revolves around the world’s most dominant player, Scottie Scheffler.

How will he perform as a new dad?

The 27-year-old Scheffler just won his second Masters title, and he’s rattled off victories in four of his last five PGA outings. He also finished tied for second at the event he didn’t win over that stretch, but maybe a few weeks off and a brush with fatherhood is enough to slow his scorching momentum.

I tried my best to type the last line without laughing, but it’s seriously where we’re at in the betting community. Bettors and bookmakers are having internal conversations about why a new baby will slow Scottie Scheffler.

Yet a Scheffler victory is the least-surprising result mathematically.

“Honestly, the baby effect must be considered,” Westgate SuperBook vice president of risk management Jeff Sherman told FOX Sports. “He’s also going to be without his caddy on Saturday, so that could break rhythm, too. There are a few things that could defer what you expect Scottie Scheffler to do.

“We’re floating him at 9-2 [+450] at the SuperBook, which is a smidge higher than his price was at The Masters. I feel good at that number. If we went out to 5-1, we would get considerable support, but we’re currently in a good position at 9-2. And we’re not writing anything that’s overwhelming.

“I can afford to sell it at that price.”

Meanwhile, Rory McIlroy is the trendiest golfer at Sherman’s shop due to the Irishman’s impressive five-shot victory at Quail Hollow last weekend. His prices have basically been slashed in half over the last 10 days, which is more common than you think because golf bettors fall fast for recent results.

If you bet McIlroy today, you’re literally getting the worst of the number.

“Rory hasn’t won a major in 10 years, but the last time he did was on this course,” Sherman said. “That narrative is being talked about quite a bit.

“You still could’ve found Rory at 14 or 15-1 a week and a half ago. When he won on Sunday, I lowered him to 8-1. That didn’t stop the appetite because I wrote a $5,500 bet on him at 8-1 two days ago. Now we’re down to +750.

“I know Scottie’s won four of his last five events including The Masters, but the freshest thing on people’s mind is Scottie not playing over the weekend and Rory winning by margin. That cannot be underestimated.”

Another always-popular golfer at tentpole events is Brooks Koepka.

While he only appears a handful of times on the PGA circuit, there’s no doubting his ability to compete at majors and play well at courses that are long and narrow. That just so happens to be Valhalla in a nutshell.

Victories at three of the last six PGA Championships helps too.

“Koepka gets support no matter what at these big events,” Sherman explained. “Bettors don’t seem to care about his form or odds, either. The price is falsely low based on the expected support. We didn’t want to go to 20-1 or higher because we want to avoid getting stuck.”

Speaking of getting stuck, most sportsbooks around America will be rooting for Tiger Woods to not be the last man standing after four rounds.

When the SuperBook opened the PGA Championship market around five months ago, Woods was offered at 100-1 to pull off the unthinkable. If you think that number is high, try the current price of 300-1 on for size.

“We took a $1,000 bet at 100-1 back in February,” Sherman reported. “There wasn’t much action after that, so I bumped him to 300. There’s liability, but not like we saw at The Masters or at previous PGA Championships.

“We really don’t need Tiger to win, but I’m not too nervous.”

Anybody else that would sting the house with a win?

“Right now, our biggest liabilities are Rory, Ludvig Åberg and Justin Thomas,” Sherman reported. “Akshay Bhatia is another one. He’s a public darling right now and gets pretty decent support every week. We took Bhatia money at 125-1 and dropped it down to 100-1.

“Tiger is obviously a liability, too, because of the big odds. As somebody who’s followed Tiger since his early days on tour, it’s tough to watch him these days. We’ve seen the pattern, especially during his last two trips to Augusta.

“He makes the cut, but can’t keep it together on Saturday and Sunday. His body can’t sustain four days grinding and walking the course. It feels like it’s too much for him at this point.”

Say what you want about Tiger, the guy is still a monetary magnet. And while people aren’t exactly salivating to bet him in the outright markets, he remains fair game in head-to-head matchups and make/miss the cut offerings.

Polarization works wonders behind the counter.

“One of our top matchups handle wise is Tiger against Phil [Mickelson],” Sherman said. “Mickelson isn’t doing that well on LIV, so the pricing is staying competitive. If Phil’s current form was strong, we’d be [-200] or higher.

“They’re both polarizing golfers – people want to bet on or against ‘em.”

At the end of the day, Scheffler will dominate the conversation over the next four days, win or lose. I wouldn’t bet him at +450 or lower to win the PGA Championship, but it’s silly to expect him to fade into the abyss because of fatherhood.

Earlier this year, I spoke to golf handicapper Jeff Sealey ahead of The Masters and he gushed about wheeling Scheffler Top-10 with anything that wasn’t nailed down. That was A+ advice as he won the whole damn thing.

If you’re eyeing another Scheffler Top-10 bet, it’s -200 at most American shops, while the SuperBook is decidedly higher at -250. Some books allow you to parlay futures and you can bet Scheffler Top-10 with say the Kansas City Chiefs to win the Super Bowl at almost 9-1.  

“I’m only at -250 in that market because every time we put it up, we get Scheffler Top-10 money right away,” Sherman explained. “I have to slow it down, so I open higher. 

“There are a few golfers on the tour whose Top-10 and Top-20 prices should be disproportionate to the outright numbers. It’s not like we pop outright prices in and follow what the formula spits out.  

“Take Xander Schauffele for example. He just can’t win. You have to go back to July 2022 for his last victory. But he finishes Top-5, 10, 20 almost every week. If you have him similarly priced in those markets as other golfers in the 14-1 range, I think that’s inefficient.

“Koepka is 16-1 outright, and he can definitely win, but Xander should be shorter in the Top-5, Top-10 and Top-20 markets if that makes sense. We attack those markets differently to avoid any inefficiencies.”

I wholeheartedly agree with Sherman re: Koepka. His range of outcomes is rather large, and it truly wouldn’t surprise me if he won another PGA title or missed the cut. The volatility provides a ton of opportunities.

As for what I’m betting, I think it’s much more likely Koepka has his way around Valhalla, and he’s right there in the hunt heading into the final round on Sunday.

Mark me down for Koepka at 16-1. 

Sam Panayotovich is a sports betting analyst for FOX Sports and NESN. He previously worked for WGN Radio, NBC Sports and VSiN. He’ll probably pick against your favorite team. Follow him on Twitter @spshoot. 

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