It’s already clear in the mainstream media’s initial coverage of sports wagering that stories about big bets will create a lot of buzz. Don’t you get caught up in the drama. Learn how to bet smart!
You probably heard about the bettor in Las Vegas who bet $85,000 to win $1.19 million by backing Tiger Woods to win the Masters. News broke Wednesday that the same “investor” had put down $100K with William Hill at 100/1 odds for Tiger to complete the Grand Slam by winning the PGA, the US Open, and the British Open. Success would pay $10 million.
This is a horrible bet for several reasons. Even if it ultimately wins, it would have been a poor bet that won rather than a smart bet.
Let’s start with the obvious. The “true odds” for Tiger Woods to stay healthy and win all three remaining majors in stacked fields that also include the likes of Dustin Johnson, Rory McIlroy, Brooks Koepka, and a slew of stars and near-elites who could get hot over four days are a lot longer than 100/1.
Even if you can’t make an exact calculation because of all the variables, any good-faith estimate is going to lead you to a much bigger number. The reason it’s available at 100/1 is that sports book operators don’t offer good prices on futures. They offer prices where they’re getting the best of it.
But, even if a bettor received “a tip from God” and knew for a fact that Tiger was going to finish off the slam, it’s still a bad bet! Rolling over individual tournament bets would yield a much higher return.
Let’s pencil in a widely available 9/1 price just for Tiger to win next week’s PGA Championship to be held on the famed Bethpage Black course (it’s 7/1 at William Hill, but sharps shop around!). A $100K bet on Tiger at 9/1 would pay $900K. A full stake of $1 million can then be carried over into the next Slam event.
In June’s US Open at Pebble Beach, Tiger might be as low as 8-1 with sports books defending against public passion. Our investor could bet his total stake of $1 million at 8-1, and be at $9 million ($8 million in new profit and the $1 million pre-Pebble stake) before everyone catches their flights to Ireland for The Open Championship.
Notice that the bettor’s stake would be just below $10 million after just two wins! As a Vegas sharp told VSiN, essentially “he’s betting it all to win nothing on the last major.”
With a Grand Slam in play, Tiger might be as low as 6/1 in Northern Ireland. Betting $9 million at 6/1 would earn $54 million, for a final in-hand total of $63 million.
Would you rather turn $100K into $10 million or $63 million on the same outcome (possibly more if odds are friendlier)?
Don’t let gaudy looking futures prices lure you into making bad bets. Even if you’re making sentimental wagers on your favorite player or team, you owe it to yourself to maximize your profit potential. It will make winning that much more sweet!
▪ When VSiN returns Thursday, many PGA golfers will already have teed off in the opening round at Bethpage Black. That means this is our last chance to run futures prices in that marquee TV event for you.
Global composites are showing Tiger Woods 10/1, Dustin Johnson 10/1, Rory McIlroy 11/1, Brooks Koepka 12/1, Justin Thomas 16/1, Justin Rose 18/1, Jon Rahm 18/1, and Rickie Fowler 20/1. Check your favorite sportsbook for longer shots. (And, be sure to watch golf handicapping show “Long Shots” Wednesday at 7 p.m. on VSiN!)
As we’ve discussed in the past, you’re more likely to be betting against something resembling “true” odds when playing head-to-head matchups rather than the futures board.
▪ Some great matchups on TV for baseball bettors this weekend. The MLB Network will be showing Seattle At Boston Saturday at 12:05 p.m., and the New York Yankees at Tampa Bay Sunday at 12:10 p.m. This week’s Sunday Night Baseball attraction on ESPN will be Milwaukee at the Chicago Cubs at 6:05 p.m.
Current global odds to win the 2019 World Series: Houston 5/1, LA Dodgers 5/1, NY Yankees 6/1, Philadelphia 9/1, Boston 12/1, St. Louis 13/1, Tampa Bay 13/1, Chicago Cubs 16/1, Milwaukee 17/1, Cleveland 18/1.
Same story here. You’ll probably score a bigger return with “rolling parlays” round-by-round through the playoffs than by jumping on teams like the Astros, Dodgers, or Yankees right now. There’s plenty of “relative parity” within the hunk of legitimate contenders that will guarantee decent returns.