I have this friend, perhaps you’ve heard of him. His name is Kevin.
Kevin runs this website, perhaps you’ve heard of it. It’s called the Wife Hates Sports. It’s a site you want to tune into in case you’re considering either gambling on sports or playing daily fantasy.
Every so often, Kevin, like me, will post tidbits about sports, snippets of what’s to come with perhaps even a hint or two about who to bet on. His recent predictions on the FedEx St Jude Invitational were pretty spot on as you’ll soon find out. Not spot on enough, unfortunately, but still worth a read and a ten-dollar wager.
When placing a golf future, you generally try to find someone who is playing their best golf, although those numbers are usually reflected in the odds. In other words the game, much like golf itself, can be tough to beat. With so many golfers entering a tournament on any given weekend, it’s really a crap shoot to choose one who’s even in contention. But when you do, it makes watching that tournament all the more enjoyable… and potentially even highly profitable.
In this day and age of social distancing, there are no galleries whose reactions might affect a player’s stride. Even though we’re talking about professional athletes who should not be bothered by either the cheers or jeers, the lack of an audience is still a worthwhile consideration. One could argue that taking a stab on long dogs, regardless of what sport you’re betting on, is a worthwhile play. Note: Virus or no virus, I’ve been arguing that on this site for the last ten years.
Just to have some action, I took a stab on three golfers for the weekend’s affairs: Patrick Cantlay at 20:1, Tony Finau at 33:1 and because of Kevin’s bold prediction, Brendon Todd at 100:1.
Todd had won twice on tour this year. He was the PGA tour’s number one scrambler (which I believe means shooting pars when not hitting a green in regulation… but what do I know about either). Brendon Todd, who many sports fans including myself had never heard of before this weekend, had no business being on the board at 100:1. But he was. And I took him.
Normally, any seasoned gambler will tell you they don’t like to mention who they bet on for fear of the jinx. It’s uncanny how many times you’ll tell someone who you have money on mid-game as soon as they ask, only to see the person or team you bet on blow a comfortable lead. It’s an unwritten rule of gambling. Best to keep your mouth shut.
But this time around, I was going to get my money’s worth. Besides, keeping a secret has never been my forte.
Todd was in contention from the get. The clubhouse leader on both the second and third days, he was the talk of the tournament. He was dropping lengthy putts as if they were gimmes, including one fifty-footer. Everybody I alerted about the wager was hitting me up and wishing me luck. For 72 hours, that ten dollars was the best I ever spent. A strong finish for Todd on Sunday would have meant that, thanks to Kevin’s advice, I would have turned ten dollars into a cool grand. Oh, did I have plans for that money.
With a one-stroke lead on Sunday afternoon, it was Todd’s tournament to lose. He had a slew of high-profile golfers breathing down his neck that final round including Rickie Fowler, Brooks Koepka, Phil Mickelson and the eventual winner, Justin Thomas.
In the end, Todd had a miserable final round. He’s not a long ball hitter, he’s a scrambler and most importantly, he stopped sinking the long putts he was making to start the weekend. He ended up shooting a 75 on the final day of the tournament and with the number of quality golfers posting low scores, par (never mind five over) was not going to cut it.
In the end, it was a worthwhile ten dollars spent. Would I have preferred to cash in a four-figure payday thanks to a whim? Absolutely. But it goes to show you that taking stabs on golf futures is a cheap, fun and potentially lucrative way to spend a weekend.
You won’t win them all, my friends, but if you try sometimes, you just might find you get your ten bucks worth.