Scottie Scheffler, Part Deux: “Gambling” on the Champ

Let’s talk a little more about Scottie Scheffler because I feel I didn’t get enough off my chest in my latest “Scottie wins Masters (again) but doesn’t draw ratings” post.

I don’t so much want to talk about Scheffler’s dominance on the golf course, which isn’t necessarily incomparable but certainly impressive historically.  I’d rather talk about gambling on Scottie for right now, he’s the safest investment on the board.

Prior to placing our wagers on the pack at Augusta, many of us had conversations about who we should bet on, fruitlessly trying to find value in a player other than Scottie Scheffler. 

There was no such golfer. 

Scheffer was coming back +350 before the tournament which is an extremely low number for a golfing future.  As we know now, it was the right play.  Days later, I walked into my chiropractor’s office to hear him tell me how he won $350 on Scheffler.  I knew right then and there that a) my adjustment for the afternoon should have been on the house and b) he hadn’t partaken in any of those silly conversations regarding other golfers holding value.

Scottie Scheffler is currently the world’s best ball striker and it’s not even close.  He’s leading FedEx Cup point standings by the largest margin since they started tracking it in 2009.  I don’t know any bookmakers personally, but Vegas must be taking it on the chin.  The smart bets are all on Scheffler, and the books can’t get the number low enough.

Gambling on golf is different than it is on other sports.  For example, in basketball, you bet on either the Suns or the Timberwolves to win the game.  There will be a favorite and an underdog, but there will only be two outcomes, one of them winning and the other losing.  With so many golfers entering a tournament, odds are skewed based on how many participants are in the field, which means you can often find a golfer at 250 to 1.  Of course, the odds of that golfer winning are probably less than that, but Scottie, the immaculate favorite, is distancing himself from the rest of the field so significantly, oddsmakers can’t catch up.  Currently, he’s +350 to win the PGA; the next lowest golfer is Rory McIlroy at +1100.

I don’t know if we’ve ever seen a golfer come back at even or minus money before a tournament but we’re coming dangerously close to that.  If he keeps winning, we might just see that happen. 

Scottie has won three of his last four tournaments.  He has nine wins, 22 top three and 34 top ten finishes in his last 50 tournaments.  He is nowhere close to Ben Hogan’s 18 straight wins in 1945 but the father-to-be is on one heck of a heater.  I don’t know that they had money lines back when Hogan was playing but if Scheffler continues this tear, gamblers will be longing for the day we found him at +350. 

In Augusta, Scheffler was minus money once he took the lead but once he fell back a few strokes, as he did last weekend at the RBC heritage, poachers like me found value, the best we’re ever going to get with a golfer like him.  My friend got him at +475.  I spotted him at +900 for small stakes.  This was after the first round when he wasn’t sniffing the leaderboard.  As good as Scottie is, he’s not going to lead wire to wire in every tournament.

“You’re gonna regret not putting more on him,” said one of my higher falutin’ golf and gambling buddies.  I’m not sure truer words have ever been spoken.  He’d put $50 on Scheffler while I’d only put down $5, albeit at a considerably better return.  In the moment, it’s tough to pull the trigger on a golfer that’s well behind the pace.  But if his last name is Scheffler, it warrants serious consideration, especially while he’s on this scorcher.

We’ve talked about live wagering as a good way to catch gambling services with their pants down.  There’s not a person watching these games and adjusting lines on the fly as teams (or in this case, golfers) take commanding leads.  There are, I would imagine, specific algorithms factoring how many strokes are left to play and how far off they are from the lead.  If Scheffler, or any golfer, is behind, it only makes sense that the numbers will drop but anybody who has watched him lately knows anything is possible.  The odds of him coming back, at least on his current heater, are far better than your average golfer.

The moral of the story here is betting on Scheffler is the safest play on the board but you knew that already.  As with any live wagering, keep your eye on him to draw an even better number if he falls off the pace.  These days, it’s only a matter of time before the empire strikes back. 

Services are currently taking a bath on Scheffler wagers, this could be your time to take a swim. 

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