Tuesday, July 14, 2009

For bettors who like value, this year's British Open is like Christmas
morning, according to Las Vegas sportsbook insider Chuck Esposito.
Tiger Woods, currently at 2 to 1 at Las Vegas casino sportsbooks, is
the favorite by a wide, wide margin. If you think Woods will win,
Esposito says you should grab him now. "Those odds will drop pretty
quickly," Esposito said. "My guess is Tiger will be at 8 to 5, 6 to 5,
or even before the British Open starts."
The odds are so skewed toward Woods--especially with his only near
rival, Phil Mickelson, not competing at Turnberry this year--that the
next player on the board, Sergio Garcia, is a 12-to-1 bet to win. Other
contenders drop even further: Defending champion Padraig Harrington is
20 to 1, Henrik Stenson is 20 to 1, Paul Casey is 20 to 1, Rory McIlroy
is 25 to 1, Geoff Ogilvy is 25 to 1, Ian Poulter is 25 to 1, Ernie Els
is 35 to 1.
"There's real value there in players in that 20 to 40 group," Esposito
said. "In fact, with those short odds, the house ends up rooting for
Tiger because if one of those long shots come in the casino can really
get burned."
The house also ends up rooting for Woods because he creates excitement around the casino when he's near the top
at a major, Esposito said.
"We do really well at all the majors, and we'll have the British Open on
all the big screens," Esposito said. "But if Tiger's in the lead, we
get tremendous crowds."
The only real competitor to Tiger Woods on the board in Las Vegas is
"The Field," currently at 8 to 5 odds. Keep in mind that "the Field,"
in the form of Lucas Glover, won the U.S. Open and paid off at 10 to 1.Follow Michael Walker Jr. on Twitter.

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