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Tiger Gives Boost To Golf Betting

I'm here at the media center at the US Open and the common subject of "Would you bet against Tiger?" came up.

Tiger Woods
AP
Tiger Woods

It's a fun game to play—Tiger or the field? But for those who are serious about betting, that question has single-handedly made golf, for the first time ever, a sport to bet on.

Before Tiger became so dominant, you'd have to be a golf fan to bet on the sport. But Tiger creates the perfect environment for anyone who is looking for action and potentially a great return.

Here's why it's so compelling. For most majors, more than half the gamblers take Tiger. If you bet $100 on Tiger at the Open this year, you'd get $175 if he wins. Not a great deal, right? But some people see that as free money.

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In order to balance out the Tiger money, the books essentially have to open every other player as a longshot.

You bet $100 on Phil Mickelson? You'll get a return of $750 if he wins. ESPN's Andy North, who won the Open twice, is picking Geoff Ogilvy, who will return $2,000 for a $100 bet.

Other big names that have a shot, but will score huge money, are Camilo Villegas and Vijay Singh ($4,000 for every $100 bet) and Angel Cabrera, who is at 65-to-1 even after scoring huge fortunes for bettors at the 2007 Open and winning the Masters earlier this year.

Questions? Comments? SportsBiz@cnbc.com