A field of 87 professional golfers teed off Thursday for the 83rd Annual Masters Tournament, and bettors are also coming out stronger than ever.
The Masters is golf's most heavily bet on tournament of the year and with legalized sports betting taking hold in several states across the country, experts say that the state of golf betting is stronger than it's ever been.
At MGM Resorts, Masters weekend is a top 10 weekend for drawing in sports bettors. The 24 hours before the tournament starts is when most of the wagers come. Between 90% to 93% of bets placed are on who will win the tournament, with about 5% to 10% of bettors wagering on the prop bets and match-ups, according to Jay Rood, vice president of race and sports at MGM Resorts. The company's biggest liabilities are Kevin Kisner, Tiger Woods, Tommy Fleetwood and Dustin Johnson.
A 43-year-old Woods enters the tournament ranked twelfth in the world as he looks to win his first Masters since 2005. At the start of the tournament, odds for him to win were at 14/1 behind Rory McIlroy (8/1), Johnson (13/1) and tied with Justin Rose, according to sportsbook.ag. Rood said Woods' impact on betting causes activity to increase when he's in the mix, although his impact was significantly stronger four to five years ago.