BetMGM takes hit on Masters, biggest golf betting event ever

The 2020 Masters was the biggest golf betting event ever at BetMGM sportsbook and also was believed to be the biggest ever at William Hill, which took more than $1 million in wagers on the major.

The betting pool on the tournament was open at William Hill for 19 months, or since Tiger Woods won his fifth green jacket in April 2019 at Augusta National in Georgia.

“It was up forever and it was up all four days it was going on,” William Hill sportsbook director Nick Bogdanovich said. “The Masters is just so popular. People know the course inside and out, so they dig it.

“The other majors are played at different venues, so they just don’t have the same appeal.”

BetMGM takes hit

William Hill, the Westgate and Station Casinos each reported solid wins on the tournament. But BetMGM, which took a $10,000 wager to win $120,000 on winner Dustin Johnson, reported a loss on the Masters.

“The book had significant liability on Tiger Woods, but Dustin Johnson winning the tournament didn’t come without the sportsbook taking a hit as we had a significant amount of tickets and handle on DJ,” BetMGM vice president of trading Jason Scott said in an email.

Johnson, whose 20-under 268 set a Masters record for 72-hole score, was second in tickets and money wagered on the event at BetMGM.

He closed as the 8-1 second choice before the tournament. He was 7-1 after firing a 65 in the first round, was +450 after the second round and entered the final round as the prohibitive -275 favorite.

The result would’ve been worse for BetMGM had Sungjae Im won. Im, who was one stroke off the lead Sunday before bogeying the sixth hole, tied for second place at 15-under. A BetMGM bettor made a $6,500 wager to win $650,000 on Im at 100-1 odds.

Johnson was one of the best results for William Hill, Stations and the Westgate.

“There was a ton of tickets and a ton of money on him, but the pool was so big and he was one of the smaller-priced guys, so we won,” Bogdanovich said. “It just goes to show you how much money was in the pool.”

The books mostly needed to avoid a win by the ever-popular Woods or big hitter Bryson DeChambeau, the pretournament favorite.

“Tiger was by far the worst (liability). He was the only one in six figures for us,” Sherman said. “DeChambeau was our worst possibility among the contenders.”

2021 Masters odds

Johnson was installed as the 8-1 favorite to win the 2021 Masters, scheduled for April 8 to 11. DeChambeau is the 10-1 second choice, followed by Jon Rahm, Rory McIlroy and Justin Thomas at 12-1 and Brooks Koepka at 16-1. Woods is 40-1.

“(Johnson’s) a natural starting point,” Sherman said. “The five guys or so that are up there are pretty much interchangeable, then there’s a dropoff after that.”

Six-figure swings

When Browns running back Nick Chubb went out of bounds at the 1-yard line instead of scoring a certain touchdown on a late 59-yard run in Cleveland’s 10-7 win over Houston, it caused a mid six-figure swing in favor of BetMGM — where a bettor lost a $100,000 wager on the Browns -4.

While Chubb turned that gambler’s ecstasy into agony, it was the other way around for a William Hill bettor who won $200,000 on the Texans +4½. The $220,000 straight bet was the largest wager placed in Nevada at William Hill over the weekend.

Contact reporter Todd Dewey at [email protected] Follow @tdewey33 on Twitter.

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