Golf betting: A glimpse of the future this week, as PGA Tour event integrates BetMGM odds on telecast

Frank Schwab
·2-min read

Sports fans who don’t watch golf will tell you it’s too boring for them.

Being able to bet in the middle of a tournament, with the live odds being shown on the telecast, could make it a bit more exciting.

Since a 2018 Supreme Court ruling that allowed states to decide if sports betting should be legal, leagues have expanded their views on incorporating gambling talk into their games.

For the first time, the PGA Tour is going to have live BetMGM odds be a significant part of its television broadcast, at this week’s CJ Cup.

CJ Cup telecast first to incorporate live odds

It makes sense that the CJ Cup is the first event to incorporate live betting odds in its telecast, which will be from Thursday through Sunday on the Golf Channel. The event will be at Shadow Creek Golf Course in Las Vegas, the gambling capital of the United States.

Golf isn’t the first sport we think of when it comes to betting, but odds are offered on tournament winners, if a golfer will finish in the top five or 10, golfer vs. golfer matchups and props on some of the bigger stars, to name a few.

Even if you can’t get into golf even with gambling, it’s a big step for sports betting as a whole. If the normally straitlaced PGA Tour is happy to introduce BetMGM betting odds into a telecast, other leagues could be more comfortable following that lead.

“The focus of our sports betting partnerships is to engage fans in new and creative ways,” Norb Gambuzza, PGA Tour senior vice president of media and gaming, said in a statement. “As an element of that strategy, we began integrating live odds onto Tour digital platforms in August and now we look forward to learning from this first-time test in a live telecast.”

Matthew Wolff is the most popular bet in the futures market for this week's CJ Cup. (AP Photo/John Minchillo)
Matthew Wolff is the most popular bet in the futures market for this week's CJ Cup. (AP Photo/John Minchillo)

Will we see more live odds integration on telecasts?

The CJ Cup telecast will feature live odds updates twice per hour. There will be leaderboards with integrated “open” and “current” odds to win. There will also be odds for head-to-head matchups, top finishes, winning margin, wire-to-wire winner, holes-in-one and playoffs.

For those who like the traditional approach of betting futures before a tournament, Matthew Wolff (+1800) is the most popular wager at BetMGM with 12.5% of bets coming in on him to win the tournament. Daniel Berger (+3000) is second at 6.6% of bets on the tournament winner.

If bettors miss the chance to place a wager before the CJ Cup, they’ll be reminded as they see the current odds on their television screens as the tournament unfolds. It might be a look into the future of sports telecasts.

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