Las Vegas, Nevada (May 10, 2011 UPDATE 5/11)--Phil Mickelson and Tiger Woods have had several battles on the course, but now, according to Las Vegas' GolfOdds.com founder Jeff Sherman, they are about to have a battle at the Las Vegas golf betting window. Already this year, both have been prohibitive favorites when match-upped against each other, something rarely seen. But they opened pick 'em against each other for the 2011 The PLAYERS. That should make for a tantalizing showdown for the PGA Tour golf betting public this week. According to the experts, a little bit more money was coming in on Tiger but not enough to move the price.--By Brian Hurlburt, Odds by Jeff Sherman.
"Week to week fluctuations on the price of the Tiger/Mickelson matchup have been large recently," says Sherman, a golf betting odds expert and assistant director of the Las Vegas Hilton Superbook. "At the Arnold Palmer Invitational, Tiger closed a -150 favorite (heads up against Mickelson). At the Masters, Mickelson closed a -160 favorite. Each time the favorite was heavily supported. With the line at pick for The Players Championship, it will be interesting to see who the betting public sides with."
Despite not winning for more than a year, and in the midst of a continual drop in the World Golf Ranking, Tiger still opened as the favorite to win The PLAYERS at 12/1 followed by Mickelson and Luke Donald at 15/1. But Tiger is nowhere to be found in the top 10 of the official PGATour.com Power Rankings written by Rob Bolton. Donald is number one while Mickelson is fourth in the power rankings. Bolton notes that Donald is a on a streak of six top 10 finishes in a row and wrote the following about Mickelson: "The 2007 PLAYERS champion has posted a pair of top 25s since, and has cashed in nine straight appearances. Coming off a T9 at Quail Hollow, where he had 20 birdies. Ranks 61st on TOUR in greens hit, 24th in scrambling and second in birdie average."
Sherman also said that another matchup to watch will be Nick Watney vs. Dustin Johnson. Watney lives in the Las Vegas Golf Region and both work on their swings with Butch Harmon, who operates the Butch Harmon School of Golf at Las Vegas' Rio Secco Golf Club. Watney is a -120 favorite vs. Johnson (even). "Dustin Johnson and Nick Watney have displayed similar form recently, and this matchup looks like a tough call between two golfers expected to have big seasons but who have been struggling as of late," says Sherman. Click to Las Vegas GolfOdds.com for the complete betting numbers and any line movements.