By now, everyone has heard about the PGA Tour vs LIV Tour drama. It consumes every golf article and it could create problems for golf betting markets.
The popularity of the breakaway LIV Tour has diluted golf betting popularity of the PGA, so there could be a downturn in money spent betting on golf. However, is this a bad thing for bettors?
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Mo Money, Mo Problems?
There has been criticism of LIV for offering golfers too much money, which could present the tour as a Mickey Mouse operation. However, in an age where professionals sportspeople are paid the big bucks, why should golf be any different?
They’re essentially free agents to play whatever they want and it makes for interesting viewing, especially for bettors.
LIV has different betting markets for golf bettors to enjoy, including team competitions. That’s new ground for the sport, so it’s an excellent incentive for bettors to invest in LIV tournaments.
The problem is convincing bettors to make the switch, because it has become apparent that golf fans must choose between LIV and PGA. It’s like the Packers vs Vikings rivalry; you have to choose one or the other.
Not having the exposure of the PGA Tour is problematic for the rebel organization. Being on YouTube isn’t ideal at the moment, but it’s free-to-air and that’s excellent. Fans can watch from anywhere, so we expect its popularity to increase and more bettors should be betting on the LIV.
The sportsbook still takes more money for PGA tournaments, but we wouldn’t be surprised to see LIV catch up, especially when the PGA Tour doesn’t have excellent fields.
Competition is Better
For a long time the PGA had a monopoly on golf betting. It was the only tournament worth watching every week and that became more true when it poached the best players from the DP World Tour.
The DP World Tour is now almost unwatchable because all the star players went to the PGA, so they’re being rather hypocritical of LIV.
However, competition typically generates more money and that could be the case for the sportsbook. Bettors rally behind their favorite tour with their pockets, so diehard PGA Tour fans are likely to come out in force.
It should also generate more interest in individual events, especially the majors. Betting could be at an all-time high for The Masters in April, as it’s likely to pit PGA and LIV players together and that generates extreme betting interest.
LIV got a little victory with member Adrian Otaegui winning on the DP World Tour last weekend.
“Although Adrian Otaegui’s victory in the Andalucia Masters on Sunday hardly caused a vitriolic explosion — social media apart, of course — there can be no doubt that the Spaniard’s dominating success would have been celebrated on the Saudi circuit and lamented in the corridors of the DP World Tour’s Wentworth HQ,” Telegraph correspondent James Corrigan said.
Golf odds might not change too much, but people who don’t usually bet on golf have taken an interest because of the drama. That’s good for the sport, because more people watching means more money and a better overall product.