Sports Betting Opportunities On Every Hole At PGA Tour Playoff Event In New Jersey


New Yorkers will have a great chance to attend a sporting event — and wager on it — this week.

Yes, that could describe the Giants-Jets preseason opener football game at MetLife Stadium in the Meadowlands on Thursday night. But we’re talking about the four days of the PGA Tour’s Northern Trust FedEx Cup playoff opener that begins 12 hours earlier a few miles southeast.

The top 125 golfers from the regular season will compete at the Liberty National Golf Club in Jersey City, just a short ($25) ferry ride from Manhattan’s Battery Park. Only the top 70 after Sunday will advance to the second of three events next week.

But don’t expect to see fans lined up at betting kiosks, as if this were a soccer game in the United Kingdom. As a PGA Tour official puts it, “there are limitations as to where betting information may be displayed.” If you’re looking for traditional “retail” sports betting, New Jersey law only allows it at the state’s three racetracks or its nine Atlantic City casinos.

There’s another option, however, for golf fans with a gambling itch. All they have to do is download one of more than a dozen legal sports betting apps on their smartphones, make a deposit, and — provided they are within New Jersey’s boundaries — make their wager.

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More than a decade ago, there were times when fans couldn’t even bring their phones onto a Tour event golf course. That is not true anymore, so let the wagering begin.

PGA Tour makes fantasy a reality

Last month, DraftKings was named “Official Daily Fantasy Sports Partner of the PGA Tour.” DK has an ongoing contest that is focused on last week’s Wyndham Championship as well as this week and next week’s events.

On the DraftKings Sportsbook side, Brooks Koepka at +850 and Rory McIlroy +1100 are the clear favorites, followed by a middling-form Dustin Johnson at +1800 and red-hot Webb Simpson and rounding-into-form Justin Thomas each at +2000. U.S. Open champ Gary Woodland, who plays at Liberty National whenever he is in the New York area, is a remarkable +7500.

DraftKings has a playoff contest in the sportsbook where, with a $25 bet on a player to win the three-week playoff, if your golfer misses the cut on Friday, you get a $10 credit toward a second player to win it all instead.

A variety of betting options

Want to play it safe? Well, for your $455 to make $100, all Koepka has to do is place in the top 40.

Have a good feeling about recent Open Championship winner Shane Lowry riding some local Irish-American support to success? He’s merely even-money to finish in the top 40 or 80/1 to win the tournament.

What bets should you pass on? Probably “there will be a hole-in-one” at +350 on Thursday or Friday or +500 (with tougher pin placements) on Saturday or Sunday. They do happen … but it probably won’t be on the day you pick.

Japan’s Hideki Matsuyama is intriguing at +225 to shoot the lowest scores among the eight Asian players in the event.

There are those, of course, who like to watch golf but are not so into betting on it. For them, a visit to Liberty National Golf Club this week offers not only world-class golf, but also spectacular views of the Statue of Liberty, which sits only a half-mile or so from the course.

Photo by Christopher Hanewink / USA Today Sports

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John Brennan

John Brennan has covered NJ and NY sports business and gaming since 2002 and was a Pulitzer Prize Finalist in 2008, while reporting for The Bergen County Record.

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